Get a Top Ranking in Record Time with SAP SuccessFactors Career Site Builder
In this article, we share an effective strategy for quickly ranking your recruiting marketing career site.
In this article, you’ll learn how search engine optimization (SEO) and Recruiting Marketing can help you with your SEO rankings and ultimately increase the number of candidates visiting and applying for jobs on your career site.
Getting ranked in the top results of any search engine is usually the ultimate goal for any active website because it dramatically increases the chances of having more visitors, which can then lead to conversions.
Given this importance, there are thousands of articles online on how to improve your SEO strategy. Each time one gets published, it is likely that the search engines have updated their algorithm and some tips will not have the same effect as they did in the past—this is the natural evolution of technology.
This article aims to provide an overall strategy and tools for improving your recruiting marketing career site’s ranking as fast as possible. Although some suggestions may work more effectively than others, your company’s context and efforts in promoting your recruiting marketing site will also impact its performance. If you are actively posting jobs on the career site and external platforms (e.g., job boards, social media) and have relevant, up-to-date, career-related content, it is likely your site will rank better than if you do not do any of those actions.
Page Title, Meta Keywords, and Meta Description in Career Site Builder
The SAP SuccessFactors Career Site Builder (CSB) includes sections for the page title, meta keywords, and meta description.
The page title is displayed on your browser tab and tells you what page you are on. It acts as a name tag for the web page. Page titles are also read by search engine robots and seen by users searching on the web. Because of this, it is important to use a title that is strong enough for search engines yet makes sense to your target audience, which should be candidates. View the situation from the candidate’s perspective and think about how they would search for your career site. Most often, this includes terms such as Careers, Jobs, or Opportunities, plus the name of your company or the type of job someone is looking for. This should also be coherent with the site domain. In this example, the page title is Careers at Effective People, and the site domain is careers.effectivepeople.com.
Note that careers.effectivepeople.com is a subdomain of the effectivepeople.com domain, which is the Effective People corporate site. This is relevant because it can boost your domain authority if you’re linking between the two sites (more on that below under Backlinks).
Meta keywords are behind-the-scenes words or phrases that are not visible on the web page. They were previously an important part of search engine algorithms but have since been devalued as they were being abused by site owners, creating low-quality pages to appear at the top of search results. As of now, it is uncertain if meta keywords are completely out of the algorithms, but it still makes sense to fill in relevant keywords in case they are being considered.
Meta descriptions are short descriptions used to create awareness for your website and encourage users to visit it. Optimizing your meta description for your career site enables you to advertise your website in search results. This description is usually displayed in the search results, but it can vary depending on the search engine you are using. Some search engines may show information about the pages inside the site or refer to text content on the home page. Below is an example of a Google Search and Bing Search for "Careers Effective People".
Top Jobs and View All Jobs Pages in CSB
A helpful functionality in SAP SuccessFactors Career Site Builder is the Top Jobs and View All Jobs pages. Previously, this feature was referred to as SEO pages or keyword pages.
The Top Jobs search page continually and automatically updates search terms used by candidates that bring them to the site. This page lists links to search results pages based on the most frequently searched terms.
An example is jobs.sap.com/topjobs/. You can also test this on your own site by adding /topjobs/ to your SAP SuccessFactors career site URL—provided you have a recruiting marketing site implemented. This has a multiplying SEO effect, as terms that are used in searches are presented in this list and then indexed by search engines again.
The next time someone searches for the same or a similar term, the previous search is then used to successfully forward the candidate to the search result.
The View All Jobs page lists all job category pages on your site, which can make it easier both for candidates and search engines to find the types of jobs currently available.
It is recommended to include the Top Jobs and View All Jobs links in the career site footer for the candidate’s ease of access and for search engine indexing.
Backlinks are links on one website that point to another website. More specifically, it is when an external site redirects its users to your site. These are also known as inbound or external links.
The reason why they are important for SEO is because they pass on authority and trust to your website. The more websites link to your site (creating a backlink), the more trustworthy and relevant it will seem to search engines. After all, if other sites are “referring” your site, it must be because it is a relevant resource and, therefore, it should rank higher on search results.
How to Increase Backlinks
The two best sources of backlinks to your career site are: (1) the company’s corporate website, and (2) job postings on external platforms.
The company’s corporate website is the first step in improving your backlink strategy. Usually, during a recruiting marketing implementation, we’ll try to design the candidate journey, from first point of contact until application.
A frequent first point of contact is the company’s corporate website. Using our Effective People example, a candidate might first go to the Effective People corporate site and then find links or information about career-related content. That content should direct the candidate to the recruiting marketing career site—creating a relevant backlink.
Pro Tip: Use the SAP SuccessFactors Source Tracker page to create customized backlinks that will let you analyze data in Advanced Analytics and compare which links in the corporate site convert best.
By selecting Type = Career Site, and Source = Corporate Site, the Campaign URL Builder will generate a link with a “?utm_source=CorpSite” tag, which will populate data in Advanced Analytics (AA) when a candidate visits the site through this link. If you have more than one link on the corporate site, use the campaign name to create meaningful labels that will let you know exactly where on the corporate website the link is placed (e.g., header, footer, and career page available jobs link).
