Top Tips Recruiters Should Follow in Recruitment SEO Keyword Research

Keywords can make your recruitment posts jump to the top of Google’s search results pages. If you are just starting out in online recruitment, SEO can help your website rank highly in organic searches. Furthermore, you can increase your web traffic and attract more clients by performing keyword research.

What is keyword research?

The purpose of keyword research is to identify words people are using in search engines as this will help you formulate a content and marketing strategy. Utilizing a variety of tools, such as SEMrush, Ubersuggest and other available resources, you can determine keyword volume, difficulty and other factors to determine what keywords you should be targeting and how.

Why is SEO important for recruitment?

With search engine optimization, keywords can increase the visibility of your website and job posts to potential clients and job candidates. To ensure you are reaching the top talent before your competitors or other businesses do, you need to get your recruitment posts in front of candidates first.

Three of the most important benefits of recruitment SEO are:

  • Allows your site to appear in search engines such as Google
  • Enables you to be recognized as a trusted recruitment brand
  • Does not require you to do much hard selling

Within the recruitment industry, you face a ton of challenges and fierce competition. Being on top of your SEO can position you to successful navigate those challenges and to jump over the competition.

To help you get started, here are ten tips to bear in mind when conducting keyword research for your online recruitment website.

1.  Learn more about the recruitment industry and your niche

The recruitment industry is expanding at a rapid pace. Large multinational corporations and local companies are taking the lion’s share of the market. Therefore, as a startup or small business, you need to focus on your niche element. This is where keywords will help you rank over your larger competitors on the search engine results pages.

By truly understanding your industry and your audience, you can gain more from your keyword research. You can create content that connects with your audience to boost stats and improve your SEO.

2.  Define your recruitment goals

What is the objective of your keyword research? For example, you may need to find search terms in order to:

  • Boost organic traffic
  • Achieve top ranking in the search results
  • Obtain more clients
  • Attract more job candidates for your clients

If you identify the right keywords, you will succeed in your recruitment efforts. Setting specific goals for your business, as well as understanding your target audience’s goals will help you develop ways to drive more search traffic.

3.  Compile a list of recruitment-related topics

You should begin the process by compiling a list of the topics that you are ranking for; they don’t have to be specific, just general ideas. Next, select between five and ten themes that you think are relevant to your business. You can then use these topics to find keywords that you will need at a later date.

To keep your content and SEO efforts on track, you’ll want to be sure to maintain a content calendar. Consistency with your content marketing can have a huge impact on your SEO.

4.  Consider user intent

Providing engaging topics can result in client conversion. The challenge is to determine the type of issues that engage your prospective clients on search engines. You need to understand beyond simply why they are searching for and start to understand the ‘why’ – the search intent.

Creating a buyer persona can help you in this regard. This is a representation of your ideal client or candidate based on your research. It will help you focus your time and resources on:

  • Likely prospects
  • Appropriate SEO strategies
  • Networking efforts
  • Content and online marketing campaigns

A buyer persona should be detailed enough to allow you to target your audience (or different audience segments) with messages that solve their problems and really resonate.

5. Create a topic list and fill it with keywords

Let’s recap. You have compiled a list of the topics that will interest your potential clients. You have created a buyer persona (or more likely segments of different personas) and discovered your audience’s search intent.

Now you are ready to choose keywords for each topic. These are the words or phrases you believe will boost your site’s ranking on search engines such as Google. Remember, you need to identify the particular search terms potential clients and job candidates are using.

6. Set specific criteria for the keywords

Instinct can help you find the most appropriate keywords for your recruitment campaigns. However, you will still need to do some fact-checking. You should consider evaluating keywords that:

  • Have good volume, but not too much – You don’t want to rank for keywords with low search volumes. Instead, focus on the keywords your prospective clients often use. However, you may want to avoid very competitive keywords as ranking for them could be difficult.
  • Are relevant to your online recruitment strategies – These words or phrases alone may not generate a lot of traffic or leads. Nevertheless, clients and candidates are using them so by incorporating them into your content, you can enhance your website visibility.

Be sure to also look at long-tail keywords and consider voice search. People aren’t searching like they used to. They’re often searching via voice on a phone or other device, and that changes the terms they use in their searches and the length of those searches.

7. Conduct research for related search terms

If you perform keyword research but have difficulty finding the right words to fill the topics, consider selecting any relevant search terms that may appear alongside the keyword you typed. This can help you increase your organic traffic and broaden your reach, while still showing up in searches that are relevant to your audience.

8. Select head terms and long-tail keywords for each topic

Head terms are phrases that are often shorter and generic. Usually, they are about two or three words in length. Meanwhile, long-tail keywords are longer, with perhaps three or more keywords. You can combine both head terms and long-tail keywords in your content.

What is the benefit of this strategy?

Head terms are the most popular keywords. However, they are extremely competitive, so it is more challenging to rank for them than for long-tail keywords. Combining the two will increase the chances of your website appearing at the top of the search engine results pages.

9. Check how your competition is ranking for keywords

It is always important to assess what keywords your competitors are using. If you believe they are relevant, you should try to rank for them as well. However, you will need to work hard since both you and your competitors will be ranking for the exact same keywords.

You could try focusing on keywords your competitors have ignored or missed. Many recruiters have succeeded in grabbing a significant market share by implementing this strategy.

SEMrush has a great tool for conducting competitor research. Another great option is Ahrefs. Check them both out and once you nail down which is the best fit, you’ll be amazed by the insights you can uncover.

10. Make use of tools to search for essential keywords

You can simplify your keyword research by using the correct tools. For instance, Google’s Keyword Planner will help you select possible keywords. It will also provide quantitative data, such as volume and estimated online traffic. There are lots of online tools available; you only need to select the ones that are appropriate for your research.

SEMrush has a great tool for conducting competitor research. Another great option is Ahrefs. Check them both out and once you nail down which is the best fit, you’ll be amazed by the insights you can uncover.


Online recruitment agencies use SEO to attract clients and candidates. The first thing to do in your SEO campaign is to search for the right keywords. The next step is to incorporate the keywords in your website content; for example, in your job ads or blogs.

Keyword research can be a long and challenging process so it is imperative that you take advantage of software such as Google’s Keyword Planner. In addition, you may also be able to identify your keywords by investigating what your competitors are doing. Finally, you should evaluate your keywords on a regular basis to ensure that they are still relevant to your recruitment goals.

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Emma Carter

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