City, University of London

A successful ongoing campaign which improved the quality of applicants to the university, as well as reducing the overhead cost.

The client

City, University of London is a leading global university focused on business and the professions. Ranked first in London for student satisfaction, City attracts around 19,000 students from more than 160 countries and academic staff from over 75 countries.

The mission

Our work started with an SEO audit of the main website,, ending in a final report highlighting key issues hindering City’s SEO performance.

View the website

What we did

Working with the in-house digital marketing team, we created an SEO strategy and plan to tackle these issues, and improve the conversion tracking. The work included:

  • Rewriting duplicate content to avoid Panda penalties
  • Implementing structured data to improve rankings
  • Setting up goals in Google Analytics to measure engagement and leads more effectively

PPC Clearing campaign

Our original audit showed that City University was potentially wasting over 60% of their PPC budget due to misspent clicks and poor structure.

For the 2014 clearing campaign, we restructured it, rewrote the ads and only focused on core subjects to minimise misspend and improve the conversion rate and quality of student. This work paid off with a CTR up 166%, a better average position and a reduction in total spend by 21%.

This was also complemented with a Facebook campaign with sponsored posts on “Success starts here”. The CTR rose by 658% and attracted almost 300% more engagements compared to the previous year. The campaign also saved 68% of the budget.

City University Facebook ad campaign

The results

Ongoing SEO work has included optimising page content, updating metadata and image names, and creating more usable URLs to maximise rankings.

The campaign saw rankings and traffic increase over the first six months:

  • 10% increase in new visitor traffic
  • 25% more keywords ranking in top 5 for Google UK
  • Top 3 results for Short courses in London and Undergraduate LLB

For the PPC Clearing campaign, it was overall a success with improved quality of applicants and reduced costs:

  • 66% rise in the number of students applying with better grades (ABB+)
  • Cost per accepted student down 33%