SEO Domination Strategy: How to Rank on Google for “Nursing Jobs”

Every health care company in the U.S. is facing a growing demand for nurses over the next 10 years, which means that competition is fierce to rank in on the first page of Google for “nursing jobs.” This is an ambitious goal, with thousands of companies vying for that coveted and valuable space.

So what would you need to do to rank for this term? A combination of on-page, on-site and off-site strategies must be employed to even have a chance at attracting these candidates. Here we present the final word on how you can take on this SEO challenge and reap the rewards, both in traffic and in quality of applicants.

Climbing to the top of the rankings is a lot like scaling a mountain. You need to do a lot of prep work, it takes time, there will be missteps, but reaching the summit will be worthwhile. Let this document serve as your native guide, helping you avoid mistakes while climbing Mount Google.

[pullquote]Ranking on the first page of search results for “nursing jobs” is a sound strategy. The question is whether such a strategy is truly achievable.[/pullquote]

Succeeding in the SEO space means hitting two targets with one shot: You need to appeal to the people who read your site, share your content, and ultimately apply for your jobs. At the same time, you need to appeal to the machines that scan your site, designate what kind of content you can deliver, and rank it against other sites with similar content. If the balance isn’t right between people and machines, you will end up losing large segments of your audience, rendering your work useless. So remember that every one of these strategies and tactics can be taken too far, swinging things too far toward appealing to Google.

Don’t do that.

start with an seo strategy

Start with a Strategy

Whether you have one hospital or are part of a national health network, one common question that inevitably gets asked is, “How do we rank for ‘nursing jobs’?” As thousands of nursing students enter the candidate pool every year, recruiters and HR professionals in the health care space hope to drive applications by allocating marketing dollars toward SEO campaigns around this crucial hiring area.

Ranking on the first page of search results for “nursing jobs” is a sound strategy. The question is whether such a strategy is truly achievable.

Unfortunately for your brand, the road to ranking on the first page of Google on this keyword will be an uphill battle. Your corporate career site will come up against huge national brands armed with not only name recognition, but also the impressive Google rankings that would make anyone envious. It can be a frustrating experience, dedicating precious time and marketing budgets, only to still see your name appearing on the 10th page of search results.

Aside from the e-commerce space, health care is one of the most competitive areas when it comes to SEO. The 5,700 registered hospitals in the United States want to stand out for a particular category, especially nursing. But when there’s so much competition, it’s easy to get lost in the hundreds of millions of Google results. Without a strategy and the will to execute it, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the daunting task of ranking organically.

[pullquote]For nursing, and health care, design an SEO strategy around your size first. [/pullquote]

We recommend a strategy based on your organization’s size, one that will enhance your site both on and off the page, thus making the goal of ranking for any given keyword far more realistic. With paid campaigns not involved as a ranking factor for your site, advocating SEO best practices can potentially take your site from the abyss to the masses.

Before your start purchasing AdWords space or reposting all those registered nurse jobs, it’s critical to step back and take stock of your brand’s online presence. Whether you’re simply a regional clinic looking to attract the best nursing talent, or a major industry name, creating custom content to bolster your current search presence, scaling your SEO efforts and resources is the most productive approach to take. Keep your SEO goals reasonable!

Large Scale: Working with a National Brand

Leverage your best asset: your network

National brands will always have the upper hand when it comes to SEO. Not only are their names more familiar to searchers, but national networks also have a much larger geographic footprint on the web. With more sites comes more links, and with more inbound links comes further domain authority for your URL. Large health care networks should be leveraging their pre-existing networks. Utilizing each hospital or clinic for link-building purposes can create an even larger network of links and grow your visibility across the Internet. As more links are directed back to your site, this creates more opportunities for Google to recognize your industry expertise, thus connecting search engines with users searching for nursing-related keywords.

SEO Link Domain Authority

Take this image, for instance, with your primary career site acting as the red circle. As other networks begin to link to publications, organizations and companies associated with your career site, your digital network grows and branches out throughout the web. For example, when your site is connected to a single hospital, and a blog links back to that URL, the branches continue to extend across the Internet. This is what tells Google that you are an important site. This, in turn, creates more impressions of your brand name, allowing for both search engines and users to find your career site that much quicker.

