Category: Web Analytics

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SEO tips for planning your recruitment website – how to build a sitemap

By Peter Morrow   January 12, 2021  

A website sitemap is critical to great recruitment website design. A sitemap is a file with a list of all the web pages accessible on your site, visible to both users and the crawler bots that search engines use to trawl and index site information.

Just as a map gives you directions to where you’re going, with an ‘X’ marking the destination, a sitemap does the same for a search engine, directing it to the available information on your site, and making it a simpler process to understand the details available on each page. The search engine can then begin to ‘learn’ how to index your site, before ranking it according to searcher intent. The bigger the site, the more useful a sitemap.

To give you an idea, here is an image of how a sitemap could be visualised.

Visual example of a sitemap

Visual example of a sitemap

So, how can you start conceptualising your website with a sitemap in mind to help with SEO?

 

1) Clarify the purpose of your website

What are you aiming to achieve, and who is your target audience? You’re almost certainly already doing this, whether through your use of content or through your business’s LinkedIn profile, pitching yourself and your company with a specific image in mind. But approaching this from the purpose of a sitemap will help outline your calls to action as a business, and the CTAs the search engine will focus on.

 

2) Crawler bot pace

A well-organised sitemap will be easier for a crawler bot to read through, speeding up your appearance on search engines. But it’s a win-win situation, as a good sitemap will make for a happier bot too, making it more likely to rank you highly. Reverse Delta will always send a text version of the sitemap to Google anyway as best practice.

 

3) Site architecture

As recruitment website design experts, we at Reverse Delta know how to craft an optimised site that will fulfil your needs. But a great sitemap helps us optimise your site’s architecture from the ground up, leading to a smoother experience overall for everyone.

 

4) Avoid unindexed pages

Unindexed pages put simply, are those that can’t be found by a search engine. There are legitimate reasons to create unindexed pages, but for your purposes this is unlikely. An HTML sitemap means that the crawler bots can index and search your entire site, leaving no stone unturned.

 

5) Strong internal linking

Don’t just link to pages from the menu; also use “signposts” (eg icons, buttons or text links) on other pages, and text links (bonus points for having your keywords here) so there are multiple routes to your content.

 

6) Have an XML sitemap too

Google (and other search engines) like these - they’re not really for humans. Your web people can help here. Make sure they include links to your jobs.

 

7) Identify room for improvement

A good sitemap won’t just improve what’s already great about your site and your brand. It can help you see where there might still be work to be done — a dead-end here, a content-scarce section there, unclear CTAs (Call To Action) over here. Having a map doesn’t just show you a direction — it can show you where not to go as well.

 

8) Spread the word

Too easy to just leave it hanging there. Now to tell the bots. Get your sitemap submitted to the obvious places. Google’s Search Console, sure, but don’t forget Bing’s power - it’s often built into the ‘default’ service on all Windows devices, so their console counts.

 

So if you’re thinking about building a website for your recruitment firm, why not spend a few minutes drawing out a likely sitemap and structuring how your site might look.

 

Feel free to get in touch with us to find out more about how we can help build your website here.

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Love is in the air: the similarities between your recruitment agency website and modern dating!

By Rachel Allen   February 14, 2020  

Love is well and truly in the air at “Reverse Delta HQ,” so we thought we’d embrace Valentine’s Day with a little trip down memory lane and talk about how we first started out as web developers over 18 years ago.

You might not know, but in the early days, Reverse Delta was the web developer for one of the largest dating sites in the country. The work that we did to create highly complex algorithms for the dating sites was actually very similar to the work in creating algorithms for our award-winning recruiter website platform FXRecruiter.  Turns out that the techniques to match potential daters and potential candidates with employers can be pretty similar!

So, although we’ve moved on from our early days of dating site development, we thought it would be a bit of fun to pull together a blog which shows the common dating terms for 2020 and how your recruitment agency website can help you to navigate the complex world of both dating and recruitment!

Benching - ‘keeping a potential love interest on the bench, just in case.’

