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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.

job board

Does Your Digital Magazine Need a Job Board?

Could your publication be doing more to help readers?

With an online job board, digital publishers can better serve their readers and generate additional revenue at the same time.

When most people think of online job boards, they think of the standalone websites like Monster.com and CareerBuilder. These websites publisher hundreds of thousands of listings from around the globe, but they can also be too generic and unwieldy for job seekers to navigate.

Publishers with city and regional magazines, along with niche publications that focus on specific industries, are in a unique position to benefit from adding a job board to their websites. Given the professional relationships these publishers have developed with executives in the industries or areas they cover, exclusive listings and advanced notice of upcoming job openings are a distinct possibility. Recruiters also understand that a niche publication’s readers are the types of highly-qualified professionals they’re looking for, and they will pay a premium to tap into that reader database.

In most cases, city and regional magazine publishers launching job board products are selling listings through self-service portals. That means businesses can visit their websites and enter their own information about the open positions into an online form. Payments for those listings are processed online, as well. Publishers then have the opportunity to screen listings to make sure they don’t violate any policies before publishing them on their own job boards.

Smashing Magazine is an online publication for web designers and developers with its own job board. Job seekers have the opportunity to search for remote or on-location work in the design and programming fields. Finding a job on the website is free, but businesses have to pay a fee that ranges from $75 to $225 to post their opportunities for 60 days.

From an ROI standpoint, a job board presents an incredible opportunity for publishers with existing websites. Once the initial work of launching the job board is done, incremental revenue continues to roll in with minimal financial outlay. This is particularly true for publishers with self-serve portals, since businesses can upload and pay for their listings without requiring help from the publisher or his staff.

Some digital publishers are finding that add-on services can help improve ROI, as well. For example, a publisher might charge businesses $30 per month to post a job listing, with the option to pay an extra $5 per month to include a logo or $10 per month for premium placement on the job board.

Another publisher that has found success with an online job board is PracticeLink. PracticeLink publishers in print and on the web—PracticeLink Magazine and PracticeLink Online—with content geared toward helping physicians navigate the recruitment process. The publisher’s job board receives more than 1.7 million page views each month, with 5,000 hospitals, medical groups, private practices and health systems posting more than 20,000 physician job opportunities. As is the case with many other digital publishers, PracticeLink allows job seekers to search and respond to opportunities for free, while charging hospitals and medical groups for its recruitment products.

The products that PracticeLink offers go beyond what most basic job boards provide. For example, in addition to listing healthcare opportunities for a fee, PracticeLink has created an active candidate database that in-house recruiters at health care systems can use to search for physicians. The publisher also has a number of additional recruitment tools, such as conference leads and career fairs designed for recruiters at larger healthcare organizations. Part of PracticeLink’s strategy here involves offering free trial accounts for recruiters.

While PracticeLink’s job board has been fully optimized to take advantage of as many revenue generation opportunities as possible, digital publishers also have the ability to take a scaled down approach. In fact, that’s what we recommend for publishers who are just dipping their toes into this new arena.

Job boards offer total flexibility from a publisher’s perspective. With the right directory software in place, publishers can grow their boards gradually over time.

Based on our experience helping publishers launch and grow their online job boards, we’ve put together this list of things to consider:

  • Create a job board with room to grow, since there’s a good chance your board could take off among companies and job seekers in your industry.
  • Make it easy for job seekers to search for listings. The more opportunities that exist for sorting and filtering listings, the more functional a job board becomes.
  • Don’t be afraid to send emails to job seekers when new listings that fit their criteria go live on your website.
  • Provide reporting tools that companies can use to see how many people have viewed their job listings and clicked on their links. Advanced reporting tools will be increasingly necessary as your job board grows and as larger employers start putting their exclusive listings on your site.
job board location tagging

Here’s The Feature Your Job Board Is Missing

Have you heard? Right now is possibly the best time in history to be running a niche job board. Sure, the big three players in the job board market—Monster.com, CareerBuilder, and Indeed—are facing increasing threats from LinkedIn, but smaller digital publishers are finding that the niches they’ve carved out are still large enough to build profitable businesses that are sustainable for the long-term.

