Case Study

Wells Cathedral School

Increasing online visibility, organic traffic & admissions for an independent school in Somerset

78%

Increase in organic traffic

45%

Increase in keyword impressions

164%

Increase in share of voice

30%

Increase in search visibility

About

Located in the beautiful Somerset, Wells Cathedral School is a promising private school with specialist studies. They offer day & boarding options to their pupils, in form of junior, senior and sixth form schools. An immutable mission of theirs is to tailor their programmes to accommodate every individual and their needs.

This school’s main area of expertise is music. They have a variety of programmes dedicated to young students who want to find their voice in the music world and grow into reputable musicians. From choristers to jazz specialists, Wells Cathedral School promises to bring the best out of every single one of their pupils.

Goal

Mandy Hole, Marketing Officer of Wells Cathedral School, contacted Bubblegum Search late 2020 as part of their big-scale project to build reputation & brand awareness for their school and bolster their organic website traffic to put Wells on top of the organic search results. The school was already known for their excellent specialist studies but more online exposure was needed to cement their place as the best music programme in the country.

Along with driving more organic traffic to their domain, Mandy was also concerned about the overall level of enrollment as the website was struggling to generate conversions.

Our consultation with Wells Cathedral School and the initial audit we conducted uncovered a few key areas to be addressed right away. Despite being equipped with all necessary education tools to lure new pupils and increase admissions, their website was suffering with historic issues and devoid of any prior SEO touch. Site speed was an issue, 404 pages were in abundance and meta datas did not add any SEO value to the site.

Once we laid out our immediate plans to revive and revamp the Wells website, the client was more than satisfied and subsequently our SEO partnership was officially launched!

Wells Cathedral School

The Challenge

The Wells website had not turned to SEO practices in its past - a typical scenario for many Bubblegum clients. While this raised concerns on a technical level, it also allowed us to put our fingerprints all over this project to make a difference.

Top line challenges

  • Very poor site speed, both desktop and mobile
  • Orphaned pages in need of attention
  • Non-functional 404 pages to be cleaned up
  • New pages needed to host vital keywords
  • Unoptimised and often missing metadata
  • Compressed pages with mixed messages
  • Blog section requiring a major overhaul
  • XML sitemap needing updating
  • Confusing menu to be restructured
  • Hundreds of unoptimised images
  • Weak internal linking structure
  • Historical pages from previous domain names confusing engines

The Solution

A strategically integrated SEO & Content Marketing campaign

SEO
  • Comprehensive technical SEO audit to spot all issues
  • Implementation of technical fixes to allow domain to fully function
  • Extensive keyword research to unearth all opportunities
  • Market SEO analysis to determine correct actions to take
  • Rewritten core metadata for better keyword targeting
  • New on-page copy to deploy all keywords
  • Optimised image descriptions & alt texts for keyword placement
  • Improved internal linking all throughout the website
  • Local SEO optimisation to target local keywords & demographic
Content Marketing
  • Competitor analysis to detect content gaps and take advantage
  • Content marketing strategy to resuscitate blog pages with fresh ideas
  • Efficient outreach campaigns to earn backlinks from relevant websites

The Result

Major growth in organic traffic, rankings, & admissions!

We struck a partnership with Wells Cathedral School in October 2020. Our priority was to get started with technical audit implementations straight away to declutter the website before on-page SEO practices could begin. Orphaned pages, 404 errors, sitemap and more were addressed during those early steps.

Once better signals from the Wells website were being received by search engines, we moved on to integral SEO practices such as keyword research, metadata optimisation, on-page keyword analysis and internal link placement.

We also advised our client to restructure its navigational menu while creating new core pages as our keyword research uncovered entire groups of new focus keywords in need of mapping. Current URL framework did not allow us to deploy these keywords efficiently and therefore content had to be expanded and split over multiple pages.

6 months later, keyword impressions for wells.cathedral.school soared with a 45% surge while their overall share of voice amongst competitors grew by 164%!

Plus the search visibility, also known as organic market share, also witnessed a 30% increase.

Share of voice

Wells Cathedral School Case Study: The Result Graph

April 2020 v April 2021

Wells Cathedral School Case Study: The Result Graph

Mandy Hole

Marketing Officer, Wells Cathedral School

Bubblegum have been fantastic to work with. We have been super happy with the service provided and the increase in organic traffic and admissions to the school website.

164%

increase in share of voice for specialist music school in Somerset