On-site optimisations and introducing country-specific content, to increase overseas course applications

Business school SEO

The methods students use in researching the next steps of their education have changed. SEO for Universities and Colleges is becoming increasingly necessary to stand out from other institutions in the race to attract prospective students in the top ranking positions of search results. Local SEO, deep content, paid search strategies and a responsive website are a priority with the requirement to showcase the best parts of your campus early in a student's investigatory phase.

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166% increase in organic traffic

118% increase in student applications

38:1 return on investment

Challenge

IPAG Business School is a non-profit organisation based in France. The school wanted to target prospective students based outside France, hoping to increase organic reach for students living and searching outside of France as well as recruitment applications and contact form enquiries.

Solution

An initial research and discovery phase uncovered that IPAG’s website was sending mixed messages to Google internationally via broken ‘hreflang’ tags. A restructure of IPAG’s hreflang implementation was therefore carried out, to enable each of the website’s three country-specific versions to reach its correct market.

The site’s navigation and content was then overhauled to maximise its Google ranking potential and conversion rates. More categories and subcategories were added to the dropdown menu, so courses were easier to find, read and digest. Copy, imagery and page structure was then optimised for each target country, so the content answered as many questions as users in each country were asking.

To complement the on-site work, a link development campaign seeded the site URL to relevant student listings journals and overseas university directories where the target audience would be researching potential options. This led to an ongoing improvement in the site’s external links.

Result

Increased organic traffic by 166%, increased student applications by 118%, increased contact form completions by 48%, and estimated campaign return on investment of 38:1