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How to increase website conversions

Successfully driving traffic to your recruitment website is a cause for celebration but it’s just one half of the journey to your goals being met. You need those visitors to act. Those actions might be registering a CV, signing up for job alerts, applying for a job, filling out the contact form, or subscribing to a newsletter or blog. The bottom line is, you need your visitors to convert or your website is not fulfilling its potential or working hard enough for you.

What does ‘conversion rate’ mean?

Your website’s conversion rate is the number of visitors who converted as a percentage of the total number of visitors to your site. A high conversion rate means that the goals you have for your website are being achieved. A good conversion rate is generally accepted to be anything between 2% to 5%. Wave data shows that the average conversion rate for recruitment websites is 1.41%. Boosting conversions is critical to a better performing website.

How to measure website conversions?

With Google Analytics 4 (GA4) set up on your website, you can set up conversions for specific events, e.g. submitting a form, applying for a job, registering for a job alert. Essentially, you choose the conversions you want to measure. With GA4, you can no longer create destination page conversions within Google Analytics itself. However, setting up custom events provides more flexibility and also granularity in what you track. Once the GA4 Event is tracked in Google Analytics, you can mark it as a conversion in the Events settings. This allows you to track every single conversion that occurs on your website. 

What conversions should I set up and measure?

This comes back to the goals you have for your website. In a Recruitment Cheat Codes podcast episode centred on recruitment website analytics, Wave’s Data Analyst Kamila Fitchett highlighted the key metrics that recruitment agencies should be measuring, two of which are conversions:

  1. Application submissions – The primary metric to consider is application submissions, which can be compared with clicks on the ‘apply’ button. If there is a significant gap between these two numbers, you may need to examine your application forms for potential issues, such as length or functionality.
  2. Job alerts – Monitoring the number of job alerts set up and client contact form submissions can also offer useful insights for recruitment professionals as to what is working and allow them to optimise their processes and strategies accordingly. 

5 tips to increase those all-important conversions on your website

  1. Include a call to action on every page – tell visitors what they should be doing next

Don’t assume visitors will navigate their way through your website in the way you intended. Make it easy for them and signpost what they should be doing next. An effective call to action (CTA) is proven to drive conversions but limit each page to one or two. CTAs are action-led – asking visitors to do too many things can lead to confusion.

The perfect CTA should be persuasive, compelling, clear and concise. The words should be few but action-led with clear direction: ‘Upload your CV’, ‘Register for job alerts’, ‘Search for jobs’, ‘Apply now’. It should do one or more of the following – offer benefits, lead to immediate results, rouse curiosity, evoke emotion, create urgency. They should also be placed intuitively on the page. CTAs may use simple design elements and few words but they contain within them the power to convert visitors into clients or candidates for your jobs – a mighty feat for a single button.

2. Make buttons easy to read and click – don’t put obstacles in their way!

First of all, it’s important to note that buttons consistently outperform hyperlinks. They’re bold, they stand out, they tell visitors what to do in just a few words. Optimising the design of your CTA buttons will increase the likelihood that visitors will click on them. Making them stand out, easy to find and easy to click is crucial.

Use whitespace or contrasting colour around the buttons, succinct and clear text in the buttons and, crucially for mobile, ensure they are easily tappable with a finger. Revealed in a case study on its website, testing platform VWO found that decreasing the amount of clutter and distractions around the CTA on a client’s homepage increased the conversion rate by 232%. Always make it easy for your users.

3. Optimise your website for mobile – we all use mobile devices, why make it harder for visitors accessing your website via one?

Wave data has revealed that over a third of traffic to recruitment websites is via a mobile device and, in March 2021, Google switched to mobile-first indexing all websites, making it vital that your website is optimised for mobile.

A good way to check is to use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to see how mobile-friendly Google thinks your website is and action any tips Google lists to improve it. Check that ‘tap targets’ (buttons that are tapped on a mobile device) are big enough and that there is enough white space around buttons, that you have a mobile menu, and that the layout and elements work on a smaller screen. Always test the user experience yourself on a variety of mobile devices.

A responsive layout (which all RecWebs websites are built with), whereby the website automatically scales its size to fit to the screen size being used, won’t affect the load time and saves you from effectively having two different websites.

4. Add testimonials – “they seem happy, I want to be as happy and successful as them”: harness the power of social proofing!

The power of a third-party review in converting a visitor to your website into a client or registered candidate is undeniable. By including testimonials on your website, you are effectively helping potential clients make a decision and feel confident about that choice, knowing that others have done just that and benefited from it. That is social proofing – establishing trust and confidence in visitors to your website via third party influence. People trust people, not brands.

We’re all influenced by others, it’s human nature, and it makes sense to harness that in business. Don’t be afraid to ask a client for a testimonial. The more testimonials you have showcasing the different sides of your business, the varying services you offer, and the range of clients and candidates you can help, the better. Your happy clients and candidates can be your best sales tool. 

Where should you place testimonials? A stand-alone page for testimonials allows website visitors to immediately check out your credentials and can be used as a CTA on other pages. Testimonials can also be peppered throughout the other pages on your website as supporting copy. Include them at the bottom of a page, next to pricing or by a claim in your copy.

5. Consider leave intent pop-ups – yes, pop-ups are divisive but there are good ones and bad ones and this is a good one if used well.

Pop-ups are a divisive subject in the world of website design. Some feel there is no place for them as they can frustrate visitors, others value their use as a conversion tactic and as a way to help direct visitors to perform an action that will be useful to them. We encourage their use on recruitment websites as a way to grab attention and as a valuable prompt to encourage conversion but we do advise caution.

The type of pop-up chosen and the way they are used is critical. Leave intent pop-ups will only appear when the user is about to leave the page. The advantage of this approach is that you are not breaking a user’s focus whilst they are viewing your content. You are simply offering them something they may have missed before but that would be valuable to them – and it is made all the more valuable because it has context now that they have (hopefully) absorbed some of your content.

There are numerous ways leave intent pop-ups can be used to good effect on recruitment websites. For example, a candidate may visit your jobs page but is about to leave before applying. This is the perfect time for a leave intent pop-up encouraging them to register for job alerts. If you want to encourage more users to subscribe for content updates or a newsletter, consider a leave intent pop-up for your blog page. Other examples include leave intent pop-ups for courses, guides and surveys.

It’s important to remember not to enable more than one pop-up on the same page as this will ultimately destroy the user experience and users could click away rather than clicking to convert. Caution must also be exercised on mobile devices – a ‘non-intrusive overlay’ that only displays half the pop-up so that it can easily be dismissed is advised.

Website conversions are the Holy Grail. Persuading visitors to perform one of the actions needed to fulfil a goal for your website is a win every time and tracking those wins will help you to understand what’s working and what’s not. What’s important is to act on your analytics – if something isn’t working, try something else until it does work. The best-performing websites aren’t static, they evolve.

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