While paid search ads and search engine optimisation (SEO) can be worked on in isolation, it’s often better to do them in a combined way because the insights from each can help to improve the other, leading to better results faster.
The Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) is the tertiary education provider for the East Coast of New Zealand’s North Island. They offer an extensive range of programmes of more than 150 postgraduate, degree, diploma and certificate level programmes, across an impressive range of subject areas.
EIT’s domestic marketing team wanted more New Zealand search visitors to find their website and to enquire or enrol from the site. They also had specific programme areas in need of filling for the Semester 1 intake.
We quickly discovered by looking at EIT’s paid Google Ads that they were focused heavily on brand name words (like ‘EIT’) and were attracting mostly search visitors that knew about them already. Conversely, EIT wasn’t showing up in organic search results for many of the words that people looking for tertiary courses actually used. We used keyword research, on-page optimisation, and tech SEO to double the amount of search words they were visible for and boost EIT’s online enrolments.
Image: Increase in organic traffic activity on the online enrolment link on the graduate diploma of business page.
Technical SEO refers to website and server optimisations that help search engine spiders crawl and index your site more effectively (to help improve organic rankings). On-page SEO is the practice of optimising individual web pages in order to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic in search engines. On-page refers to both the content and HTML source code of a page that can be optimised.
Image: Increase in organic user website actions site-wide.
They’ve become much more visible for the words people are actually using which means the number of highly relevant organic visitors to the site has increased. And by reducing the branded search keywords from EIT’s Google Search Ads, we freed up their paid search budget to focus on the areas of need and drive traffic to those specific areas. 85% of their enrolments and 60% of all visitors were from organic.
Image: Increase in overall free organic user volumes year on year. We have not yet worked on the whole site’s SEO, only select areas of need, but this is already having an impact on the site-wide organic user volumes.
The results have been very encouraging. Nearly all of the metrics have risen significantly, and most importantly, web enrolments are up 47% year-on-year and web enquirers up by 71%.
“For the first time in a number of years the Semester 1 campaign is ahead of what we expected it to be”.
Executive Director – Marketing, Brenda Chapman