The John Cook school of Business at Saint Louis University has a multitude of sources that made using a content-marketing strategy a great choice to drive traffic to our website. We had a thriving center of Entrepreneurship that gave millions to the growing startup scene in midtown St. Louis, nationally ranked programs in International Business and Supply Chain Management, and students who’ve volunteered with the Peace Corps and have appeared on Shark Tank. For this strategy to fully develop, we had to redo the information architecture of the site with analytics in mind. For degree and departmental pages, we were at a disadvantage that our application process went through the university’s site, not our own, so the application process happened off site and we couldn’t track traffic to applications to admission. Conversion tracking was not possible. The most we could track were the bounces / outbound traffic to the application site, so we set all of our “Apply Now” outbound links to the same page, so we’d have some semblance of a metric. Because of this, we made our key stats % new visitors, and time / pages per session:
- We wanted to see around 75% new traffic on this site, mainly because we understood that picking a graduate school was a long process that might take multiple visits. A good mix of new and returning traffic accounted for these visits, and current students looking up class information.
- The time and pages per session was our big metric, and we did a lot to improve the flow of information to make it easier to research our programs. Our page hierarchy gave users the chance to find the key stats that made the difference in their mind, weather that was ranking, faculty, or student live. We improved our average time on site to around 5 mins, and even greater with traffic following our search engine traffic flow (Search Engine – Landing Page – Program Pages).
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Increase By Traffic Source
Twitter (over 100% change) 100%