PPC for Recruitment Agencies – Tips and Advice

AdWords PPC for recruitment agencies targets one thing: efficiently increasing the number of client enquiries.

Other factors such as the number of web visits, click through rate or cost per click need consideration, but at the end of the day, return on investment is king in all sectors, not just recruitment.

Although job applications (and applicants) are important, it is unlikely that a PPC campaign for recruitment companies are targeting job seekers. These will come mostly from job boards and LinkedIn where a lot of effort goes into publicising the vacancies.

Related: PPC Campaign OptimisationManchester Adwords Certified Partner

Targeting new clients – PPC for Recruitment Agencies.

Many PPC campaigns being run by recruitment companies attract a lot of activity from people looking for work, rather than clients looking for a recruitment partner. This represents wasted budget and poor conversion.

Below are some ideas on how to target recruitment clients, rather than applicants.

Recruitment PPC Basics

Campaign Structure

Your PPC recruitment campaign structure should be organised by either service, location or sector. Each Ad Group should be focussed to allow specific and relevant ad content and equally relevant landing page.

Keyword Selection

Consider your key services, “recruitment” and “employment”, combined with secondary keywords, for example, “Agency” and “services”, you could then overlay these with location and sector keywords depending on your target audience. For example, “Surrey” + “IT” : IT recruitment agency Surrey.

Quality scores

By using the right keywords in combination with Ad text and landing pages, your quality scores will be good, leading to lower costs and better return on investment.

Advanced PPC for Recruitment Agencies

Ad Extensions

Ensure you populate every possible extension with relevant content. Especially important is linking your AdWords account to your Google Business page. This will enable the call and location settings from your business account.

Budgets / Bidding options

There are a number of automated bidding options in AdWords (and many 3rd party options) that are really no replacement for keeping an eye on performance and ROI. Check in regularly to your campaign. If you are getting outbid on some competitive (and efficient) keywords (because you obviously have conversion set up!) then you can move to bid on conversion. This takes a while to establish, however, so keep checking, testing and adjusting.

Landing pages

Make sure you optimise your landing page for visitors to easily understand what you are offering and give them a quick simple way to get in contact. Simplicity, working well on all devices, fast load time and a strong call to action are all important factors.


A lot has been written about the value of using Googles search network and display advertising. Both have their advantages to many sectors, but acquiring new recruitment clients is not one of them. More likely that your ads will be placed on job sites on other applicant relevant searches. The time taken to fully qualify these out and get to the real value is often not worth the waste in the budget.

The one exception to this is if your target clients have an industry site that you can advertise on. For example, if you specialise in recruitment for insurance, advertising your services on the Insurance Times website (via Google) could well make sense.

LinkedIn is always an option for B2B advertising and is worthy of separate consideration.

Focus on Recruitment Clients

Negative Keywords selection

Negative keywords for recruitment campaigns must include “jobs” and “vacancies”. These are almost certainly job seekers and not potential clients. Other negative keywords should include sectors your recruitment agency doesn’t specialise in, for example, “warehouse” or “beauty” (depending on whom you serve!). “job centre” is also a good negative! Check what search terms are triggering clicks on your adverts. Negative keyword contenders will jump out.

Targeting (location / devices)

Location targeting allows you to target your local area. Optionally you can target “People in my targeted Location” rather than “People in or who show interest in my targeted location”. This ensures that you are targeting businesses in your location and not job seekers looking to move into the area. It could be argued that some companies have a centralised recruitment department in a different area. Depending on your circumstances you may want to allow for this.


To focus more on businesses, concentrate on desktop searches. Either reduce the bids for mobile devices or increase desktop searches. Again, some smaller businesses may search on mobile devices, so you don’t want to remove them completely.


Focus on business by advertising during standard working hours – exclude weekends and Monday mornings when most people start looking for jobs.

recruitment adwords schedule
Potential recruitment ppc schedule

In Conclusion

The the most out of your PPC campaign for Recruitment – create an optimised AdWords campaign based on the above considerations and start growing your recruitment business!

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