The early years
The dot-com bust had left me a little battered and bruised, and after a bit of time off on a once-in-a-lifetime round the world trip, I returned, energised and ready for my next chapter. I didn’t feel like going back to being a development manager, and didn’t really feel like working for anyone else. So I started Reverse Delta, as many do, in the spare bedroom.
In the early years I was very hands-on: designing, developing and search engine optimising sites from scratch. There weren’t many tools available, just Dreamweaver and Flash. How times have changed: you wouldn’t dream of creating a website from scratch anymore: you’d likely start with something like WordPress or Wix. Similarly, you probably wouldn’t look for a generic web designer, but a specialist in your sector. I’ve lost count of the times clients have come to us having been let down by a web developer/nephew/friend’s daughter who’s now “doing something else” and can’t help with your hacked/broken site. The web has become such an important tool for businesses that our market has fragmented. If you want a recruitment site and have any nous, you will go with a recruitment website specialist, who knows your sector and can work with the other suppliers within it, so your website can be part of that eco-system. You’d also, I suggest, want to know that someone is supporting you after go live.
The SEO years
We did a lot of SEO in the recruitment industry in the early 2000’s, when very few people knew what SEO stood for, never mind how it could affect their business. We came from a background of doing the same for online shops and dating sites. We had some great early successes, with clients number one in Google for competitive phrases like ‘digital marketing jobs’ and ‘secretarial jobs in London’. As a consequence, clients were able to reduce their reliance on job board ads (and we picked up more recruitment clients). How the landscape has changed there too. We were quick to notice the effect Indeed.com and the other aggregators were having on search results. As Google cleaned up its act, got cleverer, and promoted AdWords more and more, job boards were being pushed down the rankings, with the recruitment agencies pushed further below. Rather than seeing this as a threat, we saw it as an opportunity and took to partnering with Indeed and then the other aggregators who entered the market.
Our SEO experience led to the development of our product FXRecruiter. Tired of repeating the same SEO tasks on badly architected websites, we developed a blueprint which from our extensive experience we knew would work. Everything we knew about SEO was ‘baked in’ to that first version, and we have been building on it ever since. My views on SEO have changed dramatically over the years. Just as many of our competitors were starting to jump on the SEO bandwagon, we stepped back. I firmly believe that if you need structural/architectural SEO work doing on your website, then you have bought the wrong platform.
Client: Get me to number one in Google.
SEO guy: Of course. ‘ABC Limited recruitment agency of London’ will be number one in Google so people who already know who you are can find you.
Client: Can you research my keywords for me?
SEO guy. Sure. Here’s a big list of job titles. The invoice is in the post.
Client: I want more traffic.
SEO guy: Of course. I’ll stick some pictures of kittens on your site.
Client: You’re fired, I’ll find me another SEO eggspurt
As the web design market has fragmented, so the SEO market has changed. Most are now positioned as ‘content marketers’ or ‘PPC consultants’ and separate to web design companies: it’s a totally different skillset after all. Google’s job is to present the best content for any given search. Your contents are your jobs and your blogs, and these are what will be found if people are searching for them. I don’t think you’d want your web developers writing them, but do create fresh content, or hire a specialist to, and you will be rewarded with visitors. Then work hard on engaging and converting those visitors.
The other sea-change over the past 10 years has been social media: LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook specifically. Syndicating your content while building your networks is all part of the mix. Obsessing about SEO at the expense of other opportunities will waste time and energy. Holistic digital marketing is where it is at.
At Reverse Delta, we aim to improve everything we do, every day, with better processes and best in class tools. We invest heavily in R&D ensuring regular feature releases to keep ahead of our competitors so our clients can keep ahead of theirs. Everything we do is to attract, engage, convert and retain users.
We’ve been doing digital marketing for recruiters for over 13 years now. We’ve designed and developed hundreds of sites for companies big and small. I think we’re really good at it. On the surface some competitor sites may look similar (after all we lead, they follow) but dig deeper and few have the depth and breadth of functionality we’ve got.
We position FXRecruiter as a ‘digital marketing platform’ – it may sound grandiose, but your website is the ‘hub’ of your digital world, with many ‘spokes’ or channels leading to it: emails, job feeds, notifications, adverts and social network posts. FXRecruiter aims to automate as much of this as possible so you can concentrate on adding your own value to your business.
I’m really proud of where we have got too. It’s been a slow-burner but I think that’s worked for us. We are not private-equity backed looking for a quick exit: we care passionately about what we do and are here for the long haul. A lot of our clients have been with us over 10 years, as have many of our staff and I’m as proud of that as anything else. We’re not aiming to take over the world but we’ve been finalists last 3 years in the National Online Recruitment Awards, and will certainly continue to defend our position among the best recruitment website designers.
Recently, we partnered with a leading Global HR software provider with whom we have been working with a number of their global clients on their career sites and digital marketing. We have added full multi-language capability to the FXRecruiter platform and opened up our market to the world. We now support clients in 5 continents, our largest having 55,000 employees.
So what about the next 15 years? Imagine if you could tear down your house, and build it again, from the ground up, without any of its imperfections. Watch this space as we have some very exciting announcements coming very soon.