Simply put, if you have an established online network, use it! Make sure that your career site is linked to any and all nonprofits, civic organizations and academic institutions with whom you regularly collaborate. Much in the same way that you want nursing candidates to connect with each other at a recruiting event, so too should your online community of charitable groups, blogs and business partners. Inbound links don’t just help nudge your rankings in the right direction, but also increase your overall search visibility. Google loves it when sites with high domain authority link back to you, so make sure to leave the door open to these lucrative linking opportunities.

Medium Scale: How Regional Chains Can Compete

Focus on the intersection of domain authority and longer keywords

Whether you’re a Boston-based hospital with clinics located throughout the outlying communities, or a health care network that is trying to inject life into its flatlining Google ranking, understanding your relative SEO strengths and weaknesses is critical to a healthy online presence.

Coming to the realization that you won’t beat national brands with name recognition alone isn’t an easy pill to swallow. Crafting a new marketing budget exclusively around competitive, general nursing keywords can be fraught with peril. Google and other search engines give the edge to dominant, active brands with dozens of rankings across different health care fields, including nursing. Rather than trying to compete directly with the competition, scale your efforts by selecting the right search terms that align with your industry expertise.

Use size to your advantage, but also choose keywords with a combination of lower search volumes and reasonable competition levels. Selecting long-tail keyword strings can work tremendously to your advantage. In many cases, users include a location when they enter a search query, such as “Chicago Nursing Jobs” or “Nursing Jobs in Chicago.” This is where the locations associated with your open positions play a heightened role in search results. Always make sure to include these long-tail keywords when crafting your job descriptions and any unique content on your site. Including geographical terms in the string can help these keywords perform much better in organic searches.

Take the time to research lower-volume, less competitive keywords to base your SEO strategy around. Identifying 7–10 key terms that are trending with users and optimizing your site accordingly is a smarter use of time and money than trying to unseat the national brands that have been playing the SEO much longer than you think. This strategy will allow for a fluid, manageable SEO road map for your career site and nursing positions.

Small Scale: Even Single-location Health Care Centers Can Play

Leverage your uniqueness rather than size and tell a compelling story

If you’re going to compete with national health systems that hire hundreds of nurses each quarter, you need to be focused and creative with your SEO strategy. Sure, you don’t have the wide-reaching online networks that your competitors boast, nor the limitless marketing budget to invest in paid media campaigns, so you need to adopt a different mindset.

Small clients are in somewhat of a “David vs. Goliath” situation. In this case, once the health of the site is up to Google’s standards, utilizing social media campaigns and focusing on content such as landing pages, infographics and blog posts is an ideal method to boost organic search traffic. Likeable, shareable content that is accessible to applicants will create a user experience that can have a positive impact on the site. In an online world where “content is king,” focusing on quality over quantity will have a big impact on gaining visibility in a competitive field.

Diversification is the recommended path to SEO success for small health care brands. Put yourself in the shoes of your ideal nursing candidate. What type of information are they looking for beyond job descriptions, benefits and salary information? In the ever-changing landscape of digital recruiting, social media outreach and employee-generated content, your potential hire is being bombarded by content every second. How will you stand out from the constant rattle of email blasts, LinkedIn messages and paid media? Keep in mind that the applicant experience is just as important in determining your search visibility as which keywords you select.

[pullquote]Recruiters know that the state nursing boards of Texas and California see LPNs and LVNs as very different jobs, even though the descriptions are the same.[/pullquote]

In many ways, local health systems have the flexibility in innovation that national brands wish they had when appealing to nursing candidates. Without the need to go through a drawn-out approval process with multiple stakeholders to craft an SEO plan, you can be fluid in your search strategy. Already have an established social media presence with an engaged following? Use your company page to reach out to local civic groups that you have partnered with in the past. Have a team member looking to refine their writing skills? Utilize their expertise to create a branded blog that explores your company culture and what sets you apart from larger brands that dominate search results.

Regional/Cultural Considerations

Finding qualified applicants to fill open positions should be the end goal for health care recruiters, but many times national recruiters are utilizing a generic national targeting strategy and can’t seem to fill region-specific openings. For example, you cannot hire LVNs in Texas utilizing a generic LPN recruitment strategy.

Is there even a difference between a licensed practical nurse (LPN) and a licensed vocational nurse (LVN)? First glance might suggest this is the same position with different titles, but recruiters will quickly find that the state nursing boards of Texas and California may beg to differ.


Across the nation, most medical professionals have similar certifications and licenses, but some regions have decided they needed to be a bit different. These slight differences have made it harder for national health care recruiters to launch broad nationwide recruitment strategies for many low- to mid-level medical professionals.

