Sometimes, we get a little abstract on this blog. A little ethereal. Even a little theoretical.

Not today. Today, we get simple. Really simple.

Right now, you have an ad (banner, SEM ad, promoted job, etc.) that you really need to succeed. Maybe it’s because it’s a crucial position, or because your efforts to date have resulted in some pretty slim pickings. No matter. You have a job you need to fill and an ad pointed to it.

The Simple Three-step Process

Step One: Say Something
Write two paragraphs about why this job is crucial to the company. Be honest and spell out why this director of whatever is going to make a huge difference to the company, to its staff, to its leadership, to whomever.

Interview people around the company about the job. Ask staffers who will have to report to this person why they really need leadership. Ask people who will supervise this role what will matter most. Ask leadership how this new role will impact the bottom line. Get quotes.

You don’t need to be a poet or a novelist – just spell out exactly why hiring the right person for this role will make a real and obvious impact. For bonus points, take a picture of the desk where this person will sit (spend five minutes dressing it up, please).

Step Two: Build It
Take all that stuff and put it on a single Web page. Put the picture on it. Put the quotes in it. Let someone else come in and make it a little prettier. You don’t need to be Jony Ive or Nate Berkus and worry about fonts and colors – just put it on a single easy-to-read page.

And at the end of the stuff you wrote, put a link to the job. Then publish it.

Step Three: Point Your Ad to It
This is the easiest part. If you don’t trust me, you can always just point one ad to it and hedge your bets. But I assure you that this will work.

Why Does This Work?

How will this increase the value of your ad? None of this actually changes your ad, obviously, but this will increase the value of your ad. Why?

Well, in old-school Web thinking, all of what we’re doing should be bad for the ad. We’re adding an extra click from the ad to the job. And since only a handful of people who click your ad actually apply, any obstacles between the ad and the job should lower the application rate.

[pullquote]Send interested people to a page designed to convince them, not just a job description.[/pullquote]

But in new-school Web thinking, what we’re doing is giving the applicant a reason to apply.

The truth is, no matter how good your ad is, it can’t “convince” anyone to apply. All it can do is get people interested. But usually we confuse “interested” with “convinced” and send those people to the job description.

But that job description is horrible. Poorly written, boring, dry, inaccurate, full-of-jargon-and-legalese job descriptions do not convince either. So the old model of pointing the ad to the job description gets people interested and then shows them something intensely boring. No wonder your application rate is so low.

Instead, we send interested people to a page designed to convince them. You want to show them that this isn’t “just a job” to you. You want to show them that this is a job where they will make an impact, that their skills, knowledge and experience will be leveraged and appreciated.

Your job description doesn’t do that. So we put it in a separate page.

The only key is making sure that having convinced this person that they should apply, you make the link to the application process stupid-obvious. Just put it at the bottom of the content and make the link bold. The text should read something like, “Show us you’re right for this job” or “Ready to apply? We are, too.”

Follow @thewarfortalent on TwitterThat’s all there is to it. A simple three-step plan to get a lot more applications out of one ad.

You’ll thank me.