FRIDAY 5 AUG 2016 2:07 PM


Digital marketing agency, Bray Leino Yucca, has revealed that just three universities in the Complete University Guide’s top ten are also listed in a top 10 list of the best university websites.

Despite the golden opportunity universities have to maximise exposure by advertising through smart phones, universities are supposedly failing to engage properly with their audience. This is cited as being down to poor search engine optimisation (SEO), which fails to ensure that institution names appear instantly when searched for.

The introduction of £9,000 tuition fees in 2011 has seen UK universities operate more like businesses – increasing the need for more transparent communications. The 2015 cap removal, which regulates the number of students each university can take, has also increased the potential intake of students by as much as 60,000.

This in turn has increased the competitiveness of the university market, making it more important than ever that digital communications are efficient and effective.

Alan Thorpe, digital and data director at Bray Leino Yucca, comments, “Universities today need to be more conscious of their online presence, as many aspiring students use websites as a major factor in their decision-making. Parents and teachers, too, are likely to carry out extensive research to support people in their choices."

Thorpe continues, “In an age where online brand is everything, the internet generation want to be proud of their choices, and feel it reflects their own personalities. If a university’s website doesn’t fit an aspiring student’s sense of identity, it is unlikely to be the first choice on their UCAS form. Key to meeting these aspirations is good quality content.”

How a university ranks is based, among other things, upon the visibility of its website on search engines, how many visitors arrive at a website via a link, and how quickly pages on the website load.

This can be achieved by setting clear targets – possibly in terms of numbers of hits – having a greater understanding of your competition, maximising the effectiveness of content by ensuring it does not appear on multiple pages, and making certain that online content is encapsulating and unique.

Managing partner of Speed Communications, the sister agency of Bray Leino Yucca, Kelly Pepworth, comments, “Great content – written copy, film or photography – provides the opportunity to differentiate you from other universities that may be being considered, so what you say has to be inspiring and unique.”

Pepworth continues, “The aim is to demonstrate your personality and why you are the right choice.”

Photo: UCL



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