There are lots of niche job boards online that serve a unique segment of the job market. RanchWork.com is one of those sites.
Their site just underwent a WordPress redesign and I love their new look. Owner Peter Askew offered to answer some questions from me over email and today’s post is all about their site and past success. Give it a read.
1. When did you start your site and what kind of traffic do you get monthly?
RanchWork.com was originally founded in 1998 by David McCollough of GuestRanches.com. I partnered with him in 2013 to re-launch the site with an updated job board theme operating on WordPress. In 2017 I fully acquired the site from David.
Regarding traffic, we currently receive over 40,000 visits a month on average. We’ve been fortunate, as the name became a brand over the years due to our persistence & dedication posting jobs on a regular basis. Because of this, a large percentage of our traffic visit us directly each day – usually over 30%.
2. I see you run Adsense, can you share what kind of revenue you make from that? Are you a six figure job board overall?
We’re not a six figure job board – not sure if we ever will be. We’re definitely on a slow growth path, conservatively generating around mid five figures each year. We’ve never subscribed to the ‘growth at all costs’ manta, and prefer giving our projects time to develop (from a business perspective) and evolve into something useful (from a customer perspective).
We insist on providing free job posting options for Ranches with financial hardships, so that sometimes eats into our profit. We’re ok with that, though, as the goodwill helps the industry overall. The AdSense helps cover the lost revenue from free job postings, and usually contributes around $8k-$10k a year in extra revenue. We could aggressively push AdSense to generate more in revenue, but decided against that as we prefer a balanced design with fewer ads, and a stronger focus on the job postings themselves.
3. What tips do you have for maximizing Adsense blocks on site?
Run experiments within AdSense. Google has made that process much easier over the years, and all it takes is a few clicks from a Publisher to setup. Also, don’t forget the Link Unit ad format. We’ve found it performs as good, if not better, than regular text/creative ads.
4. The new site looks great, which theme did you use and what are the best features of the new look?
We rebuilt the site in 2019, all on a custom job board theme we developed with our friends at Jill Lynn Design & Development (https://jilllynndesign.com/). The best features are mainly behind the scenes, and include site speed, Stripe integration, mobile responsiveness, and our new jobs newsletter.
5. Hows your Google for Jobs traffic? going up-down-flat?
Comparing YOY, our search traffic grew slightly – around 1% – in 2019. We’re seeing the most growth in direct traffic, which grew 34% YOY from 2018. We’re very happy with that statistic.
6. What do you know now about running a job that you wish you did prior to starting?
I wish I began collecting email addresses from day one (for our jobs newsletter). We previously had a 16k follower Facebook page, but decided to delete that due to Facebook’s misleading and dishonest business practices, where they effectively strangled our ability to speak to our audience. We shifted that focus onto our own email list, that we control, where we can speak directly to our audience, without limitations.