Despite those successes, there’s still a website feature that many online job boards are missing, and it could be causing publishers to lose out on monetization opportunities.

The feature that many niche job boards are missing is location tagging.

Adding a geo-location feature to your job board will improve search engine visibility and make your website more useful to job seekers. Location is one of the most important elements that job seekers look at when evaluating online listings, well ahead of compensation and benefits packages.

How to integrate location tagging into an online job board

If you’ve already created a self-serve portal where recruiters and companies can upload their own job postings, then adding a location tagging feature should be simple. Create a space in your submission form to add an address for each listing. Even if you make that space optional, you will be surprised by how many companies choose to include a specific address with their listings.

If your job board software allows for it, you can add a map to your website as a way to help candidates search for positions in specific locations. The Google Maps Platform is a great place to start, since it offers publishers a way to build customized experiences with dynamic maps and Street View images. Not only do these types of interactive maps add a visual element to an online job board, they also add valuable functionality for job seekers who are interested in working exclusively in certain cities or areas of town.

Location tags can be useful, as well. Your job board software should extract the city from each address to create location tags, which visitors can browse. Local publishers in large metro areas may want to go even one step further by including neighborhood tags.

Adding a location feature doesn’t mean recruiters are limited to posting about jobs in specific cities. Ideally, recruiters and companies posting jobs on your website should have the choice to get as specific with the location as they feel comfortable with. In a large metro area, a company might post the exact address of the office building, while a company in a more rural area might post just the city or the county.

Recruiters should also have the option to include regional tags, like ”Northeast” or “Southwest,” or even more generic tags, like “United States” or “Remote” when they can’t publicly share the specific location of an opportunity. Listings with the “Remote” tag won’t show up on any maps, but they should be searchable, for job seekers who are exclusively interested in working from home.

Whether you decide to allow multiple job locations to be tagged on a single posting is up to you, based on how the back-end of your job board website is setup. However, as a general rule of thumb, recruiters should not have the ability to select more than five to 10 locations for a single job listing.

As a side benefit, having specific location information can also help ensure your listings get included on Google Jobs, the AI-powered job board from Google that launched last year. Many niche job board publishers have seen an increase in traffic since the launch of Google Jobs. Although the majority of listings are from larger players, like Monster.com and LinkedIn, niche publishers are represented on the platform. Having the proper job schema will increase the chances of getting the listings from your job board included on Google Jobs, and that means including specific location details whenever possible.

Adding geo-location tagging to your job board is one way for your website to evolve and meet the changing needs of job seekers. It’s also an effective strategy for upping profits and boosting search engine visibility.

If you’d like more information on the strategies that job board publishers are using to monetize their websites, reach out to our team here at Web Publisher PRO.

Niche Job Board

How to Attract Companies to a Niche Job Board

Want to know the secret to building a successful niche job board? All of the elements that publishers spend time and money on while building their jobs boards — web design, search engine optimization, and monetization strategies, to name just a few — are far less important than the quality of the job listings on the site.

That’s right. Before publishers can expect to attract an audience to their niche job boards, they’ve got to bring in companies with quality listings.

Attracting employers to a niche job board is a task that’s easier said than done. Hiring managers have an overwhelming number of options to choose from when they post job openings online. Most start with posting job listings on their own company websites. But close relationships between hiring managers and publishers can lead to certain job boards getting exclusive postings or early information about positions that are opening up in the near future.

Building a successful niche job board relies on a publisher’s ability to publish postings that job candidates can’t find anywhere else. Publishers need their job boards to become the go-to sources for the latest job information in whichever niches they cover.

Here are the best strategies for attracting companies to your niche job board and ultimately building a profitable website.

1. Find out which companies in your niche are hiring, and where they post their listings.
The specifics here will vary depending on which niche your job board aims to fill. For example, city magazine’s job board will have listings from different companies than a healthcare publisher’s job board. Regardless, the basic strategy remains the same. In order to attract top employers to a niche job board, you need to start by figuring out how those employers are currently advertising their employment opportunities.

Browse other job boards in your same niche to get a feel for which companies have listings, and take a look to see whether those listings are free or paid. Figuring out which companies are paying for premium listings is a smart first step to take before reaching out to potential advertisers.

