SEO and PPC Guide to Online Recruiting Efforts Part 2 of 3

Managing Online PPC Campaigns


This blog is Part 2 of 3 in the Blogging4Jobs SEO & PPC Guide to Online Recruiting efforts. The final part of this blog series will take next week, January 22nd. To catch up with the first part of this series, visit the blog.  

As the world of HR evolves into more than an just administrative role we are seeing professionals in the industry becoming more strategic. Posting an open position on a job board and hoping for applicants is no longer the normal. HR is taking a more strategic and social role in recruiting. Connecting, mentoring, and developing relationships with job seekers is becoming a bigger part of a recruiter’s daily routine.

In order to place themselves at the top, recruiters are utilizing Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertisements in search. When a job seeker is looking for a specific job and it’s the recruiter’s job to fill a position, they want that seeker to apply for their job. Job boards like are utilizing PPC Advertising as another offering to sponsored job listings. Using the search giant, Google, to bank on filing positions quickly is a new method in the HR world and companies are already making millions by leveraging.

Incase you missed last week on the definition of a Pay-Per-Click advertisement; you can visit SEO and PPC Guide to Online Recruiting Part 1 of 3. PPC advertising isn’t always going to be the best strategy for a Human Resources department. Depending on the size of your company and the amount of money you have to invest, it may or may not be a wise choice. For companies who have big recruiting teams, PPC is a necessity.

Should I Hire or Keep PPC In-House?

PPC isn’t easy. There are hundreds of companies out there that specialize in writing copy for PPC advertisement and have innovative ways to track and manage campaigns. Keeping PPC in-house with someone who isn’t experienced requires that the company invest in training and learning tools that help the individual succeed.

For instance, if you have a recruiter, your company can pay them to become efficient in managing ads. Google has a free database of tools, phone support, and even a free $100 credit at the time you create your first account. It takes time to develop skills and learn how certain ads work. If you are looking to hire outside your company, make sure you hire a company that has experience within your industry. Knowing how to think like a recruiter and/or your target audience, the job seeker, is a major benefit.

How to Select Keywords?

This topic can be a series in itself, but here is some advice in beginning your keyword selections.

Google Adwords Keyword Tool. A free tool offered by Google, is the Adwords Keyword Tool. This tool allows you to breakdown keywords by searches, both national and local. It also gives you the competition of each keyword to see how hard it would be to rank against your competition. The ideal situation is having a key phrase that has low competition, but high search volume.

Create Long Tail Keywords. What are long tail keywords? These are keywords that are made up of at least three, and sometimes as many as five keywords. Long tail keywords are beneficial for refining search criteria. When paying for PPC advertising you want a consumer to click and purchase every time they see your ad pop-up. The most beneficial way to do this is to create specific phrases that relate to your company only. Having broad terms like “jobs” could be a number of things in a search, instead change it to “marketing analyst job in Dallas”. This helps you define your customer.

Check Your Budgets. If you’ve set up specific groups of keywords and you notice that they are using your maximum budget on a daily basis and another ad group is barely using half, switch it up. Allocating funds is necessary when creating successful PPC campaigns. When you’re going through times of increased traffic or hiring, up your budgets to maximize your influence across your PPC campaign.

Effective Tips in Writing PPC Ads

So now we’ve gone over the use of PPC in Recruiting, a brief overview of how to select keywords, and if you should keep it in-house or outsource. If you’ve decided to keep your PPC campaign in-house here a few tips that’ll get you on your way to creating successful ads.

Write for Specific Keywords. When writing ad copy you want to make sure the keyword you are writing for matches the actual ad copy. For instance, when writing about “marketing analyst job in Dallas” your PPC ad should look something like the following:

Marketing Analyst Job – Dallas
Apply online now for our
Marketing Analyst Job in Dallas

When writing ad copy placing the keyword in the copy allows those keywords to be highlighted when someone is searching. It’s important that you research proper keywords when writing ad copy to make sure you can be competitive in the market.

Analyze Results. In the PPC world your CTRs (Click Through Rates) are gold. With higher click through rates, you not only have lower costs, but also can have a significant impact on your ROI (Return on Investment). It’s important to perform A/B testing on a specific keyword to see which ad performs better.

Think Like a Job Seeker. As a recruiter your #1 goal is to recruit from anywhere and everyone. When writing Ad copy it’s important to not think like a Recruiter or HR Professional, but to think like the job seeker. What will they put in the search? What keywords are they typing? Once you can put yourself in their shoes, create effective ad copy that will compel and capture their attention. Trying out different headlines, offers, and even different words can have an enormous affect on whether someone is going to click on the ad or not.

These tips and tools are by far not even scratching the surface of what it means to have a successful online search strategy. Take the time to read and learn everything you can about SEO/PPC/SEM. There is never a one-size fits all solution when it comes to creating effective ad copy, but there are tips out there that were discussed in this series that can effect your outcomes.

Check out our free webinar on SEO for HR and Recruiting by clicking here or check out our SEO basics guide for jobs feed and job opening announcements happening online.  

What tips have you found to be most successful?

Have you managed an online PPC campaign before? What have you found to be most helpful? Share with us!

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell is the founder of Workology, a digital resource that reaches more than a half million HR and workplace leaders each month and host of the Workology Podcast. Jessica lives in Austin, TX, with her husband, daughter, and an assortment of furry family members.

Reader Interactions


  1. Matt Charney says


    I think these are all great tips; the one thing I’d add is that PPC actually isn’t that difficult, as most of the major PPC venues like LinkedIn and Facebook allow for pretty easy and intuitive self-service. For external display advertising, I’d recommend using a service like Retargeter or even Monster’s Career Ad network (which powers Yahoo!), which use behavioral targeting to deliver job ads to a very defined audience based on their online activity – their technology and ability to design & deliver ads to the right population make it more effective in cost and results than running an organic campaign. I’d also add that when targeting keywords and SEO, it’s rare that a company will be able to be competitive for specific jobs (e.g. accountant) given the number of corporations bidding on these words for paid traffic, and organically, it’s difficult to beat content related sites, so a long term career SEO strategy should be built around driving traffic to a career site, instead of individual requisitions – these should be similarly keyword targeted and tailored for the specific audience you’re recruiting for (there are tons of easy web building tools out there for career microsites, like Talemetry).

    Great post and agree that these are increasingly marketing disciplines that recruiters need to know in order to compete – and win – top talent.

    Matt Charney (@MattCharney)
    Director, Marketing
    Talent Technology Corp.

    • Jessica Miller-Merrell says


      Thanks for the comment. I’m actually mentioning some of these series later in the blog series so you are already ahead of the game. I agree that SEO should be long term, but I’m always a fan of organic. It’s just tough to use organic SEO when there are so many job postings out there and millions of companies competing for the same keywords.


  2. Jay Rowan says

    As a small business recruiting IT talent for customers in St. Louis their is not enough time in the day to do all this and do it right. Can you suggest other sources for getting this done? Great information and thanks.

    • Jessica Miller-Merrell says

      Hi Jay,

      You can always outsource things like this. We have and do PPC for clients. The learning curve initially is tough but once you get started it’s not too much. Give me a call if you want to talk more. Thanks for the comment.


  3. meenal deshpande says

    Nice write up..
    Its seems to be you do full reaserch on keyword analysis.
    As keyword paly a important role in ppc so it is important to do exact keyword match according to our compaign.
    1.keyword should have low to medium competition so that it acn rank easily.
    2.enter the landing page


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