Your career page is one of the first touch points that introduces your organisation to potential candidates. It’s clear that making sure that it is easily accessible should be among your top priorities. Yet, when was the last time you checked the ranking of your career page in Google? Or tried to find one of your vacancies via a search engine?
SEO stands for search engine optimisation. It describes all processes and strategies aimed at generating organic (not paid) traffic to a website by being easily accessible via search engines. When thinking about SEO of any website, for many people terms like: keywords, meta descriptions and backlinks come to mind. Of course it is still vital to get the basics right. However, there is no chance to get your career page or vacancy in front of your strongly contested candidates by simply adding a certain keyword a couple of times, or generating some backlinks via industry directories. Via continuous updates, Google aims to prioritise the most reliable sources available. That happens by identifying pages that demonstrate qualitative content and relevance to someone’s original search terms.
Ever since the “Panda” algorithm update, Google search results are highly focussed on prioritising high quality content. To determine the quality of your content and the relevance to the original search query, Google looks beyond the texts on your career and vacancy pages and values a blend of different content types. A great variety of original images, audio, podcasts and videos are an indication of informative content and that’s exactly what the algorithms are looking for!
There are several facts and statistics circulating online about video being a downright link and organic traffic magnet for every website. However, when you give those articles a closer look, you will find that they date from a time when the video marketing boom was just in it’s starting phase and not too many organisations had jumped on the bandwagon yet. I think SEO specialist Neil Patel describes the 2020 reality of link and traffic generating videos far more accurately by stating:
“The problem is there’s so much online video content that unless you create an exceptional video and have a great outreach/marketing plan, its success is going to be limited.”
So ask yourself what would make your video different, more funny, more engaging or more informative than any other one. Can you find a way or presenting your vacancy that’s never seen before? Can you capture your colleagues describing the company culture in a hilarious quiz that everyone would love to share? Can you give a behind the scenes look into a work field that everyone always asks you about during birthday parties?
In the world of SEO there is a long lasting discussion on the impact of the CTR on search results. The click through rate is the percentage of people who click on your link after seeing it in the search results. Some experts are convinced that it is an essential factor for search engines to rank a certain page, others think it is rather part of machine learning and quality control and some others think it is a mix of both. No matter which camp you chose to believe increasing the amount of people that click on your link, whether it affects your position in the search results or not, does not seem like a bad idea anyway.
Again there are many case studies, metrics and reports circulating online describing how the power of video content has boosted click through rates in various industries and contexts. Those range from a B2B company that increased their email CTR by 189% by adding videos, to a report by Smaato and Liftoff stating that average CTRs of video ads are 7.5 times higher than display ads. The general theme that occurs in all of these examples is that people are more curious to click as soon as they are confronted with video content. Once people have found their way to pages that include a video they spend on average 2.6 times more time than on pages without a video (according to Wistia). That’s great news, because it means more people get to see and enjoy your videos. Metrics like the time spent on a page are indicators of high quality content for search engines, which means you will conquer higher spots in the search results.
Have these facts and figures convinced you to get to work? Here are a few tips on how to get started:
Adding videos to your career page can give your page a boost in the search engine results. That should never be the only reason to start creating videos: whether it’s creating an authentic impression of your company culture for future candidates, explaining the application process, or generating awareness for certain roles among graduates, the goals of your video content creation plan should be clearly defined before you start.
Now that you know what you want to achieve, think about the best ways to go for that gold. Are you going for one employer branding video or a series of videos? Will you create interviews or vlogs? What’s the style and tone of voice of your videos? Where are you going to place them on your page and how are you going to promote them on social media? How do you get colleagues to spread the word? The more thought you put into those questions beforehand, the quicker your wins will be once you go live.
In order to achieve optimal SEO outcomes with the fresh video content on your career site, you need to explicitly let Google know that there is a video on your page. This happens by submitting a video sitemap. This is a file that collects all the URLs on your website and presents additional information that is needed to list your video in the search results, such as a thumbnail, video title and description. You can use a plugin to create a sitemap or check out this article on video sitemaps.
After your career page video strategy has been in place for a while, take the time to take a step back and evaluate. Did you get the SEO results you were hoping for? Did people enjoy and engage with your content? Once you get the overview you can fine tune and repeat!
Looking forward to your video content & SEO success stories, until then…