For instance, LVN and LPN may have different titles, but for all intents and purposes do the same thing, down to education and type of roles they perform. The main difference? An LVN is a nursing license specific to California and Texas, whereas an LPN is a licensure for the other 48 states. This is also common with hourly nursing aides, where depending on the state, they may be working as a certified nursing aide (CNA), registered nursing aide (RNA), licensed nursing aide (LNA), geriatric nursing aide (GNA) or state tested nursing aide (STNA).

In order for national health care recruiters to quickly and efficiently fill all of their openings, it’s important for them to take regional certifications and licensures into account. So instead of targeting a generic nursing term, do a quick Google search of the opening you are looking to fill and the state where the opening is located, as this will help you find the probable term individuals locally will be searching for.


Rather than targeting licensed practical nurses nationwide, take a few minutes to research if there are any LPN terms specific to a certain region, such as the wording of a title, certifications or licensures.

For example, if a health care company is hiring LPNs nationwide, but has a large amount of openings in California, it would be beneficial to perform a quick Google search of the generic term with the location, which would be “LPN California.” When this is searched, it will offer suggestions of “LVN” and “licensed vocational nurse,” instead of the standard LPN and licensed practical nurse. This will help garner the correctly targeted applicants relevant to the region.

This can be better explained by looking at California’s monthly search engine trends: On average, only 140 people a month in California are Googling for the term “LPN jobs,” whereas 3,600 people a month in California are searching for “LVN jobs.” When we look at these same search terms, but on a national scale, 8,100 people a month are searching for LPN jobs, and only 5,400 searches a month are made for LVN jobs, but of those 5,400, 3,600 are coming from California.

By taking a few moments to research your target audience, you can increase traffic exponentially and fill those openings a bit more effectively.

seo tactics

Tactics to Consider

Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number

Every so often, a team of archeologists will dig up giant lizard bones (dinosaurs, if you will) from 65+ million years ago. The bones themselves and how long they’ve lasted through time isn’t the primary focus; instead, it provides information and context for the now-extinct beings.

Something similar can be said within the realm of SEO when talking about the age of a domain. At its most bare, the age of a domain serves as a ranking factor. But what’s most important is what content surrounds the site. Having a unique and consistent source of content provides a number of benefits including an increased organic presence.

Moreover, age discrepancy only affects sites that are very young. The first few months of a site’s existence are almost always the most difficult from a ranking perspective, as the site is most likely not fully built out with surrounding content that provides additional access avenues for search engines and users. Once the site has a few months under its belt and has been fully indexed, though, the change in rankings is small. According to Google engineer Matt Cutts, there’s a negligible difference between a site that’s six months old versus one that’s a year old.

Branding and Size Matters (But Not as Much as You Think)

The importance of branding can go a long way in shaping a site’s ranking capabilities. It’s a logical fact that larger brands attract larger audiences due to user familiarity. But for smaller organizations, there are ways of circumventing the daunting big brand monoliths.

[pullquote]Remember that it is in Google’s best interest to deliver great content to its searchers. So build content worthy of being shared and read.[/pullquote]

Health care providers are a niche market, so taking advantage of that fact can deliver significant returns. Building a brand authority that reflects your company’s services, culture and other philosophies can be the key to providing a lasting connection with search engines and their users. This means surrounding your site with information that’s relevant to your company but also relatable to readers.

Examples of this could be a day-in-the-life piece of a nurse practitioner, or an informative blog detailing career opportunities for users. The point of this is to build a true and direct connection with potential candidates, which in turn will lead to a broader recognition of the brand.

Remember that it is in Google’s best interest to deliver great content to its searchers. So build content worthy of being shared and read. Google will reward you by making sure it gets in front of the right people.

Job Volume

One of the biggest factors that influence search engine rankings and traffic to your site is the number of web pages on said site. When it comes to your career site, many of these pages come in the form of job postings. Each job posting (page) is an opportunity for people to visit the site. More site traffic sends strong signals to search engines that this site has important information and people can find relevant info for what they’re searching for.

Number of jobs

Here’s the proof. The following graph of a sample career site compares total traffic against the number of jobs posted, and you can see that there is quite a strong correlation between the two. More times than not, if we see that traffic is down quarter over quarter or year over year, the number of jobs posted to the career site can explain why.