Creating job postings on external platforms such as job boards, university job boards, and social media, will increase the number of backlinks to your career site, thereby increasing the number of candidates that see the job postings and visit the career site. This also increases traffic to the site, which is an important SEO metric. References on event sites or blog pages also have the same effect. Not only does the number of links increase but these sites are also usually best ranked on search engines, which helps increase the career site’s SEO.
SAP SuccessFactors has tools such as Recruiting Posting and XML Feeds that can automatically, or semi-automatically, post jobs on thousands of external job boards directly from the recruiting management pages. Contact our team of specialist consultants to review your job posting distribution strategy and automate this process.
Optimize for Every Device
If we create a beautiful career site, everyone should be able to access it without effort or friction.
When we say everyone, we are referring to candidates/visitors using any type of device (e.g., desktop, smartphone, or tablet) in any type of browser (e.g., Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge) or software system (e.g., Android or iOS), even people using assistance technology (such as screen readers).
Some good tools to pair with SAP SuccessFactors Career Site Builder are Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager. These tools will allow you to analyze metrics around the type of technology candidates are using to access the site and compare it to how long they stay and engage with the site. This can be critical information to decide on what aspects of the career site should be improved. Other analytics and tag management solutions can also be paired with the career site, but Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager have standard fields in CSB, which allow non-technical users to activate them on their own.
Here’s a checklist to guarantee your site is optimized:
Test all pages and then go through the application process on all different types of devices and browsers.
Take note of the points of friction or strangely designed elements and improve them.
If the job application process has too much friction, consider removing some fields to make applying easier—more information can be requested later in the process if needed.
Make sure the Header and Footer follow a logical hierarchical structure and link all site pages and potentially a few from the corporate website.
All images should have alternative text (alt text) to allow search engines and screen reading technology to read what the image is about.
Use best practice guidelines on images and videos.
Images should be below 500 KB, as it decreases the site load speed.
Avoid images with text.
Use image sliders to create variety instead of creating an extra-long page.
For videos, do not use autoplay and keep videos between 30 to 60 seconds.
Google Search Console/Bing Webmaster
Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster are free tools from each search engine that allow you to monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot your site’s presence in the search engine’s results. Using such tools is not required to have the career site show on search results, but it can definitely help understand and improve the ranking.
To connect the site with these tools, you need access to the tools dashboard and to SAP SuccessFactors CSB. Follow the instructions from each tool to connect it to the career site.
After connection, you’ll be able to submit a site map. A sitemap is a file, usually captured from a link, where you provide information about the pages on your site and the relationships between them. Search engines like Google and Bing read this file to crawl your site more efficiently.
CSB lets you access the site map URL in the Site Information. Usually, there are two sitemaps:
General site map, which includes /sitemap.xml in the end of the career site URL
Job Category page site map, which includes /cat_sitemap.xml in the end of the career site URL
Submitting this site map is only relevant if your career site has job category pages.
By submitting the sitemaps to Google Search Console, you’re making it easier for Google to find your site and try to index its pages to the search results.
These tools will allow you to examine what pages are being indexed and what pages aren’t. This can be helpful in spotting issues on the career site configuration and improving the site presence on search results.
SAP SuccessFactors SEO Efforts
Even if you haven’t been doing some of the tips above, SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting Marketing is continuously trying to get your site in the top search results.
Here are some of the actions SAP SuccessFactors is doing in the background:
Job Category pages: This is a one-time task during the career site implementation that keeps providing results. Grouping job postings in categories (e.g., Internship Jobs, Engineering Jobs, Cleaning Jobs, etc.) is great for candidates’ site navigation and for SEO. Category pages have metadata embedded in the HTML code that informs search engines about the types of jobs you have on that page. Given that job postings are only active for a specific time, category pages provide continuous SEO value. Discover more about the types of pages in CSB and how to get candidates to apply in this blog post .
Daily sitemap updates: A daily job runs and updates the job posting collection and the new landing pages created.
URL Structure: Career site job postings and pages have a URL search-friendly structure that helps search engines make sense of what the page is about. Instead of a messy URL filled with strange characters, SAP SuccessFactors URLs always include the page title (e.g.,/go/Consulting-Jobs/8842001/).
Auto-generated pages: When candidates are referred from another site, sometimes SAP SuccessFactors is able to receive the keywords used to find that job and generate new search pages that are read by search engines, improving SEO.
Automatic update of posting date: The Recruiting Marketing career site updates the reference date for all job postings once per month to promote them as more recent content. This update improves SEO and helps external job aggregators to update the job posting content on their sites.
Getting and staying in the top search results of search engines is a worthwhile task if your company wishes to increase its employer branding awareness and attract top talent. SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting Marketing has the tools to help you achieve that.
About the author
Joao Caldeira is an SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting Consultant at Effective People.
Joao is deploying his combination of people and IT skills into helping companies design and implement HR digital solutions in order to improve internal efficiency and maximize both user and candidate experience.
Joao writes about human capital management, HR strategy, recruitment, selection, training and development, performance evaluation, onboarding, HR data and analytics, coaching, and HR in general.