The Jobs Archive function in FXRecruiter keeps candidates ‘on the bench.’ This isn’t as horrible as it sounds from a dating perspective - the Jobs Archive function simply means that older jobs can still remain visible to Google so may come up in a candidate’s Google search, but although they won’t be able to apply, they will be instead alerted to similar roles.  So, you’re driving traffic to your website and increasing applications without needing to do much!

Breadcrumbing - ‘keep in occasional contact but with no desire to meet.’

By integrating your recruitment agency website with one of FXRecruiter’s many integrations, you can send any passive candidates updates about your recruitment agency and helpful content such as job search tips or industry/sector news via a blog or newsletter.  This way, you’re keeping your pipeline of candidates engaged on the off-chance that the ideal job will come up.

Ghosting/Haunting/Orbiting - ‘ignoring a love interest, continuing to watch them on social media, or interacting with their posts but not engaging in direct communication.’

All of these, from a dating perspective, are very harsh and we’d advise all recruitment agencies to set up a way to make sure you can quickly and effectively thank people for the time in applying for a role and (permissions dependant) ensuring that they know we can keep in touch with them, either via your social media platforms or through email.  By engaging with candidates in this way, you’re keeping them active on your database for when the ideal job comes along.

Ghosting candidates is a terrible thing to do, so we make sure our websites are built to provide a brilliant candidate experience. We’ve built in a bunch of features to automate some of this work, so that you are keeping in touch with candidates as much as you can during the application process. Failing to keep your candidates engaged or if they have a bad experience with you is potentially very damaging to your recruitment agency’s reputation.

Cushioning - ‘keeping in touch with a love interest in case of a break-up.’

From a dating perspective, this means keeping in touch with somebody other than your chosen partner ‘just in case’ the relationship ends.  Given that a third of new hires leave within six months, it is perhaps worth keeping in touch with the ‘second best’ candidate just in case your placed candidate leaves (you can then re-interview them).  Again, use your CRM and social media to keep these candidates engaged by offering them valuable content to help them with their career, so that your agency is front of mind for them.

See also ‘benching’ above - make sure you’ve got decent candidates on the bench and use your digital tools to keep them engaged.

Catfishing - ‘creating a whole new identity in order to start a relationship.’

A good recruiter will be able to spot a dodgy CV a mile off. But, FXRecruiter can help to provide consultants with top-quality profiles because candidates can apply for roles using their social accounts.  A LinkedIn profile is likely to be more accurate as it’s visible to all of a candidate's connections, making ‘catfishing’ much harder in recruitment!

So, now you have the number of ways that your recruitment agency website can support the recruitment process using modern-day dating analogies.

In all seriousness, the algorithms that you create for both dating agencies and recruitment agencies have a number of similarities:

The commodity is actually people’s personal data, so it needs to be kept ultra-safe
The search criteria your daters are looking for is similar to recruiters - location, salary, whether they are looking for something ‘permanent or temporary!’
You might look at a particular job advert or dating profile and whilst they might not quite hit the mark, it’s useful to have other suggestions, based on similar data which again, both dating sites and recruitment sites should be able to handle.

If you think Reverse Delta could be your perfect match of recruitment agency website designer, we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with one of our recruitment tech experts on 08000 199737 or sales@reversedelta.com.

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Responsive required?

