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SEO Split Testing for Jobs Websites

Use A/B testing to prove which changes will have the biggest impact on your organic search performance.

Getting started with SEO A/B testing

If you're new to the concept, you might find it useful to read a bit of background about how SEO A/B testing works in general before diving into the industry-specific advice below.

Jobs sites have some unique SEO challenges in the fact that their individual job listings are the pages most likely to get links, but are transient, while their job category pages are typically very sparse and search-results-like. In addition, there can be a user experience tension between what the content providers (hiring companies) want - visibility of their own individual job listings - and what the website visitors want - a wide range of jobs to browse. When this happens, it can be tempting to prioritize the needs of the hiring companies who are the sources of revenue, and pushing through SEO-focused changes can be difficult without solid data to back up the recommendations.

Between all of these challenges and the difficulties of modern SEO faced by all sites, jobs sites are particularly well-placed to benefit from SEO A/B testing which can answer questions about which approach is better, avoid harmful changes, and prove benefits to management with statistical confidence. In addition to enabling testing, SearchPilot enables winning variants and any other desired changes to be rolled out across the site rapidly.

If you’re interested in hearing more about what SearchPilot can do for your jobs website, get in touch here.

Customize titles and meta descriptions to maximize organic traffic potential

Updating titles and meta data may seem like the most basic of SEO changes, and are often overlooked in favor of more ‘exciting’ advanced SEO projects. In our experience of SEO split testing, title and meta data changes can often be the most impactful changes you can make in terms of organic traffic when you’re working at enterprise scale.

On jobs sites, we are able to test, for example:

  • Showing more or less information about location and job category information on individual listings pages
  • Including the number of open positions, salary ranges, and more in the meta information of category-level pages
  • Different emphasis on location or job type (or other factors such as employer name and salary) - via ordering and inclusion or exclusion in different sections of meta data
  • Adding freshness or recency signals into titles or meta description

Test changes to on-page content

We see three typical kinds of challenges with on-page content on jobs websites at scale:

  1. Category pages often have sparse content or no content at all. If they do have content, it may be templated and uncompelling
  2. Job detail pages may use copy provided by the company listing the job, and struggle to differentiate themselves effectively from other jobs on the site or from other websites where they have listed the same job
  3. Job details content is often user-submitted and can vary in quality and quantity

In any of these cases, SearchPilot can test changing, removing, reordering, or adding to the content already on the page. The ability to upload large amounts of content into the SearchPilot platform makes it quick and easy to test at scale, and to roll out winning variations across the whole site.

Jobs sites may consider testing:

  • Adding custom or template content to job listings pages (job type, job keyword, job location pages)
  • Comparing custom written to template content
  • Changing headings
  • Bringing content out from behind tabs

Test bold changes to site architecture including which pages are indexable

With the transient nature of job listings meaning that individual job pages don’t exist for the long term, many teams speculate about the value of allowing them to be indexed at all. These decisions are complicated by the fact that, since they are the only pages that the companies listing the jobs care about, they are the only pages likely to get external links.

Add to this questions about searcher experience when they search, for example, [<companyname> jobs in <city>] and land on an individual job listing for a specific role rather than all open positions at that company, and you realize why the architecture of job sites presents unique challenges.

Too many teams have to make major architectural decisions about site architecture, like which pages should exist, and which should be indexable, based on vague best practices and theories about how the search engines will treat the different options. SearchPilot removes that uncertainty by enabling tests including:

  • Adding / removing noindex and other robot control protocols
  • Different status codes for different pages (including removing or redirecting pages)

Mark up your site with the most valuable structured data

Some structured data markups can have a big impact on your pages’ appearance in search results - especially in Google for Jobs. With so many options for markup, it can be impossible to know which will provide the most ROI.

Test markups like:

  • JobPosting
  • JobTraining
  • Breadcrumb
  • Occupation
  • FAQPage
  • And more

Test alternate internal linking strategies

Changes to internal linking can have huge sitewide impacts, especially on job sites with millions of URLs and a strong focus on crawl budget. Testing new internal linking strategies with SearchPilot allows you to make a data-backed SEO case for or against linking changes.

You may consider testing:

  • Linking to related roles
  • Linking to parent or child categories or other related categories
  • Linking to nearby areas for the same role
  • Adding breadcrumbs
  • Adding or removing template links from menus or footers
  • Linking to featured employers
  • Nofollowing links to facet pages

Test new page layouts

As UX and page experience become more pivotal in organic search performance, optimizing your page templates for users as well as search engines is crucial. SearchPilot allows you to test the SEO impact of all kinds of layout changes from seemingly harmless tweaks to entirely new designs.

For jobs sites, this may include:

  • Moving, adding or removing elements
  • Expanding tabbed content or placing content behind tabs
  • Loading elements in alternate orders

SearchPilot also allows you to measure the impact of any SEO test on conversions via our Full Funnel testing feature. Read more about Full Funnel testing here, or get in touch using the demo form below.

Make improvements to site speed and measure their impact on SEO

Optimizing your site for speed and user experience is becoming increasingly important, as Google now directly takes these factors into consideration when evaluating rankings.

Make the case for or against site changes that have an impact on metrics like first contentful paint, DOM content loaded, and first input delay. Testing the SEO impact of these changes gives you the evidence you need to communicate effectively with dev teams on how to prioritize site improvements.

Using SearchPilot as a meta-CMS

Make quick updates to pages accross an entire section of your site

Our jobs customers have found it useful to be able to make agile changes across all pages on the site, all pages of a particular kind, or all pages in a section. In addition to the kinds of changes we have discussed testing above, these have included:

  • Modifying, adding, or removing calls to action
  • Redirecting pages temporarily or permanently
  • Fixing broken deploys

Our meta-CMS functionality allows for changes to any part of on-page content or meta information in the event you’re unable to get these prioritized in your dev queue. Read more about our meta-CMS feature here.

If you’re interested in hearing more about what SearchPilot can do for your jobs website, get in touch here.

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