How to build online presence for your recruiting agency (with examples and action plan)
Hi guys! I spent past month and a half working with the recruiting agency, helping them with their marketing strategy and, together with them, we wanted to share our experience with you to help you build your own online presence.
Before I jump into it, allow me to explain why I decided to work with OMNES. Omnes Group is an IT, tech and digital talent acquisition agency which help companies and job seekers meet faster. They are a small team in which everyone cares about each other. That inspired them to really care about their customers, so they created their own paying model, Pay per Stay.
“Traditional agencies operate on pay-per-hire basis, which makes recruiters do whatever it takes for you to make a hire. When you make a hire, we then invoice our fee on a monthly basis over a maximum period of 12 months. And if talent leaves? We hope not, but in that case — we just stop invoicing.” ~ Nevena Sofranic, Omnes Group
And that inspired me to work with them!
We’ve started with Google’s explanation on how to add links to your site. Well, Google made it pretty easy:
- be interesting
- be relevant
Then we stated some obvious ways recruiting agency can do it.
Join the Community: LinkedIn is the most popular when it comes to your niche and it’s easiest to get to the relevant people and help them. Regardless of the form in which you decide to help, make sure that someone from your company offers your insight into a particular problem, solution and leaves your link. The more respected you are in the online community, it is more likely that people will connect to your website.
Original content: Be interesting, whether it’s a funny story, advice, unique offers, original research.. Anything that suits your style or your mood. I mean, why would someone want to listen to you? What do you have to offer?
Newsletter: Do you expect from anyone you know to wake up every day and ask if they need employees? Of course not. Notify them easily via the Newsletter and RSS Feed. If you’re already using it, make it easier for people to sign up.
Social media: Participating on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram or Facebook can be another great way to build links. Think about where people spend their time. Getting to know these people can be worthwhile, not just for creating links!
Blog: “Establish yourself as an authority. There is no excuse that companies don’t have a blog these days. Just build it as a source of good articles! Another good example is creating “how to” tutorials.” ~ Matt Cutts, Google
This was just the beginning!
If we have backlinks, how can we actually check if the backlink is relevant?
- How relevant is the website for your website?
- How unique is the content on the website?
- When is the website created?
That’s the criterion.
Knowing which links are relevant, we need to work on creating links that lead to your site. But how you can do that?
There are different ways to do it, but most of them can be time-intensive.
Writing is the key to creating links that lead back to your website. Providing quality information — including the link to your website in that information — is important when you try to increase the effectiveness of the “off-page”.
We came up with strategies for creating this information and links:
- Writing articles
If you have an option to write, then writing articles about the recruiting industry or, more specific, about your special recruiting niche (like recruiting for companies that hire remote) for other websites is a great way to improve off-page SEO. Just remember to insert a link to your website at the end of the article.
Not only you can write for other websites and publications, but you can also write for your own website. Just remember to be consistent in writing when it comes to timing and topics.
- Social Media participation
Linking your website to social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter can help you get better rankings.
Often, it will happen that people and companies that mention you and your brand don’t link back to you.
We created a Guide to using unlinked brand mentions for link building!
I often use third-party tools and Google to discover websites. Here are some advanced search commands that are regularly used to uncover the inconsistent branding.
- Use Fresh Web Explorer and Google to find new brand references
If you haven’t checked Fresh Web Explorer, you need to. This is a gold mine to find information about the websites that mention your brand. Put -domainain.com in Fresh Web Browser along with your brand and you can find websites that mention you but don’t link back to you. FWE allows advanced search commands.
- It’s not just a brand as a keyword
In order for your searches to work, you need to find other keywords that will be on the page where the brand is mentioned when it is not linked. For example, OMNES couldn’t just use “omnes” or “Omnes group” as a keyword. This is where we had to do a keyword research and come up with different relevant keywords. Consider other words that will be listed on the page next to the brand name that might narrow your search. Don’t forget the long tail keywords.
- Avoid publishing press releases
Often, press releases distributed from one large organization are automatically submitted to the website and can not be edited. Rarely a link in a press release can be obtained. If this is the case, avoid them.
