Pay Per Click: Using Adwords effectively for recruitment websites

Using Google AdWords for your recruitment campaigns? Here are some basic tips in the article below. Use it as a checklist, to review what you are doing with our Google AdWords campaigns…

Why Use PPC?
When thinking about your online marketing portfolio have you ever considered Paid Search or “Pay Per Click” (PPC)? With the ever increasing competition to get you site on the first page of Google, Yahoo or Live Search for phrases like ‘architecture jobs’, ‘sales jobs’ or ‘marketing jobs’ PPC may seem like an attractive option; you can determine which keywords you want your PPC Ad to appear on, when and where you want your Ad to show and how much you want to spend per month with instant results. By following a few key guidelines you can really maximize the potential of your PPC campaign by generating quality CV’s at a low cost and low risk. You can also add tracking code so that the ROI from your PPC campaign is easily calculated, making PPC an effective and measurable marketing tool for your recruitment website.
Save money by spending time setting up your Campaign
Setting up a PPC campaign is easy but there are pitfalls to avoid. Too many people make the mistake of just adding the keywords and leaving the campaign to run ending up with a huge credit card bill and not much else to report. Remember that Google makes a substantial part of its revenue through Adwords!
So where do you start?
Thinking about your budget is a good place to start. The more money you spend, the more keywords you can bid on and therefore the more CV’s you can get. Once you have decided on your budget set your daily budget limit accordingly otherwise you could see a huge bill at the end of the month!
Writing a good Ad
Once you have decided on your budget you can start looking at what your target jobseekers or clients might search for e.g. “architecture jobs”, “social care recruitment”, “project manager jobs in London”; this will form your list of target keywords. Now you can start writing your Ad. Here the fun starts; you have got only 95 character spaces to create a compelling Ad that is going to entice a jobseeker to click on it – and not on your competitors! There are a few key rules to remember when writing your Ad:
• Make sure the keyword appears in the Ad; the words go bold and the job seeker will see that your site is relevant.
• Be creative in your writing; “apply for 100’s constructions jobs” sounds more enticing than “construction recruitment agency”.
• But also be specific; if you’re only recruiting for graduate positions you don’t want a senior professional clicking though as they are not going to apply for a job and you’ve just used up some of your budget.
• If you’re targeting a specific geographical area e.g. “surveying jobs in London” then say it. It means you’ll save money by only generating a targeted audience to your site.
• Give a call to action e.g. Submit your CV, Apply today! – this is ultimately what the jobseeker wants.
• Create multiple Ads, i.e. create a different Ad campaign for each of your sectors; if you’re a technical recruiter create an Ad campaign for architecture, another one for construction and so on.
And once a job seeker has clicked on the Ad think about where they end up…
• If your Ad is about engineering jobs, the jobseeker is expecting to find engineering jobs, so link your Ad through to the engineering jobs page not the home page.
…and what you want them to do when they get there
• Make sure that there are clear calls to action; register for a job / contact you / submit their CV so the chance of getting that CV is high.
How to make your money go further
It is worth checking your account settings before you set your new PPC campaign live. Think about when jobseekers are most likely to be searching for jobs; it is unlikely that at 4am you’re going to get many serious applications and if Monday to Friday is prime job seeking time do you want your ads appearing on Saturday? Also think about where you want your Ad’s to be displayed. By switching off the content network you can then focus on the real traffic and significantly decrease your susceptibility to click fraud. And if you want your job to display at or near the top of the sponsored listings alter you position preference so that you’re Ad’s display in the top 5.
Tracking / Reviewing / Testing / Tweaking
So how successful was your Ad? By adding the tracking code to the goal pages on your site e.g. your registration thank you page, you can determine how many CV’s you generated from your PPC campaign and the cost of each CV. Calculating your PPC ROI from there is very easy.
Feeling creative? Have another look at your Ad results, from here you can see which ads are generating a high number of jobseekers to the site or in technical jargon a high “click through rate“ (CTR) and which Ads are being displayed a lot (have a high number of “impressions”), but are not being clicked on. You can then try different Ad campaigns under the same keywords to see which one generates a higher CTR, or remove ones which are not generating much traffic. Through a bit of trial and error and monitoring your PPC performance you can tweak your campaign to have a higher spend in areas where you have the most jobs and on the best traffic converting key phrases. Linking Adwords into Google Analytics will give you even more data to play with.
With a bit of patience and tweaking your PPC campaign can be an effective marketing tool for your recruitment website, generating instant results at a high ROI which is all completely measurable and can be tailored to any budget.

Job Boards and SEO in Ireland

Year 2008 started funny for the Job Boards in Ireland. Job boards started understanding that the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the core of their business.

The reason the big job boards understood the y need to invest in SEO is because the year 2007 was the year where a largest number of the niche small job boards appeared in a single year. More than 20 new job boards requested to be included in the multiple job posting software eRecruit.ie in the year 2007 only! Those small niche web sites are in most cases industry specific, and usually have some link with some existing organisation or publication, or are just set up by someone who does know the industry. Knowing the industry helps in organising and running the small niche job board, so more often than not the niche job sites have some success as well. That hurts the job big boards, and it hurts them badly! So the national job boards decided to fight back in 2008, and to do so they are looking for the SEO people.