By Steve Riley   February 16, 2015  
Last week we tweeted about the shift in expectations amongst website users about the way sites should respond intelligently to the device they're using. Sites that do this well are called Responsive Websites — crafting the layout to provide for an optimal viewing experience, across a range of devices, from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones, via tablet and laptop.We believe responsive websites are no longer ‘nice to have’ and should now be considered essential. Users expect more from a contemporary design. It may demand extra code for the developers and require more care to produce, but the statistics tell a compelling story. On our own site for the most recent month, 15% of traffic comes from mobile and tablet users. If we don’t cater well for these visitors we’re effectively turning away 1 in 7 potential clients. Nobody in their right mind would do that would they?But read on. But WAIT… Looking at the Google Analytics we manage for our own clients, the figures are far more dramatic. For a fairly arbitrary selection of six clients, we see that between 28–65% of visitors are coming to the site from non-traditional (mobile or tablet) devices.The figures tend to be higher for our recruitment agency clients. Thinking about how people job hunt, they're more likely to be using their own connection in working hours than the corporate network.One recent recruiter shows an astounding 63% of visitors using mobiles, iPads and other tablets. The client wasn't sure they needed a responsive site, but a quick look at the figures demonstrated this was critical for them. This was a repeat client for us and we already knew their visitor demographic from the analytics, so this showed the absolute necessity for a responsive new site. Google loves mobile Do a search on your mobile (any search you like, we're not trying to rig the results).Notice how the first page of results shows ‘Mobile-friendly’ sites first? That alone, should be reason enough to use a responsive site for your business.The SEO benefits are massive.The user experience (UX) of a site is now a key ranking factor for Google, so if you're not giving careful thought for your users and their devices, you'll be down the rankings. Sanity check How do you know how well you're performing at the moment? Use a handy tool like responsinator to check what your current site looks like right now on different devices. Are you satisfied with the results?As the screen space available increases more of the home page can fit on the screen and the layout can make sensible choices about which elements to render and where.  Goodbye to 'above the fold'? An interesting by product of the move towards mobile friendly sites is that vertical scrolling is no longer seen as the sin it once was. You still need to tickle people’s interest with rich, interesting content high up the screen, and guide them with prompts to drill-down to content further down the page. But the once overwhelming urge to get everything ‘above the fold’ simply isn't an issue.Users expect to scroll now, simple as that. Some sites have almost gone full circle and back to a very simple graphical, ‘landing area’ (not the same as the dreaded ‘CLICK TO ENTER’ landing page from the early days!). All the good stuff off the page is reached from the landing area, either from menus or in-page links.  Conclusion We believe making a site responsive should be high on your list of requirements for any new site. Depending on your niche, it might be critical. Keep an eye on your analytics to see where existing traffic is coming from. The proportion coming from mobiles and tablets is only ever going to rise in our view.For another view Dave Bancroft compared the pros and cons of mobile vs responsive sites in an earlier post.

Cookie Compliance and Implied Consent

By Dave Bancroft   September 4, 2012  
More sites are starting to add functionality in order to become compliant with the "Cookie Law" that is now in effect.  Early solutions that sought "Explicit Consent" (as per compliance with original ICO guidelines) are now being overtaken by "Implied Consent" solutions, due to an 11th hour change by the ICO in the guidelines, (download) . They say "Implied consent is certainly a valid form of consent but those who seek to rely on it should not see it as an easy way out or use the term as a euphemism for “doing nothing......it would still be necessary to follow the steps set out in the Information Commissioner’s existing guidance. ...For implied consent to work there has to be some action taken by the consenting individual from which their consent can be inferred. This might for example be visiting a website, moving from one page to another or clicking on a particular button. The key point, however, is that when taking this action the individual has to have a reasonable understanding that by doing so they are agreeing to cookies being set." With this in mind, we now have developed an alternate to our "explicit consent" solutions, to cater for clients who want an "implied consent" solutions. Fingers crossed that the ICO don't have any more changes of interpretation in the pipeline.

Cookie Law – Are you ready?

