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Starting a Job Board

Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Job Board

Thinking of starting a job board? Even if you’re not planning to compete with CareerBuilder or LinkedIn, there is still ample room in the market. Niche job boards are seeing tremendous growth, whether they focus on opportunities in specific cities, industries, or types of employment.

Starting a job board has never been easier, thanks to new plugins that publishers can use to expand the functionalities of their existing websites. For publishers who use a piece of software called WordPress, starting a job board doesn’t require extensive technical experience. It doesn’t require a huge budget, either, which makes starting a job board even more lucrative.

In this article, we will talk about everything that’s involved in starting a job board and which plugins are best suited for this type of project. We’ll even walk you through all the steps involved in starting a job board from scratch. Let’s get going.

Why you should start a job board

Job boards can be incredibly lucrative for digital publishers. While a handful of mega-job websites, like CareerBuilder, LinkedIn, and Monster.com, are vying to become the market leader in online job recruitment, smaller publishers are making significant headway in niche markets.

Niche publishers that cover specific cities or industries have a number of things going for them. First, most niche publishers already have loyal audiences that trust the content they’re putting out. They also tend to have existing relationships with advertisers, which can help when it comes time to get access to exclusive job postings.

Here are a few reasons why publishers are choosing to start job boards right now:

  • Lucrative financial incentives
  • Job boards support existing readers and businesses in the community
  • Increases traffic to existing websites
  • Job boards are easy to maintain
  • Helps grow email subscriber lists

How to start a job board in 4 steps

Step #1: Pick a niche

Could you launch the next CareerBuilder or Monster.com? Possibly, but the vast majority of publishers starting a job board will have the greatest success thinking smaller. A new online job board is much more likely to be successful when it has a narrow focus.

Digital publishers who already have existing websites will have the easiest time picking a niche. A city magazine publisher, for example, will want a job board that focuses on career opportunities in whichever city the publication covers. An industry publication, meanwhile, should promote jobs in the industry it covers.

To get a better idea of what this might look like in the real world, check out Bethesda Magazine’s job board. Bethesda Magazine’s job board features postings for opportunities in the local area, which makes the site highly relevant to anyone looking for a new position in Bethesda, Maryland.

Step #2: Choose your software

Once you know what type of job board you’re launching, it’s time to start researching the best job board software. Not all job board software is made equal, so it is important that you choose a product that features great performance and features that make it as easy as possible for job seekers to find relevant listings. You’ll also want to pay attention to what’s going on in the back end, such as integrated payment opportunities and self-service listing management.

Bethesda Magazine’s job board is powered by the Job Directory PRO plugin by Web Publisher PRO. The Job Directory PRO plugin makes it easy for publishers to integrate a job board into their existing website, and it integrates critical features like branding, curation, and support.

Step #3: Collect job listings

Do you have relationships with businesses in your community or industry? Now is the time to call on those relationships and start collecting exclusive job listings. Sure, you could scrape other job boards for their postings, but that strategy won’t get you very far in the long run.

If you’re interested in starting a job board that people will want to visit over and over again, then you’ll need to get ahold of exclusive job postings that aren’t widely available elsewhere on the web. Having an empty job board, even at the time of your website’s launch, can be detrimental to your future success.

Step #4: Promote your job board

You’ve got the listings, now you need the job seekers. Use whatever channels you have available to let people know that your job board is live. Send email marketing materials to your subscriber list and run in-house display advertising on your related web properties. A promotional campaign for a job board launch should include a press release that’s distributed to all local media, along with blog posts and social media posts.

Do you want to learn even more about starting a job board? Reach out to our team here at Web Publisher PRO and we’ll show you how easy to can be to launch a niche job board website.

How Job Boards Can Enhance Their SEO

Here’s How Job Boards Can Enhance Their SEO

More than a year has passed since Google for Jobs entered beta. Although there was widespread fear at the time about how the launch of Google’s job search capability would impact independent job boards and recruitment websites, the actual outcome has been far less dire than many predicted. Independent job boards can enhance their SEO strategies to compete with Google for Jobs and other mega-sized job listing aggregators.

Online recruitment is a $200 billion industry, with companies spending an average of $4,000 to schedule, interview, and assess each job candidate. With so much at stake, it’s understandable that publishers with online job boards want to do everything possible to keep their sites relevant, and to keep traffic from search engines flowing.

In this article, we’ll lay out exactly how independent job boards can enhance their SEO.

Increase the number of landing pages

Yes, we understand that creating separate landing pages for each job listing takes time. But the effort is well worth it from an SEO perspective.
Using automated processes, and taking advantage of self-serve portals with online forms that employers can use to input information for their own listings, you can quickly create separate landing pages for each listing on your job board. Along those same lines, you might also consider creating separate landing pages for each employer on the site. Each employer’s landing page would include links to that company’s active listings.

