Want Google To Feature Your Job Posting For Free On Search Results Pages?Katie Pray
I’m guessing the answer is yes? Have you noticed that Google has started featuring job listings in the organic section of the search engine results page when you put in keywords related to a job? For example, if you searched “digital media jobs Elmira NY” you could get a results page like this:
The listings at the top aren’t paid search ads. They are organic (free listings) that appear because those companies have added something called Job Posting Structured Data to their job listing on their website – a GREAT Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tactic that you can do too!
Finding qualified candidates is always a struggle. And there are many ways to do this including utilizing a paid digital advertising campaign. Digital has become a frontrunner for job seekers and employers with almost 80% of people saying they use online resources and information for their most recent employment search.
When talking with business owners about some of their biggest pain points when it comes to running their business, one of the most frequent and common hurdles they come up against is hiring. It’s difficult to attract the right candidates or if you do find a great candidate, they could be fielding multiple offers, or maybe there’s a shortage of talent in that industry. With so many ways to publish jobs these days and target job seekers, digital is an excellent way to reach that targeted audience.
Some of the most effective ways to utilize digital ads to fill those empty positions are by using Facebook and Instagram Job Listing Ads, Online Audio, Native Display or Video ads, Display, or Video Pre-Roll ads.
Now, you have an additional tool – and this one is free. By adding a piece of code called Job Posting Structured Data to your job listing on your website, it makes it so that when job seekers use the word “jobs” and then search terms related to what you are hiring for, they can see that listing on the Google Search Results Page. Structured data is a standardized format for providing information about a page and classifying the content on the webpage.
Adding that structured data makes your job postings eligible to appear in a special user experience in Google Search results. For employers and job content site owners, this feature brings many benefits:
- More interactive results: Your postings can be eligible to be displayed in the job search experience on Google, featuring your logo, reviews, ratings, and job details.
- More, motivated applicants: The new user experience enables job seekers to filter by various criteria like location or job title, meaning you’re more likely to attract applicants who are looking exactly for that job.
- Increased chances of discovery and conversion: Job seekers will have a new avenue to interact with your postings and click through to your site.
The way that structured data works is through special coding. Google Search works hard to understand the content of a page and businesses can help Google by providing explicit clues about the meaning of a page by including structured data on the page. Google uses structured data that it finds on the web to understand the content of the page, as well as to gather information about the web and the world in general.
If you’re not familiar with how to add the structured data, or code, to your website, here is a step by step on how to do so:
How to add Job Posting Structured Data to your website: (don’t have a webmaster who can add this code? Vici’s SEO experts can do this as part of an SEO campaign)
Here’s an overview of how to build, test, and release structured data. More on this can be found at https://developers.google.com/search/docs/data-types/job-posting
Ensure that Googlebot can crawl your job posting web pages (not protected by a robots.txt file or robots meta tag).
- Ensure that your host load settings allow for frequent crawls.
- If you have several copies of the same job posting on your site hosted under different URLs, use canonical URLs on each copy of the page.
- Add the required and recommended properties. For information about where to put structured data on the page, watch JSON-LD structured data: Where to insert on the page.
- Follow the technical guidelines and job posting content policies.
- Validate your code using the Rich Results Test. You can also preview how your structured data may look on Google Search.
- Deploy a few pages that include your structured data and use the URL Inspection tool to test how Google sees the page. Be sure that your page is accessible to Google and not blocked by a robots.txt file, the noindex tag, or login requirements. If the page looks okay, you can ask Google to recrawl your URLs. Note: Allow time for re-crawling and re-indexing. It may take several days after publishing a page for Google to find and crawl it.
- Keep Google informed by doing one of the following actions: For job posting URLs, Google recommends using the Indexing API instead of sitemaps because the Indexing API prompts Googlebot to crawl your page sooner than updating the sitemap and pinging Google. However, Google still recommends submitting a sitemap for coverage of your entire site.
- Use the Indexing API to notify Google of a new URL to crawl or that content at a URL has been updated.
- If you’re not using the Indexing API, submit a new sitemap to Google by sending a GET request to the following URL:
Here is an example of what the structured data would look like for a Software Engineer posting:
And here is what the actual listing would look like:
Other benefits that come from adding structured data to job posts is that you can be location specific, it can be tailored to your industry, you can pick the elements you want to highlight, it’s great for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), easy to implement, and actively encouraged by search engines.
But as we know, organically appearing on a Google Search Page isn’t enough. You need to go out and find those passive folks who might not be actively searching for a job. How best to reach them?
With Facebook and Instagram Job Listing ads, the job listing appears in the News Feed of users you’re looking to reach, and it features an apply now button. When that call-to-action button is clicked, it links to the advertiser’s job listing on their Facebook Business Page (not their website). When the person clicks “apply” on the Facebook Business page listing it will open with a pre-populated form and the person can fill out the blanks and submit it to the advertiser and it uses Facebook Messenger to send the application form. This reduces the “friction” when applying for a position and makes it super easy for a potential candidate to indicate to you that he or she is interested.
Online Audio ads are a great option to use for those businesses that might already be running recruitment ads on a radio station. These can be :15 or :30 second ads, and this is a great strategy to use that will reach that passive job seeker. With people listening to streaming content at their desks while they are working, they could hear an ad for a position that might not be something they originally set out to find, but if the ad was creative and captivating, it could lead them to check out the website.
Video Pre-Roll ads are another option for a business that is looking to hire because you can fit a lot of information into a :15 or :30 video pre-roll ad. With this tactic, you can also use different targeting strategies to reach your target audience with Behavioral Targeting, Keyword Targeting, Artificial Intelligence (A.I.), and Retargeting. If a business is running TV ads, this is a great way to repurpose those TV ads to tell a story, promote company values, showcase company culture, highlight perks and incentives, or even share current employee’s opinions.
Display ads allow for a business to get very creative with their messaging, which is going to go a long way with those looking for a position, and it also show that that company can “think outside the box”. If you take a generic ad and replace it with your competitors name and it still fits, you want to change your message to be tailored more towards you. With a display ad, you can create the ad to have whatever elements you want; images, text, colors, call to action, etc.. Display ads can also be targeted with Behavioral, Keyword, Artificial Intelligence (A.I.), and Retargeting.
When using Native Display or Video ads, these ads tend to “fly under the radar” more so than traditional banner ads because they don’t necessarily look like an ad since they take on the Native environment of whatever website or app they are appearing on. They are rich in information, so many of them look like articles even though the content is focused and written by the sponsoring business. These ads are placed on sites where the information is relevant to the user and they have great potential with recruiting because they don’t appear to be recruiting ads, so they are also going to reach that passive candidate who might not necessarily be looking for job. This is another strategy that will target users through Behavioral, Keyword, Artificial Intelligence (A.I.), and Retargeting.
There is no denying that the way businesses seek out talent and the way that job seekers look for jobs has changed over the years. In the 70’s, you could smoke in interviews but couldn’t print your resume at home. In the 80’s, you could now fax your resume, but you couldn’t research a company without going to the library. In the 90’s, monster.com was, for the lack of a better term, a monster when it came to a platform that could host job openings, but it wasn’t the only way you wanted to search for a job. In the early 2000’s, you could utilize Social Media for networking, but you wanted to be cautious about what you were posting because whatever you are posting you wanted to make sure was something you would be comfortable with a potential employer seeing. By utilizing all the resources that are available and reaching job seekers in more than one way, you have the best shot at hiring that perfect candidate, or finding that dream job.