Case Study: Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC)

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About The Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC) 

The Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC) is supported by over 700 universities including Harvard, Princeton, and Stanford. Their mission is to help universities promote diversity and inclusion among their faculty and administration. They serve two primary audiences. The first are the universities that need help filling open positions with diverse candidates. The second are diverse job seekers. HERC provides a wide range of resources to those job seekers to help them find, develop, and advance their careers in higher education.  By doing that, they are able to help Universities that financially support HERC source great administrators and faculty members from a very diverse pool of candidates.

The Challenge

HERC’s previous website was difficult to manage. They had two versions of their website (one for desktop and one for mobile) and any changes or updates had to be individually applied to each version.  It was time consuming and impossible to maintain. As a result, the volume of organic traffic from Google was consistently declining.  Therefore their jobseeker audience was also declining and their members were dissatisfied as they had smaller and smaller pools of qualified candidates to choose from.

HERC needed a new website that would be easier to manage and update and they needed a strong SEO strategy to help recover from the decline in organic traffic.

The Assessment

WSI Connect was initially brought in to do a technical SEO audit along with a competitive analysis.  We completed the SEO audit, identifying a number of problems with their existing website and attempted to work with the existing marketing agency to fix a number of those problems.  However, the existing agency required a significant investment to rebuild HERC’s website on their own proprietary platform.  HERC asked us for a proposal as well and we put together a package that included a new WordPress responsive website, monthly SEO work, content marketing deliverables, website hosting and support, and monthly reporting and analytics. According to the team at HERC, the comparison of the proposals lead to a decision that was a “no brainer” and we signed the contract a week later.


The timeline for deployment of the new website was very aggressive and both teams worked overtime.  The home page needed to be better optimized for job searchers.

HERCjobs - Home Page - WSI Connect Digital Marketing-1

HERC has 17 regional offices and we created SEO content for each location to help improve their rankings in Google.  Along with extensive technical SEO improvements, we also provided a significant amount of graphic design.

HERCjobs - New England Regional Page - WSI Connect Digital Marketing-1

After deployment of the website, we continued to support HERC’s website and developed a content marketing strategy.  The content marketing strategy included combining multiple blog posts into ebooks.  We created landing pages and workflows so that the ebooks could be used as gated content that helped build and segment their email database.Each month we produce a report tracking KPI’s based on data from Google Analytics and discuss areas for additional growth.

HERCjobs - ebook landing page - WSI Connect Digital Marketing-1

The Results

  • 30% increase in Google organic year over year growth
  • Since the new website launch in September: 60,000 people registered for a free account with HERC. Unprecedented numbers of jobseekers. 
  • 1,100 eBook downloads to date.

Harvard University is HERC’s largest supporter and Ruth Molina (featured in the video) is a key decision maker.  She is employed by both HERC and Harvard University and her video testimonial shows her level of satisfaction. 

Ruth provides great feedback on the new website and highlights the growth in job seeker registrations which is essential to HERC’s existence.  Without a growing pool of job seekers, the colleges and Universities (member institutions) that HERC depends on, would not provide their financial support. 
In less than a year WSI Connect was able to turn HERC’s decline into significant growth.

wsi quotation

We were very excited to partner with WSI Connect in order to help us redesign our website… WSI Connect has been a great partner helping us come up with creative ideas to improve our marketing strategy. The WSI Connect team has come up with relevant and creative ideas for driving traffic to our website like ebooks which helped us repackage our content into materials that can be accessible … I was delighted to participate during this process. We hope to continue to engage with WSI Connect in future projects and we hope that they continue to assist us in helping identify ways to improve our marketing strategy”

-Ruth Molina, New England HERC Director at Harvard University


wsi quotationVery responsive and willing to go the extra mile

We had WSI Connect do a complete redesign of our website. They made us a responsive website, and it is now optimized for mobile phones. It really turned out great, and we are very happy with it. The WSI Connect team also helped us out with search engine optimization (SEO), and we are starting to see some really positive results on that front. It has been an excellent overall experience, and I would definitely recommend WSI Connect to anybody interested in website redesign and SEO!

-Erin Bruns, Marketing Director at HERC


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Topics: SEO, Website Design, Case Study

Luke Middendorf

I help our clients develop and implement effective digital marketing strategies. I spend a significant amount of time learning about their products, services, and target markets so that we can create a plan that delivers a real return on investment.

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