Tracking the performance of your recruitment website is vital in order to assess how successful it is in achieving the goals you have set out for it, such as driving traffic, keeping visitors there and converting visits to applications. The results will indicate whether there are any areas for improvement and therefore whether anything needs to be changed. Without analysing web metrics, the marketing strategy for your website is pure guesswork. With solid data into user behaviour and website performance, you can determine what is working and what needs attention, ensuring that the ROI for your recruitment website is as high as possible.
How do you track your website’s metrics? Google Analytics is by far the most popular tool, largely because it is powerful and free to use. It also allows you to track hundreds of metrics but you will probably only want (and have time) to track a handful of the most important stats, those which will enable you to effectively monitor your SEO strategy. Here are our top 10:
1. Website visits
The number of visits your website receives is one of the most crucial metrics to look at. After all, without users visiting your website, it is fairly pointless. You can monitor the number of total visits to your website as well as just the number of new visits. A high number of new users will mean your strategy to attract new candidates and clients is working, whilst returning visors mean that your website is offering enough value to merit revisits. A low percentage of visits to your website is an indication that your SEO needs to be looked at.
2. Bounce rate
Google Analytics defines a ‘bounce’ as “a single-page session on your site”. That is, when a user visits your website but makes no further interaction before leaving. The bounce rate is the percentage of all visits to your site that bounce. You’ll want that percentage to be as low as possible but the rate will also depend on the page it refers to. If it is a page that has been designed to drive traffic to other pages, for example the homepage or the client/candidate pages, a high bounce rate will be more of a problem and needs addressing fairly urgently. In these cases, all possible causes need to be investigated (usability, page load time, lack of relevant content, etc.). However, users may visit the contact page with the express purpose of finding your contact details and in this instance will likely drop off to make that contact.
3. Goal conversions/completions
One of the first things you’ll do when building a new website is create a list of goals for it as your website will be designed around the completion of those goals. Your website’s goals can be set up and monitored from inside Google Analytics so that you can see whether they are being converted. A goal conversion could be, for example, a submitted application, contact form or newsletter subscription. Google Analytics will track the conversion of those goals and log each one so that you can monitor your goal conversion rate and make adjustments where necessary.
4. Visit duration
The average time a visitor spends on a page is a great indicator of how engaged they are with the content. This is especially useful on blog pages to gauge whether people read an article or are bouncing off. If the visit duration on a page is low steps can be taken to increase engagement such as ensuring the content is relevant and interesting, that it is broken into easy-to-digest chunks, and that there is enough visual content. It’s important to note that search engines also use this metric as an indication of the quality of a website page.
5. Most visited pages
The ability to see which pages are receiving the most amount of traffic is incredibly helpful. It will allow you to understand what visitors respond to and engage with and will also pinpoint any important pages that aren’t experiencing the traffic you want them to. For example, if one of the goals for your website is to target both candidates and clients but one page is getting a significantly higher amount of traffic than the other, you can then work on improving the page that is lacking the required amount of traffic.
6. Website load speed
Website page load speed is the amount of time it takes for a user to see the contents of a page and it can affect user experience, bounce rates and brand trust. The longer the page load time, the higher the page abandonment. If a page takes too long to load, you risk a lower average time on page and losing leads as they click away, potentially onto a competitor’s website. Google’s current recommended load time is 2 seconds and your ranking in its results pages will be affected if it is much higher than this. If it is, it’s advisable to look into ways to increase your page speed, for example reducing file sizes and optimising images.
7. Pages indexed and links intact
If any of the pages on your website haven’t been indexed by search engines, they will be incredibly difficult to find. Un-indexed pages will receive no organic traffic and they won’t show up in searches. To index a page Google needs to first discover it by using a web spider to crawl the web. Any new content it finds is then added to the search engine’s index. This makes that page discoverable in search engine queries. It is also important to monitor link quality as broken links on your website can hinder your website’s crawlability.
8. Keywords ranking
Tracking keyword rankings gives you a good indication of the effectiveness of your SEO strategy and whether your keyword selection is satisfactory. If you achieve a higher ranking for one keyword, it usually means that rankings have improved across the board. On the flip side, if other metrics improve but your keyword rankings don’t, this may indicate that those keywords aren’t working for you. In this case, try ranking for a less competitive keyword.
9. Google For Jobs optimisation
Google for Jobs is a free service designed toincrease job post visibility on Google by showing them on the results page. Ensuring you have optimised your jobs for Google for Jobs can drive talent to your website and increase the number of organic applications. All jobs listed on your website should have structured data added to them in order for Google to know that they are job postings and can therefore be found by Google for Jobs.
10. Google Maps check
Adding a Google Maps feature to your contact page is a further way that Google will pick up your business details in searches and is especially useful if you want to target local clients and candidates. When someone searches for a business near their location, they can find results on a map near the top of the results page.
Website analytics will highlight any areas of your website that need attention and it is critical that they are monitored and measured but also learnt from. Your recruitment website marketing strategy should be guided by the results of these metrics. Utilise the information that you garner from the analytics to improve your goal conversion rate and increase your website’s ROI.