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Case Study

Saint Leo Improves Organic Traffic With Advanced SEO

The Company

Saint Leo University is a Catholic liberal arts college serving nearly 15,000 students through its main campus near Tampa, Florida, more than 35 regional Education Center locations and online degree programs. 

It has been consistently ranked as one of the top universities in the South, according to U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges" list. Although its campus is small, it has a diverse student body representing 44 U.S. states and territories and over 80 foreign countries.
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The Challenge

Saint Leo’s greatest opportunity for growth is through its online degree programs, but the online learning space is highly competitive. Some of its competitors spend upward of $1 million per month on digital advertising. Saint Leo sought to increase awareness of their online degree programs with improvements in search engine optimization (SEO).

Saint Leo also requested help from the Kuno Creative team to redesign its website with the goal of improving prospective student conversions. When they reached out to Kuno, their website user experience (UX) was disjointed, with multiple uniquely designed sub-domains and an overwhelming number of pages that weren’t helping to attract, convert or close prospective students. 

The Strategy

Kuno Creative developed a plan to consolidate Saint Leo University’s website content onto a single domain with the primary goal of improving the user experience. After the launch of the new website, Kuno and Saint Leo focused on continual improvement and advanced SEO services to improve search results. 

One of the first changes the Kuno team made was to create 75 dedicated pages for each of Saint Leo’s online degree programs, which previously existed on the same pages as on-campus degree programs. 

Having these dedicated pages allowed Saint Leo to significantly improve its search results for online degree programs.

Key Objectives Reached

Within the first quarter of implementing SEO services, Saint Leo saw organic ranking improvements for 80 keywords—with many improving 30-40 positions and some even moving to the first page of Google. Kuno also addressed many technical SEO issues, such as missing title tags, duplicate meta descriptions, toxic backlinks and numerous redirect errors. This led to a substantial improvement in Saint Leo’s website audit score, an important attribute Google uses to determine website authority. Other objectives included the creation of a custom Find Your Program tool that helped students see all degree program offerings in one place and where they’re offered, an Education Center map and a faculty directory. 

Key Results of Demand Generation Efforts Over 12 Months

39%
Increased Keywords in the top 100
40%
increased Website Audit Score
45%
increased Website Traffic
190%
increased New Contacts

“We chose Kuno as our partner to completely rebuild our online presence. They have been a tremendous asset to our university and a vital partner that we lean on and trust. From Day One their entire team has been outstanding. Hats off to the team at Kuno.” 

-Scott Watkins, Assistant Vice President of Digital Marketing, Saint Leo University

 

What's Next

The Kuno team continues to work with Saint Leo to publish additional online degree program pages, optimize website UX and copy, conduct outreach for link building opportunities and make technical SEO improvements. 

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