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What Are Keywords? | SEO for Recruitment Agencies

Posted On Friday, February 19, 2021

Author: David Armitage (Technical Director)

What are Keywords?

There is probably no term more prominent in the world of SEO than ‘Keyword’. So, what does it mean?

Put simply, a keyword is a word in a search term that someone might enter into a search engine that we want our web pages to appear for as a search result. Preferably as high up the page as possible, this is what we say when we use the term rank/ranking. Ranking #1 being the ultimate goal (well, there is actually a rank 0, which is better, but doesn’t sound as good!)

Throughout the ‘SEO for Recruitment Agencies’ series you will notice that I generally pair the term ‘keyword’ with ‘keyphrase’, one which I think is actually better suited as most of the time it is a phrase that we want to appear for, not a word. If you are a recruiter in the construction industry for example, then you will definitely want to come up for ‘construction jobs’, a keyphrase, but probably not just any search term with the keyword ‘construction’ as the rest of the search term will most probably be something completely irrelevant to your agency. So, in general, when researching about SEO online, always assume the person writing the article or talking on the video means keyphrase when they say keyword.

In terms of the recruitment industry, our focus keywords seem to be simple. Using our past example, ‘construction jobs’ would be a focus keyphrase for the homepage, which would organically make it obvious to Google that it is the theme of the whole site thanks to the well optimised nature of a well structured job board. Beyond that we have the job categories like ‘project manager’ or ‘labourer’.

Now how can we get ideas of how to better write content for our website like page titles, descriptions, headers and more so that Google favours it? Well, this is where keyword research comes in. Good quality keyword research is a critical foundation to any SEO effort. I can’t stress how essential it is to do concrete keyword research. Don’t build your content castle out of keyword sand! 

Picking Keywords to Target

Now there are many ways to do keyword research, and to do a proper job you really need either access to expensive SEO tools or to spend a decent amount of money on Google Ads. Keyword research is one of the aspects of SEO where it is actually worth spending a bit of money having it done for you by a professional, even if you do have the time to do it yourself. Mainly because of the tools they have access to.

Needless to say, we have access to an array of tools and have a better understanding of SEO for recruitment than your general generic SEO expert. So, if you do want to discuss getting some research done or having us check out your site then simply give us a shout.

If you do want to do a little poking about yourself and get some ideas, then check out our next entry where I’ll show you a way to get some keyword ideas.

Author: David Armitage (Technical Director)

10 Years+ experience building software, job boards, and websites for the recruitment industry.

Please feel free to contact me for a free consultation, a technical review of your website, or information regarding the services we offer.

You can reach me at or find me on LinkedIn.