Google for Jobs (GFJ) launched in 2017 with the goal of creating the go-to platform for job postings for employers and employees alike. This is a Google product, though, so similar to Google’s search engine, where the job postings appear on a search depends on the optimization of those posts.
Search engine optimization supports a whole industry dedicated to improving the Google rankings of websites, blog posts and web pages. Much the same, if you want your job ad to appear in front of job seekers in GFJ, you must optimize your job posts.
Also like SEO for websites, there are many Google for Jobs ranking signals to keep in mind when crafting your post. Jobiak engineers have found, “around 19 key ranking factors which […are] improving traffic.”
But which of these 19 ranking signals are most important and most popular to include in your job posting?
In this post, we’re going to go over 6 of the most popular and most important Google for Jobs ranking signals to help you create the best job postings possible for GFJ.
We’re also going to give you tips on how to improve these signals in your own posts with advice straight from our online recruitment experts.
1. Meta Tags and Descriptions
Title tags (also called meta title) and meta descriptions are small bits of HTML code in the header of a web page.
The meta title is an important tag as this sets up an overall definition for the webpage or job posting. The meta description is used to describe the page further, specifically to searchers as they read through the SERPs.
Google typically displays the first 50–60 characters of a title tag, and any longer can negatively affect your ranking. Meta descriptions can be a bit longer than meta titles with between 120 to 160 characters maximum.
Take the Jobiak careers page, for example:
The title tags are the words underlined in red. The meta description appears underneath the title tags in the blue box.
These tags and descriptions provide small summaries of the webpage or job posting in question. With a Google for Jobs post, meta tags & descriptions help Google’s algorithm understand what your job posting is about along with essential keywords within it to help categorize the post.
A lesser-known meta tag to be aware of is the meta viewport. Meta viewport tags help your post appear better on mobile devices and devices with smaller screens, which is important considering 4 out of 5 people say they would use a mobile device to search for jobs.
Missing meta tags, meta tags that are too long or short, and meta tags that don’t contain relevant information or keywords can all negatively impact your ranking. Be sure to include them all in your job advertisements on GFJ to improve your ranking.
2. Using the Company Name in the Domain
Pratap Matcha, one of our lead researchers, has found that, “The Google for Jobs algorithm prioritizes a website posting over a job board posting.”
What does that mean? It means that on GFJ, job postings that link to a career website landing page rank higher than the same job posting linking to a job board.
Job posters can improve their ranking by ensuring that the post leads to a career website with their company name in the domain of the site.
This can greatly improve your ranking along with improving the candidate experience going directly to a landing page instead of creating intermediary steps on other job boards.
3. Job Title
Job title is likely the ranking signal you’re least surprised to see. Many job seekers start their search with a specific job title or at least portions of a job title. However, not all job titles are created equal.
The top mistakes that we’ve seen many job postings make are:
- Vague job titles
- Job titles attempting to be descriptions
- Misleading job titles
Solve these issues and improve your ranking by giving your job a specific and succinct title. You can include relevant essential keywords, sure, but don’t go overboard adding special characters (exclamation points, pound signs, etc) or unrelated keywords.
Excessive special characters and keywords thrown into job titles are sometimes believed to help posts gain attention from job seekers. However, that’s not quite the reality. These practices actually harm your overall ranking and can make it harder for your posts to be seen by job seekers.
Throwing in keywords just for the sake of it is also a red flag in the eyes of Google that can, and will, harm your experience with GFJ.
It’s also an issue to attempt to treat titles like job descriptions, including a location, date, salary, company name, and more into the title. Job titles that are succinct yet descriptive are your best option for ranking success.
Take this job title as an example:
It includes the title plus location and the company name. To align better with the most important ranking signals, we’d suggest adjusting the title to simply “Assistant Manager,” leaving the details to the job description.
Need some more help making Google for Jobs work for you?
Learn more about streamlining this process in our blog post titled: Google for Jobs for Employers: How to Make Hiring Easier and More Efficient
4. Job Descriptions
Speaking of those job descriptions, they’re one of the most important ranking factors for GFJ. It’s here where you’ll include very important information that Google uses in its algorithm, such as:
- Company overview
- Job summary
- Duties and responsibilities
- Skills and qualifications
- Working hours
- Educational requirements
- Job salary
We recommend you provide as much information as you can. While much of this is straightforward, take note of everything on the list that Google For Jobs prioritizes.
For example, information about your company can sometimes be easy to overlook. But providing that is useful to job seekers, which makes it a priority for Google. Oftentimes this is information taken straight from a company’s ‘About’ page, but providing additional context surrounding your company’s growth or culture can be helpful to add in here as well.
Also, last but not least is a variable that many job descriptions don’t have: salary. In fact, a staggering 90% of job posts don’t have a salary listed. This makes it an easy opportunity to outrank your competition. Jobiak CEO Venkat Janapareddy spoke with leading HR podcasters Chad & Cheese about this very topic.
Providing detailed information to the job seekers is always a good practice, especially in the eyes of Google.
5. Occupational Category
Occupational category is one of the key technical attributes for a GFJ job posting. It is a specific occupation that’s a part of the overall job category.
Designating the right occupational category with your job posting will drive more targeted traffic to the job. This will also, in turn, aid in the ranking of the posting as it will be properly categorized with Google’s algorithm.
The general category combined with the optimized job title and description helps a wide number of audiences find the post. Whether they search for a specific job title or simple “[category] jobs near me,” it will be even more likely that your post will show up in both cases.
6. Using Location
It might sound obvious, but including location is so important when it comes to optimizing and ranking on your GFJ job postings.
Not only does this help Google show jobs to seekers in the area they’re looking for (meaning you’ll get more qualified and targeted applicants), but location can also affect how hard it is to rank for a position.
We recommend including your street address, the postal code, and the city that the job is in.
Never mislead job seekers about the location of the job posting.
It’s tempting to say that your job is in Boston even if it’s in a suburb outside of the city, but this can and will harm your ranking. It can also make your company or client appear dishonest, which is another huge negative.
For remote jobs, classify the job as “remote” or “telecommute.” If there are multiple locations, you can indicate this through GFJ.
Improving Google for Jobs Ranking with Jobiak
Implementing these 6 Google for Jobs ranking signals in your post, which we discuss here, can significantly boost your traffic and the job ad’s overall ranking in the GFJ platform.
Despite the relative simplicity of these details, we understand that actually implementing them in job posts and within Google schema can be difficult & time-consuming. And this isn’t even to mention all of the other ranking criteria we haven’t told you about!
If you’re finding that you don’t have the resources, time, or expertise with GFJ, Jobiak can be your partner in success.
Jobiak’s AI-powered technology structures your GFJ job posts with all of Google’s ranking signals in mind. We’ll also identify essential keywords and other details to include in the job posting to make the post as accessible and targeted as possible.