Effective & Efficient Information Communications for todays Students


Communications Strategy


We can provide advice and consultation on implementing an information communictions strategy.  Contact Joanna Turner   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

+44 797 342 9617

Website Content & Semantics

The introduction of Hummingbird in 2013 by Google placed emphasis on intent and semantics.  Semantics is the branch of linguistics and logic concerned with meaning.   Google changed the way it analyses search queries. Instead of looking at them as string of individual words, the search engine tries to discern the meaning behind the phrase. And then, deliver the most accurate results based on what it thinks the user’s looking for.

This means that the role of your content optimisation is not only to provide a relevancy factor (keywords) but also to help Google to better understand what your page is about.  The way to address this is to incorporate keywords into content, and ensure content answers the searchers keyword intent.

For instance a user searches for recognised economics degree in Europe. The intent is to find a recognised economics degree at a European university.  The universities that are offering Economics degrees  should be incorporating content that answers the intent:

The University offers a an economics degree that is internationally recognised and accredited by the economics society of the universe.

This approach incorporates keywords but the focus is on making the content relevant and concise.  It is important to use keywords but to write content that is appealing to readers as it is to search engines.

The organic search on Google UK  for;  recognised economic degrees Europe, the  first listing is the University of Leeds - the page it opens states;

This course is designed for students with some prior knowledge of economics and is recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

Identifying the keywords and semantics is made easier by Google, for instance enter economics degrees Europe, a common and likely search phase and easy to incorporate content on a webpage to answer the question.  However lets look at related searches that appear for the search economics degrees Europe:

economics degrees entry requirements

economics degrees in demand

economics degrees salary

economics degrees without maths

economics degrees that don't require maths

We can now incorporate all the answers to the above search phases in an overview paragraph of our economics degree:

The Degrees in Economics is internationally recognised and accredited.  The entry requirements demand a complete high school education, students are not required to have maths but will be required to pass our standard maths exam.  

Economics degree graduates are in demand and many students secure work before they graduate, the average starting salary is £24,000

Now we have addressed the searchers intent by providing answers along side keywords in the content, we need to ensure that we all ways take searchers to the next step.  In the case of universities this will be enquire now and apply now, alongside university benefits and USPS.

Generic marketing of a university becomes a lot more difficult with semantics as the intent of searchers tends to be focused.  Searchers are more likely to be searching for a course they are interested in rather than a university.  Targeted marketing of specific courses enables the searchers intent to be addressed and the searchers interest to be engaged.



Are 97% of your Website Visitors Disappearing Without a Trace?


Statistics indicate that only 1-3% of your website visitors will make a buying decisions the first time they come to your website.  When your digital marketing campaign is driving qualified traffic to your website, what do you do with the remaining 97% of visitors who did not apply to your university the first time they visited the site? Interestingly more universities have an Apply Now option across their site but not an Enquire Now option, this means that potentially a university will not be able to have further communications with  97 - 99%% of students that are visiting their website.  

If you have not captured their data there is nothing you can do! This why a call to action (CTA) is really important as it will ensure that the university can have an ongoing dialogue with potential students.

Next a strategic email marketing campaign will really assist in engaging the student. Marketing research shows that over 65% of consumers are inclined to make a purchase in association with a well planned email campaign. 

Hobson’s Marketing Chanel Optimisation reflects this, the research showed that all students: Domestic, international, undergraduate, postgraduate preferred communication by email, infact 95% of domestic students and 98% of international students preferred communication by email. Also the most popular frequency of emails to students was weekly.

Email communication is key, investment in CTA secures the data but equally important is the email content. With a majority of emails opened via a mobile device all email marketing needs to be mobile-ready, with strong content strategy  aligned with the information needs of the students. The key here is little and often rather than long emails sent every couple of months.

By having regular communications with your potential students you develop a relationship, the student feels that the university is interested in them as a student.  The chance of the student enrolling at your university is enhanced.

Joanna Turner is the Director of HE Coms   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." data-cke-saved-' + path + '\'' + prefix + ':' + addy91936 + '\'>'+addy_text91936+'<\/a>'; //-->   www.hecoms.co.uk


Information Communication Audits - Are you telling students what they want to hear?

A recent report reinforces that websites are the number one resource for students looking to apply to university.  This is nothing new and for a good few years universities have been investing in SEO and online campaigns to ensure their website are found by students.

  • At first, success on the net was measured by the number of hits on a website
  • Next, the number of pages visited and time spent on the site was important
  • The focus was turned to back links and keyword optimisation to increase website rankings
  • The trend  moved on to online advertising and online retargeting advertising -  adverts chasing people around the web!
  • Then came content marketing attracting and retaining customers by creating content with the intention of changing or enhancing consumer behaviour.
  • And now we have Information communication marketing which is extremely relevant to student recruitment as it is driven by providing potential clients (students) with the information they require to make an informed decision
This requires a thorough understanding of your students information requirements. Once we understand what information is required the way it is communicated is equally important.

However,  the information that is provided and  the way it has been communicated - in terms of navigation , content and presentation - have been neglected. 
By addressing the area of information and communications we are guaranteed efficient and effective student recruitment, increased enquiries, applications and enrolments.

Our Information communication audits will enable you to see if you are providing students with the information they require in an accessible and engaging way.

Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." data-cke-saved-href="mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  www.hecoms.co.uk

Visual Content - What are your students seeing

We have established the fact that visual content is important on websites in providing information and communication with potential students.  We know that every university website has lots of visuals with happy smiling students but what visuals do students actually want to see?

The first question to ask is what are we trying to accomplish with visual images?  The answer is to engage potential students.  We understand that students like emotion and emotion can come in many forms for instance:  




Both images provoke emotion but one is commonly used across university websites.  The issue here is that images must be relevant to content.  So if you have a homepage for student support them happy smiling students are relevant. However, if your university is responsible for groundbreaking research that has enabled thousands of starving children to be provided with a nutritional shake, the first image is appropriate.

The message here is images need to reflect content, we know what information students want to make decisions and content and content images need to back this up.  For instance location is important, therefore images of the universities location is important, not just the campus but where it is located in relation to the city.

What makes the university unique?  how can this be reflected in images? An Applied Science University that offers hands on learning can use photos of students in that learning environment or students on work placements.  Universities who have excelled because of research can use images to demonstrate what they have achieved for instance 3 D printed shoes;

Wearable 3D Printed Shoes

The next question is the content worthy of an image?  It is better to have no image than an irrelevant image.  Relevant unique images as above resonate with students and are likely to be shared.  

Lastly, Visual content also needs to be mindful of the universities mission and brand, visual images can be used to reinforce these messages. If an image is very strong and reflective make sure that a CTA is close by.

For further information on Visual images and content contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.www.hecoms.co.uk.