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Boost Your Police Recruitment Website With These 5 Expert Tips!

by | Jan 13, 2024 | Recruiting, Video

Is your department’s recruitment website not showing up in search engine results? Don’t worry; you’re not alone. Many departments face this issue, but the good news is that there are steps you can take right now to improve your website’s visibility. In this article, we’ll explore five key strategies that can help you fix this problem and get your website noticed. Let’s dive in.

Tip #1 – Utilize Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Strategies to Increase Your Website’s Visibility

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is optimizing your website’s content to improve its visibility in search engine results. By implementing SEO strategies, you can increase your website’s chances of appearing in relevant search queries. Here are a few essential techniques to consider:

  • Research and incorporate relevant keywords into your website content
  • Create page titles of less than 60 characters and meta descriptions for each page of less than 166 characters
  • Optimize your website's loading speed, especially for mobile devices. Google prefers to suggest websites that render quickly on phones and tablets
  • Use alt-tags on your photos. Alt-tags describe what is in an image, which benefits searches and visually impaired visitors

Researching and using relevant keywords in your website content is essential to SEO. You need to know what words your audience uses to search for jobs or careers in law enforcement and, more specifically, jobs in your department. 

Use an Incognito Window for Your Research

A free and simple way to do this is to open an incognito browser using Google Chrome. Click on the three dots in the browser’s upper right corner and select “New Incognito Window.” 

Once your incognito window is open, go to Google.com and enter words you think people might use to determine if your department is hiring. 

Here is an example using the Montclair Police Department as the targeted department. As we entered the words, “Is the Montclair Police hiring,” the following results automatically appeared before we finished:

  • Uis the Montclair Police Hiring
  • Uis the Montclair Police hiring now
  • Uis the Montclair Police hiring right now
  • U(what) is the Montclair Police hiring process

Use a Keyword Packed Title

With this information, it would be our suggestion to add these keywords to the applicable pages on Montclair’s recruitment website or, better yet, possibly add a blog article using these possible titles:

      1. “Is the Montclair Police Department Hiring?”
      2. “Want to Know: Is Montclair Police Hiring Now?”
      3. “Current Status: Is Montclair Police Hiring New Officers?”
      4. “Is Montclair Police Expanding? Current Hiring Updates”
      5. “A Glimpse into Montclair Police: Are They Hiring Right Now?”
      6. “Find Out Now: Is Montclair Police Accepting Applications?”
      7. “Inside Info: Current Hiring Situation at Montclair Police”
      8. “Job Seekers: Is Montclair Police Adding to Their Ranks?”
      9. “Montclair Police: They’re Hiring, Your Career Awaits “
      10. “The Burning Question: Is Montclair Police Hiring Right Now?”

Using the keywords “Montclair Police” and “Hiring” will help search engines recognize the website’s relevance to specific search queries, increasing the likelihood of the website appearing in search results.

While there is no definitive answer as to how Google looks at a title, there is plenty of data that supports the following when creating a title for a news release, recruitment article, blog post, etc.:

Use a Keyword Packed Title

With this information, it would be our suggestion to add these keywords to the applicable pages on Montclair’s recruitment website or, better yet, possibly add a blog article using these possible titles:

    1. “Is the Montclair Police Department Hiring?”
    2. “Want to Know: Is Montclair Police Hiring Now?”
    3. “Current Status: Is Montclair Police Hiring New Officers?”
    4. “Is Montclair Police Expanding? Current Hiring Updates”
    5. “A Glimpse into Montclair Police: Are They Hiring Right Now?”
    6. “Find Out Now: Is Montclair Police Accepting Applications?”
    7. “Inside Info: Current Hiring Situation at Montclair Police”
    8. “Job Seekers: Is Montclair Police Adding to Their Ranks?”
    9. “Montclair Police: They’re Hiring, Your Career Awaits “
    10. “The Burning Question: Is Montclair Police Hiring Right Now?”

Using the keywords “Montclair Police” and “Hiring” will help search engines recognize the website’s relevance to specific search queries, increasing the likelihood of the website appearing in search results.

