Whatuni and Postgraduatesearch – what client GA reports say

What we learned from 50,000 users across 18 learning provider websites

We crunched the Google Analytics data of 18 Higher Education institutions and found some interesting results.

It's not about volume

It’s probable that at some point in your life you’ve woken up from the night before regretting over-indulgence in a cheap red wine. It’s a lesson most learn quickly in life to focus on quality rather than quantity.

Similarly, most marketers realise early on in their careers that focussing on volume without quality won’t bring the right results.

But when it comes to Higher education marketing, how do you define quality? And how do you work with partners who can provide it?

But how do I know if it’s quality?

Quality traffic will convert. If you’ve set up goals or are tracking conversion via your website, that’s the best way to recognise good quality referrals.

But if you haven’t started tracking goals yet, what else should you look for?
  • Firstly you should look for signs of engagement. Traffic that stays on your site and that spends time reading your content.
  • Secondly you should keep your eye out for new users - people who haven’t been introduced to you before.

So we set ourselves a challenge...

At Hotcourses we believe in measuring and proving (or disproving!) assumptions. We knew that our sites pre-qualified learners and that they were engaged in their researching, but how could we prove that we send clients new, engaged prospective students every day?

So we set ourselves the challenge of proving our traffic was quality.

But how could we begin? A lot of providers didn’t have goals set up to track conversion (more to come on this soon) so we decided to look at site engagement across a huge number of clients. If we could see patterns of engaged traffic, then we should be able to demonstrate engaged prospective students.

In all we crunched data from over 50,000 unique users and 18 different clients to build the following picture…

Our sites find you pre-qualified learners

The bounce rate in Google Analytics shows if the user left your site after viewing only one page. The lower the bounce rate the better.

We looked at how Whatuni.com and Postgraduatesearch.com traffic performed on clients sites when compared to how the rest of their traffic performed.

On average, our users stay on your site 17% more than the rest of your traffic.

Pre-qualified traffic:

We bounce 17% less

Seriously serious researchers

The amount of pages that users view on your site show how serious they are about your institution. We looked at the pages per visit stat across our 18 client reports.

Our traffic viewed 5.9 pages per visit, compared to 3.6 pages on average. Prospective learners will already have researched your institution and courses on our sites – combining both reveals a serious level of serious research!

Pages per visit

New introductions

Having more of something you already have really isn’t that useful. Likewise, spending money on bringing the same users to your site again and again might not always be the best use of your money.

Whatuni and Postgraduatesearch spend their time introducing you to new learners. People who are engaging with your brand for the first time, giving you new opportunities to convert.

On average, 60% of the prospective traffic we send to our clients is new and hasn’t previously visited their website. When looking at the average for other sources of traffic, the percentage drops to just 45% new traffic to the client’s website. So our sites are providing 15% more new introductions to you than your other marketing.

How do we send you quality traffic?

Our websites are not just referral sites, we spend a lot of time on our user experience, making sure our learners have searched for your courses and researched your organisation before sending them to your website.

With the ability to filter, shortlist and compare, Hotcourses’ prospective learners are already informed and converted before they reach you.

What next?

We’re going to keep crunching reports to make sure we keep sending the right traffic your way. Look out for upcoming case studies with clients on how well our traffic converts.

If you’re interested in finding out more about this report, or about ways you can advertise on our sites, email insights@hotcourses.com