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The customer

Founded in 1881, the University of Dundee has grown to become an internationally renowned and recognized research institution, which is home to more than 17,000 students from around the world and 3,000 staff.

Regularly ranking highly in student satisfaction and international university league tables, the University of Dundee also boasts the title of ‘Scottish University of the year 2016’, from the Times Good University Guide, in recognition of high student satisfaction levels and ground-breaking research produced.

The challenge

Whilst overhauling their web presence, the University of Dundee was seeking a more sophisticated search solution, which would not only provide more relevant results and help better showcase the courses they offer to prospective students, but also provide more flexibility and analytical output than their current offering.

Specifically, the web team was looking for more control over what areas and domains of the site would be indexed (and importantly, what would be excluded), as well as the freedom and ability to rank results, promote content, and learn from analytics – all of which wasn’t possible using their previous Google Custom Search solution.

Dundee University was in need of a platform that helped them:

  • Move away from generic search
  • Gain analytics interface with sharable reports
  • Manage duplicated content and dead content and provided automated content migration
  • Enhance and shorten user experience
  • Funnelback has proved to be not only a worthwhile investment but a great partner to work with as we’ve sought to overhaul our web presence.

    Andrew Millar
    University of Dundee
    The approach

    A highly configurable search platform was needed to cater to the different requirements Dundee University had. Impressed by the flexibility offered by Funnelback, Dundee University choose to work with Squiz.

    The project team's initial focus was to create an intuitive course finder; facilitating users in quickly drilling down and finding information on their relevant course, as well as easily discovering complementary information on what life would be like at the university.

    Building on this, the team also wanted to ensure that their overall website search could be equally effective and helpful on a broader range of subjects, indexing content from around 50,000 web pages found on various domains and using key features of Funnelback to help users cut through and expose the content they are looking for quickly and easily. This was done by implementing an excellent course finder that was flexible enough to highlight areas or specific courses throughout the year.

    We have seen a huge benefit of having an excellent course finder that is flexible enough to highlight areas or specific courses throughout the year.

    Andrew Millar
    University of Dundee
    The results

    The University of Dundee now had the ability to tune its content collections, promote results to the top of listings, and intelligently cross-promote areas of the university relevant to prospective students, including content relating to accommodation and student services.

    Funnelback was implemented smoothly and has provided more than just ranking freedom. It has provided complete control over the style of every element from the search bar through to the layout and content included within the rich search snippets; ensuring a consistent look and feel for every user’s journey. Funnelback provided insight from backend features, including the content auditor and search analytics, which has proved to be invaluable in helping to optimize the university’s current content structure and future strategy.

    Funnelback has the ability to ensure the content is labeled effectively, coupled with the insights from search analytics on what users are searching for (and importantly what they are searching for, but not finding), allows the team to create synonyms and promote results to ensure that users never hit dead ends or are served irrelevant content.

    Providing more flexibility, freedom, and insight, Funnelback has played an essential part in helping the University increase its online presence and improving the user experience for visitors to their website.

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