In recent years, the Spanish education sector has undergone major changes that have precipitated the acceleration of training needslargely due to technological advances that imply the creation of new university degrees and master’s degrees that respond to the demand for new positions in the market.
In the education sector, an industry that represents a 4.93% of the national GDP and that generates +70,000 million euros per yearhaving an SEO and UX strategy becomes a clear competitive advantage that has a direct impact on generating business.
While the most important educational fairs in the country are being held, where thousands of future university students seek to clear up doubts, Estudio34 – A Good Rebels company, starts 2023 with the Report on the education sector in Spainan investigation that analyzes the visibility, positioning and online user experience and is based on online popularity data and search volumes on Google.es.
“A university website is full of relevant content and important information for future students but if it is not well positioned in search engines it will not be found. In other words, having a good SEO strategy is decisive for universities if they want to increase the number of potential students interested in its educational offer”, affirms Ugo Smith, co-founder of Estudio34 and CTO at Good Rebels.
Selection criteria: how and why to choose a university?
With regard to university education, when choosing where to pursue their studies, Spaniards have significantly changed their criteria and selection reasons compared to previous generations.
The ‘university location‘ (the main reason in the year 2000) drops notably and, aspects such as the ‘social action‘ of the university, exceed aspects such as ‘expected employability’, according to data from ExitoEducativo.net. Likewise, and as highlighted by CollegeMatchPoint.com, young Spaniards tend to value aspects such as facilities and practical training, as is the case in the United States.
In addition, highlights the rise of platforms such as TikTok and YouTube to search for information and thus close the choice of the university with total security. Such is the interest in audiovisual information that, currently, 40% of young people between the ages of 14 and 25 look for TikTok, and it is that its ability to answer certain questions seems more effective to them than Google itself.
Top 5 of the universities with the greatest online visibility
The study of the online education sector 2023 is based on the data of the search terms most used by Internet users in Google.es when searching for universities, university degrees and masters online. All this allows us to know the current reality of the education sector online and to know which universities are most present in the minds of the Spanish.
Within the Top 5 Public Universities with the greatest online visibility, the ranking is led by the Complutense University of Madrid with a lot of difference (39.95%), specifically more than double that of the University of La Rioja (17.09%), which occupies the second position, followed with 14% each by the Sevilla Universitythat of Grenade and, finally, that of Valencia.
Although the data indicates that the most popular are from the public sector, the Top 5 Private Universities with the greatest online visibility are led by the University of Navarra (24.87%), followed by the Open University of Catalonia (23.17), the International University of La Rioja (21.29%), the Pontificia Comillas (21.20%) and, finally, the European University of the Canary Islands (9.46%).
Top 5 of the most sought after Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees
The career most sought after by Internet users is Informatics Engineering, of the 5 most searched for 34.57%. If we look in detail, there are more engineering companies behind that also have a large search volume: electrical (20.97%), industrial (18.41%) and mechanics (15.03%). Occupying the last position in the ranking we have physical activity and sports sciences (11.01%).
With regard to Masters, the data indicates that in the last 5 years enrollment has increased by 42%. Likewise, the master’s degree most sought after by users is Business Administration and Management, with more than half of the total of these first 5 with 50.06% of the searches. This is followed by far, Psychology (19.98%), Teacher Training (12.89%), Digital Marketing (10.38%) and Big Data (6.70%).
Technology, the discipline that gains greater popularity
And what are the most popular new disciplines? More technology, more evolution, new careers. Spanish universities adapt to future jobs with more specialized degrees. Taking a look at the evolution of interest in these new careers over time, we find Data Engineering, Big Data and Cybersecurity.
The universities that bill the most
While the universities with the greatest online visibility are public, the ones with the most bills are all from the private sector. According to data from The EconomistThe International University of La Rioja occupies the first position in the ranking with a turnover of €151,441,159, followed by the European University of Madrid with €151,390,943; the Private University of Madrid with 104,897,000; the Comillas Pontifical University with 96,675,957 and, finally, the Valencia International University with 52,145,467.
The importance of SEO
Deciding which university to study at and what to study has always been a long decision process and, after the pandemic, even more so, since the way to convey messages (and do it properly) is not linear, but rather there are multiple options and ways.
The data indicates that not only increases the educational offerbut also the number of students enrolled, which has been constantly growing since 2008. In the 2020/21 academic year, the Spanish university system had increased by more than 46,000 students with respect to the previous year, thus reaching its maximum number of enrollees. To be more exact: during the 2020-2021 academic year, the total number of students enrolled in Spanish universities was of 1,679,518, approximately 80% were Bachelor’s, 15% Master’s and 5% Doctorate.
In this process, therefore, the usual ‘attention economy’ of the digital environment is not fulfilled. The student spends a lot of time deciding, evaluating criteria, discovering new options and comparing information, which is why, more than ever, it is important that universities and business schools pay special attention to developing a correct marketing strategy that allows them, not not only send the right messages, but these messages reach the right students.