By Dave Bancroft   May 14, 2012  
On the 26th May 2012, legislation comes into effect that require companies with websites to ensure that user consent is obtained to store non "essential use" cookies on their PC. The onus falls upon the owners/operators of websites to ensure compliance and at the current estimate is expected to cost business in the UK £10bn to implement. Obviously, in this climate, this is a burden that most companies could well do without and like many in the industry, ever since we heard about the law we've been waiting for a clear and concise directives from the ICO (Information Commisioners Office) but even so close to the deadline, clarity is the one thing missing in all this. (More general information on this topic can be found at the ICO here - http://www.ico.gov.uk/for_organisations/privacy_and_electronic_communications/the_guide/cookies.aspx) In general cookies will fall into two categories:essential - which are exempt (job / shopping baskets) non-essential - fall under these regulations (tracking & analytics cookies)With our FXRecruiter recruitment websites, we feel the vast majority of cookies used fall into the "essential use" category and thus would be exempt. However, there is one cookie that a huge number of sites use and will soon fall under the "non-essential" category, is the cookie used for Google Analytics (GA).  As this GA cookie is used on millions of websites, there is a major concern about this legislation and there are ongoing discussions about how this can be resolved without the cost to UK business, which up to now have yielded little help from the ICO. In fact in one of their earlier updates several months ago, they state that analytics cookies are well down on their list of priorities for action: "Although the Information Commissioner cannot completely exclude the possibility of formal action in any area, it is highly unlikely that priority for any formal action would be given to focusing on uses of cookies where there is a low level of intrusiveness and risk of harm to individuals.”So there, in a nutshell is the problem.  Google Cookies are "non-essential", thus consent must be gained before storing them on a users PC. But hey - if you don't then we are unlikely to fine you.  Confused ?  Join then masses. How do I become compliant? Firstly, as the onus of the regulation falls onto the site owner, we strongly urge you to review the regulations at the ICO site and  ensure that the requirements are met. If you are unsure about them, take appropriate legal advice. We can advise on technical issues only and are not legal advisers. We do have a solution for our FXRecruiter sites that we can discuss individually with our clients and depending on their legal advice.  For other bespoke sites then clients can approach us for advice. There are also other solutions out there on offer which a Google search should find and we can advise you on the best way to integrate with your site should you be advised to display an option to site users. Watch this space...

What kind of website are you??

By Dave Haygarth   November 3, 2011  
It sounds a bit of a strange question but users expect different things from different websites.  If you're a blog then people need to feel like they have landed on a blog when they get to your site.  A recruitment company should feel like a recruitment company website, and an e-commerce online shop should deliver certain things too. It seems daft to even suggest it, but getting your architecture and navigation right is one of the first steps in defining a website design (or even selecting a bought or free template).  There are many good examples of working navigation out there - and everyone has their favourite, but this article on the Web Designer Depot site shows the subtle art of getting the navigation right. Twinned with that, heat maps and analytics can show (indeed can prove) navigation and layout tweaks work (or don't work) well Does your site work well?

UK Traffic to Twitter increased 22-fold in last 12 months – 30th biggest source of traffic to other sites

By Dave Haygarth   July 28, 2009  
According to Hitwise, "the leader in online competitive intelligence", traffic to Twitter.com has grown by a massive 22 times in the last 12 months, with 93% of that growth occurring in 2009. This is amazing growth for such a new site and to be applauded. Interestingly, for web marketeers, Twitter is now the 30th biggest source of traffic to sites - driven by people posting links in their tweets (Twitter messages). We are seeing a lot of traffic to our sites from Twitter and strongly recommend including it in the online marketing mix. In the recruitment sector we have been feeding our recruitment clients jobs to Twitter both by using RSS feeds built into our FXRecruiter e-recruitment website system and also by sending XML feeds to Workhound who use them in their TwitterJobSearch site. If you are a recruiter and are interested in feeding your jobs to Twitter and also to the other job search engines (including Indeed, Trovit, SimplyHired) then get in touch!

Reverse Search Engines

By Dave Haygarth   March 9, 2009  
Due to our company name "Reverse Delta" and the fact that we do a lot of "Search Engine Optimisation" work, our web analytics show a lot of people landing on our site for the search term "reverse search engine" (which we are at #1 in Google for).I really wish we had one, as I'm sure we could sell a lot of copies!I think what people are actually looking for are what are termed "keyword analysis tools" -- I think they want to find out what keywords people use to find things, so that they can optimise their websites for these phrases, and these tools are very useful in finding related terms.The lesson here is that looking at your web analytics is a great way to find out what people are looking for. It can help you decide what areas of your site require further optimisation, and also areas that you could in fact focus more on.For keyword research, we recommend free tools from Google (this is intended for AdWords users but also works well for SEO), and also the paid for service from WordTracker.For web analytics, we recommend the free Google Analytics software.If you need any help or advice with these, then please feel free to contact us.