- Create a good pitch message
Why would someone connect with you just because he/she mentioned your brand? Think about it and write a well-designed message. Make sure to use the angle that their visitors could see.
- Create a pitch message that you can not say no
The last step in acquiring an unrelated link is to convince a person at the other end of your email to post this link. You may not know exactly who is responsible for making that decision and all you can do is try the hardest thing — to make it absolutely impossible to say NO to your request.
We needed to find ways so our pitch is the best possible. Here’s what we used:
A website that mentions the company in a positive manner is a green light to achieve the requirement to be connected. Their visitors, when they are interested in reading about a positive mention of the company, might want to find out more. How can they best know more? By clicking the link that directs them to the page. The website is then more useful and this concept can be transferred to the webmaster who is in charge of the site.
Many website owners do not want to redirect traffic from their website, so they suggest they do not link the brand to not open in a new window, etc. You will have a chance to convert that “no” into “yes” if this is their biggest obstacle to add a link.
- Additional value
Another useful angle for this tactic is to provide additional value for the intended recipient of your request. This can come in many forms and requires location assessment and creative thinking.
Example: If there are multiple links on the page, try using a program such as Link Checker Chrome Extension to check all links on a page. If you find broken links, share this information with the website authors and recommend them to fix and include the link by mentioning your site. Provide additional value.
- Update Records
Authors, webmasters, and editors don’t always have the time to dedicate to maintain their location in the top of the search with updated information. Asking these individuals to update the website is the can work for your strategy. If the brand name is incorrect, it gives information that is obsolete, so ask them to update their information. Even if everything is ok you can only request that they update their data so your URL is correct. In any case, you may get a link.
Important Yes and Important No
- Avoid the word “link”
You can always refer to a hyperlink as a link when talking about it with your link building associates, but for some people, the “link” seems to be synonymous with spam. Include phrases such as “mentioning our site”, “our site’s reference” or “adding our website”. It looks much better than the word “link”.
- Offer additional information
If they are not convinced, at first, that unlinked mentioning is relevant, tell them that they can ask you for more information in your initial message.
- Avoid using templates
Add some personalization and reduce the risk of your approach appears too “robotic”.
- Return after a few days
People don’t answer all emails, but sometimes they do. Often, there is a live interaction, but the email response never arrives. So — follow up until death. :)
- Do not always accept not for the answer
Try to get the best idea of where “no” is coming from when someone refuses to place your link. Answer with the valid reason why your link should be added.
- Expand the possibility of a possible partnership with the site you contact
Valid sites with high authority can search for additional writers or experts. Even if they say no to your link, see if there are other options that will result in a link.
Another link building tactic can be using unrelated brand references.
Here’s how it goes.
This is a tried and true method for building links that many veterans and journalist have built.
- The “Best” or “Top”
Lists are usually performing well, for starters, but when you mark the best in a specific topic, the results, in terms of input links, may be incredible.
Creating a list of the top 10, 20, 100, etc. specific people, places, or things is a great way to create valuable content that other people will probably link to — especially when you know that in many cases people who are responsible for marketing of people, places, or things in your list are likely to write blog posts regularly and are more than eager to connect with you.
The best recruitment podcasts from 2017
The latest recruitment blogs from 2017
The best recruiting experts you need to monitor on Twitter
9 best recruiting tools for agencies working in the ICT
Once you publish your post, be sure to contact the people/companies mentioned and notify them, because they can’t connect to it if they don’t know about it.
Even better, do it in advance while you are still planning and writing a post.
2. Publish the Ultimate Resource List for your industry
I want to be clear when I say “ultimate resource list” — I’m not just thinking of another bland post that covers the same 10–20 resources that everyone has already blogged to death, but a comprehensive list of everything that anyone in your industry should ever need, together with comprehensive descriptions for each item, and, where applicable, images.
When you click on the release of this mammoth list, it should be flawlessly formatted, categorized categorically, and contain content with the possibility that people jump from topic to topic.
