Why SEO for Talent Consumer Marketing is Vital in 2015

In Martin Shaw, Our Authors, Talent & HR Technology, Talent Insight by Martin2 Comments

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The Key SEO trends Talent and Recruitment Professionals really need to know

Back in late 2013 we commented on Google’s “Hummingbird” update and how it might impact on your talent sourcing strategy.  As we end 2014, we thought it was time to visit SEO again and see what has moved on and what you need to think about during 2015 with regards to the top Talent Consumer SEO trends.

Employer branding and job content digital pages will need creativity and tech savvy optimisation to increase visibility.

Pre-2008, when SEO was all about link building and positioning keywords on a page, many Talent, HR and Recruiting professionals saw little value in getting to know about this SEO techie stuff. As a primary driver of SEO change, Google’s strategy to grow its Global Business (and its core product G Search Engine) saw it undertake a range of updates to its search algorithm (Google Bot) – changing the way it indexed and valued web pages in context to the searcher’s words and terms used. These updates (such as Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird), together with the integration of its word search tool and local listings, created the current Universal Search tool we use today (making your technical optimisation of online content a vital part of any online marketing and the content you create – in other words, the mediums used and where the content is distributed will be a key factor in your actual visibility on the web: i.e. your Search Engine ranking.)

How you configure (optimise) your job advertisement page or great piece of employer brand content will get you a ticket to the party – then what you say, how it’s presented and the channels you present it on will put you on the VIP list to get entry to the party first. SEO is no longer a skill of strange wizard-like people, but an integral part of any modern Talent Consumer Communication Strategy that you plan to undertake in 2015.

SEO for Talent Marketing Communication is about Relationships

Where SEO was once the place of isolated technically compliant guru’s, this is no longer the norm. Yes, there is a need for a high technical skillset, but it’s only one element of an overall Talent Marketing Strategy. This strategy must be goal focused on Content Creation, Engagement & Conversion, meaningful ‘Two-Way’ Communications and the Talent Consumer Experience at all touch points on the career-long talent consumer journey. This will define what makes your brand and jobs stand out, get shared, commented on in social spaces – and then measured to be of value by Google’s ranking algorithm (it will also have a decent direct value to your talent strategy as well!)

Expect poor results if you are not considering the mobile user experience and optimising for mobile SEO.

Unless you have been sleeping in a cave for the last 5 years, you’ll have seen for yourself how as a global population our consumption of digital information has moved from the fixed location of a Desk Top to the “give me data now” anytime, anywhere attitude of mobile device engagement. Google knows this and it wants to sell its services to consumers, who are now as much (if not more) mobile users of its tools and products. This directly impacts on how they are building out their plans around mobile device SEO and usability. Just check out ‘Google Webmaster’ and their views on  usability in mobile browsers.

Remember, as the URL for a site can include the letter ‘m’ to indicate a mobile browser version, there are new pages to index and the competition for that visibility is also new (compared to that of the older desk-top web page). How mobile users interact with content is different, how they want it presented is different – and they are much more ‘take action now’ based.  Getting your mobile SEO and content strategy right in this world is still up for grabs. As Talent Consumers, Y-Gen and Millennials expect this and will respond to those who get it right.

Talent Marketers still need to be SEO tech savvy

Much of this article has kept away from the hard technical optimisation skills around SEO – and while we don’t expect all Talent / Marketing practitioners to be SEO Gurus, you must have a strong SEO compliance awareness and know when something is not compliant or ‘Black-Hat’.

The bottom line is this: if you put yourself in the shoes of your prospect audience as they browse the web, and if you think about how they search or react to the experience they get, you will be in a great position to tell your more ‘techie’ SEO colleagues exactly what you want to achieve when it comes to your SEO goals.

The important point is understanding what ‘negative’ SEO can do to your site if it is applied to your digital places and then discovered by Google. So there’s a need to be aware of what these negative SEO threats look like and how they manifest themselves – as they could be the very reason why your fantastic content reach or overall digital strategy is failing. Someone might be acting negatively towards your brand – or your business may have hired a less skilled or less ethical SEO person to do the work needed.

Spammy links are top of the negative SEO list for 2015. Getting rid of them once they are pointing to your site pages is a huge headache and directly impacts your pages visibility. The larger sites / job boards or huge corporate brands with extensive careers pages are most at risk. These attacks do cause a massive page ranking/visibility problem for those who have experienced it , taking them weeks to disavow all the links and get anywhere near to a recovery.

Currently all the onus is on your side if see this type of attack in 2015 – many are commenting that Google should take up the case as it also impacts on their search result quality. As yet there is no word of change from Google.

SEO (Google) now Needs Social – Talent Consumer Marketers need to know this

With the failure of Google Authorship – many leading SEO experts and commentators believe Google (if it’s not already doing so) is currently adding to its ranking of page visibility through the measurement of social signals coming out from the likes of Facebook and Twitter.

Currently, Google does not admit to this being the case – but it’s the view of these SEO experts that they will confirm social as part of the Google ranking algorithm in 2015; and this gives even more reason why part of your talent strategy should be growing the number of these signals and linking these social places back into your careers site or Brand information pages.

Prepare and look for even more convergence of Content Creativity, Social Media Management and SEO Compliance from your Talent Marketing teams.

The function of marketing will continue to evolve to cater for the needs of its audience. This applies equally to the Talent Consumer audience. Your marketing resources in the Talent Management / HR department need the right blend of competencies; be that one person in a small team or a blend of different skillsets.

Content Creation, Social Media Management and Distribution and SEO are no longer isolated tasks – and your internal skills need to reflect this if you want your Job Content and Brand Communications to reach the right people at the right time in the right medium (encouraging them to take action and begin an engagement with you that can evolve into a career long relationship.)

This is what we think – and we would really welcome your thoughts and reflections on this.

Top Image Credit (from a 2010  WebCEO newsletter):How Much Time To Spend On SEO Projects

Client Services Director @ Resource Central Ltd
As part of our team I help companies develop, build, implement and manage people engagement and experiences that deliver ‘ real value’ across the Talent and HR business needs of Talent Attraction, Talent Acquisition, Talent Engagement, Talent Community Retention and Employer Value.

Please Share & Pass It On

Client Services Director @ Resource Central Ltd
As part of our team I help companies develop, build, implement and manage people engagement and experiences that deliver ‘ real value’ across the Talent and HR business needs of Talent Attraction, Talent Acquisition, Talent Engagement, Talent Community Retention and Employer Value.