Every month, hundreds of millions of job seekers search for vacancies on Google. On the supply side, there are millions of openings posted on the Internet each month. This is the context you are faced with when you post a job ad online. It’s a cut-throat contest for the best talent.

Demonstrating seamless internal human resource processes that leverage tools such as Humanity is great. However, the chances of landing the right person for the job is more dependent on the number of targeted eyeballs you can draw in to read and respond to your ad. This is why incorporating SEO in your online recruitment process is so vital.

We look at some practical ways you can do so.

1.   A Careers Section

Having a careers section on a company’s website is a long tradition in website development. Its popularity has seemed to waver in recent years especially with the growing popularity of single page websites. Yet, having a careers page is crucial if you want to have a clear path for visitors to transition from curiosity to job application.

Make sure when a prospective candidate lands on your site, it takes them the least amount of time possible for them to understand what the job entails and how they need to apply. Avoid cute, exotic or ambiguous names for the careers page as this will only introduce confusion and delays.

2.   Who Are You

When building a careers page, think about what a potential recruit would be most interested in. They’ll first want to know the history, values, philosophy, work environment and culture of the company.

Some great candidates will proceed with or abandon the application process based on company culture alone. It’s best to get this information and clarification out of the way early before recruits even get to the list of vacancies and the job’s specifications.

3.   For Each Vacancy, a Single Page with a Unique Title

For each vacancy, create a single page. This makes it easier to optimize the job opening for specific search keywords. Best practice is to focus on one primary keyword phrase per page. Since the job title and description is unlikely to be unique on the web, include words in the primary keyword phrase that reduce competition for high search engine results ranking.

For a software engineer role for example, you could add the city where the job will be based, the seniority of the position, the programming language or the operating system (e.g. senior Linux software engineer Houston).

4.   Readable for Humans

SEO is not simply about creating web content that appeals to Google. It’s even more important that content is readable for humans. Ergo, when creating the vacancy page, use a mix of paragraphs, headers, bullets, bolding and italics.

Avoid jargon, clichés and unnecessarily difficult terms unless it is absolutely necessary for anyone applying for the job to understand them. Don’t use long sentences that stretch three or four lines. Keep them short but informative and complete.

5.   Avoid PDF Files

PDF files are fairly popular when it comes to online job ads. They make it easier for the information to be quickly emailed or sent via a messaging app (like Messenger or WhatsApp) to a third party for offline reading.

However, PDF documents aren’t as readable for search engine bots as a web page is. Your entire job ad should therefore be on an actual web page if you want it to rank higher on search results than a PDF ad.

6.   Don’t Place Job Ads Behind a Registration or Paywall

Placing an ad behind a protected page only makes it impossible for search bots to crawl the page. They also add an unnecessary barrier for applicants that could see those who are impatient or pressed for time abandon the process altogether.

You can of course create an online application process that requires registration but its best to place this after a publicly viewable job description. Candidates can therefore make the decision on whether proceeding with registration is worth it.

7.   Mobile Friendly

In 2016, mobile overtook desktop computers as the most popular devices used to access the internet. Today, most people will learn about an opening as they browse the web on their mobile phone.

Unlike in the past when mobile compatibility was an afterthought, web developers now built websites for mobile first and desktop second. Your entire website, careers section and vacancy page must be equally readable on desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones.

There’s no benefit in offering attractive terms for a job if no one knows about it. SEO ensures your job ad reaches a large pool of interested and qualified individuals.