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Our 2018 Student Accommodation report has taken a look at 55 online student accommodation brands, measuring their online marketing prowess across such metrics as brand reach, link authority, visibility change year-on-year, and keyword potential.
This report is only capable of providing an outside view of performance. We’re able to offer a comprehensive analysis on a case by case basis. We’re only able to gather a finite amount of data from the outside looking in.
So, for companies interested, we offer free digital audits, where we can get into the nitty-gritty and advise on the best ways to improve both PPC and Organic SEO performance. There’s a cap on the number of brands we can include in the design of the report so you won’t see all of the 55 companies mentioned. Only the top performers for each category are presented in the final design.
If you’re a Student Accommodation Brand that can’t see yourself, don’t hesitate to contact the team, we’re more than happy to share the data on your brand!
The report provides the raw data, but we go further with our analysis once it’s produced. We’ve highlighted the biggest wins of the sector to give you the best overall insight of the market. Read on for those insights.
It’s been an extremely successful year for Student Accommodation providers with only two of the top ten losing visibility year on year.
Student Crowd is top of the class this year with a visibility increase of 49%.
However, the biggest winners in the top five are Unite Students who had a phenomenal visibility increase of 167%, putting them in second place.
Also in the top five are CityLets (+16%) and Accommodation for Students (28%).
IQ Student Accommodation has dropped from third to fifth place after a 47% decrease in visibility.
Elsewhere in the top ten, there have been some more impressive gains and one more loss:
You will find the full list of keywords in our report. This contains high competition and best opportunity keywords so you can see where the ‘low hanging fruit’ is.
Well done to Accommodation for Students who is ranking in position one for the highest competition keyword, ‘student accommodation’.
They’re also appearing in position one for ‘student lettings’.
A big congratulations to Unite Students who are ranking in position one for ‘student accommodation edinburgh’, ‘birmingham’ and ‘leeds’.
It’s obvious that this landscape is dominated by location-specific search terms, so it’s important to know how to perform best in local SERPs.
Since 2012, the Venice update changed the way Google looks at local markets. Taking a user’s location into consideration, the search engine now populates results that appear most relevant to their location and query.
This is great for small, local businesses but means the competition can be harder than it was before.
It’s important to optimise your pages specifically for each location and ensure the right page ranks for the right keyword.
Both the high competition and opportunity keywords contain a lot of city names, so you’ll likely get the best results from using a paid and organic strategy when it comes to optimising.
Earlier this year, the Google core algorithm update put great emphasis on site content.
Google says their aim is to best serve the user intent and have previously expressed that sites should do this by focusing on ‘producing great content’.
Unilodgers is ranking in position one for the highest opportunity keyword, ‘student accommodation london’.
Their London page contains over 350 words of copy at the bottom of the page which talks about London in detail and, no doubt, includes relevant keywords, helping their ranking.
Producing great content doesn’t have to be reams of blog posts; enhancing your page copy can make massive improvements to your site performance.
Accommodation For Students gains an impressive average number of links per month of good quality.
They are mostly gaining links on location pages and images.
However, they do have a fantastic guide page which has also gained them some good links.
The individual guides don’t seem to be getting much coverage.
A better outreach strategy could resolve this and see more traffic and links going to these pages which can help with the overall content marketing strategy.
Uniplaces is gaining ample links of high quality.
They are an international brand, so this isn’t too surprising.
However, we were glad to see that their blog content is among the most linked-to content on their site.
Their blog post about ‘8 Good Reasons to Apply for a Masters Degree’ has over 200K backlinks.
We would urge them to move their blog from a subdomain to a subfolder on their site as this can increase rankings.
Student.com also knows how to create content that brings in valuable links.
We loved their infographic on top cities and booking trends for students in 2018.
They’ve published this in an article format with each section of the infographic split up.
This is a great trick to appeal to individual publications, e.g. a small section of the infographic about London might only appeal to local or niche publications, so this can be outreached specifically to them making it more relevant and more likely to gain coverage.
Accommodation For Students is topping the social chart with the highest number of brand searches per month and a good owned social score.
Their social feeds are tailored to each channel, meaning they post content that they know will perform well on specific platforms.
They post a lot of memes which are known to perform well on Twitter. However, they don’t get a whole lot of engagement.
Using popular hashtags could be one way to increase the retweets, likes and follows here.
Their Instagram feed contains lots of appealing pictures, but it’s not very personal to the brand.
Posting user or client images with a personalised hashtag or hosting a competition could be one way to increase engagement and gain more genuine comments rather than spam on their posts.
Student.com is next on the list with a high owned social score.
As well as producing their own content for social, they also repost and retweet relevant and useful articles to their followers.
This is a fantastic way of posting regular content if you don’t have a lot of your own blog posts to share. It also adds value to your feeds.
Get in touch for more information and don’t forget to download our full report.