If there are a lot of individual nursing job pages posted with relevant keywords in job titles, then this increases your career site’s chances of ranking highly for search queries revolving around those keywords. And it’s not just limited to job titles — Google also takes into consideration how often a keyword comes up on a page naturally (naturally meaning the keyword isn’t overused). If you post a lot of nursing jobs with your keywords being prevalent on those job pages, this also would help increase your site’s chances of ranking highly in search engines.

Image Names and Alt Tags

In a space that’s as competitive as nursing, even small details make an impact. Image names and alt tags send the little signals that could help boost a site above the competition. Instead of saving an image as “image1.jpg” or “rightbar.jpg,” a better strategy is to name image files as keywords that are relevant to that particular category, or even the specific job itself.


Likewise, it’s best to clearly describe what’s happening in the image itself, while using clear-cut keywords. Instead of writing “two people talking” for an alt tag (or worse, not including one), it’s better to be keyword rich. Something like, “two neonatal nurses at {insert brand here} discuss infant test results in the NICU” not only better describes the image to someone who can’t see it, but it provides Google with richer textual information to help understand the image and the page.

Given the amount of content a search engine like Google has to analyze in order to return their search results, these small signals related to images may give a site that little extra boost in the rankings — especially the image-specific search results.

Take Advantage of Where You Are

Employment in the nursing industry is among the fastest growing career areas, 19 percent growth expected over the next 10 years. The growth of the industry itself will positively impact SEO because it will be surrounded by widely used and recognized keywords. However, this expansion also means the most used nursing-related keywords become highly competitive, making it difficult to rank on the first page of a Google search results page (SERP).

[pullquote]You aren’t looking for nurses. You are looking for nurses in Boston or Denver.[/pullquote]

So how does one climb to the top? There are only 10 slots on the first page, so chances are you’re not going to be able to do so for broad terms like “nursing jobs” or “rn jobs” unless you’re a very large medical provider.

That’s OK, because you aren’t looking for nurses. You are looking for nurses in Boston or Denver. Most health care providers rely on local and regional candidates to fill positions, in addition to serving medical assistance on the same level. So instead of aiming for the biggest keywords, health care providers should use Google’s own location-based updates to their advantage.

Google’s “Pigeon” update, which arrived in the summer of 2014, changed the way the search engine delivers local results — it provides “more useful, relevant and accurate local search results.” With more accurate local results, it only makes sense from an optimization perspective to aim for keywords that stress locality. This is why focusing on “job groups” is a far more effective strategy.

Job Groups: Location, Location, Location

As stated earlier, a vast majority of health care providers find their bread and butter — whether it comes to talent acquisition or patient care — on local or regional levels. Job groups then serve to boost visibility because they reflect everyday search queries that jobseekers use.

Nursing job word cloud

Search engine users used to simply enter broad one- to two-word keyword strings in their queries, but Google’s algorithm expansion into understanding and digesting longer ones has changed the way people approach what they enter. Now users aren’t afraid to enter longer, more specific keywords in hopes that they’ll find what they need more immediately. For potential candidates, this means entering a location into their search terms.

Health care providers should take that thought into consideration when devising keywords that they plan on putting in their tags, content and links (e.g., “boston nursing jobs,” “dallas LPN jobs,” etc.). Not only are job groups easier to rank for, given they’re less competitive by nature, but they also have a more qualitative reach as candidates are clearly looking for positions in a specific place.

Domain Authority: Connect to Largest Domain

The SEO world is not unlike Hollywood. Sometimes it truly comes down to who you know. In the case of domain authority, which gauges Google’s perception of how important a site is, not everyone is a star. The score ranges from 1–100 on a logarithmic scale (meaning the higher up you go, the harder it is to continue improving). But sites with high domain authorities can help the little guys. Links from a more powerful domain can aid a lesser domain authority in the eyes of search engines. A link from a higher domain raises a signal flag telling search engines that the page linked to is influential given its dissemination by the higher domain.

Reconsider Your Job Titles & Descriptions

Optimizing Job Titles

Job titles play a huge role in your career site’s organic performance and organic rankings because they generally populate three of the most important on-page elements: the URL, page title (or title tag) and header (or H1 tag). The search robots that crawl websites look at these three elements to determine what the page is about in order to rank it. The more optimized your job titles are, the more optimized these three SEO elements will be, which will in turn lead to a better site with more impressive organic rankings. If you are hoping to rank for specific nursing keywords, the first step is to write clear, concise and targeted job titles. A concise job title makes it easier for search engines to read and is more likely to match the search queries the job seekers are typing into search engines.


