Report: Q4 2020 Google trends for universities and colleges

Blog banner

Below is an overview of the top level stats from Google for queries, impressions, clicks and ad depth for universities and colleges in Q4 2020, compared to Q4 2019. You can access the full Google trends report here.

Top level stats include:

  • 7% overall search growth in Q4 2020 compared to the previous year
  • 49% of searches on mobile phones
  • 9% increase in ad depth (the number of ads being shown)

Metrics snapshot

Q4 2020 and YoY growth – vs Q4 2019:

SEO stats for queries impressions clicks and ad depth for the education sector

Click here to read the full report

Advice from our search marketing experts

With some large increases in ad depth across all devices, this means there are more ads being shown in the search results – so competition is increasing. Coupled with the other challenges universities are having at the moment such as the drop in overseas students due to COVID and Brexit, this means that universities are having to work harder than ever to attract students to their courses.

Here are some tips from our search marketing team on how to increase your visibility in the search results:

1. Ad extensions

Ad extensions are a really effective way to make your ads stand out in the search results, and there are lots to choose from. Use as many as you can and drive students directly to particular pages on your website to save them having to try to navigate there themselves.

Check out our guide to ad extensions here.

2. Website structure

Make sure your courses have category pages – not just individual course pages. Aside from making it easier for users to navigate your website, this helps Google and other search engines understand the information architecture of your website and rank pages with greater relevance.

3. Optimise for local SEO

Students will be looking for information about specific areas when choosing a university or college eg. sports facilities, transport networks and nightlife. A lot of these searches will lead users to local packs in Google Search and Google Maps so make sure your local presence is top notch.

4. Mobile-friendly website

With 49% of searches taking place on mobile, a mobile-friendly website is key. You can test your pages here to see how mobile-friendly they are. Bear in mind also, that this doesn’t only impact the user experience but can also have a positive effect on your PPC quality score.

5. Use structured data

Using structured data to mark up your courses will help improve their visibility in the search engines.

Get more advice here: 5 SEO strategies for universities and colleges

Get a website audit

We’ve been working with several colleges and universities to make sure they are well placed to attract new students, running comprehensive audits on their website and providing bespoke recommendations. If you are interested in having one, email us at [email protected].

Learn more about our education experience on our education marketing page.

Michelle Hill profile picture
Michelle Hill

Michelle joined Vertical Leap in 2011 as Marketing Manager, having spent the previous 15 years of her marketing career in the recruitment, leisure and printing industries. Her passions include dogs, yoga, walking, cycling, the beach, mountains and tapas.

More articles by Michelle
Related articles
5 SEO strategies for universities and colleges

5 SEO strategies for universities and colleges

By Adam Futer
5 search marketing strategies for course providers

5 search marketing strategies for course providers

By Gemma Scarth
SEO strategies to increase student enrolment

SEO strategies to increase student enrolment

By Adam Futer