While there is no definitive answer as to how Google looks at a title, there is plenty of data that supports the following when creating a title for a news release, recruitment article, blog post, etc.:

  • Titles under 60 characters will show in their entirety in desktop and mobile device searches
  • Google prefers titles that are not truncated or "cut off" because they can't fit on the screen
  • Titles under 60 characters containing keywords are easy for people to read and remember and encourage clicking on the title to read more

Add a Solid Meta Description

In addition to keywords, adding a meta description for each page on your website is crucial. Meta descriptions briefly summarize what users can expect on a page. Adding compelling descriptions and relevant keywords in the meta description can attract more clicks from search engine users, ultimately increasing the website’s visibility.

Like the title, Google snips meta descriptions at 155 to 160 characters. This is a perfect opportunity to use the keywords in a more descriptive sentence for the preview of the article.

You’ve seen the meta description before during Google searches; it’s the descriptive text under the title on the search engine results page.

Make Sure Your Website is Mobile Optimized

Another essential factor to consider is the loading speed of your website. Search engines prioritize websites that load quickly because they provide a better user experience. Slow websites can lead to higher bounce rates, meaning users are more likely to leave your site without engaging with its content.

When TOC Public Relations builds a police department website or a police recruitment website, we ensure in the beginning stages the site’s fonts, images, spacing, and layout will not only look good but also function great on mobile devices and tablets.

If you are a public information officer or are responsible for the content on your department’s website, you may be limited on how much impact you can have on your website’s speed. However, if you compress the photos you use on the website and leverage cache techniques, you can help speed up your department’s website.

TITLE
DESCRIPTION
U RESEARCH
MOBILE

Title

Under 60 Characters, Keyword Packed

DESCRIPTION

Meta Descriptions Under 160 characters, Keyword Packed

RESEARCH

Learn what words people use to search for police jobs

MOBILE OPTIMIZE

Make sure your website is optimized based on mobile users habits

Tip #2 – Leverage Social Media to Reach a Wider Audience

Social media platforms are crucial in increasing website visibility in this digital age. By utilizing social media effectively, you can reach a wider audience and attract more visitors to your website. Here are a few tips to leverage social media:

Create Engaging Content

Creating engaging and shareable content is essential when leveraging social media. Your content should be informative, entertaining, and visually appealing. By providing value to your audience, they are more likely to share your content with their followers, thus expanding your reach organically.

Drive Traffic to Your Website

Promoting your website’s content on social media platforms is another effective strategy. When you publish a news article, recruitment event, or information about your department, share it on your social media channels. Craft compelling captions and use eye-catching visuals to grab your audience’s attention. Additionally, consider using relevant hashtags to increase the discoverability of your posts, and always try to drive traffic back to your website “to learn more.”

FACTConsider social media as a commercial or teaser for something more prominent on your website. People will visit your website if you make your post compelling enough.

TIP: Consider social media as a commercial or teaser for something more prominent on your website. People will visit your website if you make your post compelling enough.

Engage with Your Audience

Engaging with your audience is crucial for building a loyal following. Respond to comments and questions promptly and authentically. Show genuine interest in their opinions and provide helpful answers. By fostering meaningful conversations, you can establish a strong connection with your audience and encourage them to visit your website regularly.

Remember, social media can be a powerful tool in driving traffic to your website, so use it to your advantage. Stay consistent with your posting schedule, analyze your metrics to identify what works best for your audience, and adapt your strategy accordingly. With a well-executed social media plan, you can attract a larger audience and increase your website’s visibility and success.

When there is more traffic on your website, search engines will recognize this as a website providing content people want to view, “so let’s give it to more people to view,” hence, you appear more during searches.

  • The department gave up on keeping the community up-to-date
  • The department isn't hiring anymore
  • There are financial problems in the city preventing them from affording to have someone update the website

Tip #3 – Make Sure Your Website Content Is Relevant and Up to Date

One of the critical reasons websites don’t appear in searches is that their content is irrelevant, not up to date, or “dead.” We’ve all seen websites where the date on articles is from a year or two ago, which may make a person wonder or lead them to believe that:

This can be detrimental to your online presence and hinder your ability to reach your target audience effectively. It’s essential to regularly review and update your website’s content to address this issue. Doing so can ensure that your website remains a valuable resource for search engines and visitors.

Search engines love fresh content, so consider adding new pages or articles to your police department’s website or police recruitment website to improve visibility.

To sum it up, create high-quality, consistent content relevant to what you are attempting to rank for, and your efforts will pay off in the form of improved search rankings, increased traffic, and a more substantial online presence.

