Recruitment Websites, Part Three - Build it ... and they DON'T Come!
By Paul Quinn, © 2002
In the final part of this three part series about the most
common recruitment agency website mistakes, we examine common
pitfalls and potential solutions to effectively promote
Investing large sums of money to develop an effective recruitment
website and then believing the job is done is not good enough.
You can build the best website in the World but no one will
visit it unless you effectively promote it to your target
audience. Below are six suggestions on what you can do to
promote your website:
1. Search engines.
"Publishing a website without effective registration
with search engines is like putting a billboard in your
basement. Only the initiated few will get to see your creation."
- Ben Klau, Senior Partner at Advertising
Optimising your website for search engines and online directories
such as Ninemsn, Yahoo! and Looksmart is a very important
and effective way to promote your recruitment agency website.
However, most recruitment agencies either perform extremely
poorly in this area or entirely neglect it.
Research shows that 80% of all Internet user web sessions
begin with a search engine and the word "Jobs"
was the fourth most searched keyword of all search engine
queries in May 2002. In addition, job seekers who find your
website via a search engine are typically actively looking
for positions, hence search engines can be a very effective
source of new candidate applications.
How well are you performing?
Search engine success can be measured on your website with
most off-the-shelf web reporting tools. These tools examine
your web log - a file that contains all the data about who
has visited your site, when they were there, and what they
looked at during their stay. Most log file reporting tools
will allow you to see how many of your site visitors originated
from external sites such as search engines. Contact the
company who hosts your website to get access to your site's
log file reports. You should be able to access these statistics
Another simple way to determine how well you rate on search
engines is to log onto a search engine such as Looksmart.com.au
(the Looksmart network claims to power over 65% of all Australian
searches). Firstly, search for your site by typing in your
agency's name, then note whether it appears in the first
20 search results. Now try typing search queries that relate
to your agency. For example, "accounting jobs Melbourne".
Again, note whether your site appears in the first 20 search
results. If the results you get from this simple test are
less than impressive, it's likely that you could benefit
from a search engine optimisation campaign.
Effective search engine recruitment marketing is based
how job seekers use search engines to locate jobs;
copy to match anticipated candidate keyword search terms;
the number and quality of links from outside websites
pointing to your site;
with high traffic search engines and Internet directories;
search engine placement or paid inclusion programs;
performance tracking, reporting and maintenance.
The Internet contains information on every topic imaginable.
Make it your job to find out what sites exist that are complimentary
to your own. Do they have a "links" page that
lists relevant organisations? Ask them if your site can
be included and in return add them to a "Hot links"
page on your site. One additional benefit of increasing
the number of external links to your website is that this
measure is looked upon favourably by search engines and
will therefore assist you in improving your search engine
3. Online advertising.
Online advertising can be very cost effective, highly targeted
and measurable when planned and executed well. For example,
if your agency targets engineers, and the national engineering
association sends out a monthly e-newsletter to all of its
members, you may be able to place a banner or text ad in
the newsletter to promote a particular role or upcoming
seminar that may be of interest to them. Don't make the
mistake of thinking online advertising is limited to banner
4. E-mail marketing.
E-mail marketing can be an extremely powerful and cost-effective
way to drive traffic to your website. Standardising company
e-mail signatures to promote your site is a good place to
start, however, why not also consider making the most of
the in-house email lists you already have stored in your
database? Let your database of clients and candidates know
that your site has been (re)launched, or invite them to
subscribe to your bi-monthly reviews on the recruitment
industry trends. Be sure to give them clear opt in/opt out
Two additional options to consider include (A) marketing
your site to bought email lists (list brokers such as List
bank and Prime Prospects sell e-mail lists), and (B) developing
an e-mail-based viral marketing campaign. Viral marketing
campaigns typically provide recipients with either a financial
incentive (eg. movie tickets in return for referrals) or
non-financial incentives (eg. a funny story) to forward
the message onto their friends which subsequently increases
brand awareness and drives new website traffic.
5. Other online marketing options.
Consider the following three avenues for promoting your
- offer incentives to sites that target the same market
as your agency to promote traffic to your site.
- if you're a specialist in placing senior investment
bankers, why not consider sponsoring a small section of
a financial site such as the Australian Financial Review.
/ chat boards - the Internet offers hundreds of active
chat boards and news groups on a wide range of topics.
Why not log on and get involved with one. Perhaps you
could offer advice to candidates regarding succeeding
in interviews or direct potential clients to your agency's
website for up-to-date salary information.
6. Offline site promotion.
Perhaps the simplest and most cost-effective way to drive
traffic to your site is through your traditional off-line
marketing collateral. Use the following checklist to help
maximise your offline website promotion efforts.
stationary. Eg. Letterhead, business cards, envelopes
publications. Eg. Sales brochures, newsletters, annual
reports, PowerPoint presentations
Print advertising. Eg. Recruitment and branding ads
material. Eg. Contractor / Temp packs
campaigns. Eg. Special offers (eg. direct people to
your website for full details of the offer)
Onsite advertising. Eg. Reception, interview room handouts
release. Eg. announcing the results of your latest
online visitor poll)
Trade shows. Eg. Corporate displays, hand outs
advertising. Eg. Company vehicles, outdoor signage
Giveaways. Eg. Mugs, mouse mats, stress balls
Phone. Eg. On-hold phone messages
Promoting your website doesn't have to be an expensive
exercise. In fact, as you can see from some of the examples
above, there are many things you can do that won't cost
you anything but your time. The key to effective website
promotion is to ensure you have a clear understanding of
who your target audience is, and what would be most likely
to drive them to your website.
Review the six areas of site promotion above against your
current website marketing efforts and make the effort to
improve weaknesses. In doing so you'll significantly improve
the return on your website investment.
That was the final article in our three part series about
common recruitment agency website mistakes.
To read the first
article in the series - click here: "How to keep your content
To read the second
article in the series - click here: "The 'Must Have' Functionality
That Many Don't".
Back to article index.