4 Undeniable Reasons Why Your Career Site Bounce Rate Is So High
Search engine optimization (SEO) has to do with many things, but perhaps more important than all is meeting searcher intent. In other words, when a person types something into Google, how well you can satisfy his or her needs will impact your Google ranking. Google is able to determine how well you’re satisfying needs by looking at lots of variables—a main one being bounce rate.
Bounce rate is essentially a measure of the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page. You can easily find this information in Google Analytics (as we discussed last week).
Think of bounce rate this way: someone may come to your career site homepage from Google (or another outside source) but then hit the back button without ever going deeper into the site. That’s a bounce. In effect, you weren’t satisfying that person’s needs, so they left.
Let’s talk about why that might be happening—especially for visitors coming to a page as important to your recruiting performance as your career site homepage.
The Intent of a Career Site Visitor
One of the best types of career site visitors is one that comes from Google. Why? Because that person specifically typed something into the search bar that led him or her to your career site. The job seeker may have typed “marketing jobs at [example company],” then chose your career site from the list of search results. He or she is clearly interested in learning about your jobs or more about your company.
Trouble is, what happens when they click that link from Google and then leave immediately? For one, you may have lost them forever. First impressions are crucial to candidate conversions. And two, Google may take trends in people bouncing from that page as a sign that your career site isn’t meeting searcher intent for that keyword phrase.
Reasons People Bounce from Your Career Site
We could come up with a massive list of reasons why people may bounce from your career site homepage, but let’s focus on just a few main ones.
1. You Gave Them a Terrible First Impression
As we said, first impressions count, so when you haven’t updated your career site homepage in a decade, it’s glaringly obvious to job seekers.
Job seekers are consumers. They use the internet every day, and they know what good UX and UI are. Plus, there’s already a negative connotation connected to applying to jobs online. If your career site has that outdated look, it’s not far-fetched to think the online job application is going to be even worse. This will cause job seekers to leave.
2. Your Site Still Isn’t Mobile-Optimized – STILL!
We’ve said time and time again, job seekers are increasingly using mobile devices to search for and apply to jobs. Some only use mobile devices, because that’s the only means of computing they’ve got access to. Lots of career sites still aren’t built with responsive design—meaning, when job seekers come to the site on their phone or tablet, they see that dreaded shrunken down version of the desktop site. Most likely, they’re going to bounce.
3. Your Jobs Are Way Too Hard to Find
We’ve hosted literally hundreds of millions of job seekers on the Jibe platform over the years. From analyzing those visitors, one thing is clear: most of them want to see jobs.
So it’s not surprising that companies with a job search bar front and center—similar to what you see when you open Amazon.com—have much lower bounce rates. Often, the searcher’s intent is to come to your career site and look at your jobs, so when the option to do so is presented to them right off the bat, intent has been satisfied.
The challenge is, few employers are actually making it easy to search for jobs from the career site homepage. We’ve actually visited career sites recently that required searching far and wide to find just one job—and we do this stuff all the time! Imagine how job seekers feel.
4. You’re Not Meeting the Intent of Passive Candidates
Not everyone comes to your career site to apply for a job. Some people are visiting to learn more about your company, your benefits, what it’s like to work there, and so on.
When you haven’t invested in employer branding content, these people have virtually no reason to stay on your site. Or, when you don’t have a talent work for them to opt-in to, you may have lost them forever. Simple digital marketing strategies, coupled with good execution can drive casual visitors deeper into your career site and recruiting funnel. The alternative is they bounce and then go look somewhere else.
Intent itself is a broad word, and you have to reverse engineer what it means from a passive and active job seeker perspective. Think about the journey from Google to your career site. Better yet, experience it for yourself. Ask if what’s on the other side of the Google results page is enough to make you go further into the site…or bounce.
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