When individual job listings get their own landing pages, that increases the number of pages for search engines, like Google and Bing, to crawl. Those individual pages also give you the opportunity to have more long-tail keywords, which is an important way job boards can enhance their SEO. Having individual landing pages for each job listing and employer also means visitors will be spending more time on your website, leading directly to longer dwell times.

Create more backlinks

A backlink is an incoming link from one website to another. Basically, the more people who link to your job board, the higher your site will rank in the search engines. Google considers backlinks to be votes of confidence, telling them that your job board deserves to rank higher in search results. Of course, there’s always a caveat. Not all backlinks are created equal. Bad backlinks, the kind that come from spam sites and content mills, can actually hinder your efforts to keep your website relevant.

The good news here is that having individual landing pages for each job listing increases the number of backlinks that point to your job board. The more landing pages you have accessible on your site, the more chances there are for other reputable websites to link back. For example, there’s a chance that businesses will link to their company landing pages on your websites. Other job search aggregators may link back to your individual job listings, as well. The greater the number of landing pages you have, the greater the opportunity for backlinks.

Improve your social strategy

Did you know that search engines look at social signals, like ‘likes’ and shares, when they determine their rankings? It’s true. Social media giants like Facebook and Twitter are playing an increasingly outsized role in search engine optimization. Independent job boards can enhance their SEO simply by boosting their reputation on social media.

How do you do that? For starters, make sure that social sharing links are included alongside every job listing on your website. Make it as easy as possible for visitors to share job listings with their friends. Not only will that boost your rankings in search, but it may help the employers who put listings on your website find more qualified candidates at the same time.

Don’t forget page titles and meta descriptions

You’d be surprised how many publishers forget to add unique page titles and meta descriptions to their webpages.

Meta descriptions are meant to give search engines a short description of the content on a given page. They should be no longer than 155 to 160 characters. Customizing meta descriptions, as well as page titles, will help individual pages rank better for certain long-tail keywords.

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It should go without saying, but none of these SEO strategies will work in a silo. For maximum effect, these strategies need to be taken as a whole and considered when putting together a comprehensive search optimization plan. If you’d like even more details about how an independent job boards can enhance their SEO to maximize website traffic, reach out to our team here at Web Publisher PRO.

SEO for job boards

The Ultimate Guide to SEO for Job Boards

SEO for job boards isn’t the sexiest topic, but it’s one that digital publishers need to understand if they want their websites to flourish.

If you have been reading along for any length of time, you know that SEO is an acronym that stands for search engine optimization. Search engine optimization is the process of getting traffic from free or organic search results on search engines, like Google and Bing.

The most successful publishers have already optimized their websites with SEO best practices in mind, but job boards are a unique beast. SEO for job boards is somewhat different than SEO for traditional websites. In this article, we will dig deeper into what publishers should be doing to make sure their job boards are discoverable on the major search engines.

Why Is SEO for Job Boards So Important?

A whopping 30% of all Google searches—around 300 million per month—are job-related, which means the potential here for digital publishers is enormous. Publishers with job boards are in a fantastic position to capitalize on this market, but that only works if their job boards are discoverable on the major search engines.

How does that discoverability begin? For starters, publishers need to make sure Google’s robots are able to crawl their job boards to determine what the website is about. Google includes this data in a large database and uses it to determine which websites are shown when people search for certain keywords online.

Job board publishers want their websites to appear in the first page of results when someone types “[niche] jobs in [city]” into a search bar. It’s very important to be on the first page of results, ideally in the top one or two spots, if you are relying on organic traffic for website growth. Research shows that links in the first position in Google results have a 20% click-through rate, while those in the second and third spots have just 13% click-through rates. Links in position #9, near the bottom of the first page, have click-through rates of just 5%. That number drops off even further beyond the first page of search results.

That’s where SEO for job boards comes into play. The following strategies and tactics have been shown to improve rankings in search engines, boosting the number of organic visitors and increasing profits for publishers with online job boards.

Choosing the Right Keywords

One of the most important decisions a digital publisher makes, when it comes to SEO for job boards, is to select the best keywords. Keywords are the terms people search for when they look for content on Google.

Rather than blindly guessing which keywords will bring in the most visitors, we recommend that publishers research which search terms are actually being used by job seekers online. Read blogs, forums, and other websites in your job board’s niche to get a sense of the terminology, and look up competing job boards to see which keywords they are including in headers and categories. You can also use a research tool like Keyword Tool or Ubersuggest for keyword ideas. The results should be pulled together into a list, and sprinkled throughout your website in content and section headers.

Adding Category Pages

Keywords are at the heart of every strategy when it comes to SEO for job boards, but categories are an important feature here, as well. Optimized job boards should include job category pages. For example, the job board JournalismJobs.com includes categories by industry (newspaper, TV, digital media, radio, etc.), state, and job type (full-time, part-time, freelance).

