When you’re searching for a new job, where do you look first? While some job seekers head to sites like Monster or Glassdoor, a lot of candidates — if not most — start their search with Google.
The launch of Google Jobs in the summer of 2017 reshaped the landscape for sites like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Monster. These sites depend on Google for a huge chunk of traffic, so they had to adapt quickly to this change. To do so, many of these websites decided to integrate their postings directly into Google’s new search engine, ensuring they appeared in search results.
But Google’s job search also affected other businesses, like staffing firms, recruiting companies, and employers who post jobs to their own websites. Unfortunately, many of these businesses have struggled to adapt. Their job postings either rank poorly on Google, or they don’t rank at all.
If you’re one of these businesses, you’re probably losing out on a huge chunk of qualified applicants. To regain these candidates, you’ll need to rank well on Google job search. And to do that, you’ll need an SEO strategy tailored specifically for Google’s job search engine.
The good news? That’s not nearly as tough as it sounds…
How Google Job Search Works
Before we get to how your job postings can rank well on Google, let’s take a look at how this service functions.
While Google uses a distinct search engine for job postings, this service is integrated into the company’s main search engine. This means that when a user searches for jobs using Google, they get slightly different search results.
- While the user will still see the usual organic search results, they will also see a “Jobs” panel above the organic results. This panel will include the three top-ranked job listings. The job listings include basic information, like the job title, the job location, and the site on which the job was posted.
- If the user clicks on a job listing (or clicks on the link for “more jobs”), they are taken to a separate page of search results. On this page, they can view job details for individual listings. If a user is interested in applying for a job, they can click a button that allows them to view the job posting on its original website.
That might seem fairly simple. Where things get a little more complicated is on the back-end.
One of the key features of Google’s job search engine is the information that it includes for each job listing. To ensure this information is accurate and complete, Google relies on structured data markup. This means that your job postings won’t appear in these search results if they don’t include the right kinds of markup.
On a very basic level, this means you have two options if you want your job postings to appear on Google:
- You can post your jobs on a site like Monster, Glassdoor, or ZipRecruiter. These sites are integrated into Google’s search engine, so their postings automatically include the right markup.
- You can implement markup on job postings by yourself, either through in-house efforts or with the help of an outside agency. This means you’ll be responsible for including the right markup.
Whichever route you choose, you’ll need to do further work on your posts. Even if you include the right kinds of markup, you won’t rank well unless you’ve taken further steps to optimize your job posts. That requires a specialized form of SEO designed specifically for Google job search.
Optimizing for Google Job Search
Search engine optimization for Google job search is a niche form of SEO, similar to local SEO or eCommerce SEO. You’re targeting a specialized search engine, which requires a unique SEO approach.
Given the specialized nature of Google job search, you can’t rely on generic SEO strategies. While job search SEO uses some of the same strategies, job postings won’t rank with basic SEO methods.
We’ve compiled a few steps that we take when optimizing our multi-location brand clients SEO strategy for Google job search:
- Essential Markup. There are eight types of structured data markup that Google’s job search engine requires. If any of these tags are missing or incorrect, Google will exclude the job posting from search results.
- Additional Markup. There are several other types of markup that you can include in job postings. Strategic use of additional markup can boost your rankings in Google job search. However, it’s important that any additional markup is both relevant and properly implemented.
- Keyword Targeting. As with any other form of SEO, you need to target the right search terms. First, you’ll need a sense of which terms job seekers are using to search for the types of jobs you offer. After that, you’ll need to include these terms in the right parts of your job postings.
- User Experience. Google’s search algorithm will rank job postings based on how useful and relevant those postings are to users. Top-ranked postings will be easy to read, include detailed information, and answer job seekers’ most pressing questions about the position.
- Campaign Tracking. Google Analytics now includes specific tools for tracking the performance of job postings. However, many third-party SEO tools aren’t built for job search. Chances are, you’ll need to set up a DIY system for tracking your job search campaigns.
Given the distinct nature of Google job search, you’ll need specialized talent if you want to optimize your job postings. If recruitment plays a critical role in your multi-location brand strategy, connect with one of our digital marketing experts to learn more about our SEO and Google job search solutions.