Research-focussed search campaign, to increase course applications and interest in a new campus.

Research-led 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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92% increase in course applications

135% boost in global traffic to the Study section

57% improvement in registrations of interest


Having opened a new global campus located in Dubai, The University of Birmingham Dubai wanted to target prospective students online in UAE, India, Pakistan and Nigeria. The goals were to increase traffic to the ‘Study’ section of the website, course applications and the number of users registering their interest.


The campaign strategy was centred around understanding how prospective students would be searching for the university and then developing a plan to optimise around those terms. Research identified that the target audience was searching in a multi-faceted way – for specific course offering, degree type (BSc, MSc, BEng and so on) and information on applications, fees and funding. A structured approach was developed to meet the search intent of these different audiences.


The campaign illustrates that search optimisation which is based around user search intent can deliver sustainable business growth. 143% increase in traffic from UAE, India, Pakistan and Nigeria, 135% boost in global traffic to the Study section of the website, 92% increase in course applications, 57% improvement in registrations of interest.