Recruiting Search Optimization: Basic Business Facts About SEO

Janet Bartoli // Business of SEO, In-House SEO

October 3  

You may be the owner of a mid-level recruiting agency or maybe you’re head of marketing within a staffing firm and have never considered other forms of marketing online other than maybe paid search (Google Ads). 

Well maybe you’ve finally discovered one of the core digital marketing activities your business could be investing in is search engine optimization. 

What you may not realize is that there are 7 Basic Business Facts when it comes to SEO in your business and here they are in no particular order:


1. SEO is a Strategic Initiative that Leadership Must Promote

When it comes to any marketing activity, it must be thought through strategically across your entire organization. 

SEO is no different. You can’t just “Do SEO on Thursday” and mark that box checked. 

Strategy must be a part of that SEO program. It must also be understood by the more senior leaders within your organization. If you have decided to integrate SEO into your business, your CEO, and senior management teams should all be familiar with the strategy that activity will be responsible for. 

SEO is never a one and done thing.

Just like managing your personal health and fitness is never a one day thing, neither is managing SEO. Anytime your business makes a change to its online presence, new website redesign, new services offering, etc. your team should be thinking about the ramifications of how it will factor into your overall organic marketing effort.  

If you’re asking… “Who determines the SEO strategy?” then you’re on the right track! Ultimately, if you have an internal digital marketing manager or in-house SEO, that person should be the one to create the SEO strategy. If, however, you’re like most recruiting agencies, and you hire an external consultant or digital marketing agency, then having them develop the SEO strategy in coordination with your senior management team is the best approach. 

If you heard “SEO is a failure” it’s most likely because strategy was absent from the program from the start.

Don’t let your SEO fail, adopt an SEO strategy. 

Dont fail seo


2. SEO is Way More Than Just Keywords

If you know nothing about what SEO is, or have no time or patience to even learn how much it’s changed in the last decade, then do know this, SEO is NOT about a keyword, it is about what it can do in terms of increase in revenue for your business. SEO is more about math than it is about ranking a keyword. 

This is why there are so many hacks out there proclaiming themselves to “know SEO” or “promise to rank your site #1 in Google” . 

There are so many all over the world and all over the internet who have taken advantage of so many unsuspecting business owners, because what worked in 2004, they think, can still work in 2022. 

If you know nothing at all about SEO, know this, Google’s search algorithm is much more sophisticated now than ever before. Just in the last 60 days Google rolled out the “Helpful Content Update” Google rolls out updates, algorithm changes, and ranking signals which is how and why SEO has become so much more than a “list of ranking keywords” 

(Here's a little more on that latest Google Quality Update you might have heard about) 

Here’s a list of updates, algorithm and ranking signal changes over the last 11 years. Some mixing in with some technical changes, but overall, these are primarily content specific. 

Google Updates

3. SEO Beats Your Competition Not The Algorithm 

If you think hiring the most expensive SEO wizard is going to help you beat Google at its own game, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. As an SEO professional for the last 18 years, I was NEVER hired to “beat Google’s algorithm”. What I was hired to do was to help my client’s suppress their competition. I helped my clients increase their brand awareness, and increase their search visibility by leveraging my specific SEO skills. 

SEO helps your potential clients learn more about what your business does and how they can benefit from what you offer them. We do that through a variety of SEO tactics and activities. 

In order to perform successfully in SEO, we must first understand who your audience is. Where are they in their search journey? Are they conducting research because they’re ready to jump into a new career, so they Google “what is the average salary of a cybersecurity analyst?” 

Do you offer that person any content to help answer that question? Suppose a company is looking for information about “How to staff a new product marketing team?” Do you have any content that might give them some ideas about what they could consider? 

These are specifics you will not find in TikTok, or Instagram. These are business processes many of your clients go through on a regular basis. The best way to serve them is to have a strategic process within the content in your website, aka the buyer journey. 

When you think SEO is meant to “beat the algorithm” then SEO will fail miserably every time for you.

4. SEO Attracts Your Ideal Clients

Just to tack onto what I mentioned above in #3, when you take care of what your clients are searching for right now, you take care to attract the right ideal client to your organization.

Are you the subject matter expert for IT talent acquisition for mid-sized technology companies? 

That’s what Google, and in turn, your prospective clients are looking for. 

Help them, help you. When a human searches in Google’s search engine, looking for a specific type of information, the search engine will try to serve up the best, most relevant piece of information created by a specific subject matter expert.

If you search for healthcare information for a specific breed of dog, you’d expect to find a veterinarian who specializes in that breed type to speak to that particular breed’s health issues. There might be a blogger who never owned a dog, who decides to write about that particular breed. Those thoughts, and ideas aren’t provided by a subject matter expert, so is that content really helpful to someone who needs to find health related information for their particular breed? 

