Reason for an Online Searchable Database
How long does it take to create the “perfect” website? For Cary K., the owner of CityGovJobs.com, his vision began around 2009. Thanks to his experience and research in the city hiring process, he knew about the lag and gridlock for hiring managers and job seekers all too well. When considering all the existing cities, counties, and online job boards, our client’s vision of creating an online searchable database dedicated to public sector work was born.
The purpose of a new site was to break existing virtual barriers and time consuming tasks for job seekers and city hiring managers alike. After hearing Cary’s insight, we set out to develop an employee/employer searchable database website that included a Stripe subscription payment model and a marketing campaign to gain faster traction.
You might ask, is another online job board necessary? Understanding the problems facing hiring managers and new talent are key to understanding the reason for this service. For job seekers, this includes posting a job, sending notification emails, creating a profile, or loading a resume across multiple sites. On the other end, a city official responsible for hiring can spend multiple hours posting and editing similar jobs time and time again to individual job boards. This practice can leave managers and job seekers with less time to be productive and low morale when there’s a low response rate.
We knew there could be a better way.
Customizing The Backend Structure for a Searchable Database
Prior to contacting Endertech, the client personally worked to plan the “dream- site” he envisioned, even going so far as to create a prototype. Along with the prototype, he also mapped out specific goals that included mockups of the site. Even with this level of detail, he had trouble finding a software company to see the need for his careful planning, or even seem to understand the depth of what he was trying to create.
In comes Endertech. To begin the project, the client provided a large pool of public data about city and county jobs and their respective city profiles. This included records about job titles, job descriptions, city locations and much more. To house this level of data on the website, our developers engineered a backend structure that gives the administrator a clutter-free environment to manage users, profiles and related data. Being able to maintain a sizable amount of jobs and profiles is the life of the site, therefore, a top priority.
To make this possible, we implemented the use of Symfony and MySQL. These technologies help with organizing and sorting data, while producing faster results when using search tools inside and outside the site. With a long-term goal of increasing payment subscription accounts from city employers and fresh talent pools, this backend data structure supports growth and stability of the site.
Stripe API and the Reason for a Subscription Model
Increasing subscribers also meant developing a more complex subscription payment system. Because of the level of subscriptions available, integration with a Stripe payment system was a major addition to the site. This enables the site to charge users for their subscription choice and further dictate access to features inside their profiles.
Job seekers and employers are able to choose the membership that best suits their needs. Each user gets to choose from three different options. This meant six different payment options needed to be developed within the website. Offering a variety of levels to users also promotes access and affordability. Users only pay for what they need. And who can complain about that?
Making the Online Searchable Database, Searchable
The other focus for the client was a marketing campaign aimed to grow traffic for the brand new site. After all, what good is a well-built website if nobody sees it? CityGovJobs provides a valuable resource for a segment of the labor market. Making good use of properly grouped data inside the website, we started a Google campaign to increase traffic and subscribers which increased organic traffic by 1,600% in a span of four months.
The marketing campaign is based on using Google Structured Data, which is also known as Schema Markup. This may sound intimidating, but it shouldn’t. We use this method to carefully label content on the site so Google can identify and recall it the next time job searches match information on the new website.
You may think this already happens instantly and you’re not wrong. But Google Structured Data goes deeper than posting jobs on a page and crossing your fingers. When you and I visit a page and read the title of a blog, we comprehend it’s a title because of its position, font and size, and sometimes obvious language. But for Google site crawlers to instantly recognize this, it needs data on user interactions, bounce rates, length of sessions and this takes time to collect. By adding Schema markup to all the job data, we’re adding Schema terms to help Google crawlers identify exactly what they’re indexing or reading. This tells Google, this is a job, in this city, for this job title and these responsibilities.
When using Google Structured Data, we’re using Schema language to markup what the content of each job or page includes. So the next time someone types in a matching job search, Google easily reads the markup language and matches the job listing to organic job searches. This, in turn, increases traffic and increases subscribers.
Aside from the huge increase in organic traffic, the website has seen positive results in many categories. In the two months leading up to this case study, the website saw increases of 164% in total users, 175% in new users, 127% in total sessions, and an 89% increase in total page views. With an increase of 42% in subscriptions. This was a major indicator that schema markup has been beneficial to the client’s goals.
Future-Proof with Subscription Payments and Data Management Features
After years of planning and researching, our client has seen his vision of an online job database come true. The website has solved factors in the hiring process by featuring automated functions that speed up actions for users on both sides. The site can house massive data and is built to sustain exponential growth. It can also capitalize on the development of a Stripe API subscription system with positive growth coming from our Google Structured Data campaign.
Now our client can focus on growing the business without worrying whether the website can handle additional data storage, new traffic, or additional payment processing options. Developing the best website for your business is not always about what you need at the moment, it’s also important to learn what will be necessary for your business to grow. Which platforms or payment technologies give you and your website the most flexibility are suitable topics to discuss with developers and business partners. The goal should be to solve a problem and leave open paths to future growth.