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job board subscriptions

How Dynamic Paywalls Boost Job Board Subscriptions

How to use dynamic paywalls to create greater demand for your job board subscriptions program.

When The New York Times announced recently that it was introducing dynamic paywalls as a way to boost subscriber growth, digital publishers sat up and took notice. The decision to alter the user experience depending on where visitors are at in the purchasing funnel is something that has gained popularity over the past year, with publishers like The Wall Street Journal and Hearst Newspapers trying similar tactics.

Dynamic paywalls can lead to significant improvements in conversion rates, and they’re just one strategy The New York Times is adopting as it looks to turn more casual readers into paying subscribers.

Can publishers with job boards benefit from the same tactics? You bet.

Job board subscriptions work slightly differently than newspaper subscriptions. Rather than targeting job seekers, aka general website visitors, publishers selling job board subscriptions target employers and recruiters.

Instead of paying to post listings on an individual basis, employers sign up for subscription programs to place a certain number of listings on the board each month.

Job board subscriptions work like package deals, but often come with extra benefits. For example, companies that subscribe might get discounts with preferred vendors or access to exclusive webinars with insights into how they can improve their listings. Some job board publishers also offer premium listing placement to subscribers who sign up for year-long subscriptions.

Job board subscriptions have become popular among niche publishers, particularly in so-called “prestige” industries, like healthcare and law. The strategy is less common on general interest job boards, since employers could theoretically target those job seekers without having to pay for access.

Publishers have the most success selling their subscription packages when they can demonstrate to employers that their audience is uniquely targeted to a specific demographic or industry. For example, LawJobs.com, a directory for legal professionals, recruiters, and job seekers, boasts that its network reaches 99% of the nation’s largest law firms. Knowing that their listings are going to be seen by qualified legal professionals who are interested in new opportunities, employers are more apt to pay for LawJobs.com subscriptions. The site sells employer packages that range in price from $695 to $995 per month.

Although some job boards prevent non-subscribers from posting any content, that strategy is not as common among today’s publishers as dynamic paywalls or flexible programs. If publishers prevent visitors from posting or viewing any content before signing up, they run the risk of people leaving their sites before they understand the value of the product.

Where is the sweet spot when it comes to paywalls and job board subscriptions?

Strict paywalls sacrifice awareness and audience development for revenue. On the other hand, jobs boards that don’t charge for listings are missing out on a lucrative revenue channel. Dynamic paywalls give publishers an alternative option that sits somewhere in the middle between those two extremes.

The New York Times is hoping that increasing its meter level will cause visitors who’ve been sitting on the sidelines to finally subscribe.

The National Association of Physician Recruiters, non-profit trade organization for professionals in the physician and clinician recruitment industry, offers vendor discounts on job boards and client lists as a benefit to those employers who subscribe.

Another healthcare-focused publisher, HospitalRecruiting.com, gives employers the option to choose from single-use or subscription advertising packages. Employers who sign up for HospitalRecruiting.com’s job board subscriptions can add and remove jobs freely on the site, but it does require a three-month initial commitment.

Encouraging job seekers to subscribe to a job board is generally a more difficult task, especially if the subscription comes with a high price tag. Nonetheless, there are a number of job boards out there that have been successful with this strategy. Usually, these job boards give online visitors free access to a certain number of basic listings, but they require subscriptions for more detailed information, like the name of the company or contact details for the hiring manager. Paying subscribers can usually upload their own resumes to the site, as well.

Of course, it should be noted that not all directory publishing software supports subscription programs. It is important to look into whether these types of monetization features are available when selecting the software for your own job board.

If you’d like to learn even more dynamic paywalls and the subscription program strategies working best for job board publishers in today’s business environment, let’s chat.

optimized job boards

The Secret to Well-Optimized Job Boards

It’s incredible to look back over the past year and see how many digital publishers are launching job boards for the very first time.

There was a time, not long ago, when display advertising was the primary revenue stream for publishers, but that is no longer true. Today’s forward-thinking publishers are launching optimized job boards and business directories, publishing ebooks, and even hosting live events in an effort to satisfy reader demands and generate new streams of revenue.

Today, it’s almost a given that city and regional magazines will have job boards. But creativity among niche publishers is paving the way for a new type of job board that’s often driven not by location, but by interest or occupation.

Regardless of the job board’s area of focus, there remain some challenges that publishers of all types are trying to find answers to. One of the most common questions that we hear at Web Publisher PRO is how job boards should be optimized, not just to rank highly in the search results on Google and Bing, but also for consumer use.

When publishers launch their own job boards, it’s important to have a consistent and well-optimized structure. If job seekers are interested in using your website to search for new opportunities, they will go into research mode looking for every bit of information. Is your job board optimized to give those job seekers the information they are looking for?

Employers play a role here, as well. After all, it’s employers and recruiters who pay to publish listings on most online job boards. If employers don’t feel like their listings are being optimized and published in a way that makes them easy to find and understand, they aren’t going to pay to promote those listings on your website.

Optimized Job Boards

Put yourself in the job seeker’s shoes. What does he or she want out of an online job board? As you build your job listings template, always keep those users in mind. Most people using the search function on optimized job boards will search for specific types of jobs, experience, type of company, or type of industry. Because of this, it’s a good idea to include all of that information in the title tags on your listings.

Job listings should be treated like individual landing pages, giving users enough information to learn about the opportunity and also including relevant keywords.

What Data Should Job Listings Include?

At the very minimum, all listings on optimized job boards should include the following:

  • Name of the business or organization with the job opening
  • Title of the job (for example, “insurance agent” or “registered nurse”)
  • Basic job description, including responsibilities, qualifications, education, and experience needed
  • Posting date for the job
  • Location information, including the full address of the company
  • Expiration date for the job listing

We’re seeing more and more optimized job boards include maps to go along with individual listings, as well. While this is certainly not a requirement, it improves the likelihood of a high Google ranking and, on a basic level, it makes the listing more functional for job seekers who might be interested only in opportunities located in specific areas. It may make sense to lead category pages with location, even for city and regional magazine publishers.

Job Board Best Practices

Optimized job boards are designed in a way that allow people to navigate naturally from listing to listing.

When a job board has an organized category structure, people can more easily browse through listings that meet their requirements. (For example, location or department.)

In addition to having an organized category structure, we also recommend that job roles be broken down by department structure and then grouped together. This allows someone searching for opportunities in Human Resources, for example, to skim through openings in that department.

Can Google Find Your Listings?

Search engine optimization plays an important role in how well-optimized job boards are structured. If Google’s web crawler can’t access the listings because your host load settings don’t allow for frequent crawls, then you’re dead in the water.

To ensure that doesn’t happen, make your job listings indexable and follow basic SEO best practices. Collect the right pieces of data—your webmaster can handle this, but you may also need to be involved—and place your content as structured data in your job description pages.

Google has posted its own job posting structured data guidelines. It’s worth taking a look at these guidelines and making sure that your optimized job boards are keeping up with the standards. Following Google’s structured data guidelines is the most reliable way to make sure people will be able to find your job board online.