Keeping up with changes and trends in SEO isn’t an easy task, but it’s important to do. Facebook users alone account for 2,460,000 pieces of content shared to the web every minute. It’s easy for content to slip through the cracks if it’s not optimized properly. SEO has the ability to make content on websites stand out.
So what are the trends for 2015 in optimizing web content to gain readership among candidates and clients? Nine in 10 job seekers say they’ll use a mobile device during the job search. If you’re experiencing low website traffic and engagement, there are some steps you can take to keep up with the talent competition.
How are you posting?
SEO has been the longstanding foundation of optimizing web content, emails, social posts and everything in between to increase traffic. Companies find top keywords that would rank highest on the search lists and integrate them into their content where appropriate. However, 2015 brings a shift in search terms. Search engines are increasing their focus on semantic search. Instead of matching keywords, the trick is to work common vernacular into the mix. Generally, when we go to trusty Google for the latest on job postings or to conduct research on a company, we search exact questions or statements. This is essentially what semantic searching entails. Tommy Landry (@tommy_landry), founder and president of Return on Now explained:
“A good analogy is that of a headhunter or free agent recruiter. Have you ever received an email about an exciting new opportunity’ for which you were completely unqualified? Did they say your resume suggested you’re a fit? This is a case of blind matching of keywords with no qualitative overlay.”
In your web content, emails, social posts and job ads, instead of linking words from a keyword list, try linking the full statements or questions that candidates or clients might search to find your content. Consider searcher intent, and make your content contextually applicable. This style will help search engines guide your audience toward your site.
What are you posting?
When looking for the right voice to use in your posts, pick something that not only embodies the employer brand, but is engaging as well. Past SEO trends suggested that each piece had the right amount of relevant keywords; today, there’s an urge to focus on what readers will engage with. With the increased emphasis on language-based optimization, HR has to make the copy more engaging through highlighting benefits, position requirements, and even key ‘call-to-actions.’ Highlighted text, links and headlines draw the most attention to a post. Frontloading information at the top of the post is vital, considering only 10-20 percent of readers actually make it to the bottom of a post.
Keep in mind, 55 percent of readers will only stay on a page for less than 15 seconds. Google will track the number of visitors your page receives. This calls for grabbing your audience within the first sentence before you lose their interest. Reach out to humans, not robots: write content that will entice readers to your brand instead of bore them. Use statistics, useful facts and up-to-date information so your content is useful to readers. Give them a reason to read on and stay on your page for more information.
The key to creating content that entices readers lies in that old saying, “Scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.” Offer rewards or drawings to those who click and engage in your posts. This easily gains interest because readers have a chance to win or learn something. If you don’t have anything to offer, feature a video: 84 percent of all Internet traffic by 2018 will be video content. Simply posting the video alone isn’t enough, though. Since Google can’t watch your videos, you should still optimize your video description for SEO in order for the video to show up on your audience’s search pages.
When it’s time to promote your content on social media, keep in mind that brevity rules. On Twitter, the perfect length of tweet hovers right around 100 characters. On Facebook, the posts that receive the highest level of engagement are less than 40 characters. Whether it’s a tweet or an email subject line, it can be tempting for content producers to utilize the maximum length allowed. But keeping it concise will produce the best results.
Once you have a strong following, your audience will assist with the rest of the work. Americans who follow brands on social media are more loyal to these brands (53 percent). Familiarity and engagement will pat you on the back after all that work. Top deciding factors for job seekers to reach out to a company include a good reputation for great services and products (20 percent), a great reputation for a good place to work (56 percent) and reputation for great people within the company (17 percent).
Organizations can optimize their website, email and social pages to best attract and engage their desired candidates and clients. Overall SEO copy optimization will improve searchability and make job seekers more aware and interested in what your company has to stand for. Doing so can easily manipulate who the company pulls in and quickly measure what words and phrases are working and which aren’t.