SEO | November 5, 2014

Desktops, Mobiles and Tablets: Student Search is Changing

Do you work for a university or higher education establishment in the UK? Then you may like to know how potential students find your school’s website, that way you can attract more.

Latest Data Says Student Search is Changing

According to the latest release of data from Google, in September 2014 there was a 1% increase in searches for universities, colleges and other forms of higher-education, compared to the same quarter in 2013. And although there is little growth, what is most recognisable is the change in the way students are searching for information.
Google has reported that there has been a 20% year-on-year increase of searches using mobile phones. There has also been a 14% increase in the volume of searches made by tablets, but a 6% decrease in the number being made on desktops.
All UK colleges and universities are being advised to act upon this data, and to optimise their websites for these mobile devices.

What We Say

Gareth Morgan, Managing Director here at Liberty Marketing, has said,
“The education sector is a fast changing market that does, due to the demographic of principle target markets, have an increasing reliance on the internet, especially those seeking to attract overseas students. The Google data showed that among searches worldwide for UK universities, 40% are from outside the UK. The biggest international regions for searching for UK universities are Asia Pacific and Western Europe.”
The best universities will already have adapted their digital marketing plans to contain search engine optimisation and pay per click, but it is important to consider a mobile responsive design as well.
“User behaviour is often different when searching using a mobile” Gareth explains. “Mobile search terms are shorter due to the size of the screen, smaller keypads increase the use of abbreviations and cause more typos. These factors can make mobile searches significantly cheaper than desktop searches. 
 
People also search on mobile devices at different times to those searches made on desktops – the majority of mobile searches are made in the morning and evening. Cost per click and cost per acquisition rates are generally less expensive and regularly achieve better results.”
And let’s not forget organic search engine optimisation.
“The speed at which your pages load, the structure of URLs and reduced keyword content are just three important mobile ranking factors. And it’s also important to point out that Google has specific mobile ‘bots that trawl the internet, monitoring and evaluating mobile websites.”
Mobile searches may one day take over desktop searches, but when? Tweet us your predictions!

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