Written by Renaud Clarke

Keyword research for recruitment websites

At the heart of any SEO strategy is your keywords. This should underpin your entire content plan and site structure. But where do you start with a keyword strategy? Do you just follow your gut? Hold a brainstorming session? Throw darts at the dictionary?

Follow these simple steps and all will become clear.


The first step is to do your keyword research. Don’t undercook this step as you will punch yourself if you’ve missed some golden nuggets.

Initially, start with your competitors and review their keywords with tools such as Neil Patel keyword research and wack in your competitor domain names. This will pump out around 100 ranking keywords for your review. Take a look at the volume and their position. You’ll find that there’s a lot of similar keywords, although your right to note them all, broad matching in Google will group these together and apply your hard work to all of these results.

A good keyword is usually a keyword which has a high volume. Google usually bands the volumes into groups of 0-10, 10-100, 100-1000, they’re only estimates based on previous months and is usually roughly correct. It’s also good to look at the competitiveness of these keywords. Having high competitiveness means that there’s a lot of competition for this keyword so a low competition keyword is preferred.

Once you’ve compiled a decent list (I usually drill down to around 30 keywords) it’s time to arrange these into themes. These will revolve around grouping keywords into themes.


Keyword themes are basically groups of content which can reside together. When content is group together is acts as a synergy, giving Google and other search engines the confidence that you are worth referring. Let’s say for the sake of this example that you are an accountancy recruiter, you might have a selection of 30 keywords which fall into 5 main groups:

1How to get ABC qualifiedcareer advice
2The counter offerinterview tips
3Interview with John Smith CEOcareer advice
4Salary survey for ABCcareer advice
5What to not say in an interviewinterview tips

These groups need to act as your pillars of content. Grouped together and linking between each other to enable interlinking and recommendation for your users to keep reading. Google will also come and spider these groups of niche content and understand your strengths.

Just remember to bare in mind specifically for recruitment we have three audiences. Try and choose keywords which match the following proportions based on recruitment audiences.

Internal Recruitment / HR10%

Your next step is to put together a content calendar and build a content strategy. Take a look at our guide to recruitment SEO to find more guides and examples.

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