Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Tracking visitors of an Irish job site

Having traffic on any Irish job site is one thing, but having relevant traffic is something completely different. Any visitor tracking software or a service will give you a lot of numbers. It is reading those numbers that is a science, and reading those numbers well does make a huge difference in understanding your visitors. The reason you need to understand who is on your site, why, when and where from will give a you a user feedback on your site, that will help you understand what works well, and what doesn't on your web site.

Goal: Relevant CVs for your jobs advertised!

Your industry is the recruitment in Ireland. The job of a Irish recruitment web site is to display job specifications (job ads) to job hunters, and guide them to apply for your positions. Everything else does not have a direct impact on your business, and therefore has a secondary importance. Your goal is to get relevant job applications to your advertised jobs.

Tracking your visitors will not tell you much about the quality of the applications and the CVs in general. One thing it will tell you about is the geographical locations of your applicants. You can use that knowledge to target your advertising more to the locations you need applicants from. All online marketing tools like Overture, Google AdWords and MSN AdCentre will let you specify the locations you want your ads to appear in. You can also filter based on the time of the day or a week, when do you want those ads to appear, if you find out that either a certain part of a day or a certain part of a week does not bring you a desired quality of applicants from a certain location.

Conventional media ads like newspapers, radio, printed brochures let you choose a location of the readership, and work well in attracting the exact location targeted.

Search engines bring you traffic that is not really relevant to the location of your visitors. Major search engines do have the option where a surfer can choose the country he wants the results from, but the results that such searches display in most cases do not show the desired results, and in most cases are plainly wrong, so that makes the users avoid such options. Therefore search engines will bring you just traffic, and the higher your Irish job site displays in a search phrase job hunters will use, the more traffic you will get. Irrelevant of the 'quality' of that traffic. The result is that if you get high in the search engine results, you will also get a lot of applications and CVs via your Irish job web site. By increasing the number of the applications you are increasing the number of the non relevant applications as well, and the sheer volume of those can start 'choking' you business process, and tools you use to run your Irish recruitment business. In the same time, if you can handle that volume, you can think of reducing the number of subscriptions to Irish job portals, and save tons of money on that end, while investing in your business instead as opposed to someone else's.

There are to ways to analyze your traffic, and each will suite a different type of web site or web site owner (manager):
1. Web site tracking – based on the web tracking code in the code of your site
2. Web log analyzers – software packages that analyze the log files your web servers create about the traffic.

It is not really that easy to tell what is a better approach. The most important is that your solution gives you the capability to see in the reports generated what you are looking for. In the case of the Irish recruitment industry, you are most likely looking at the:
1. numbers – hits, visitors, applications
2. geographical information
3. conversion rates - % of the new visitors who applied to a job
4. where are your visitors from
5. where do they go in your site
6. when do they visit your site
7. when do they make applications
8. those that made an application, where did they came from?
9. …

This is just the beginning of your understanding your visitors. The more your use your visitor statistics, the more refined questions you will ask of it. The more you as of it, and the more you get answered, the more precise and effective will be your decisions on your marketing strategy. Marketing manager of any Irish job or recruitment site should get a good course in web site statistics analysis if he does not already base almost most of his decisions based o the web statistics reports.

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