When creating job titles, consider how people search for specific jobs. Think like a job seeker and put yourself in their shoes. What would you type into Google if you wanted to find a job in the nursing field? We want the job titles found throughout your career site to reflect, as closely as possible, what people are typing into Google. Although user experience plays an important role in how your site ranks, it’s not everything. We also need to take into consideration how Google understands and crawls the content on your site.

Search engines and people don’t read job titles in the same manner. A search engine can’t decipher things like a person can, which is very important to consider when crafting your job titles. While a human looking for a job may be able to understand certain industry abbreviations or jargon, such as CNA, LPN or PT, search engines have a harder time understanding those words. It is more effective to spell out the entire keywords you’re hoping to rank for in every job title as opposed to using these quick abbreviated versions of the keyword. In addition to avoiding industry jargon and abbreviations, it is also best practice to avoid job IDs, digits, roman numerals, unit numbers and any internal codes. Including terms such as “part time” or “full time” is OK, but avoid specific hours such as “RN 9AM-6PM.”

Based on the competitive nature of nursing keywords, it is crucial for the job titles to be very specific. Instead of targeting job keywords such as Nurse or Nursing, consider what type of nursing position you are hiring for. Are you looking for a registered nurse? Certified nursing assistant? Home health nurse? You will increase the likelihood of your site ranking higher on the search engines by simply targeting more specific keywords. Also keep in mind that every job title should use standard grammar and should be about four words maximum. With concise, targeted and optimized job titles throughout the site, you will have a better shot at ranking higher for those competitive nursing keywords.

Examples of good and bad job titles

Job Title
Job Title

Registered Nurse
• Do not include roman numerals.
• Job seekers will not be using roman numerals in their search query.
• Abbreviations are OK if it is a common abbreviation that most people will recognize, such as RN.

Assistant Nurse Manager/3 South/FT Nights/7pm730am
Assistant Nurse Manager
Assistant Nurse Manager Full Time
• Do not include the specific hours.
• Try to avoid using a “/” in the job titles.

Practice Manager OB/GYN Rowlett TX
OB/GYN Practice Manager
• The location (city) does not need to be included in the job title — this information will be found in the job description.
• Use the descriptor word first (OB/GYN) and then the subject term (Practice Manager).

Optimizing Job Descriptions

Job descriptions are equally as important as the job titles when it comes to how a career site ranks organically on the search engine results pages. The job description is your opportunity to really compel potential candidates to apply by providing them with plenty of details and information about both the specific job and the organization as a whole. Your goal is to give the candidates a taste of what it’s like to work at the company while utilizing on-page keywords that also show up in your job titles. When you have an optimized job title, the job description will be stronger and more optimized with the use of that keyword throughout various pieces of content on the page.

Whether you realize it or not, the job description is a valuable piece of content that is found throughout every career site. Search engines crawl pieces of content, rewarding those sites (rewarding them with better organic rankings!) that feature unique, fresh and keyword-targeted content. Therefore, optimizing job descriptions with relevant, on-page keywords will improve organic performance and increase the chances that the job will appear on the search results pages. By crafting the most effective job descriptions, we can be confident that the search engines are reading, understanding and indexing your content.

search behavior matters

Search Behavior Matters

You’ve sat down with your recruiters, marketing team and executive leadership to make your job titles more palatable to Google and other search engines. Gone are the days of peppering each description with the jargon and abbreviations that make sense to your HR folks, but drive away your typical candidate. Providing an SEO-friendly, rewarding user experience is half of the SEO battle, which means that you need to take your optimization game one step further.


It’s crucial to understand how nursing candidates search for careers, so your career site’s category layout should mirror trending search patterns. Dedicating time and resources to optimize your nursing jobs is recommended, but if these optimizations don’t match what candidates are actually typing into Google, you’ll lose out in the rankings game.

So what exactly does that mean for your regional hospital, which is constantly bested by national brands that seemingly own those coveted “nursing jobs” search results? Taking a strategic look at lower-competition terms can help you establish a long-term SEO road map, complete with reasonable ranking expectations.

It’s All in the Keywords

Too often, the first mistake brands make when pursuing nursing visibility is to copy the exact same on-page optimizations of their competitors. It makes perfect sense, right? If it’s working for another brand that has dominated search results for “nursing jobs” and “nursing careers,” it has to work just as easily for you! If it was easy as making a few technical revisions to a career site to earn Google’s recognition, everyone would be doing it.

