UC Davis Achieves a 31% Increase in Organic Traffic

Using the BrightEdge platform, UCD grew its organic traffic and drove 4.5X more impact than with paid campaigns

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BACKGROUND

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In the past, UC Davis degrees were not treated like a core product of the institution. Director of Web Communications Adam Napolitan knew he and his team needed to improve the communications strategy around majors and programs. In addition, they had ample research showing that one of students’ top concerns is outcomes, as in ”what job am I going to get” by going to “this university” or by taking “this major.”

THE SOLUTION

By combining the core product with the prospective student audience’s highest interests, they have created a content strategy that has become their most successful marketing project to date with regard to its cost-to-benefit ratio. Their blog was named in a very straightforward way. The blog is titled the “What Can I Do With My Major? Blog.”

The Data Cube has been an essential tool for looking at keyword portfolios of our competitors on-the-fly and comparing to our own keyword inventory. Pairing the information from BrightEdge through the integration with Google Analytics has been a powerful forecasting tool, which has helped them to plan and execute a successful editorial calendar. Using artificial intelligence of the built-in Insights in BrightEdge allows to  quickly triage issues on the site with smaller and more targeted efforts. When we are ready to invest more significantly in improving technical SEO site quality, we use ContentIQ to identify technical SEO errors and warnings helping us to get the highest potential rankings with our content.

They use BrightEdge StoryBuilder dashboards as a key part of their in-depth tracking to track opportunities identified for expansion. The Data Cube has been an essential tool for looking at the keyword portfolios of competitors on-the-fly and comparing them to their own keyword inventory as they approach new content creation, identifying the gaps left by competitors in this space.

THE RESULTS

Since its launch, the Majors Blog has amassed nearly 400,000 pageviews and 200,000 users (over 160,000 of which had never been to the UC Davis website before). The "What Can I Do With My Major? Blog" achieveed as much as 4.5 times better results than the university's national advertising campaign. This effort has aided in a web traffic increase of 19% to the majors page, and a 32% increase when including the blog in the total amount of traffic.

They have increased rankings of majors in organic search, which has resulted in a 70% increase in traffic to majors-related content, a 31% increase in traffic directly to majors pages, an 18% increase to minors pages, and a 222% increase to graduate programs. As a result, most of the majors and programs covered to date have increased in enrollment -- higher than the national averages.