The University of Bath wanted to promote its Faculty of Engineering and Design's postgraduate taught courses. We delivered a 200% increase (year-on-year) in targeted visits to the faculty application page.

“The Faculty of Engineering and Design at the University of Bath worked with SearchStar to deliver our first dedicated PPC and remarketing campaigns to drive awareness of our postgraduate taught courses in the UK and internationally.

“The campaign delivered significant incremental traffic to our MSc pages, with some courses seeing increases in unique page views of between 80% - 125% year on year. The ability to track the impact of the activity on web traffic as well as the capacity to optimise campaigns throughout has provided us with a clear set of learnings to apply to an extended range of digital marketing going forward.”

Sarah Sempala-Ntege, University of Bath

University of Bath

The university is a leading UK higher education institute with an international reputation for teaching and research excellence. Currently placed 5th in national rankings by the Guardian Good University Guide 2018, the university boasts a number of faculty and course-specific awards accolades.

The Faculty of Engineering & Design offers postgraduate degrees in architecture and civil engineering, chemical engineering, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering.

For other work we've been doing with universities, please see our University of Bristol case study >>>

The Objectives

The campaign was designed to promote awareness of the faculty’s postgraduate-taught portfolio. Our digital marketing activity needed to deliver 16,500 clicks through to faculty MSc pages to contribute to a target of 20% year on year uplift in application numbers.

The key success metric was the number of visits to the faculty’s MSc pages that ended in one of a number of actions that signified engagement, intent to find out more about specific courses and to apply. These actions included brochure downloads, programme specification downloads, video plays, enquiry form submissions and clicks to apply.

Our focus markets for the campaign were international territories including India, Nigeria, Pakistan, South East Asia and Turkey, in addition to the UK and Europe

The Approach

In order to achieve the agreed objectives in the target markets, we put into action a series of relevant paid search campaigns. These were designed by our in-house specialists to convey key brand messaging and communicate unique selling points. Featuring compelling calls to action, our paid search campaigns made sure the university stood out from its market competitors.

Keenly aware that effective audience targeting was to make or break this campaign, we made use of the swathes of highly targeted, 3rd party data available to us across social media platforms. This approach meant that our campaigns were delivered only to relevant audiences of prospective overseas students in key locations within our target markets.

Finally, sizeable remarketing audiences were deployed across paid search, display advertising and social media platforms to ensure that the university was kept front of mind and to reinforce brand messaging.

Their Results

The combined effect of our paid search, social media and remarketing campaigns resulted in a 420% uplift in sessions and a 54% uplift in conversion rate, when compared with previous activity. Moreover, bounce rate improved by 7%, pages per session by 25% and time on site by 81%.

Importantly, visits to the faculty application page were up 200% YoY specifically from users who had visited the Engineering MSc pages. The pages we had responsibility for driving traffic to.

As a direct result of our comprehensive digital campaign, traffic and engagement rates increased significantly across the faculty’s postgraduate website.

Ultimately, the University of Bath experiences a significant uplift in student numbers for the 2017 intake across their Engineering MSc portfolio. One course in particular saw an intake increase of 50%.

For other work we've been doing with universities, please see our University of Bristol case study >>>

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