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How we drove 199% organic traffic growth to our job board in 6 months



Summary:

At Animal Advocacy Careers, we have implemented several SEO strategies to grow our job board organically, which have resulted in a 199% organic traffic increase in 6 months. You can replicate these strategies on any website that features content lists or collections that you update frequently (such as any type of opportunities, news, events or articles).


The strategies we have used are:

  • Increasing the frequency of updates to weekly (more up to date content)

  • Increasing the number of roles on our job board (adding more content)

  • Setting up a specific page for each job role

  • Setting up structured data markup (adding our jobs to Google Jobs)

  • Creating another job board page targeting a different keyword, filtered accordingly (a page specifically for remote animal jobs)

Purpose of this post

My aim is to share these strategies with as many people as possible, enabling you to apply them and foster growth in your own projects/organisations. These techniques are applicable to a wide range of projects and are relatively straightforward to implement.


These strategies are particularly beneficial if you have a website and/or newsletter where you frequently compile and share lists of various items, including:

Context: why we wanted to grow our job board organically

The job board is one of the most important programs at Animal Advocacy Careers as it serves as the primary gateway to our website, with 45% of new users discovering us through this platform. Additionally, it has played a crucial role in connecting candidates with animal advocacy jobs within the movement.


As a relatively new and small organisation, we are prioritising marketing efforts that contribute to long-term, sustainable growth. SEO is an ideal strategy since it enables continuous growth even in the absence of ongoing investment, unlike online advertising, which requires constant spending to drive new traffic.


Jump to topic (type of traffic, channel)

SEO experiments and results (cold traffic, website)

Email updates - frequency and personalisation (warm traffic, email marketing)


SEO experiments and results


Strategies Implemented:

We applied most of these SEO experiments from November 2022 to January 2023, so it is hard to say which one was the most successful - it was likely the combination of all of them.


1. Created specific job description pages for each role

Our job board consisted of a singular page with job opportunities, each linked to the respective role on the hiring organisation's website (external links).


Adding more pages to the job board allowed us to reach a wider audience of people who are not familiar with AAC yet, because:

  • With this change, our website got about ~150 more pages that could be discovered each week on the SERP (search engine results page) ranking for different keywords;

  • More broadly, Google values websites with a higher number of pages/more content, so it helps all of our other pages rank higher too;

  • By creating internal pages on our website instead of linking each role externally, we drastically decreased our bounce rate (which also contributes to SEO);

  • Having a unique page for each role is necessary to be featured on Google Jobs (another strategy we wanted to implement, discussed below).


2. We started updating the job board weekly

We were updating the job board every two weeks before this change. We decided to change to weekly because:

  • We are updating the job board manually. Since we were only reviewing it every other week, a significant number of expired roles accumulated during each period;

  • During the updating process, we came across certain opportunities with imminent application deadlines, and we wanted to ensure our audience wouldn't miss out on potentially beneficial opportunities;

  • We wanted to motivate our audience to visit and apply through our job board every week, emphasising the importance of staying consistent and updated in the job searching process;

  • We asked our audience and a higher number of people replied that they would like to get weekly updates.

3. We expanded the job board with more roles and organisations

We went from ~20 new roles every other week to ~17 new roles every week. This allowed us to reach more organic traffic. With more individual role pages ranking on Google (and more ranking keywords), we have a higher potential to be found by new candidates looking for animal advocacy jobs.


4. We got our jobs on Google Jobs by applying structured data markup

We implemented Google’s job posting structured data for job search on our job board. Because of that, we were able to show our jobs on Google Jobs.



Results (strategies 1 - 4):

Here’s the organic search performance of our job board on Google for the last 12 months. There has been a significant increase since January.

Data from Google Search Console - organic growth of our job board
Data from Google Search Console - organic growth of our job board

So far, we had 12,903 impressions and 538 clicks just from having our jobs featured on Google Jobs.

Data from Google Search Console - search appearance in job listing (538 clicks), job details (139 clicks) and good page experience (58 clicks)

5. We created other job board pages

It’s hard to rank for many different keywords on one page. Because of this, many job boards and aggregators have different pages on their websites with specific filters set up.


For example, Indeed.com has implemented a dynamic strategy that enables them to rank for various keywords associated with the term "jobs." (which doesn’t work ideally for all cases, so be careful with this):

a google search on "crappy jobs" that displays an Indeed result entitled "Crappy Jobs, Employment"

In our case, we tested this by creating a new job board page filtered for remote jobs only: https://www.animaladvocacycareers.org/remote-animal-jobs


Results (strategy 5):

Here are the results of that page only:


Job board search queries for the new page
Job board search queries for the new page

Below are the results containing “remote” for our regular job board page before the new page was implemented. Since then, our average position for almost all related keywords containing “remote” has improved, some of them up to 10+ positions higher. The CTR (click-through-rate) in the keyword “remote animal welfare jobs” has also increased from 5% to 9.9%, because our meta-title and meta-description match better the user’s search query.

Job board search queries - before the new page
Job board search queries - before the new page

All job board pages search performance in the last 3 months:

The specific job board pages count for 23% of impressions and 25% of clicks to our job board. These are pages ranking for their own keywords - even though some are more popular than others, almost all new job pages helped increase our rankings.


Google search data for our main job board page only:



Email updates (frequency and personalisation)


Since we started updating the job board weekly (accompanied by a weekly email and social media post), the total number of users on our job spiked each week. We also had a 13.61% increase in the total monthly “apply” clicks.

Job board spike in page views: from bi-weekly to weekly
Job board spike in page views: from bi-weekly to weekly

Job apply clicks
Job apply clicks

Future strategies: what we’re striving for


Personalised job update emails

We are now implementing personalised job update emails. Our goal is to send weekly job updates to people based on their preferences.


I still don’t have any results to show from this, but wanted to share our simple process to do it:

  1. Create an RSS feed based on our job board page with RSS App

  2. Create different RSS feed URLs for each job category, filtering by keywords at https://siftrss.com/

  3. Set up weekly automated emails on our email marketing tool which supports RSS feeds (e-goi)

What we still don’t have a solution for


Automated scraping of job posts

Currently, we are updating our job board manually. We monitor organisations’ websites and fill out a spreadsheet with the new roles, then import the CSV into a data collection on Wix. This is tied to dynamic pages (the job board page and job description pages), which update automatically when we import the CSV file.


We are looking into ways to make this process automated, by scraping organisation’s websites and feeding the job data into the spreadsheet.


Implement different types of filters on our job board page

With Wix, we could only implement one type of filter: dropdowns. Because of this, users can’t order by deadline or date posted, and some filters don’t work the ideal way. For example, each drop-down option is linked to a word on each job, so when people click on “anywhere”, they would expect roles available in their countries to show (since they’re available anywhere). Unfortunately, this filter will only show roles that have the word “anywhere” on the job location.


Due to limitations with Wix, we were only able to implement dropdown filters on our job board. This restricts our users from being able to order by deadline or date posted, and some filters don't function as ideally as we hoped. For instance, when users clicked on the "anywhere" option, they would expect to see roles available in their countries, assuming it meant positions available anywhere. Unfortunately, the filter only displays roles with the specific word "anywhere" in the job location, leading to potential confusion and mismatches.


Hey - if you can help us with any of these things we’d love to hear from you! :)


I hope this post has provided you with some useful insights and has sparked motivation within you to apply these strategies to your own work. If you decide to give them a shot, I'd love to hear about your process and journey. Don't hesitate to reach out and ask me any questions you may have along the way!


P.S.: You can subscribe to our job board updates newsletter here.

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