Irish Jobs - SEO JobIrish Jobs looking for the SEO Specialist:
http://www.irishjobs.ie/JobDesc.asp?ID=5125108&MID=3233

Due to continued expansion and focus delivering maximum jobseeker traffic to our websites worldwide a vacancy has arisen for an SEO specialist.
Job responsibilities:-
Knowledge and experience of SEO, Web 2.0 concepts, traffic and SEO analysis tools (Google Analytics, Google Webmasters Tools, keyword and structure research spiders)… Web 2.0?!

Jobs.ie Jobs - SEO JobJobs.ie (owned by Irish Jobs) are looking for that same SEO Specialist:
http://www.jobs.ie/ApplyForJob.aspx?Id=652847

This is actaully the same job in the same sompany as advertised by Irish Jobs. BTW Jobs.ie was purchased by Irish Jobs a year and a half ago.

Loadza Jobs - SEO JobLoadza Jobs made the adverts sound better by naming the job Online Search manager (SEO/SEM)
http://www.loadzajobs.ie/view-job-details.jobs?jobId=1077057

The Job Description finishes with the very funny sentence:

“Please do not apply if you have not got a good solid knowledge of the internet.”

That clearly shows they know what they are looking for!

Recruit Ireland…. nothing? About 20 different agencies have a job that appears in the search result for the word SEO, but no SEO jobs from the job site itself. Do they not need a SEO staff like the rest of the ob boards? Do they not trust the web site to deliver the candidate and have advertised in their papers?

Monster have a new site with a bit strange front page, and again they are not looking for a SEO specialist in Ireland. In all fairness, their SEO needs are probably managed from the head office in the US.

Ok, Ok,… EmployIreland.ie – no we are not looking for the SEO Specialist, we do have our SEO Consultant (that is available for projects!).

Is the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) a compulsory skill for The Online Recruitment Marketing Manager?

The ‘usual’ Marketing Manger in the recruitment industry in Ireland up until a few years had his job divided into the traditional offline marketing efforts (even a guerrilla marketing falls into this here!) and the online marketing. Online marketing consisted of purchasing the subscriptions on the job boards, getting the recruitment web site done up, and perhaps purchasing a banner or similar advertisement from the news portals. And it was all well back then, and most of the actual work could easily be outsourced to an external vendor – a marketing agency. And then came Google…

Google messed up the life of a marketing manager, simply because someone up in the management got an idea to ask a question:

Why do job hunters not apply to our web site and instead go to the job boards, and we have to pay for advertising there? Surely we can do a good site as well?!

The classic advertising or marketing agency failed to deliver a single visitor from eh Google search engine, so Google invented Google AdWords. Being the number crunchers and statistical people by nature, the Google failed to understand who will be the end users of their AdWords tools, so the interface was all in numbers, percentages, and zillions of statistical acronyms. You really needed a PhD in statistics to understand anything there. So a new breed of consultants surfaced, the Google AdWords Management Consultants. Most Irish recruitment marketing managers even today fail to understand they do need to hire them to manage their AdWords campaigns. It simply undermines their management authority to outsource management of their precious budgets. Jet they didn’t really care for the statistics in school., but are ‘creative’ people by nature.

When enough Irish online recruiters, and those who wanted to become ones, started using Google AdWords to drive the precious job seekers to their recruitment web sites, the price of the visitor started climbing up. And up… So the Google AdWords became too expensive for the generalist recruitment, and the new breed of marketers surfaced up in Ireland the SEO Consultants.

My Definition:
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a ‘science’ (is it?) that defines the elements that affect search engine ranking of a web site for a particular keyword in a set search engine.

So how can a SEO Consultant help a Online Recruitment Marketing Manger in Ireland? Well a SEO guy can help ‘optimise’ the recruiters web site so that it gains higher ranking for the recruitment related keywords (or phrases) or for some other (industry or location) related search keywords. A search keyword or search phrase is the text that people using the search engine type to perform the search. So in short, a SEO consultants job is to change the web site so that the web site gets more traffic. In the recruitment industry – it means more free visitors – more applications – more CVs – more placements!

This is where it gets very confusing to our Irish Online Marketing Manager. The SEO Consultant simple does not speak the same language. Also there is absolutely nothing exact in the SEO!? There is no formula (Google keeps it as a Coca Cola recipe!), nothing really to back up what the SEO Consultant is ‘preaching’.

The effect of this falling behind in the ever changing knowledge of running the online business is very beneficial for the Irish Jobs Boards. Since absolutely no Irish recruitment agency have ever made a substantial effort to make a web site that would have a high visitor numbers, they simply have to purchase traffic from Google AdWords or completely rely on their advertisement on the job boards. There is a limited success they achieve with newsletters where they offer a iPod Nano raffle for a CV submitted, or a bit of Radio and print advertisements. But all those traditional marketing efforts combined bring only a small fraction of het CVs that a well optimised recruitment web site bring in Ireland today.

Therefore a Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a compulsory skill for The Online Recruitment Marketing Manager in Ireland today.