With only 10 slots on each results page, more than 200 million URLs are going to lose out for every nursing-related query. Optimizing for competitive and expensive keywords on your career site will consistently leave your search presence diminished. When you’re trying to attract the best and brightest nursing candidates, you need to think outside of the box with your SEO strategy.

Consider the following search volumes for common nursing search queries.

adwords SEO competition volume

[Data is from Google AdWords Keyword Tool, a powerful means of estimating search term volume and competitiveness.]

The high monthly searches certainly look attractive, but competition levels are through the roof. Even with the lowest volume option, “registered nursing jobs,” you can expect this term to be thoroughly dominated by your competitors. There will always be hospitals that have been playing the SEO game much longer than you, so simply placing all your relevant jobs into a general “nursing jobs” category won’t cut it. In a crowded field like nursing, which sees thousands of candidates added to the applicant pool each year, you need to get your jobs in front of as many qualified individuals as possible.

Break It Up

No one searches “food.” They search more specific terms like “Indian restaurant in North Boston parking” or “pizza free delivery Tucson.”

There’s nothing wrong with have a general “nursing jobs” or “nursing careers” category on your career site. It’s the logical first location that candidates will visit. Just don’t expect a massive boost to your search visibility when using the exact same keywords as other brands. In this case, you can easily leverage individual disciplines within the nursing field to your SEO benefit.

Nurse Internships. Licensed Practice Nurses. Registered Nurses. ICU Nurses. Labor and Delivery Nurses. Emergency Room Nurses. Nursing Assistants.

There’s a wide range of nursing specialties that connect with candidate search queries. Yes, “nursing jobs” may generate larger search volumes, but applicants are also using specific terms to find that perfect job to match with their skill set. Candidates who are interested in applying for a job will not want to waste time navigating through dozens of RN jobs, trying to locate that ICU nurse position. To appeal to these focused searchers, utilize subcategories on your career site, aligning your SEO strategy with their common search behaviors.

Less competitive, more specific categories help ensure that candidates easily navigate to and apply for nursing jobs that actually interest them, thus giving your site a far less treacherous trek to organic visibility.

adwords SEO nurse rank

The above keyword options may not appear as the most attractive options for your brand. If you have enough general nursing keywords sprinkled throughout your site (in low densities, of course!), your recruiters may think that this is all that’s needed for Google to crawl for jobs. Not the case. Though there are less candidates using these terms, the advantage of leveraging lower-volume terms is twofold.


First, using less competitive terms allows for a more scalable, protracted organic strategy. SEO is a large ship to turn, so patience and time can be your greatest tools. Nursing candidates are constantly being bombarded by social media posts, paid advertisements and email blasts, which are all structuring around those two simple words: “nursing jobs.” By continually featuring these less competitive keywords throughout your job titles, descriptions and categories, you can score some easy wins in a crowded search landscape.

Second, segmenting your jobs into more general categories, coupled with more specific categories, can encourage Google to more readily crawl your content. Slight keyword variations, still centered on your nursing hiring needs, can drive traffic to your site, pending you have taken the necessary step to optimize your content around these terms. The end result? A much greater chance that your career site will be favorably ranked, despite immense competition. Not to mention the fact that you can now post the same job to several locations on your website, doubling the amount of content for search engines to crawl.

SEO-Friendly Content for Nurses

Today, creating SEO-friendly content is all about storytelling. You need to craft stories about nursing and health care that are so interesting, people can’t help but link to them, increasing your rank with Google. Sounds easy right? Not quite. While the process of creating engaging content is harder than pressing a button on a magic content creation machine (if you own one of these let us know in the comments), it’s not impossible.

So how do you create uniquely interesting content about nursing that people genuinely want to share? While there are no hard and fast rules, following these 10 guidelines will certainly make it a whole lot easier.

Make it personal

Get to know your nursing candidates. I mean really know them. What motivates them? What are they passionate about? Are they concerned about the industry trends, such as the nursing shortage? What’s their preferred midday snack? Or favorite brand of scrubs? Truly knowing your audience and understanding what makes nurses tick, will allow you to create personalized content that speaks directly to them instead of generalized content that speaks at them. Listen to the stories your audience is already telling and then join the conversation.
Speak the same language


Know how your audience speaks. The verbiage your audience uses should be the verbiage you use. Also remember that most people are conversational in their everyday lives — this includes nurses. We all know you’re smart and work with doctors, but there’s no reason to get too technical with your writing.
Answer their questions

What do nurses really want to know? What questions do they have? Find out the specifics and start writing the best possible answer you can. Answer their questions in a detailed and well-informed manner. Don’t be afraid to get really specific. For example, nurses might ask “What are the best shoes for standing on your feet all day that aren’t ugly?” Your answer: I’m so glad you asked and the best attractive and comfortable shoes for nurses are …

Cover trending topics

Is Nursapalooza 2015 happening this weekend? Write an article that covers the event and how to network with other nurses. Is there a health trend that’s getting national coverage? Create stories about how your hospital is keeping up. Covering popular topics is a great way to give your content an extra boost.