  • They use a service called GovernmentJobs.com to advertise available positions. They should have the employee who enters the information into governmentjobs.com include links to their recruitment website in the general job description area with wording such as, "Get an inside look at the Montclair Police Department by visiting joinmontclairpd.com."
  • The Employment Opportunities Page on the city's website has a link to a document called Police Department Hiring Standards, which opens up a document with information regarding this topic. They should take the content in the document and create a page on their police recruitment website with this same information. Then, they should request the person managing the content on the city's website to change the current link from the downloadable document to the new page on joinmontclairpd.com.
  • They should go to their entries on Zip Recruiter, GlassDoor, National Testing Network, and Indeed and ensure they add their website's link and quality intro text to drive traffic to their recruitment website.
  • We recommend making job announcements, articles, and posts on LinkedIn and Facebook using the link to the website.
By building quality backlinks, you can enhance your website’s visibility and improve its chances of appearing in searches.

However, it’s important to note that SEO is an ongoing process. Search engine algorithms constantly evolve, and new techniques and best practices emerge regularly. Staying current with the latest SEO trends and continuously optimizing your website will help you maintain and improve your website’s visibility in search engine results.

#5 – Use the Power of YouTube

Google owns YouTube, and the world loves video! People prefer to watch videos than read, which is a known fact.

FACT83% of respondents prefer watching videos to accessing information or instructional content via text or audio. Techsmith, 2022

If you have recruitment videos, you need to get them onto your department’s YouTube channel. Remember, as you upload them, you need to take the same care to include keywords in the video description area, use best practices for tagging the video, and optimize the user experience with captions, chapters, and recommended videos. We’ll be covering this in an upcoming article.

Make sure you link to your police recruitment website to draw traffic from the YouTube crowd searching for law enforcement jobs back to your site.

If you look at Montclair’s recruitment website, you’ll see we’ve added some of their videos throughout the website, and these videos ARE NOT on YouTube. So why did we do that, which goes against what we’re telling you to do?

We strategically did this to keep the videos on the website “clean” and free from advertising other YouTube videos on their website, thus keeping the focus on why the person is on the site in the first place: to learn about the Montclair Police Department, available positions, the hiring process and more.

However, we recommend the department take some content from one of its police recruitment videos and create a blog post about the content. For example, one of their videos shows the SWAT Team riding on the skids of a SWAT vehicle. Creating an article about how officers can join the SWAT team now ties into the video. It allows the department to embed the video into the article because it is relevant. Google and YouTube favor and love this technique, and it offers good content and value to the visitors of Montclair’s website.

You might be asking, “But aren’t you afraid the watchers of the video on the SWAT page will be distracted and venture off, which you mentioned above?”

We have a different philosophy regarding embedding YouTube videos in an article or blog post. People who land on this page have a more “dialed in” or “pinpoint” reason for being on the page. They want to specifically learn how officers get on the Montclair Police Department’s SWAT team. They aren’t just “surfing” the website.

Tips:

  • In the first paragraph or two of your article, mention there is a video in the article.
  • Try to embed the video in the article “above the fold.” This term refers to everything you see when you first come to the page without having to scroll.

You can create an Instagram Reel and draw viewers from that platform to the article by making a small teaser video from the original video. You’ll get more brownie points with Google when the Instagram crowd is watching the YouTube video on your website! You’ve created an eco-system full of cross-pollination over multiple platforms.

Conclusion

We hope we have made this simple enough and your head isn’t spinning. But then again, that’s why we’re in business; we take this knowledge, coupled with our “on-the-ground, walked-in-your-footsteps” experience, and help our clients succeed.

There’s more to police recruitment websites than high-definition photos and overly-produced Hollywood action-thriller recruitment. The flashy pictures and videos might be acceptable and appealing to the employees who already have a job in your department. Still, it takes more than that to attain quality candidates, such as marketing strategy, quality content, and speaking the language of job seekers.

Ready to attract quality candidates for your department? Bring TOC Public Relations onto your recruitment team, and we’ll get you going in the right direction.

Key Points

About the Author

  • Mike Bires

    Mike Bires is a retired law enforcement officer from Southern California. He was one of the early adopters of social media for use in law enforcement. He has spoken at the IACP and in Washington DC on law enforcement social media. Today, Mike is the Director of Operations for TOC Public Relations and oversees their website development operations.

    Email: mike@tocpublicrelations.com
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