Today’s guest blogger is Rick Maré with JXT. Rick is the founder and CEO of JXT, the number one provider of cloud-based digital marketing solutions for recruiters and corporate recruiters. Rick has coached thousands of recruiters, empowering them to take their businesses and careers to the next level. Connect with Rick on LinkedIn.
Here at JXT we work with a large number of recruitment agencies. Over time, what I’ve noticed is that some decide to invest in a new website then leave it there, whilst others kick on and continue refining and tweaking their online footprint. Although both of these groups have a recruitment website that looks and feels world-class, more often than not the second group’s digital results will far outstrip the others.
This probably doesn’t come as a surprise to you, but what may surprise you is that the second group aren’t digital or marketing wizards, they’ve just chosen to invest a little time to understand and implement ongoing digital marketing activities. With this in mind, I’m making it my mission to showcase some of the activities this first group of agency directors are paying attention to in the hope it will help you to grow your own agency’s brand.
To get results you have to invest time and effort in ongoing marketing activities.
This element should actually come before website go-live, however we are realists and understand that in some instances it can be better to get something live rather than procrastinate on content for another few months. This does however mean that in most situations there is a lot to be changed post-go-live from a content perspective. These changes, whilst potentially time consuming, can make a hugely significant positive difference to your website’s overall performance.
Good content is important for three key reasons. Firstly, it helps your site to be found by Google, which for most agencies is usually the source responsible for around 40% of their total website traffic. I’ll talk about SEO in a minute, but good content can drive traffic even without a focus on this. Secondly, good content keeps your audiences engaged, leading them to spend more time on your site and engage in more brand interaction. Lastly, good content can drive conversions. Having your content geared towards downloads, job applications, job registrations and other site goals will boost your results.
Often viewed by most people as a form of magic, basic SEO is actually reasonably simple and can hugely influence your website’s performance when implemented well. I could write a whole blog on SEO, but the key elements to pay attention to are: identifying and using keywords/phrases, page titles, meta descriptions and backlinks.
More often than not, keywords are specific phrases. For example, it’s a lot easier to target the phrase “Sydney Recruiter” than it is to target just “Sydney,” which would have far more competition. We recommend our clients select four or five key phrases then optimise your recruitment website around these. Obviously as you expand your site it’s possible to up this to a larger number. Most recruiters will focus key phrases on their most commonly placed job titles, their specialist industries and location. Once you have your key phrases they’ll need to be interspersed throughout your titles and main body text. This should not be done so as to negatively affect the readability of the page, but an effort should be made to include at least two mentions.
Page titles are obviously the title of the page; however, these can be longer than the default setting and should always include your target your key phrase or phrases (providing it doesn’t go over 55 characters).
The meta description is the description users will see when your results appear in Google. Whilst not directly relatable to how your results appear in search, having this correctly written for each page will help increase your search conversion rate (providing it doesn’t go over 160 characters).
Backlinks are the hardest element to master, but because of this they often hold the most value. In short, Google views webpages with high numbers of credible websites linking back to your sites as valuable and therefore is more likely to give them a high search ranking. The key here is credibility, many companies will charge you money to build backlinks, but most of these are poor quality and could even negatively influence your site rating. The best way to build backlinks is therefore by having high quality content on a blog or resources section and asking your partners or suppliers to link to your site. Here at JXT we give you a head start by linking to every client from our own high ranking website.
Google Analytics can be daunting even to experienced marketers. Whilst it’s a fantastic tool, the problem is that you can do so much with it that it’s very hard to figure out what you should be paying attention to.
For most recruitment directors, the best way to use Google Analytics is to review how many people are visiting your website (Sessions and Unique Users), how long they spend on your site (Average Session Duration and Bounce Rate), where your traffic is coming from (Source) and the pages your visitors are viewing (Site Content). Advanced users will also configure Goals to track specific actions by your site visitors.
In most situations it makes sense to review your data for the previous month but you may also want to compare this with the month previous or comparable month the year before. To do this you simply enter your dates in the Date Range field.
Sessions and New Users provide you with information on how many total sessions your site has (this could be the same people visiting multiple times), New Users is the number of unique visitors to your site. In general, it is good to have around 60-70% of your website traffic as New Users.
