What Monash did to win in search engine marketing

Tertiary education provider shares its approach to search engine marketing in-house, the technologies helping improve its game and why voice search is the next big thing

Attracting prospects to your website should be a simple matter of buying the right search terms and waiting for the traffic to roll in.

But when your site carries more than 65,000 pages, your audiences includes groups that have both varying and overlapping needs, and your core target can take years to convert, a more sophisticated solution is needed.

This is the situation Monash University found itself in in 2017 when it decided to bring its search marketing in-house.

“With a university as big as Monash we have a variety of audiences we communicate with,” Monash director of marketing infrastructure, Amin Foda, told CMO. “The priority areas we focus on driving are around work, study, research and support. So our audiences are built off the back of that. The complexity of it is they are not necessarily wearing a single hat at any given time.”

For example, a post-student might also be an alumnus, while an industry partner might have also been a student.

“The main ones are the future students, but you have your influencers around them, such as the parents and the counsellors, the schools and their friends,” Foda explained.

Search represents an important channel for Monash, particularly from an acquisition perspective. “Both organic and paid are as important as each other,” Foda continued. “We need to try and rank as highly as possible and avoid paying against our search terms as much as possible.

“But we don’t just look at one channel on its own. It really depends on our audiences and where they are at. So we make sure we are available where our audiences are rather than the other way around.”

Monash SEO specialist, Shefali Joshi, said the university chose SEMrush to provide an all-in-one digital marketing tool to help improve its online branding and Web presence. This provided Monash with toolkits for SEO, competitive research, content marketing and site auditing.

“This has helped us improve our future student platforms and optimise them,” Joshi said.

Since using SEMrush, Monash has improved its future student traffic purely from searches by 144 per cent. “And we have been able with the help of their site audit tool to fix more than 100,000 issues,” Joshi said.

These have included completing a HTTPS implementation, as well as fixing numerous redirects, missing alt tags, and broken links and email address, and optimising metadata.

The key focus now for Monash is in voice search, where Joshi claimed Monash has already captured 30 per cent of the market.

“We’ve been able to capture the voice search market because we get SEMrush’s position tracking tool which shows us the featured snippet opportunities,” Joshi said. “The featured snippet is the only answer that is going to win you the Google voice search.

“Right now, voice recognition technologies are only 90 per cent accurate. As soon as it becomes 99 per cent accuracy, it will be a game changer and everyone is going to be talking to their devices.”

Read more of our case studies on Australian digital marketing and advertising success:

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu  

 

 

 

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

Conversations over a cuppa with CMO: Microsoft's Pip Arthur

​In this latest episode of our conversations over a cuppa with CMO, we catch up with the delightful Pip Arthur, Microsoft Australia's chief marketing officer and communications director, to talk about thinking differently, delivering on B2B connection in the crisis, brand purpose and marketing transformation.

More Videos

Hey there! Very interesting article, thank you for your input! I found particularly interesting the part where you mentioned that certain...

Martin Valovič

Companies don’t have policies to disrupt traditional business models: Forrester’s McQuivey

Read more

I too am regularly surprised at how little care a large swathe of consumers take over the sharing and use of their personal data. As a m...

Catherine Stenson

Have customers really changed? - Marketing edge - CMO Australia

Read more

The biggest concern is the lack of awareness among marketers and the most important thing is the transparency and consent.

Joe Hawks

Data privacy 2021: What should be front and centre for the CMO right now

Read more

Thanks for giving these awesome suggestions. It's very in-depth and informative!sell property online

Joe Hawks

The new rules of Millennial marketing in 2021

Read more

In these tough times finding an earning opportunity that can be weaved into your lifestyle is hard. Doordash fits the bill nicely until y...

Fred Lawrence

DoorDash launches in Australia

Read more

Blog Posts

Highlights of 2020 deliver necessity for Circular Economies

The lessons emerging from a year like 2020 are what make the highlights, not necessarily what we gained. One of these is renewed emphasis on sustainability, and by this, I mean complete circular sustainability.

Katja Forbes

Managing director of Designit, Australia and New Zealand

Have customers really changed?

The past 12 months have been a confronting time for marketers, with each week seemingly bringing a new challenge. Some of the more notable impacts have been customer-centric, driven by shifting priorities, new consumption habits and expectation transfer.

Emilie Tan

Marketing strategist, Alpha Digital

Cultivating engaging content in Account-based Marketing (ABM)

ABM has been the buzzword in digital marketing for a while now, but I feel many companies are yet to really harness its power. The most important elements of ABM are to: Identify the right accounts; listen to these tracked accounts; and hyper-personalise your content to these accounts to truly engage them. It’s this third step where most companies struggle.

Joana Inch

Co-founder and head of digital, Hat Media Australia

Sign in