To maximize the benefits of categories, from an SEO perspective, make sure category titles use the keywords you identified as being particularly relevant to your niche. Category titles should be included in the URLs, titles, meta descriptions, and headings for each category page.

Making the Most of Job Postings

Most job boards have individual pages for each job posting, which we refer to as job post pages. For SEO purposes, we recommend that the URLs for these post pages contain some combination of job title, company name, and location. URLs do not need to contain all three of these, but at least two is ideal.

Job titles should also appear in the page titles and headings on job post pages. The job description should appear in the Meta description section.

Making Expired Job Postings Unavailable

Unlike business directories, job board postings are setup to expire after a certain number of days or after a position has been filled. Most publishers don’t realize that what happens to their postings after they expire plays an important in SEO.

To maximize SEO for job boards, we recommend that expired job posting pages be redirected to a search results page that shows similar results. This is instead of showing a 404 page, which can negatively impact search engine rankings.

If you have more questions about SEO for job boards, reach out to our team here at Web Publisher PRO.

Revenue Strategies for Magazine Publishers

5 Revenue Strategies for Magazine Publishers

We all know brand sponsorships pay the bills at national magazines, but smaller streams of revenue can still add up to big financial gains for digital outlets. Rather than “thinking big,” the latest revenue strategies for magazine publishers are taking advantage of unused web space and repurposed content.

The big trend among magazine publishers right now is to generate income from existing content. Why reinvent the wheel when there’s an opportunity to make money from content that’s already there? But repurposing content is just one of a number of revenue strategies for magazine publishers. Selling website space is another way that savvy digital publishers are generating incremental sources of income.

Take Philadelphia Magazine. The regional monthly magazine maintains a popular “Best of Philly” list, along with directories of top restaurants, doctors, dentists, realtors, wedding resources, and home and design businesses.

Like so many other digital magazine publishers, Philadelphia Magazine had already done the work of creating a thriving publication with an excellent reputation. It already maintains a website, which attracts a large audience, and the content management system and other back-end operations were already firmly in place. Why not add on a directory and “best of” lists and start generating extra income?

Publishers that have existing websites can add new sections to their websites—like directories, ‘best of’ lists, calendars, job boards, and obituaries—to bring in extra revenue. These are revenue strategies for magazine publishers that require minimal financial investment and virtually no ongoing costs, which means significant upsides or rewards.

Let’s do a deeper dive into how these revenue strategies for magazine publishers actually work.

1) Business Directories
Business directories are the most popular of all the revenue strategies for magazine publishers included on this list. Business directories tend to be profitable from the very beginning.

Magazine publishers with business directories can charge sponsors—i.e., businesses included in the directories—to have their listings appear at the top of each directory page or inside highlighted boxes. Sponsors might also be able to get their listings to appear at the bottom of magazine articles as “related resources.” (For a fee, of course).

2) ‘Best Of’ Lists
Like business directories, ‘Best Of’ lists are an excellent source of revenue for both online and print magazine publishers. While it is usually frowned upon to charge businesses to be included in a ‘Best Of’ list, publishers still have a number of options when it comes to monetizing their lists, including running display advertising and creating “highlighted” business listings at the top or in the center of their lists. Publishers can also sell window clings to businesses included in their ‘Best Of’ lists, as a way to highlight the fact that the business was recognized.

3) Calendars
Online calendars are growing in popularity among digital magazine publishers, both because of the service they provide to readers and the opportunity for revenue generation. Top magazine publishers work with sponsors to develop custom advertising opportunities in their online calendars. That might mean a business paying to have its calendar listings bolded or highlighted. Publishers that send out daily calendar emails can also monetize those emails by featuring selected businesses.

4) Jobs Boards
Listings in an online jobs board can be sponsored by businesses or promoted in some other way. Jobs boards are a huge resource for readers, particularly at niche or B2B publications. Jobs boards are also excellent traffic drivers that bring new people back to websites time and time again.

Although job listings are the foundation of any jobs board, for profit schools and other businesses can pay to advertise educational seminars and job fairs, either as display advertising along the sides of the jobs board or as native advertising.

5) Obituaries
Although it is rare to see obituaries in a city or regional magazine, this is not an uncommon feature in alumni magazines and other industry publications. The only real way to make money through an obituaries page is to have volume. Publishers rarely charge more than nominal fees to include obituaries, but those nominal fees do add up for publishers with large online followings.

Volume is really at the heart of all of these revenue strategies for magazine publishers. It takes a great deal of enhanced listings, paid job postings, and the like, to make up for one big brand sponsorship. But these revenue generators also require no salespeople, and minimal financial outlay, which means the money that comes in is all profit.

We’d love to hear if you’ve tried any of these revenue strategies, and if so, how they are working out for your publication.

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.