Your Website is For Your Audience Not For You | Venn Digital

Your Website is For Your Audience Not For You

3 minutes

By Maegan Sullivan

Marketing Manager

Who is your website currently built for? Is it for your internal team, perhaps an old Marketing Manager took on the project five years ago. Or maybe it’s a space that currently only serves one purpose, to post jobs.

In our 2021 Recruitment Playbook, we discuss the importance of designing a destination that connects to your target audience, enhancing their unique user journeys. All too often we speak with recruitment brands that don’t fully see the potential in a website. Instead, they focus on the way it looks, and their personal attachment to the design.

It’s common for brands to put themselves and their priorities first when designing a new website. By doing this they neglect the characteristics of their audience personas. Without the incentive to stay on the site and engage, what’s to stop that target audience from dropping off and going to a competitor?

Do you know who your audience personas are?

Your website is the very first impression of your brand. Particularly in a world where working from home is the norm and face-to-face meetings are rare. So it’s crucial that your site provides an engaging and considered journey for those that you are trying to attract.

“A buyer persona is your ideal customer(s). They can be based on who you believe would like to buy your products or services or backed by data. If you’re a start-up you will have spent a long-time building your offering and have carried out research on who your products/services are most suited to. Building a persona(s) can help you to tailor your sales and marketing messages to them.” – Leah Tillyer, Operations Director at Venn.

We’ve found that 90% of the recruitment brands we speak to can’t tell us who their audience personas are. Because of this, brands are missing out on potential sales as they are not optimising their sites for the right traffic.

For recruitment, audience personas can be broadly split into three categories; candidates, clients and internal talent. This can also be narrowed down depending on the sector they work in, their job role, and further characteristics. Identifying your personas allows you to tailor your website, content and marketing activities to resonate with those people. By focussing first on your objectives, creating these persona profiles is the next step to ensuring your website design is fit for purpose.

What’s the purpose of your site?

The purpose of your site is to engage with your target audience. This should be based on your objectives. So many recruitment businesses believe that websites serve one purpose, to post jobs. However, your site has the power to do so much more.

Are you looking to attract passive or active candidates or clients? Are you looking to gain internal talent?

These are important questions that we ask when designing a new site for a client. This is because it tells us who they are aiming to engage and convert.

Your audience consists of both active and passive candidates and clients. By simply using your site to post jobs, you are only creating a space for active candidates. If your site doesn’t offer engagement for that passive audience, why would they stick around?

Beyond candidates and clients, some brands are looking to attract internal talent. Employer brand is often overlooked, with websites having just a single page containing some business info and internal vacancies. In reality, this audience requires a different set of considerations. When they visit your site, they’re not looking at the job search, instead, they want to learn about your culture and values and what it means to work for you.

Once you have identified your objectives we can design a site that will engage with your target audience encouraging conversion. This may be a dedicated careers site, a candidate first journey, or a content-focused design to attract new clients.

Measuring success

As part of our web design process here at Venn, we identify your audience personas, giving them profiles that help us optimise the design for their specific journey. By creating user journeys, we can map out how each visitor will navigate the site, showing us all the touchpoints that will need to be considered.

There are certain metrics that we look at to help with continuous improvement to the user journeys. Using Google Analytics we can see how users are engaging with pages over time. Are people converting? Is the bounce rate high? There are many ways we can analyse the effectiveness of your website design.

Design is about so much more than the way the site looks. It considers the users and helps to push them through the sales funnel, with the ultimate goal being conversion. Whether this is in the form of a job application or a new business enquiry.

Using monitoring tools such as Hotjar, we can see the traffic to your site and how they interact when on-page. We can see if the page layout is working and whether or not they are responding to the CTA, allowing us to give educated suggestions on how it can be improved.



We can also see which demographics are visiting your site. This gives us insight into whether or not your site is resonating with your target audience.

Charlton Morris took an extreme approach to ensure they were connecting with their audience. By creating a new experience where jobs were not the main focus, we helped them develop a brand that their audience could trust. Working in the life science sector, it was clear that their personas valued knowledge and understanding.

By building a site that could host a large amount of content, Charlton Morris now has a destination that users want to engage with. This in turn has resulted in a community-driven brand that encourages long-standing partnerships.

In summary, understanding your objectives is the first step to engaging with your audience personas. We’ve worked with 100’s of recruitment agencies over the years, and as a result, have developed a tried and tested method for recruitment digital strategy.

Digital is now more important than ever and we have seen a surge in demand for strategic support over the last few months. In a post-pandemic world, we are seeing even more recruiters investing in their brand and online experience.

Our talented team work hard to educate our clients, helping them achieve real results. As the shift from candidate attracting moves to client acquisition, we are here to support you with a sales-driven strategy.

Discover more about audience personas along with our 4-step guide to recruitment digital strategy in our 2021 Recruitment Playbook. Now available to download, this piece looks at the changes in the recruitment landscape, and what you should consider when developing a digital strategy. 

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