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SEO for Higher Education in the UK

In a world where some markets are significantly more competitive than others, higher education in Britain stands out as a particularly unforgiving arena—especially in organic search, where there's no such thing as a guaranteed outcome. You could compare it to securing a place at a world-leading university: the competition is fierce, and you need to be on top of your game at all times in order to stand a chance. That's where DAC steps in. Our SEO experts know the education vertical inside and out, and have plenty of experience applying their tailored "test-measure-refine" approach on behalf of some of the world's best-known—and most digitally progressive—higher education institutions. We'd love to know more about your goals in organic search, so reach out to our "Geeks with Personality" today.

Does your SEO make the grade?

When you consider that two-thirds of prospective online students spend around eight weeks researching programmes and refining their applications1, it's easy to see why higher education providers have to make information easily accessible to prospective students. Let's just come out and state the obvious: if nobody can find out what your institution offers, nobody is going to enroll.

SEO, as we all know, is about boosting your visibility at the most opportune times in the buyer journey (or, in this case, applicant journey), but how do you go about maintaining that attention and nurturing further interest? Our approach brings SEO best practices to new heights by leveraging high-quality content at the right time and place. We appreciate that not every school has the built-in prestige of an Oxford or Cambridge, but that doesn't mean you can't attract students with strategically optimised, content-driven pages that drive a measurable lift in performance.

Choosing a college, university, or degree programme is an involved process, which gives providers a great opportunity to play the long game—and use a targeted approach to attract the students most likely to enroll in the near future. Deriving strategies from original, in-depth market research, our specialists create bespoke SEO campaigns that will help your institution stand out to potential students, giving them the rich content experience they need to make the right decision for their education.


Pre-prospectus perusing: Almost half of students (44%) rely on search engines to learn more about their institutions of interest2


Step one: be seen: 60% of higher education marketing administrators said they had created a brand strategy to boost overall awareness of their institution3


Slow and steady wins the race: Personalised website content creates a more relevant experience for the overwhelming majority (85%) of applicants who do not apply on their first visit to a college or university's site4


Who are you targeting? 48% of marketing professionals identified keyword/phrase research as the most effective SEO tactic5

1, 2 The Learning House, Inc. and Aslanaian Market Research, “Online College Students: Comprehensive Data on Demands and Preferences Report”, 2015
3, 4 Hanover Research, “2016 Trends in Higher Education Marketing, Enrollment, and Technology”, 2015
5 Ascend2 and Research Partners, "Search Engine Optimization Survey", June 2015

So what did we learn? That our SEO team provides:

  • Content that adheres to the golden rule: quality over quantity
  • Never processed, always organic results
  • Long-term strategies based on detailed research

SEO is a challenge for higher education brands. Would yours make the grade?

Be a part of the local revolution

Locally focused digital marketing relies on maximising every single tweet, banner ad, search query, and landing page—after all, if you aren’t connecting with the right consumer at the right time, it’s all for nothing. DAC’s goal is to increase the reach, relevance, and reputation of all your digital marketing initiatives. And we’d like to think we’re pretty good at it too.

5 bn

More than 5 billion people use mobile phones1


79% of shoppers research products before making in-store purchases2

1 GSMA Intelligence, 2018
2 Salesforce, "Connected Shoppers Report", 2017

We’re the type of agency that makes a conscious effort to learn something new every day. 

Look no further than DAC for an agency that combines SEO experience and creativity to drive performance for your higher education brand.

Since our original incarnation as a regional print directory advertiser 46 years ago, DAC has been hard at work developing into a full-service digital performance agency. With our focus on local, we’ve remained at the forefront of digital marketing innovation and become a leader in the industry. You can find our “Geeks with Personality” in offices all over Canada, the US, and Europe hard at work connecting brands with consumers.

THE KEY WORD BLOG Preaching to the conversion-minded

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We can help your business grow and thrive in digital—and it all starts with a friendly chat.