Running recruitment agencies is more competitive than ever. There are more agencies than ever before, and with the credit crunch gripping in the UK, every inch of competitive advantage you can gain is critical to maintaining a foothold in your market.
It’s pretty rare now for a recruitment agency not to have a website. For a new start it should be a ‘must have’ on the initial costs list. However, recruitment agencies are only now beginning to realise that a website not optimised to appear on the end of web searches is at best a wasted opportunity, and at worst something they will cause them to loose out to their competitors.
If you’ve decided you want to list at the top of google you have two options, pay someone else to do it, or do it yourself! Both have their problems. The issue with SEO (search engine optimisation) companies is that it’s nearly impossible to assess up front what you will get for a given spend. SEO results are slow, so in pratice you will have spent several months on this to know whether you are getting what you want. Learning SEO yourself can be a slow and experimental process. Much of the so called advise on the internet is either out of date (google keeps changing) or wrong, say a blog post y someone who simply has it wrong.
If you are looking for stuff to learn to do it yourself, here’s 5 starting tips for areas to research.
Learn about meta tags. These are quite simply key labels you put on various parts of your website. Each page will have a ‘title’ and a ‘description’ along with ‘headings’ of varying levels of significance throughout the page referred to as H1, H2 and so on. In simple terms, you need to make sure the terms that you would like to list for are included on all of these tags. Your top key phrases should appear in the tags on the home page, others on pages throughout the site.
It’s all about one way inbound links to your site. A one way inbound link to your site is considered a ‘vote for your site’. However, you’ll hear SEO experts bleating about quality links. In simple terms, google will look at where you link comes from to see how relevant the link is. If you link to your recruitment agency website is from a taxi company, google will know it’s likely a contrived link to boost your rankings and will more or less ignore it. If however, it’s from recruitment agencies directory, google will see the similar content, assume it’s a genuine vote for your site and rank it accordingly. You need to look for relevant inbound links to your site.
Learn about website directory links. Possibly a contradiction after comments about quality in 2. That said you can generate some quality in them, and even if they are relatively low value, you can do them in volume without too much effort or knowledge. A web directory is just like an internet version of a phone directory. They allow you to submit your site with a title and brief description. When it appears, it will appear as a link from whatever you have put as your title to your site. So, for example, if you want to build your ranking for your website mygolfwebsite for the phrases golf equipment, you would give it the title ‘golf equipment’ and then write a brief description about it including ‘golf equipment. Although the directory is not all about golf, google will at least see the golf content next to your link and recognise relevant content on the page. Even better, if you select the right category, say a golf or sports section, there may also be other golf content in and around your link to add to the relevance. Google ‘free directory lists’ and you should get plenty to get started on.
Set up some social bookmarking site accounts. Social bookmarking allows you to create a web page where you list your favourite websites. A bit like your favourites on your PC, but as it’s on a web page you can look them up from any PC on the web. There are several benefits of this. a) it creates a link to your site, although probably relatively low value. b) It allows you to create links to pages throughout your website, rather than just your home page, which google likes (a magazine where people only read the front page wouldn’t be that good would it!) c) It’s a means of getting new content crawled (read and recognised) by google quickly. Google may only visit your website periodically, eg every few weeks, but it will likely visit the social sites more frequently, every half hour in some cases. When it does, it will find your page by the link. So for example, if you post a news article on your website about ‘recruitment agencies’ to boost this phrases, if you bookmark it, it may be seen by google within minutes giving instant benefit.
Write articles on your key content and post them up on article websites. Articles should be at least 450 words long and be on your topic, say ‘recruitment agencies’. When you post this up, you will have the opportunity to create a link back to your website. When google finds the link, it will see a whole page on your topic and rate the link as highly relevant.
In summary, this is a basic guide which will require much more research to be practically useful. However, SEO consultancy for recruitment agencies is expensive, so the time investment can be worth it. Good luck.