I started my first recruiting firm in 2001. In 2006, I hired a marketing agency to do SEO and PPC for us. That was before most people even knew what SEO and PPC stood for. Back then, we were very early adopters in growing our recruiting firm through digital marketing.
When we started paying for ads on Google, we were the only firm in Minnesota doing so. We were the only firm paying to play. Consequently, I was shocked by how quickly we were able to rank #1 on Google. In fact, it led to me becoming obsessed with ranking #1 for every keyword I could possibly think of.
The agency we partnered with must have hated me, as I would lay in bed with my iPad searching for related keywords. If we didn’t show up #1, I would email our agency and ask why. Today, our recruiting firm ranks #1 for over 800 keywords related to recruiting and staffing services. We are crushing our competitors in the rankings.
In the early years, I thought that the only thing that mattered was rankings. I would ask every client that would call our firm, “How did you find us?” and they’d consistently answer, “Google.” Hearing this over and over again would get me as excited as the proverbial kid in a candy store. I couldn’t believe how many calls we were getting because we ranked #1 on Google.
Fast forward to 2019. More and more firms are in the digital game using agencies to increase their online visibility, which has made the process of ranking #1 a more challenging endeavor.
The typical search, such as “executive search firms in Minneapolis,” will have 7-10 competing firms paying to show up on the first page of Google. Try it for yourself. Pretend you’re a prospective client and Google what they would. If you own a finance and accounting firm, search “Finance and Accounting Recruiters.” Do you see your company in the results? Or do you see your competitors?
Last summer, I spoke at NAPS—one of the largest staffing and recruiting conferences in the country. My presentation was titled “Is Your Website Your Best Salesperson,” and I spent most of my allotted hour sharing why the content was king.
Every year our firm will do around 300 placements, with hundreds of companies calling us after finding us on Google. In 2019, my question to ask people when they call us has changed from “How did you find us?” to “Why did you call us?” The search ranking is usually how they found us, but the content on our website that they read is why they called us. Today, 1/3 of our revenue comes from content on our website.
Where your company ranks on Google is still important, but never forget how vital the role your site’s content plays. A high search ranking brings traffic to your website, but the content on your website is what converts the traffic into revenue.