Saskia Habersang

What students are searching for on Studyportals

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What students are searching for on Studyportals

Just as Google shares its “Year in Search” as a throwback to the trends of the past and a glimpse into the coming year, Studyportals likes to share our insight into a fraction of this world: what students are searching for.

Trends evolve as fast as they pass which can make it hard to keep track. In the market of higher education, it is crucial to understand what is trending, what programmes are popular amongst students, and where prospective students are looking to study. Knowing which keywords students use the most when searching for study programmes on our portals is the insight you need to successfully stand out in their search. To help you find out which those keywords are, we made a list of the most used keyword searches on Studyportals in 2018.

How Studyportals uses keywords

On our portals, students can use keywords to find the study programmes that best match their interests. Our search algorithm shows the programmes whose name and descriptions contain the relevant search terms and ranks them accordingly. The student can then explore the study options that best match their interest.

What does this mean for universities?

To appear on top of the Studyportals search results, it is important that your programme descriptions contain the exact keywords your target audience is searching for. Those can vary depending on the linguistic preferences of the student personas you are targeting. For example, if you are promoting a Master’s in Management, pairing the word Management with either International or Global works best for British students, while Strategic or Business Management could appeal to students from a different geographical area. 

Our data shows that the most searched word in 2018 was “English”. This is no surprise as most students who use Studyportals are interested in finding international, English-taught study programmes. Additionally, many students were looking for online study programmes. The growing demand for distance learning opportunities only underlines the fact that students are not only shifting to mobile devices, but are also looking for a more mobile and personalised lifestyle.

2018 Most searched keyword terms on Studyportals
2018 Most searched keyword terms on Studyportals

Student search behaviour also offers insight into the study destinations that are popular with Studyportals users. “London” tops the destination list, followed by “Berlin”, “Germany” and “Canada”. The search results indicate that students on Studyportals are still predominantly interested in European study programmes.

Regarding the educational level, Master’s and Ph.D. programmes are overtaking other degrees. In terms of disciplines, the frequent search of the keywords “Medicine”, “Psychology”,” Clinical Psychology”, “Health” “Nutrition” and “Genetics” shows that health-related studies are trending amongst students.

2018 Top Ten Study Programme Keywords on Studyportals
2018 Most popular study programme searches by cumulative count.

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