Pay attention to how much competing niche job board websites are charging for premium listings, as well. In order to compete, your job board will need to have competitive rates and loyal following of readers.

2. Build connections with hiring managers at top companies in your niche.
Once you have a sense of which companies or recruiting firms are placing the most premium listings on niche job board websites, you are ready to start making personal connections. Reach out via email or telephone to the hiring managers at those organizations and let them know about your job board. They will be interested in how much traffic your job board generates and your audience demographics. For example, a law office would only want to post paid listings on a job board that’s read by professionals in the legal profession. (We’ll dig deeper into how you can attract readers in targeted demographics later in this article.)

Have a spec sheet with current advertising rates ready to send to interested hiring managers. You may also want to put together some data on the effectiveness of niche job board websites in helping companies reach passive job seekers and the return-on-investment (ROI) that companies see when they advertise on niche job board websites compared to more general online job boards.

3. Make your readers a selling feature.
It’s virtually impossible for a niche job board to generate more website traffic than a general job board, like Monster.com or Indeed.com. That’s why we never recommend that publishers with niche job boards promote their website traffic without plenty of information about their audience demographics and the quality of candidates they can deliver.

When reaching out to hiring managers and recruiting firms, always emphasize the targeted nature of your niche website and focus on the credibility you have established with professionals in the industry you cover.

If your website is new, it might be a smart idea to focus on growing your audience before reaching out to companies with information about premium job listings. Connect with the creators of online communities relevant to your niche.

For even more ideas, check out these articles about building a successful niche job board:

What to Look For in a Job Board System
Why Digital Publishers Need Local Job Boards
5 Ways to Generate Revenue from Online Directories

job board system

What to Look For in a Job Board System

How well a job board works, and how much revenue a digital publisher can generate from it, is directly tied to the job board system the publisher chooses. Creating and managing an online board job board doesn’t have to be overly complicated or difficult, so long as the system itself is designed to integrate with the publisher’s existing website.

Job boards serve an important function for digital publishers right now. Job boards round out publishers’ digital offerings and make publications more valuable to readers, while also serving businesses by giving them a way to connect with qualified professionals.

Although online job boards are nothing new for publications in the B2B space, they are a fast growing trend among publishers of city and regional magazines, as well as niche publications. Any online magazine that has a built-in audience can find success with an online job board. The key is choosing the right job board system.

People will always be searching for jobs, and employers will always be searching for new employees, which means publishers should feel confident that online job boards are a valuable investment. The tricky part is finding a job board system that integrates well with existing content management systems and offers all the self-serve advertising components that publishers need.

Before we get into the specific features digital publishers should look for in a job board system, let’s briefly cover the most popular ways to monetize a job board:

  1. Selling display advertising
  2. Charging businesses for listings
  3. Promoting a subscription program by placing the job board behind a paywall
  4. Creating resources to sell to recruiters

What Publishers Should Look for In a Job Board System

The best job board system is one that’s easy to manage, looks professional, and facilitates advertising sales.

Most job board systems fall into one of three categories: plug-in, software, or software as a service (SaaS). Regardless of which option a publisher goes with, it’s important to make sure the job board system integrates with the publisher’s website. On a day-to-day basis, publishers can expect that there will need to be some management of their online job boards. In order to maximize revenue, publishers should make sure their listings are updated and accurate, and that their job boards are displaying content as they should.

Categories and filters play an important role in keeping job boards organized. Most publishers want a job board system that allows them to categorize listings by job type, location, experience level, and salary. Businesses that want to include their openings on the job board should be encouraged to add these categories themselves, but ultimately it’s up to publishers to ensure their job boards are organized in a way that makes sense to readers.

One of the ways that publishers can make their job boards look more professional is by using a job board system with integrated mapping and location targeting features. This makes it possible for job seekers to display listings on a map and see which positions are available closest to home.

Publishers who are interested in charging businesses a fee to post listings will want a job board system that integrates with payment processors like Stripe, Authorize.net, and Paypal. This integration is what makes it possible for publishers to setup self-service advertising portals.

Plug-in, Software, or SaaS

Whether a publisher chooses a job board system that’s a software tool, a hosted SaaS solution, or a WordPress plug-in depends largely on the publisher’s needs and current website setup.