You get the picture. 

If you are an expert, or know someone who can speak to a particular topic as an expert, they are the best type of content creator for your business. 

This is especially true for any in the YMYL space, i.e. those speaking to money, or finance, health or safety.

5. The Burden Should NOT be All On SEO To Do All The Lifting

If you have a site that has five web pages that look to be at least 15 years old, and you have no specific call to action (once a visitor arrives on your website, give them something to do, i.e. download a white paper, call a sales rep, join a workshop) then how can you assign any conversion or ROI to your SEO program? 

Here’s a very typical scenario...

Company A has a website that hasn’t been updated in the last five years, usually because they do not have an internal website manager or marketing team to oversee it. The site was getting small amounts of traffic, less than 100 visitors a month. Now, five years later, the number of new visitors to the site is less than 200. They might come read about your company, take a look at your services, then leave. More than likely they will never return because there is no reason to. 

Here’s the SEO success story you can use as your guide to follow:

Company B has a site that is at least 12 years old, but they do have someone to maintain the site. That person regularly updates the content, has opt-in forms to collect potential client information, and regularly analyzes the content to determine which is resonating with potential new clients. They have a regular, robust SEO program in place, and see monthly increases of 20% in new traffic, and can tie that new traffic to 40% new revenue. 

Which is your company?

Company B in the above, is not at all complicated, expensive, or out of the question for any size business. In fact, many small businesses achieve those numbers or better because they don’t take their eye off the goal of attracting new clients each month. 

6. Cheap SEO = You Get What You Pay For

Like most things in life, cheap can mean low quality, and poor performance. You can’t expect to race competitively at the Grand Prix with a 1978 Ford Pinto. Sure you could hire a “cheap SEO” on Upwork or Fiverr, but why put your business in such a risky situation? 

A number of years ago, a well known brand, BMW North America was banned from Google for search spamming. The question at the time … “was this a stupid decision by BMW to run this junk or a stupid decision by their web marketing manager to contract an SEO company that does not have half a clue as to what they are doing? “

Don’t be that clueless manager.

Most SEO is considered expensive because it requires skills, years of experience, and smart resources to build and manage an effective SEO program. When you do, the amount of new business your site will be generating from those efforts will be far more than whatever that smart SEO is costing.

Ultimately, it might be more expensive at first because you don’t get to realize the SEO ROI immediately, but over time, you’ll see the amount you invest in your SEO program pales in comparison to the amount of new business you get in return. 

Speaking from lots of years of experience, I’ve witnessed this first hand from my clients time and time again. 

 7. SEO Is Never "Done"

When is SEO done?  Best answer to this question, when there is no longer a thing called Google, or Bing, or Amazon, or YouTube, or anything with a search algorithm, and you have zero competition to worry about ever. 

So… after all these years of hearing “SEO is dead” or “SEO isn’t a thing we should worry about anymore” or “Hey look it’s TikTok” or any number of shiny objects business marketers consider to think about, think about the spinning wheel. 

SEO works much the same way.

Once you start spinning the wheel (or start your SEO program, you build momentum), the more you go, the faster the wheel turns, the better  your SEO program. When you stop pedaling, the wheel slows down, it eventually stops.

So, if you stop SEO, it won’t suddenly tank your traffic, but over time, it will slow down, and your competitors who are continuously pedaling faster, will pass you up. 

SEO should be in place as long as you have a business or career website in place. If you take those sites down, you can then take your SEO program down too. 

If you are considering hiring an in-house SEO professional, that might be a good idea, but again, if you’ve never had SEO done before, it might not be.

If your recruiting business is considering hiring an in-house SEO... Watch this one first

If you have any questions, drop them in the comments below.

Otherwise, if you want to ask your SEO questions in real time, I’m holding a Live SEO Event in a few weeks so that you can actually ask your questions, get as specific as you want, and get real expert answers in return. 

I’ll have more details coming very soon, and you can learn about those new upcoming events here in Bartoliconsulting.com or over on my YouTube Channel, or on my Linkedin business page

For any business leader who needs to discuss their agency ahead of the next Live Workshop, go straight to my booking page and grab a time.


About the Author

One of the world’s leading SEO strategists for B2B and recruitment industries. Since 2004, she has led, built, and trained over 5,000 digital marketing teams, developers, and large corporate organizations SEO programs for Fiat, Verizon, Bank of Montreal and more. Janet has helped staffing and recruitment agencies to double and triple leads and sales online by 42%+ and conversions by 200% from organic traffic.