Knowing your Average Session Duration and Bounce Rate will provide a good insight into how good and relevant your website content is. If your ASD or BR is too low, then it’s likely people aren’t engaged and are moving away to find their information (possibly jobs) elsewhere. As a guide, a three minute ASD is around average for a recruitment website. If yours is lower, you may need to work on your content.
Source is found under the Acquisition section. By tracking your website’s sources over time, you can clearly track how well both your paid and free (organic) traffic sources are performing. For example, you might invest in Indeed Paid Adverts. By tracking this in Source you can see how this performs to your aggregated (free) Indeed traffic. In the same manner, if you’re running social campaigns, you can see traffic from Facebook and LinkedIn.
Lastly, knowing where on your site visitors are arriving (by using the Landing Pages function) and then navigating to through Site Content can really help you to optimise your site’s performance in two ways. Firstly, if you know your key Landing Pages then you can optimise these for conversion, perhaps showing jobs on a specific Resources page or having a job registration action on a specific blog. It also helps to track the performance of your blog content and, if needed, your jobs.
I’ve mentioned content a lot, but that’s because it’s important. Google wants to see a site that is constantly updated. This is tricky to do with just your website content as it doesn’t often change. This is one of the main reasons to have a company blog. Pleasing Google isn’t the only reason though; strong content will provide your visitors with a reason to visit your site, increasing the time they spend on it and their likelihood of returning.
Blogs are also integral to any digital marketing efforts, for example on LinkedIn or Facebook. This is because they provide content for these channels whilst pulling users back to your company website where you have jobs and calls to action. Some companies choose to have a company blog, others have blogs written by the individual recruiters. If you’re interested in blogging but don’t have the internal resources or time to do so, you could also consider ghost writing with an outsourced marketing partner.
As your site develops, you may find you wish to attract a specific niche audience – such as a group of clients, candidates, or even recruiters. One of the most effective methods of doing this is to use a Campaign or Landing Page. These are effectively stand-alone pages designed to either be found through Google or from online marketing campaigns.
Examples of Campaign Pages include a branded page for a specific featured client, job specific pages, a download page for a whitepaper or report, a competition or a salary survey.
The big difference of a Campaign Page compared to a standard web page is that they are heavily geared towards getting your target audience to perform a specific action. This action is generally some kind of registration in exchange for receiving a specific piece of information, however in some cases it can be to have the user click a certain button or even phone your business.
Often, the Campaign Page won’t show up in the menu or be linked to from any other area of the site. This is because you may not wish to show the campaign to your broader audience who are already customers, but only to prospect that you reach through targeted advertising.
The success of your Campaign Pages will often come down to the creative strategy behind your campaign. At a basic level, having a landing page for each key role your business recruits for doesn’t require much of a strategy, but if you’re trying to encourage prospective clients to give up their details then you will need to design a campaign that provides an incentive to do this.
Consultant Hero Pages
As the digital landscape changes, consumer expectations are changing with it. They are now beginning to demand interaction and information from the individuals behind a brand rather than just the company itself. Because of this we’re finding many of our clients are generating great website traffic results by showcasing their recruiters on the website through Consultant Hero Pages.
The main benefit of doing this is that when a prospective candidate or client Googles a specific recruiter the Hero Page will be one of the first search results. By controlling this process and having the user come to your website, you’re able to control the experience and put conversion mechanisms in place.
Control is mainly around having oversight on the specific content that is found on the page, but also helping your recruiter to establish their credibility through testimonials and possibly video. Conversion is very similar to Campaign Pages; once a user reaches a Hero Page they are given lots of relevant conversion opportunities such as links to the consultant’s jobs, their blogs or newsletter registrations. We’ve found that on sites with Hero Pages, these pages are the third highest trafficked on site after the Home and Jobs Pages.
Our job as the recruitment industry’s leading digital ecosystem builder is to provide you with world class solutions that enable you to have the best digital footprint possible. However, we know through experience that most recruitment firms are not embracing their website to its full capability. Throughout this article I’ve talked about having a degree of digital literacy. I’m aware most of you are recruiters first and foremost, however, to continue being successful, it is important that you lean on experts like JXT to increase your digital expertise. This is not to suggest you need to completely master digital marketing, as we, alongside our partners, will happily help you deliver on your digital strategy. However, what it will do is allow you to make informed decisions to ensure your business stays ahead of your competition.
NOTE: We’ll be taking a break from blogging this Thursday to celebrate Thanksgiving. Watch for new content next week!