The Essential Role of Organic Traffic in Job Board Success
5 min read

The Essential Role of Organic Traffic in Job Board Success

I often get asked – what is the value of organic traffic for job boards anyway? Why is it a problem if we lose 10K organic clicks, for example? Is this significant? 

In this article, I want to delve into the ramifications of losing organic traffic and the impacts of such development on any job board. We will also explore alternatives to organic traffic, the cost perspective, and actionable strategies to avoid such losses in the first place. 

The Different Types of Organic Clicks for Job Boards

With the above example, say you have been organically getting 30K clicks from Google monthly. 

 Only some of these clicks translate immediately to clicks on your job ad pages.

Job boards generally get organic traffic from four-page types: blog posts, search landing pages (, job ad pages, and any other static content, like company pages or salary reports. 

For this analysis, the essential clicks come from Google Jobs (direct job clicks) AND organic users landing on your search landing pages and then clicking on jobs (search ctr clicks). 

From the original 30K organic clicks, maybe about 60% would fit this category, but this depends on how your site structure is set up and what SEO strategy you follow. 

So, we are left with 20K clicks on jobs. 

Analyzing the impact of organic traffic loss on Job Boards

Now, imagine that for the next 2-3 months, you will lose half of these clicks and your organic traffic on your job ad pages will drop to just 10K clicks/month. 

First, these clicks are not visible in your revenue or cost structure (at least directly).

To be entirely correct, organic traffic is never free—it still involves tech investment costs related to the SEO strategy and implementation. However, from my experience working with over 150 job boards and aggregators, most have grown predominantly organically without any SEO strategy. 

Returning to the clicks, they are already factored into the performance of your jobs—they are the lifeline of your job listings and drive applications. 

If you lose half of these clicks, you must go on the market and buy them from somewhere else to keep your job performance constant.  

Depending on your market and niche and where you can buy traffic (programmatic, display, social), you will pay between $1 and $2 per click. 

So, suddenly, your traffic loss is costing you $10K-$20K, which you have to factor in as a cost, which reduces your margin.

Organic vs Paid Traffic: A Quality Comparison

However, one paid click is rarely worth the same as an organic click. Quality plays a huge role here. 

You have to factor in that click traffic from vendors is not always as qualitative as organic traffic. This may be surprising, but different channels have different conversion and application quality rates. 

Google Jobs, for example, brings roughly 10-50% more applied conversions than paid. Unfortunately, no one will share this data because it is a strategic aspect of a job board business, but this statement is based on data I have averaged from over 15 EU countries + the US and more than 150 job boards that I have advised. 

I am not a huge fan of making statements without support, but releasing this data is not an option. Very little data is shared online, but I still found something.

Here is a quote from an industry expert:

Lieven Van Nieuwenhuyze is the Group Chief Digital Officer at The House of HR, a well-known European recruiting and talent acquisition consulting firm. The firm provides both temporary blue- and white-collar employment for clients and recruits medium—to high-skilled candidates such as engineers, lawyers, technicians, and other business-specific consultants.

Let me repeat that:

One in four candidates came from Google Jobs!

This comes from a company that hires 400K people/year.

Are you convinced?

Back to our original topic:

What does that mean for our original example with 10 K Fewer clicks? Ultimately, you might have to spend more than the original estimate of $1-$2 per click because the click-to-apply conversion rate will differ.  

It is just a phase; it will pass!

Some might argue that the loss of clicks is temporary and can be ignored. However, this is a shortsighted view. Having jobs underperform will eventually lead to a higher churn with customers and a reduced order rate with existing customers.  

The truth is that employers also have higher expectations for performance—the constant is not good anymore—you have to grow.

In the long term, the revenue loss will be significantly higher than the $ 10K-20K monthly click investment because this will also drive your client acquisition cost, which will further eat up your margin. We all know that in the job board business, customer acquisiton costs are high. 

This is why most job boards are so focused on keeping relationships with existing clients – it is hard to get new ones – there are plenty of options on the market. 

Actionable Strategies for Job Board Operators:

How to avoid getting in this situation? 

  • Regular SEO Audits: Conduct frequent search console audits to identify and rectify issues affecting your site's visibility and ranking. Sometimes, it is all about being able to react in time.
  • Content Optimization: Ensure your content is engaging, relevant, and updated regularly with keywords that resonate with your target audience. Ensure that your taxonomy supports the niche/country you are operating in. 
  • User Experience Focus: Improve your site's user experience, including mobile responsiveness and loading speed, to enhance organic reach.
  • Backlink Strategy: Having a backlink strategy to boost your site's authority and visibility can be helpful for job boards. You can get amazing clicks for free, especially on a regional or niche level. 
  • Educate Your Team: Keep your team updated with the latest SEO trends and practices. Send them my blog 😊

Conclusion – Organic Traffic Impact on Job Boards

In summary, the significance of organic traffic for job boards extends far beyond mere numbers; it's a crucial driver of sustainable growth and client retention. Effective management of organic traffic through strategic SEO practices, from regular audits to content optimization and enhancing user experience, is essential. This focus on organic traffic safeguards against potential revenue losses and solidifies your competitive edge and margin in a competitive job board market.

Ultimately, investing in and nurturing organic traffic is crucial to your job board's sustained success and resilience.