Some industries specific to recruiting that you might need to include are:
Licensing, management and regulatory bodies
Laws related to your industry
Schools / educational resources
Politicians/legislators involved in the ICT industry
Top YouTube channels
Employees/personnel who specialize in the ICT industry
Events in the industry
Facebook / LinkedIn Groups
For most industries, this list type could be an article of 5,000 words and since it is more than just a list of links because you have invested time and effort to write comprehensive descriptions for each item, most people will simply link to you instead of trying to create their lists.
The beauty of this tactic is that most of the sites today are built in WordPress, you will not need to do anything because most of the websites included in your list will be notified that you have a link that leads to them. But you still need to ask them to add a link to your resource list on their website.
3. Organize an event
Who doesn’t love the party? :)
The event hosted by your company is a great way for local media and targeted companies to speak between each other and about you and to link to your website!
The event can be hosted in your office, or elsewhere, as long as it is convenient for you. The key here is to make sure that the event has a purpose and that it is useful not only for you but for participants and organizations associated with the event. In fact, linking events with other high profile organizations is an important step, because the event also helps in promotion. Compliance with a local humanitarian organization or the promotion of good things is also a good way to involve local media.
Omnes is already doing great things here with IT Girls, where the idea is to create the enviroment in which we can explore the cause of a small number of female IT professionals, popularize the interest among adolescents, and encourage women to be professionally involved in this industry. Amazing, righ?
You will still have to work hard to earn these links after events, and, due to unique nature of this tactic, it should include a press release.
4. To do something that is really a novelty
The days of submitting press releases for link building are over, but press releases are still a powerful way to build links. If it seems like a contradiction, that’s because I’m talking about two completely different approaches to link building. This difference is subtle but critical because one works and the other is a total waste of time.
An outdated approach to using the media release for link building relies on links that are embedded in the press release only. Today, this is largely ineffective, as press releases mostly use nofollow links, making them less effective for SEO, and Google algorithmically devalues this tactic.
The appropriate approach to the use of public relations releases to build links is based on the fact that they are actually devoted to attention, and then publish them so that other publications will write and connect with them. When you do this, the number of links you potentially can earn is exponentially higher.
5. Care for relationships with editors, journalists, and associates
The key is to identify journalists and associates who are not only in your niche, but who seem to match you as a person. Then start by becoming worthy of them:
Link to their content
Engage in social media comments
Help solve their problems whenever possible
You will soon form an army of people capable and willing to help you with the efforts in link building. It’s important that you do not become authorized or use these people, because it makes you a terrible person and because you will destroy a valuable channel to build connections.
6. Write about complementary products/services
It may be difficult to earn quality links because it seems that many of the most relevant linking options are your competitors and probably are not eager to link to your website.
Many people have missed a tremendous opportunity because they are so busy looking for characters from sites that offer exactly what they do, and who never try to search for links from sites that offer products/services that are complementary to theirs.
This is a huge mistake because it’s usually much easier to make links to these sites. The key is focusing on products/services that play an integral role in the use of your products/services.
Creating this content is only half the equation because, in order to find out about it, people need you behind products/services that will know it exists. Outreach plays a key role in this tactic but ideally should happen before you make the content because you will want to make sure that these people will be interested in connecting.
7. Be a guest on the appropriate podcasts
Many podcasts have a website where each episode is published, along with shows that often include links to their guests’ sites.
Since most podcasts are constantly looking for interviewing experts, this is a relatively easy way to earn relevant, quality links.
You’ll just have to compile a list of relevant podcasts, make sure they include a transcript of a getaway or a link with a link back to the site (s), say you want to link from your site to them, then contact the host.
8. Or start your own podcast
Starting your own podcast is a great way to get to more audience, but it’s also an opportunity to get links by being included in articles with podcasts and/or individual episodes.
To make this effective, you’ll need to create incredible content and share your podcast in some way or ideally in several ways to give people a reason to connect with you.
This could include the firm focus on a particular niche, a unique skill, or a particular background, such as a military veteran, a religious leader, or a former professional sports athlete.
9. Become the ones that others want to link to
Do you accept posts on your website? You should, because besides potentially getting great content for free, it also means that other link builder will also need some of you, which gives you a great opportunity to ask them to connect to some of the great content on your website.
