Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for a Job Board

Traffic from search engines is the most cost-effective way to generate hits to your job site. Recruiters and job seekers acquired through search engine are the best in terms of required metrics such as unique visitors, online registrations and total hits etc. Also you can measure and increase online activities by viewers such as job search, job seeker and recruiter registration and resume posting on a periodic basis.

The increasing popularity of search engines has led to the development of a whole concept that revolves around ways to “optimize” websites. The objective of search engine optimization is to increase website visitor hits by ranking very high in the results of searches using the most appropriate methods.

But first it is important to know how search engines work. A search engine builds its database either by getting list submissions from webmasters or by using software robots. In the case of former, the database is often built manually. On the other hand, Robot or Spiders are programs that browse through the web and store links and information about the pages that they visit. >

The way a spider indexes and ranks a website is very much dependent on what information it receives from your website and how you have designed the site. Therefore it is essential to develop your website keeping in mind the search engine placements and optimize the website accordingly.

However no amount of search engine optimization will help if you get the basics wrong. As search engines (especially google) are all about trust.

  • Job Board must have large quantity of relevant jobs, categorized properly.
  • Search and advanced job search should work properly and should be further classified.
  • Job seekers registration/data must be categorized based on skills/occupation/experience etc.
  • Ensure that maximum jobs are from actual companies and not from consultants.
  • Even for jobs from consultants insist on having a company email id and not free (e.g. yahoo, hotmail, gmail) one.
  • Create an atmosphere of knowledge by giving expert opinion, having forum, directory, blog etc on your category.
  • Give a contact number/feedback form on Job Board so viewers can get back to you for any clarifications.
  • Have a clear privacy policy.
  • Give some information about your company.
  • Write helpful articles and post on the Job Board. (like this one!)

For webmasters, the major search engines are the most important places to be listed, because they can potentially generate maximum traffic. >The big four search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN, AOL) account for more than 95% of all search’s on the web! If you are not getting results there – you’re not really online!

http://www.google.com/support/webmasters
http://searchenginewatch.com/showPage.htm?page=2156221

The key parameters for Search Engine Optimization:
  • KEYWORDS
  • LINK ANALYSIS
  • CONTENT
  • WEB ANALYSIS
I. KEYWORDS

Search engines; on the basis of your key words index your job site. When a search engine sends a spider to your web site, it determines that pages keywords by counting the words on the web page it is visiting. The words that appear most frequently are considered most significant. >Always be sure to research the key phrases you intend on using. Find out what key phrases Internet users most often employ to find your or your competitor’s Job Board. There is no point optimizing your site for “IT Jobs” if everyone types in “Oracle jobs” or ” IBM jobs”.

Keyword Optimization

Keyword optimization, the art of choosing the correct keywords, is one of the most important things related to search engine optimization. In fact it is the first step in website content development. >People generally use key phrases while searching for products or services in search engines, so while preparing the content for a particular web page it is important to select those one or two particular words as theme for the page. It is important to create distinct list of keywords for each page. Around 20 keywords can be short listed per theme and similarities should be avoided. It is however best to downplay the most competitive keywords as many websites would be targeting them. Also it makes sense to target spelling mistakes.

There are 2 sites, which offer keyword suggestion tools:

http://inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion/

http://www.wordtracker.com/

The overall process would be:

  • Determine your keyword phrases
  • Write content
  • Refine and combine keyword phrases
  • Write a title using your top two to three phrases
  • Write a description meta tag
  • Write a keywords meta tag

Add keywords into key tags and attributes, and mix well. >The keyword density is useful for helping achieve optimum words for a set of key terms/keywords. Keyword density is important since search engines use this information to categorize a site’s theme, and to determine which terms this site is relevant to — the perfect keyword density will help archive higher search engine positions.

