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June 2020 University Marketing Faculties Report

https://www.collegewebsites.ac.uk/content-reviews/university-marketing-faculties

I have completed a review of the digital content published by or featuring UK marketing academics, and have published the results. These are the results and hyperlinks to each of the sections:

July 2019 Alexa Website Traffic Rankings

https://www.collegewebsites.ac.uk/latest-data-reports/july-2019-alexa-rankings

All Colleges should want their websites to be ranked in the UK top 50,000. Over the last 32 months of monthly monitoring the top quartile is. There is a slight correlation with budgets but too mild to explain the cause of some Colleges attract more new and returning site visitors, and therefore more students and commercial clients than other Colleges.

There are many blog posts that answer the question of increasing site traffic generally, but specialised guidance is unhelpfully just as generalised:

Incorporate Social … Be Different

The easiest and, I argue, the most important method of increasing volume of College website traffic is to simply increase the frequency of current students accessing the College VLE from the website. It seems like artificial inflation but doesn't retention of current students on next level courses happens through the website application process?

I also suggest that the sections on the enrichment offer and student support service provide participation and engagement portals on the website.

Finally, I suggest starting a new community outreach programme offering free intermediate and advanced digital skills classes and open workshops. This offer would include an embedded booking system preferably Eventbrite for the wider public profile. It turns out “Incorporate Social … Be Different” isn't such bad advice after all, and that taking a lead and facilitating public forums really does work.

College Dashboards & Top 100 Visitors List

https://www.collegewebsites.ac.uk/college-dashboards
https://www.collegewebsites.ac.uk/data-studio/top-100-visitors-list
https://www.collegewebsites.ac.uk/data-studio/visitors-filtering

Each Data Studio dashboard shows this site's traffic from the College's network. They are useful live operations tools and with distinct privilege settings can be securely located on the College Intranet. They are very useful to business development staff because live performance dashboards provide high quality business/fundraising leads. They are also good for students on relevant courses to be introduced to via the College VLE.

All three of these examples of Data Studio pretty much speak for themselves. The Top 100 Visitors table shows Colleges with the most time on the website, the most visits to the website, the most visitors, most pages viewed, highest average time on the website, highest average number of visits, and highest average number of pages viewed. These are this site's high-probability B2B leads. The Colleges and LA Adult & Community Education Units, that discern the most value from visiting this website.

College Dashboards

https://www.collegewebsites.ac.uk/college-dashboards

So far this is our largest project. It forms part of my presentation at a research conference in mid June on digital inclusion.

Each dashboard shows most public presentations of all Colleges' corporate logos before then showing this site's visitor traffic from individual College's network servers. All of this data can be replicated on an intranet dashboard as well as a VLE dashboard for relevant subject area. This will go a long way to publicising to staff and to students, the hundreds of thousands (or millions) of interactions with the College happening online annually.

College Websites' Open Events

https://www.collegewebsites.ac.uk/latest-data-reports/open-events

This review of 449 websites was disheartening. There is very little to describe positively and for only the 2nd time in 28 reports, no College hits a 100%:

Many Colleges including some of the largest do not organise open events and many that do have not provided the day, time and/or full geographical location anywhere on their events' pages. Almost none provide a Map! The majority do not provide a basic call to action registration form with all its performance reporting functions supplying effective measurement of return on public investment. Almost none detail the events organising team or events officer and too many fail to show any general or individual contact details anywhere on the events pages. Only a handful offer a simple or an augmented 360° virtual campus tour, or provide the basic 'add event to calendar' function. And finally, a personal bugbear of mine is that too many authors pepper content with arbitrary exclamation marks, such as here!

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) & Equality of Access

https://www.collegewebsites.ac.uk/latest-data-reports/seo-equality-of-access

Search Engines (Google's market share is 95%) set every website some straightforward tests. They do this to best meet their customers' requirement for accurate, peer hyperlinked (inbound links from a .ac.uk), and specialist/expert content. These algorithms are continuously updated but, in the main, test website operators' for our user consideration, allocated resources and technical awareness.

Our latest review of 448 College's website operations present the results of 5 tests. These mix together the overlapping operational disciplines of SEO and equality of access. All five demand some basic digital skills; tweaking CSS, using an HTML editor, and basic file administration.

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