Quality over quantity

Yes, it’s important to write content regularly but don’t sacrifice quality for quantity. Don’t dilute the overall success of your content with “filler articles.” Say something when you have something to say. There is one caveat to this: Make sure you have something to say on a fairly regular basis in order to keep your site relevant with the search engine gods.

Get some authority

Find thought leaders in the nursing or health care industry to contribute content to your website. Is the president of your company giving an interview on the importance of nurses? Great — cover it on your company blog. Influential people in your industry have the power to help take your content to the next level.

Create related content

Want to be considered an authoritative resource on nursing? Create lots of valuable original content about nursing. You can’t be the authority on nursing if you only have one or two stories about it. So create more and then link it to other content you’ve created.

Include visuals

We live in a visually oriented society. People like to look at pretty pictures while they read your stories. So do a photo shoot. If you can’t do that, ask your employees to send you photos. If you can’t do that, invest in some nice stock photography. Get creative.

Be consistent

In addition to creating quality content, you also want to consistently create great content. When people can think of your site as a reliable source, they’ll keep coming back. When they keep coming back, you rank higher.

Solicit employee-generated content

We can’t do everything all the time. Sometimes you’re going to need to include great nursing stories from other people on your site. When you do, make sure their stories are consistent with your brand voice and give them proper credit. Your own employees are a great source of content. If they’re posting photos of bowling outings with coworkers, ask them to share these with you or tag your company when they share them on social.

Remember … above all, be authentic. Knowing your audience and how they speak is great, but don’t take it too far and create stories that aren’t true to your brand or don’t sound like your brand voice. People will be able to tell you’re not being real. Just do you (or in this case, your brand).

sem enhances seo

Can SEM Enhance Your SEO?

In order to attract valuable, on-target views of your job postings, you spend a lot of time and money on talent acquisition tactics. Primarily among these tactics are pay-per-click strategies that include banners, search engine marketing, social ads and the like. We love search engine marketing (SEM) for recruiting because it generally gets the job done — you spend the cash, and the traffic shows up.

But this traffic is ephemeral. The second you stop paying, the traffic goes someplace else. That’s why you also need to invest in search engine optimization services. SEO has a long tail that stretches far longer than anything PPC can deliver.

SEM and SEO are two very different tools that serve two very different purposes. Nonetheless, they belong together, just like a hammer and chisel, a pretzel and cocktail, and a chair and table. For optimal results, you need to use the two together. Unfortunately, most people don’t understand this.

But if you think of SEM and SEO as the artillery and infantry of talent acquisition marketing, you can see how one supports the other.

This is a metaphor, but an apt one. In military operations, the artillery bombards the enemy from a distance, softening up the resistance as much as possible. Successful artillery depends a great deal on accurate targeting, knowing where your enemy is camped, knowing where they are headed and knowing what kind of environment they are in.

A single artillery shot from a distance won’t do a lot of good. You need to spend a lot of time firing over and over again until your enemy has dug in deeply and isn’t interested in moving. The bad news is that artillery is expensive — those shells aren’t cheap and you’re going to have to use a lot of them to get any work done.

This is how SEM usually works.

Like artillery, SEM requires targeting, lots of money and relentless repetition. That’s how SEM works: No single ad does a great deal of good, but if sent over and over, it can drive a great deal of value.


In stark contrast to the artillery is the infantry. While the artillery softens the resistance from afar, the infantry boldly storms the beach. Essentially, the infantry’s intent is not to strike from a distance, but to claim territory as its own, then defend that territory and expand it.

Territory is a funny thing — no one’s making more of it. So when you hold it, not only do you derive its value, but you also keep others from reaping the benefits of that same value.

Now think of Google as a territory. When you rank for a search term in Google, someone else cannot. That’s what SEO does: It helps you claim a piece of territory and defend it.

Now that you understand the differences between SEM and SEO, how do these very different tools work together? We take another lesson from green army men (and women).