When you receive the following email from someone who wants to post a guest post on your site, take a few minutes to find a post on your website that is relevant to the content of your site and ask them to include a link. Since they just asked you to do something, they will probably include your link in their content.
10. Publish unique data that is difficult to find
The key is to bypass raw data and offer your own insight, completely unique. This is a critical step because data can be copied independently and rarely any context is given. There should be an opinion of experts, like you.
Let’s put this into action:
Use a social networking strategy and create a contact
Write great titles to describe the content of your browser and appeal to people looking for content
The keyword optimizes content to easily find people in search results — use keywords
Follow the rules for perfect writing
Use attractive images to illustrate content; images are also listed in the search engines, and can also be used for link building (especially pay attention to the size of feature photos)
Create a link building team within your organization!
In a case of companies like OMNES, people often say that the biggest struggle is finding time and resources for link building. They are a small hard-working team. What can they do about it? And what can you do about it?
Instead of hiring a new team member to help you build SEO and links, you may have more success (and gain more value) by finding time for your team members to do it.
These individuals will be able to spend an hour or two each week explicitly spending on link building, or you will be able to get to know them with concepts and help them build links in their regular activities.
As a regular activity, this includes hosting at conferences, writing blog posts on current topics and current events from the profession and related activities, and through this linkage. Practically, as a recruiting agency, you have the ability to do real, natural link building, which is also the best — through socializing, sharing, exchanging ideas, linking with others and turning real-life connections into the right links.
In addition, when posting job ads on other sites (if you do so), type something like learn more about Omnes and link to About Us, for example. For the tools you use on a daily basis — ask these companies whether they will write a testimonial or case study. If you organize events or help someone, don’t be satisfied simply by helping — think about the links. :)
Also, if you have a need for a plumber who is brilliant in what he is doing, he has a website, connect. It’s not just your niche.
I hope this helped you to have a clearer picture of how you can create links?
Now that we know how you can get links, what else can you do to improve your online presence, provide value and be noticed?
Let’s talk about creating content, promoting it on different platforms and helping your clients and followers.
- Create content that is relevant to job seekers
Once you understand what your target audience values, it’s easier to develop content that attracts them. Did you already try something and it worked? What was that? If you didn’t try much, experiment. Try different types of content so you can find out what’s working and what’s not working.
Since you are a recruitment company, my assumption is that you want to create a highly targeted content and think like your audience. What I found is that companies like Omnes usually split their audience into two groups: people looking for work and employers. Each segment has drastically different needs, but the solution to any problem is the same: bring a talented individual into a position that suits his/her skills, passions and experience. Isn’t it?
- How does the content contribute to meeting this need?
By placing your brand as a leader, innovator, resource or all of the above. And that’s what we wanted to do with Omnes — to focus on helping people by solving their problems even before they engage with the brand!
Let’s go through the scenario: The job seeker wants to know how to arrange his CV, so he searches using the phrase “best CV format” and finds an article on your website explaining the best practices. This brief, automated interaction instantly creates a positive experience and is the first step towards developing the brand’s trust.
So, that should be the first step. To solve people’s basic problems through content.
Blog is a tool that can help you build brand perceptions. It should attract new companies and generate potential leads. “How to” articles are ideal for positioning as an industry leader. You should be segmenting your blog into categories for job seekers and employers.
White Papers: A long, well-researched document is the perfect format for B2B marketing. It’s a great platform to show the value of your business. Setting up white paper behind a form on the site is an effective way to generate potential leads and grow your email list
Ebooks: The Best Option for Targeted Content. You can use the ebook format to publish career guidance, best practices in employment, statistical analysis, and more. Plus, they are equally easy to be read on the desktop and from the phone
Infographics: Suitable for strategic thinking on statistical information. Use visual content in the form of infographics to quickly explain employment trends, use cost analysis, and share job search tips with relevant readers. Brand colors and customized visuals are a great way to show your company style.
Video: Video is a fantastic way to build an agency brand and connect with your target audience at a deeper level. Snapshots put a face on the name that can help increase brand loyalty. You can also convert blogs and infographics into short videos. Each time you develop a new piece of content, you will need to align it with the basics of your brand, ensuring that it tells the right niche audience and uses the correct language to be noticed online. While your content can live on the site, companies should expand your reach using social networks.
