What You Need to Know About Search Rankings on Indeed

What You Need to Know About Search Rankings on Indeed

I constantly get asked by clients “how can I get my job to appear on the first page of search rankings”  and while the Indeed Search Engine Results Page (SERP) algorithms are complex, there are certainly some best practices that can help you improve your chances for better page rankings.

Indeed claims that the average jobseeker will visit up to the 10th page in the SERP. Obviously, the closer to the first page you are the better. Here are some points to consider in order to leverage Indeed’s search engine to net more relevant applications on your jobs.


Let’s start off with the simple search criteria that determines what jobs are served:

Indeed’s #1 goal is to show the most relevant results to what the job seeker searches for. Most job seekers aren’t searching for “Data Wizard IV.” It is important when developing job titles to put yourself in their shoes to understand what they would search for.

Search results start from the simple search criteria, “what” and “where”.

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For organic jobs: if a job fits the “what” and “where” that was searched, it will appear in the search results. In addition, here are other factors that affect the rankings:

  • how relevant a job is to the “what” and “where” criteria
  • how recently it was posted

These will play a huge role in which page it is displayed on (these factors can determine the difference between your job being displayed on page 1 or page 20).

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Newer jobs rank higher on organic searches. As newer jobs are added, older jobs are going to move lower in the search results, holding everything else constant. 

To provide a better experience to jobseekers, Indeed strives to put the most relevant jobs in front of job seekers. In the context of organic search, this means favoring the freshest jobs and giving them higher placements in the SERP.


What does that mean for your jobs?

Newer jobs typically receive an initial influx of clicks (when a job is higher in the search rankings more people are going to see it and likely click on it)

Although, more clicks do not always equal more applications…

While it is nice to get attention from more job seekers, if they are clicking on your job and not filling out an application that can signal a few potential issues:

  • Your jobs are not being served to the right audience
  • Job descriptions don’t resonate with the type of job seeker clicking on the posting
  • The functional duty of the job doesn’t line up with the job’s title
  • The application process is too lengthy or tedious to compel job seekers to finish

This is where the “what” part from the search criteria comes into play

Here are few tips to ensure the “what” in your company’s jobs match the types of job seekers you are looking for:

  • Keep it short and sweet – According to Indeed.com, job titles should range anywhere between 5-80 characters. Anything more or less will negatively impact search rankings.
  • Keep it simple – Use recognizable terms. Candidates aren’t going to search for “Social Media Guru” jobs. Instead use phrases like “Social Media Content Writer.”
  • Tell it like it is – A job title should accurately describe the work the employee will do. For example, “Events and Sponsorships Manager” is much more effective than “Marketing Manager.” Similarly, if the job that you’re advertising for is seasonal, full time or part time, include that information in the job title.
  • Keywords matter – According to Inc., “The smartest companies optimize their job titles for search, rather than choosing a title for how it fits into their org chart.”
  • Remove special characters – Characters like “&, *, /, :, ;” prevent jobs from showing up in search algorithms.
  • Fully spell out abbreviated words – Shortened words like “int” for intermediate and “adv” for advanced may confuse a job seeker. Often times people don’t use abbreviations in their search queries.
  • Avoid internal titles that don’t accurately describe the job. Job seekers may misunderstand abbreviations or acronyms.
  • Use the job title to describe the main aspects of the job.
  • Don’t use the location in the job title, unless you are referring to a specific facility. Indeed pulls the location from the ATS location field, not from the job title.
  • Don't use words in the job title that candidates won't be searching for.
  • A short application process that has less steps and takes less time is probably going to have a higher completion rate compared to one that has too many steps and takes more time.

It’s also important to note that the initial influx of clicks will dissipate as a job ages, so it is critical to take advantage of that surge in initial traffic. Utilizing pay-per-click job advertising will combat the decrease in job seeker traffic that occurs when a job ages.


How do these tips translate into sponsored pay-per-click advertising on Indeed?

Everything mentioned in the previous section applies to sponsored job postings as well. Sponsored jobs on Indeed generally receive a higher volume of clicks as they are prioritized over organic jobs in Indeed’s search algorithm and aren’t affected by how recently a job was posted.

Ensuring that your company’s jobs are served to relevant, quality candidates is very important, especially because you are now paying for clicks. Doing everything within your power to get the best return from paid clicks will cut down costs at the top and the bottom of your company’s recruitment funnel.

Here are a few use cases for sponsored job advertising:

  • Offset the dip in organic traffic when a job ages.
  • Receive more traffic in general (sponsored jobs are prioritized within search rankings)
  • Supplement the free organic traffic you receive. This is especially important for positions that are harder to fill or located in more saturated markets that require more competitive search placements.


Key Takeaways:

  • Using relevant keywords in your job’s title and descriptions will ensure your jobs are getting served to job seekers that are more likely to enter your candidate funnel.
  • Organic traffic alone may not provide the volume of candidates that employers are looking for, but sponsoring jobs can help to solve this problem.
  • Sponsoring jobs can provide a healthy number of candidates to supplement the free organic traffic you receive.

Looking for more ways to increase the visibility of your job postings and improve your overall job advertising strategy? We'd love to chat!

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