In recent years, Google has begun to penalize non-responsive websites – meaning if a website is not mobile-friendly, it will affect online ads’ quality scores and costs, and the website won’t rank as high in organic search results. When the New Mexico State Police Training and Recruiting Bureau came to us, their website was not mobile compatible. Rebuilding it would provide not only a better user experience, but also improve the recruitment marketing.
In order to reach more potential applicants, we created a new website for the New Mexico State Police. The new website is fully responsive, mobile-friendly, and was optimized for search engines. Internal links were added to further improve the website’s navigation. An advertising campaign was planned to direct Police Academy applicants to the new website.
The first online campaign using the new website began in August 2016. Strategic television media placements were secured, primarily during Olympics coverage. We were able to obtain a no charge spot for each paid commercial, essentially doubling their television budget. Stations were willing to do this because the New Mexico State Police are a State Agency, and their message is largely a public service announcement.
Although television played a key part in advertising for the Academy, our principal mode of attracting applicants was through use of search ads and display ads, the performance of which was greatly helped by the creation of a new website.
Due to the improved user experience with the new website, we saw a decreased bounce rate for mobile visitors, as well as an increase in the number of pages mobile visitors viewed.
Our statewide broadcast efforts spanned a course of only 8 days, and yielded 713,010 impressions among adults 21-49 and at the household level, 1,771,050 impressions. 84.8% of households saw the New Mexico State Police recruitment creative an average of 3.2 times. 55.9% of adults statewide between 21 and 49 saw the commercial 2.2 times. Television viewers who saw the recruitment ad would have been among the 915 applicants to reach the New Mexico State Police website organically or directly.
Search and Display advertising returned the most impressive results, directly delivering more than 63% of applicants. Paid search ads not only cost less because of the improved user experience and mobile friendliness, but paid visitors were 27% less likely to bounce, viewed 34% more pages, and spent nearly 67% more time on site than metrics from a similar campaign using the previous website. Users who reached the website by clicking on one of our paid display ads were 7% less likely to bounce, viewed 16% more pages, and spent 58% more time on the website.