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What is SEO & Can it Help Me? | SEO for Recruitment Agencies

Posted On Thursday, November 26, 2020

Author: David Armitage (Technical Director)

SEO is a term you hear a lot these days when discussing websites. With a reputation for being a critical ingredient to success in any online endeavour, a reputation that is immensely amplified by the industry of thirsty “professionals” that have popped up around it due to the opportunities to make easy money, doing very little, usually billing clients on a monthly basis. They’ll be an article on the very potential perils of paying someone to do your SEO for you later on in the series, but for now let’s start with the simple questions of ‘What is it?’ and ‘Is it worth my time or money?’


What is SEO?

There’s a little clue in the full name - Search Engine Optimization. Now, being as we’re looking at this from a website owner's point of view, this obviously doesn’t mean it’s about increasing the responsiveness of our search engine. SEO is all about improving how well our website does when it comes to being shown on the results pages of web searches.

So, for example, if you are a recruitment agency in Townsville who specialises in the medical industry, it would be awesome if your website was the first search result on Google when someone types “Anaesthetist Jobs” into a computer sitting somewhere in Queensland. There is no higher quality source of website traffic than people actively searching for you on a search engine, and ultimately, to be at the top of the list is the goal.

Can SEO help me?

As awesome as SEO is, there are a few things to consider before starting a campaign. The two main factors to consider are competition and search volume.

Competition would obviously have to be assessed on an agency by agency basis. Truth be told, most agency owners who have read this far into the paragraph have probably already stopped reading for a second to start thinking about who their competition is. No doubt they have probably punched a few industry key phrases into Google themself in the past to see how everyone is doing.

Remember though, it’s not just the quantity, but also the quality of the competition. If you have twenty competitors but they have terrible websites that have not been optimised at all for search engines then there is a good chance you could beat them to the top of the pile. Likewise, if you only have three competitors but they are all actively pursuing the top spot then another person entering the playing field could just up the struggle for everyone, in which case, your time and effort might be more effectively spent pursuing other traffic sources such as organic, sponsored or paid posting.

Search volume is another consideration. This is generally factored by how niche, boutique or obscure your agency is or isn’t. Construction is a large industry for example, with lots of people actively searching for jobs. And don’t forget, people aren’t only typing ‘construction jobs’ into Google. There is a gigantic array of sectors and jobs in the industry, and with all of those comes even more search terms.. ‘bricklaying jobs’, ‘site engineer job’, ‘general foreman job’, ‘shop fitter jobs’, ‘scaffolding jobs’ and on and on and on.

You can see now that if you have a general construction recruitment site then there is a greater number of search terms opportunities for you to appear for, which is good in one way, but also means that your SEO efforts will have to be larger or less focused. With attention being divided, you will inevitably do less well for every individual search term. So it’s a double edged sword.

Now what if you specialised in milking parlour construction? This would be so niche that your efforts will probably get you to the front page of searches for ‘dairy parlour construction jobs’ rather easily, which is awesome. But, at the same time, how many people are searching for that? That thought could be deterring, but then you have to consider the value to your business of the odd person who does actively search for it.

At this point, you have to ask yourself whether an SEO campaign for your agency would be justifiably time or cost effective and as you have no doubt concluded, this can be a complex question.

So should I do it?

Yes! Yes you should. The real question is, how much time, effort and/or money should you put in?

At the very least, your website should be following basic good practices which we will cover in this series. These are generally not only good for Google but also for your visitors' experience. Generally, Google looks at user experience as a big ranking factor so what is Google friendly is generally visitor friendly, and anything that improves a visitors experience on your site is good for your business.

If you do think that your agency could benefit from actively chasing the front page of Google, or are unsure, then it is a good idea to get a basic audit done. This should include a keyword report, performance report & a general idea of what should be done to move forward. Of course, needless to say, we have a very decent idea of what is involved when it comes to SEO in the recruitment industry so if you would like to jump on the phone or email & get some feedback on your site from us then simply give us a shout using our contact details.

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.