With hosted solutions, publishers don’t have to install or download anything. The technology is hosted by the provider, and the publisher accesses it online. Some hosted solutions already come pre-populated with current job listings.

Publishers who run their websites with WordPress can look into plug-ins, as well. Plug-ins usually integrate with existing website themes and many offer the option to create automated emails and varied job types.

Software tends to be the most robust of this bunch. While software tools are often more expensive, they do offer the most functionality and customization of these three options.

If you’d like more information about selecting the best job board system for your publication, let’s talk. We’re happy to help you sort through the best options available right now.

Niche Job Board

Why Digital Publishers Need Local Job Boards

Help wanted ads in print newspapers feel like a relic of the past, but there’s still money to be made from publishing ads for job opportunities. Digital publishers are finding that by launching local job boards, they can position themselves as authorities in their markets and also generate new streams of sustainable revenue.

Niche publishers, including city and regional magazines, can’t expect to compete with digital behemoths like Monster.com, Careerbuilder, and Indeed in terms of size or scale, but they can usually compete when they keep a sharp focus on the specific markets they serve.

Consider the health publisher who launches a job board that exclusively posts available positions for physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals. Or, the city magazine that launches a local job board with listings from area businesses.

The more targeted publishers can get when they launch local job boards, the higher the ROI they should expect. This is especially true for digital publishers serving niche markets, like legal professionals or the restaurant industry.

Mediabistro, the digital publisher with resources for media professionals, has managed to turn job listings into a virtual empire. Launched in 1999 as a gathering place for media professionals in New York City, Mediabistro found instant success with its job listings. The website was acquired by WebMediaBrands for more than $20 million in 2007, and its popular jobs board is still going strong with more than 1,700 current listings for opportunities in the marketing, advertising, publishing, sales, PR, digital media, television, and design industries. Job seekers use Mediabistro’s local job board for free, however employers are expected to pay to place their listings on the site. Posting an open position on Mediabistro’s local job board starts at $297 per month.

Because digital publishing is a competitive field, niche publishers are finding that launching local job boards can help them stand out from competitors and solidify their positions as go-to resources within the markets they serve.

If you’re still on the fence about whether launching a local job board would be a smart move for your digital publication, here are three more things to consider:

1. Local job boards generate revenue for publishers.
The primary reason why digital publishers decide to launch job boards is for the monetization opportunities. Larger publishers can charge a premium for businesses to post listings on their directories, but even smaller publishers should expect to generate a profit from their job boards.

We’ve discussed strategies for generating revenue through online directories in previous blog posts, but regardless of how much you decide to charge businesses to include their listings on your local job board — whether it’s $297 per month, like Mediabistro, or completely free — make sure to create add-on opportunities for monetization. For example, the publisher of a city magazine might allow businesses to post job openings for free, but charge $20 per month for enhanced listings with highlighted text or premium website placements. With add-on opportunities, publishers can generate significant revenue without making their job boards feel inaccessible for small businesses and individual job seekers.

2. Job boards drive traffic to the publication.
Any popular online directory, including a job board, will drive search engine traffic. Savvy digital publishers are finding ways to convert visitors who arrive from Google or Bing into regular readers of their publications. This is typically done through retargeting, email marketing, or on-site display ads designed to promote the publication.

Publishers should also encourage visitors to “like” their social media accounts or sign up via email to receive immediate notifications when new job listings are posted. Then, with each update, the publisher can include links to relevant website content that the subscriber might enjoy. Using local job boards to drive search engine traffic will help boost both display advertising and subscription rates.

3. Job boards build authority for digital publishers.
Print publishers who’ve recently gone digital often struggle to make headway in the competitive online environment. Having an online job board gives these publishers a leg up on the competition. People interested in the publisher’s industry or niche have no choice but to come back to the publisher’s job board to see which positions have been listed each day or week. And, as we’ve discussed before, this strategy is even more effective when it’s coupled with an aggressive email marketing campaign. Having a well-trafficked job board can also help the publisher build authority with Google, and it may provide a launching pad for additional monetization tactics, like online courses and reader subscription programs.