Exercise:

Some of the key phrases that can best describe the Job Board and generate relevant traffic are:
http://www.wordtracker.com/

The most popular search results for those keywords are (url’s):
http://www.nichebot.com/ranking/

You are currently listed/not listed in the top-100 search results (google, yahoo, msn) for this keyword/phrase:
http://www.mikes-marketing-tools.com/ranking-reports/

Competition: When we use the above key phrases the following sites come up in the top ten rankings.
Keyword density is:
Refer:
http://www.seochat.com/seo-tools/keyword-density/

Keyword Verification
Verification tool checks to see if your site is in the top three pages of a search engine result for a specific keyword.
http://www.marketleap.com/verify/default.htm

II. LINK ANALYSIS

Search engines base part of its ranking algorithm on the number, quality, and variety of inbound links to a website. Link popularity is calculated on the number of hyperlinks, from other websites, that pointed to your web site. The more links that point to your site, the easier that it was to gain a high ranking position on the search engines. Number and relevancy of outside links significantly affects the ranking of your website by search engines, and even helps you get your website indexed faster. If a site that has a link to yours is already indexed, the spiders visiting that site will follow the link to your website.

Google uses PageRank™ (http://www.google.com/technology/) to examine the entire link structure of the web and determine which pages are most important. It then conducts hypertext-matching analysis to determine which pages are relevant to the specific search being conducted. By combining overall importance and query-specific relevance, Google is able to put the most relevant and reliable results first.

Submissions in Directories

Submit to all the directories you can find, so long as they are related (e.g., don’t submit to the casino directory unless your site is about casino). Submitting to a directory should not be a mindless activity. Read the directory’s directions on how to submit Very Carefully. Write your description very well, and tailor it to each directory in order to follow their guidelines.

Make sure you submit (and get in) to www.dmoz.org – it is probably the most important directory out there today.

Do research and find “vertical directories” that focus on your industry/sector, and submit to them.

Increase your Links by:
  • Add in Jobboard directories.
  • Add in relevant sector/category web directories.
  • Get people in your industry to link to you.
  • Contact Industry associations and organizations.
  • Get links in web sites/forums about your industry.
  • Sites related to your product or service.
  • Get listed in Suppliers & Resellers website.
  • Starting a blog (Latest fad).
  • Announcing your site in newsgroups.
  • Announcing your site in forums.
  • Write interesting employment related articles that both job seekers and employers would like to preserve and distribute
  • List prominent educational/training institutions with brief on how and when to apply to them.
  • Sites that sell products/services that relate to yours, but don’t compete directly.
  • Submit articles to online publications and get your website valuable coverage and some quality links from authoritive websites.

Start soliciting links today!
Get your link campaign going!

Link popularity check is one of the best ways to quantifiably and independently measure your website’s online awareness and overall visibility. Simply put, link popularity refers to the total number of links or “votes” that a search engine has found for your website.

Exercise:

Your google page rank is:
https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/

Check your overall link popularity
http://www.checkyourlinkpopularity.com/

The following sites are linking to yoursite.com and your competition.
http://www.marketleap.com/publinkpop/

Some List of directories:
http://www.seo-lab.com/directory-articles/best-free-directories.php
http://www.freelinks.com/
http://www.seocompany.ca/directory/free-web-directories.html
http://www.best-web-directories.com/free-directories.htm
http://www.helpwebmaster.net/submit/

Resource:
http://www.linkingmatters.com/

III. CONTENT

All of the points above are superfluous if you don’t have good content.
It is very important to understand that good content is not content that is just there to target specific keyword phrases but it is information that people visiting your site will find helpful in some way.

Content is the food that the search engine spiders like to gobble up with a voracious appetite. You need good content to get decent rankings, but you need the to become a serious competitor in your market.

  • Write about your key phrases.
  • Write informative pages on your sector.
  • How will your Jobboard improve the life of the jobseeker? Find out, and then write about it. (Improve career of jobseeker)
  • Why is your product/service better than your competitor’s? Think of a reason and write about it.
  • What is the history of your product/service? Or your industry? Write about it.
  • Who are you? Everyone always reads “about us” pages.
  • Review new products/launches specific to your segment.
  • Whatever you do, be sure that you don’t write junk or filler copy and double check that everything reads well. Keeps in mind that writing about your key phrase doesn’t mean adding the key phrase unnaturally into the text.

