City, University of London PPC & Paid Social case study | MintTwist
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City, University of London

City, University of London is a leading global university focused on business and the professions attracting over 19,000 students from more than 160 countries and academic staff from over 75 countries.

We created a successful ongoing PPC and Social Advertising campaign which improved the quality of applicants and reduced acquisition cost per student.

The mission

  • Drive more organic traffic to City, University of London’s websites
  • Provide SEO and PPC consultancy
  • Develop plans for undergraduate, postgraduate and short courses
  • Improve conversion rate for organic and paid traffic

Our work with City involves many aspects of digital marketing; SEO, social media advertising, search advertising and display. All of this is accompanied by ongoing strategic support and knowledge transfer.

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.


Increase in new visitor traffic


More keywords ranking in the top 5 search results for Google UK


Rise in the number of students applying with better grades (ABB+)


Decrease in cost per accepted student

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%

MintTwist have been great to work with; they understood our organisation’s objectives and helped us to build a solid digital strategy based on this. The success of our digital campaigns have improved enormously as a result.
Josie GleaveShort Courses Marketing

And so…

Our in-house digital marketing team implemented the plan with some amazing results from both SEO and PPC efforts.

Utilising SEO, we improved in City University’s ranking positions significantly for relevant keywords This has led to more traffic from new potential students and granting a greater scope for organic, scaleable growth into the future.

Furthermore, PPC campaigns streamlined and cut the costs of previous paid campaign efforts while also increasing the grade quality from new student applicants.

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