Use social media to reach various segments of your audience. I recommend LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
LinkedIn is perhaps the most obvious choice. Social media help people looking for work to see and connect with potential employers. Companies also retain the presence on the website to filter potential employees during the recruitment process. Posting content on LinkedIn is a great way to get it in front of a wider audience. As for posts on LinkedIn, use it as a personal blog, literally. Talk about your everyday experiences, like when you were writing in notebooks when you were small. Or you watched movies how others did it. :) Use personal profiles for that. If you are creating an ebook or you’re speaking at events, upload the presentation on the Slideshare, for example.
As a recruiting agency, you certainly know more about how you use LinkedIn that I do. Anyway, you can find HERE LinkedIn Hacks and Tactics which will help you get noticed — in case you need it.
Facebook is great for highlighting your customer service, showing case studies and promoting lifestyle articles. That would be my focus on Facebook.
1. Case studies — showing ways to apply for a job, how to behave in the interview, all those questions, how to find the agency — topics for companies, presenting processes, establishing Omnes as a relevant employment company in a particular niche.
2. Customer service — getting in touch with the audience, potential customers. Get the whole service closer to people who can look for a job, or search for it, as well as companies.
Let me explain something that is often forgotten: People are on LinkedIn as Dr. John, as the CEO of the Company, but they are John Markovich on Facebook and @markovitch on Twitter. You’re getting what I want to say? Connect with potential clients on LinkedIn, then see what they like and write on Facebook and Twitter and use it. I’m talking about potential companies as future clients.
3. Lifestyle articles — bring people closer to remote jobs not only through stories about remote jobs and positions but also through the lifestyle of people working remotely. Give people a chance to see the whole story, the big picture!
Instagram and Pinterest are visual platforms that are great for sharing infographics, custom illustrations, comic memes and more. It’s not about sharing only job offers and seriousness. Through graphical solutions, you can achieve a lot and get remote work, developers, the ICT community closer to everyone. Omnes will become a synonym for remote work in ExYu countries! And why shouldn’t they?
Instagram is bigger than Facebook today. Type in remote work and you will see how many posts are there. e. I did not write about Pinterest because people do not use this platform so much in ExYu countries. Put a link to the ebook in bio and dedicate the entire communication on Instagram to invite people to visit the link in the bio section, download the ebook, subscribe, and then you can send them job listings, articles, whatever. They are yours.
YouTube is perfect for creating a single useful video channel, ranging from five-minute Q & A sessions to up-to-30-minute depths in specific topics.
Twitter because it is the only platform in which you can communicate directly with anyone. I know people say Twitter is dead, but that’s not true, especially in Serbia. There are people who talk daily about jobs, remote work, all topics covered by Omnes.
Find dissatisfied people and connect with them. Don’t post only your content, don’t talk only about yourself, don’t retweet only your partner’s content. Give value.
Regardless of the social platforms you choose, be consistent with your branding and how often you post. Sporadic posts with long breaks give the impression that your brand is sporadically committed to communicating with people. Readers expect a constant flow of content.
Our long-term goals is to make sure that when people search for anything related to remote jobs, they find Omnes with relevant answers to their questions and needs.
What would be the next step after this?
Conversions and further personalization of the website, content, and communication, as well as the marketing automation.
That’s where the company I work for comes up. We’re focused on marketing automation, website personalization and conversions! We’re creating the way to help your customers choose their own way to buy your service/product!
In today’s world, where customers are the ones deciding if your business is going up or down, it’s huge!
I repeat customers are the ones who decide your destiny, so your business and your marketing have to be customers-first!
We’re giving you the fastest way to scale your business using lead generation, marketing automation, and website personalization. By creating unique communication flows for your customers in their customer’s journey, we’ll first identify them as leads, guide them through the buying process and lead them to become your brand ambassadors. By using personalization on your website we can adapt your message to your client’s needs and lower your acquisition cost up to 50%. This will get you more clients within existing budget!
p.s. originally published here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-build-online-presence-your-recruiting-agency-nemanja-zivkovic