Optimizing Your Web Site Design
Now that you know what key phrase you are optimizing for, you can optimize your site by writing good quality content that focuses on your key phrases. Above all else, this is the single most important factor.

Sure there are other on-site factors such as:

  • Getting the key phrase into the title (this is the second most important factor).
  • Getting the key phrase into the Meta description tag, the Meta keyword tag, the headers and sub headers, the alt tags, and into some link text.
  • Having a good site map so that the search engine spiders can easily navigate your site.
  • Don’t use frames.
  • Use flash wisely (not the entire site in flash).

Detailed Explanation:

1. Write a Page Title. Write a descriptive title for each page of 5 to 8 words. Remove as many “filler” words from the title, such as “the,” “and,” etc. This page title will appear hyper linked on the search engines when your page is found.

2. Write a Description META Tag. Many search engines include this description below your hyper linked title. This sentence should describe the contents of the body text of the web page, using the main keywords and key phrases used on this page.

3. Include Your Keywords in Header Tags H1, H2, H3. Search engines consider words that appear in the page headline and sub heads to be important to the page, so make sure your desired keywords and phrase appear in one or two header tags.

4. Make Sure Your Keywords Are in the First Paragraph of Your Body Text. Search engines expect that your first paragraph will contain the important keywords for the document. Google expects a keyword density in the entire body text area of maybe 1.5% to 2% for a word that should rank high.

Make Your Navigation System Search Engine Friendly.
JavaScript and Flash navigation buttons look great, but search engines can’t follow them. Supplement them with regular HTML links at the bottom of the page, ensuring that a chain of hyperlinks exists that can get from the front page to every page in your site.

A site map with links to all your pages can make the entire site accessible and user friendly.

Develop Several Pages Focused on Particular Keywords
Develop several web pages on your site, each of which is focused on a different keyword or key phrase. For example, instead of listing all your services on a single web page, try developing a separate web page for each. These pages will rank higher for their keywords since they contain targeted rather than general content.

Write Articles for Others to Use in their Newsletters
You can increase your visibility when you write informative articles in your area of expertise and distribute them to editors as free content for their e-mail newsletters.

Or you can submit it in article distribution websites. Just insist on a link to your website and a one-line description of what you offer be included with the article. This is an effective “viral” approach that can produce hundreds of links to your site over time.

Essentially, writing for the web involves learning to develop excellent marketing content, while blending in the fundamentals of SEO techniques.

Exercise

Check Meta tags
http://www.widexl.com/remote/search-engines/metatag-analyzer.html
http://www.submitexpress.com/analyzer/

Keyword density is:
Refer: http://www.seochat.com/seo-tools/keyword-density/

IV. WEB ANALYSIS

Web analytics is the measurement of the behavior of visitors to a website. It is the process of collating and analyzing a site’s activity based on metrics to measure its performance mostly from log files.

You’ll be able to focus your marketing resources on campaigns and initiatives that deliver ROI.Subsequently fine tune the website content and improve your site to convert more visitors. Many different vendors provide web analytics software and services. Most often the web hosting company provides all the data related to log files free of cost.

Exercise
http://awstats.sourceforge.net/
http://www.google.com/analytics/
http://www.clicktracks.com
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_analytics
http://www.statcounter.com/

Conclusion
Search engine optimization can create huge sales opportunities, and slight increases in overall exposure can have remarkable effect in your bottom-line revenue.

Build your web site for your customers (jobseekers and employers), within the guidelines that the search engines set out. The site’s first focus should be on what they want. Easy registration and lots of jobs! Create good content. Good, quality content that reads well and flows seamlessly. Update it regularly. And remember: Content is King, Linking is Queen!

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