To claim a territory, first you shell the ground in an attempt to scare off and destroy as much of the enemy as possible. Once done, the infantry seizes the land and builds defenses for it. Afterward, the artillery uses this new territory as a home base from which to shell the next strategic space.

Online, you spend a bunch of money on ads for a specific target. Those ads point to content that viewers read, enjoy and then share, thus allowing for the creation of multiple new audience spheres. As people continue to click on the content and share it, you begin to own that space outright via SEM. Building more content within that space and optimizing your pages for that space will defend it from new players. You can then take the SEM resources you used to claim this space and reinvest them into procuring the next space.

Like a game of Risk, your objective is to advance space by space (or keyword by keyword) until you control the region, and eventually, the world.

Most people will continue to treat SEM and SEO as completely separate tactics, therefore forfeiting the benefits that arise from using them together. But you now understand that these tools perform best when paired together.

link building to rank for nursing jobs

Link Building Drives Rank

Think of the internet as a network of roads, each website as a location on that network, and each link between two sites as a road. The more roads you have leading to your site, the easier it is to access it and the more opportunities there are for traffic to it.

Sites that get a ton of traffic are great to get a link from because they get a lot of visitors. And with each visitor comes an increased chance of said visitor accessing your site and getting more conversions (if that site is linking to yours). This is why we highly recommend having a link from corporate sites that leads to your career site: Your career site has traffic and you win.

But from an SEO standpoint, the reason that we highly recommend a link from your corporate site to your career site is because your career site likely has a great deal of domain authority. Google tends to rank sites with a higher domain authority higher because as the name says, that site is the authority and has good information on it. For example, if your career site has a domain authority of 2/10 and your corporate site has a domain authority of 7/10, it would be in your best interest to work toward building a link from your corporate site to your career site to let search engines know of the established link between both sites.

Certain domains carry more weight than others — for example, .edu and .gov sites tend to be better resources than .com sites, and search engines see these as strong signals when these sites link to yours. When put in the context of health care, and more specifically nursing, it makes sense to have an accredited university or educational institute link to your career site. We are always looking for opportunities to build links between these kinds of sites and career sites in order to help boost search engine rankings and build that authority.

One thing that we like to recommend to many clients is to create press releases about any new developments or career areas at your company. There are many services out there that will post press releases and link them out to other sites in order to really get the word out about any news at your company. We stress that a press release must have a link back to the career site, in order to get as many links as possible to your site and drive those conversions.

One factor that search engines look for is the freshness of links between sites and the age of the site that is linking or being linked to. If you are linking to an older site that once had relevant information but no longer does, it would be in your best interest to remove that link from your site. Once you have all the links that you set out to get, you can’t just stop building links — just like maintenance to your site, link building is a process that lasts for as long as your site does.

social media enhances seo

The Social Media Game

How does social media affect your page rank? By indirectly affecting the popularity of your website. While this doesn’t sound as rewarding as a direct cause-effect tactic, it shouldn’t be ignored. Follow these guidelines to get the most out of your social networks:

Create shareable content

Tell great stories about what it means to be a nurse and get people to like your posts on social media. If more people like and share your content on social, your page will have more authority.

Cast a wider net

Getting more people to like and share your content increases the number of people you’ll reach. Ask your nurses to share your content with their social circles (which most likely include other nurses and health care professionals).

Friends in high places

You might even reach someone of authority. For example, the CEO of your hospital (who has a devout following on Twitter) might see your content. He or she might find your content interesting enough to link to it from their own website. The more links back to your page, the higher your visibility.

While it doesn’t seem like a lot, these little steps can make a difference in the long run.

in conclusion


Someone once said that there was an inverse relation in SEO between how easy it is to do and the relative value: The easier it is to do something, the less of an impact it will make, purely because everyone is doing the easy stuff. So it’s safe to assume that if ranking on the first page for “nursing jobs” (or even ranking #1) were easy, everyone would be doing it.

Clearly, there are many things to consider when attempting to scale Mount Google. Knowing the size of the job ahead of you should help when you feel like things aren’t making an impact like you’d hoped. Give yourself and your efforts time. Google, while being pretty amazing, is not omnipotent and instant. Sometimes it can take weeks for you to notice the changes in rankings. Trust that these are the right steps, and that there will be a payoff when the work is done.

Who Wrote This?

This article was a group effort, combining roughly 20 years of SEO and content marketing experience.

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