We Google our candidates and prospects all the time, but have you thought enough about what they find when they Google your recruitment agency?
Studies have shown that prospects will perform an average of 12 searches on your brand before they’ll even consider working with you. And likewise, 75% of candidates will research a company’s reputation before they apply to a job.
If it’s your agency’s logo on the job ad rather than your clients’, it’s your brand name they’ll fire into Google. And make no mistake - they will do their research.
Why you should Google your agency
Put yourself in your prospects’ and candidates’ shoes for a minute: If you can’t find anything substantial about a brand online or you don’t like what you see in search results, would you trust them to work with? In a competitive industry like recruitment, you don’t have to look far to find a more visible or credible recruitment brand to work with instead.
Therefore, you need to do everything you can to ensure that anyone searching for your brand online will find enough information to know they can trust you and gain a good first impression. It’s a process that PR companies call ‘reputation management’ and it’s so important to running a business nowadays that you even have automation tools designed specifically to monitor your brand online.
One quick technical word of caution: Only Google your agency once a month and when you do, go through the search results and open each relevant pages in new tabs (right click and select ‘open link in new tab’) rather than repeatedly going backwards and forwards between pages and your search results page. Otherwise, you’re telling Google that the search isn’t giving you the info you’re looking for, which can hurt your SEO.
What to look out for when Googling your brand
So what should you be looking out for when you perform a Google search on your agency’s brand? In a nutshell, you’re looking for 2 things: Negatives to manage and positives to exploit!
1. Link opportunities
If you notice any articles have been published that mention your recruitment brand but don’t link back to your website, this is a great opportunity for what we call ‘link building’ in the marketing world.
For example, has someone from the business been quoted in an article? Has a blog your company has written been referenced? Something you’ve done as a business been used as an example? If so, it’s always worth contacting the journalist or company and asking for a link back to your agency website. Not only does this drive any traffic to your site, but it’s also great for SEO so will help bump your website up in search results.
There are also reputation management tools like Meltwater and Mention that constantly scour the web looking for mentions of your brand and flagging them to you so you don’t need to keep looking. The sooner you can jump on these opportunities while they’re still fresh, the better.
2. Anything you don’t want people to see
You might be tempted to stick your head in the sand and just hope that no one comes across any bad press or negative comments about your brand in search results. But that’s never a good idea, and unfortunately, people will find them.
To keep tabs of any press coverage you get, it’s a good idea to set up a Google Alert for your brand name so you get instant notifications when something is published online that mentions your brand. To see historical coverage, pop your brand name into Google and click the ‘news’ tab to see what comes up.
You might be surprised by some of the results that end up in there (and inevitably, some good, some bad). If anything negative pops up, it’s worth thinking about running a PR campaign that will help you rebuild your brand in a positive light and bump any negativity further down the results page.
3. Another brand using the same name
There’s nothing more annoying than a totally irrelevant brand messing up your Google search results (I happen to share a name with a famous artist from the same city, which makes it really confusing for prospects and employers if they search for my articles online!).
What’s even worse is a relevant brand using the same name – this is why we always recommend agencies avoid choosing similar brand names to other recruitment agencies it makes it so unnecessarily difficult for candidates and prospects to distinguish you from other businesses.
Of course, a complete rebrand is a huge undertaking so it’s not something we suggest you do. But if you are battling it out with a brand name copycat, is there an opportunity to add something to your existing brand name that will help people distinguish you from them?
This is something that can take a bit more time but occasionally, I’ll run the intro paragraph of articles I write through Google to see if anything comes up.
And the reason I do this is, unfortunately, I’ve had my work plagarised online more than a couple of times. Not only is that shady practice, but it’s also terrible for SEO. Google can’t always tell who is the original poster, and it will bump one of you down search results for publishing duplicate content.
The same goes for images too if you take or create a lot of your own. Click the camera button in the Google search bar and this will allow you to upload your image and Google will scour the web for images that match. If someone has used your image, you can contact them and ask for a credit and link back to your recruitment website.
5. Reviews (the good, the bad and the ugly)
And do you reply to all the reviews you receive? Research has shown 62% of Glassdoor users say their perception of a company improves if they see an employer respond to a Glassdoor review.
It’s important to build regular review site check-ins into your employer branding strategy so you can keep tabs on this. There’s nothing that looks worse than an agency that has bad reviews and there’s been no attempt to resolve them. Would you want to work with a business that doesn’t care if their customers are unhappy?
Katie once headed up the Firefish blog and marketing team. She now works as a freelance copywriter and continues to contribute to our award-winning blog.