Growing a niche job board can be difficult, especially if you’re on a budget. Sometimes, you have to get a little creative in how you get candidates and firms to your website. In this article, I’ll go over some free and paid ways to get traffic to your website. Additionally, I’ll talk about what I would do if I were to start a brand new job board and needed to generate traffic.
Who this is for
- If you already have a job board and are looking to diversify the way you get people to your website
- If you are putting together a game plan for a new job board and are looking for a foolproof plan to get those first few visitors
Free traffic methods for your job board
I should have put free is quotations, because these methods are only free if you have more time than money. You can easily outsource all these methods to expedite the process, but if you’re bootstrapping your budget may be limited to software.
Content marketing can be simultaneously the easiest and hardest way to get traffic to your job board. It’s not necessarily difficult to write an article, but it’s also incredibly difficult to write an article. Shröedinger’s content, if you will.
Writing articles and relying on SEO takes time, as you can see from the image above. You will be publishing articles for months without seeing any noticeable increase in traffic. However, the long term traffic works wonders.
I wrote a big ass guide about SEO for job boards. Check it out here.
For that website, at the time of the screenshot, there were about 250,000 words published as articles. That’s about 4 novels worth of written word. It’s doable as a one-man army, or you could pay an expert about $25,000 to write it for you.
Let me explain the investment before you think it’s an insane amount of money.
Say I was getting 5,000 visitors a month from a $25,000 investment in content.
The average CPC (cost per click) from paid advertisements was somewhere between $4.92 to $6.45, depending on the keyword. We’ll say $5 to make it easy.
So, to get the same amount of traffic from PPC (pay per click) advertisements would run me $25,000.
Well shit, it’s the same cost!
Oh no, that’s 5,000 visitors per month for $25,000 total versus 5,000 visitors per month for $25,000 every month.
That’s why I like content marketing over PPC ads. They continue working for you long after you hit publish.
Here’s a more in-depth guide I wrote about content marketing. Click click click.
Additionally, I wouldn’t limit to just articles, but also create a video around informational content. Some people prefer to listen rather than read thousands of words.
There’s an additional 60 people that are being introduced to my brand every day, from videos created months ago. The one thing you have to remember is that you’re not publishing on YouTube to grow a YouTube channel but to use it as a marketing channel for your job board.
If you don’t want to appear on camera, simply create slideshows and speak over them. Or if that is too much, text-to-voice software has gotten pretty good over the last few years that it’s hardly discernible from human speech. If you think I’m kidding just look up deepfakes.
Because the content we’re creating isn’t sequential and all stand alone as their own product, it would be difficult to create a podcast unless you’re an industry insider. Maybe someone who has experience creating a podcast for their job board can leave a comment below with how they went about it.
For the most part, most social media platforms are useless for niche job boards. I spent a lot of time setting up automation for Pinterest that amounted to a big waste of time. The only mainstream social media platform I would use for my niche job board is LinkedIn.
You can easily set up your job page and invite 100 of your connections a month to follow it. If they’re industry-relevant, most people are quick to accept.
Sorry for the thin picture, but if you think commenting on articles is a lost cause, think again. Simply interacting with other people’s content and including a link to the job board in my profile has netted quality visitors. 3.66 pages/visit, near 3 minute time-on-site, over 4% conversion rate? Easily the best-converting traffic overall, because their intent is to post a job.
Plus, with how little people are posting comments on other articles, when people get to the comment section they see none other than your comment.
Just don’t think you can spam the internet with a generic “come to my job board!” message. Read the article, actually comment about it, and that’s it. Don’t even bring up the job board unless it’s related to the content of the article.
Last bit on “free” methods
One of the biggest things I can say about creating content or promoting: always have an intention for everything you create and a clear call-to-action. Articles are easier to add a call-to-action after the fact, but a video is not.
Imagine you create a video that goes industry-viral. 10,000 views overnight with no sign of slowing down.
But there’s no call-to-action. Nothing to do after the video is over.
That’s tough, and I’ve made that mistake with my personal YouTube channel.
Always, always, always have a clear call-to-action in every video you create.
Create a 15-second advertisement that you put in every video after the introduction or at the end. Sponsor your own content.
Always have a call-to-action.
Paid traffic methods to your job board
Now, if you have a certain budget to put towards paid promotions every month, you have a few options. And as you can see comparing the amount of information here versus the previous section which one I prefer.
The thing about cold outreach is it can be both paid and free. However, spending two hours every day looking for and sending 10 emails to firstname.lastname@example.org isn’t going to make as big of waves as hiring a prospector and sending 100 a day in 10 minutes.
One tip I would give with cold email outreach is to register a 2nd domain to send from that way you don’t ruin the sendability of your website’s domain. It’s not something you think about until it happens to you, cough cough.
This is how I started getting companies to post on my job board, using AgileCRM.
As previously touched on, pay per click advertising helps you get traffic when you want and you can turn it off when you want. It can be expensive with costs per click being from $4 to $10 depending on your industry.
If I could make a comparison, PPC is like a firework and SEO is like a candle. The same way spending $100 on a firework is going to get you a massive boom and light up the sky for a few seconds (instant traffic!), $100 worth of candles are going to provide a tiny bit of light for a long time (long term traffic).
Basically taking what you were doing for the cold outreach and hiring people to do it for you. At the time of this being published, I have an external team that does my outreach including
- cold email
- sliding into LinkedIn DMs
and the best part is I don’t pay anything unless the person they’re talking to is interested. They’re still namedropping the business, so some of those people may end up simply searching the business name or coming directly.
If I could go back…
Based on my experiences from the first article I published and first cold email I sent, here’s the mix I would use to get traffic to a new job board and why:
- Content marketing with articles and videos because it provides the most traffic.
- A team doing cold outreach because it has the highest earning per visitor.
- Commenting on relevant articles in the industry because it has the highest conversion rates.
The content marketing brings in candidates, the cold outreach brings in firms, and the commenting brings in both.