The Story

With over 18,000 students and 1,700 staff, London South Bank University (LSBU), is one of the largest universities in London.

However, its web presence was letting the brand down. In the higher education and further education site rankings, Sitemorse ranked them at: 179th.

Squiz was engaged by the University’s marketing team in 2013 to completely redevelop the site, transform the user experience and lift the brand profile.

“The Squiz Matrix CMS has transformed the way we work. Chris Morrison, our lead developer at Squiz, deserves a special mention. Throughout the project to build the new site he proved to be dedicated, innovative and professional – always willing to go that little bit further to find a solution.”
Joe Hoyle
Senior Manager, Digital Marketing

The Challenge

Was it even possible for LSBU to reach the top twenty? The small web team – there were only four – was determined to find out.

Their first step to improving their ranking was redeveloping the website with a student-first approach in order to hit a couple of numerical targets:

Increase site visits by 40,000 per month
Increase student applications by 8%

This approach gave them a significant jump up the table, reaching a ranking of 106th.

To make the next leap, they reached out to Squiz. The web presence that was complicated and almost impossible to manage. It consisted of:

286,000 distinct URLs
No structured workflow
130 domains and sub-domains
A fragmented brand story
No controlled publishing mechanisms
Hand-coded pages

The Solution

Squiz set out to deliver a complete transformation of LSBU’s external facing web presence. The goal was to deliver a new governance model with a clear workflow process.

Simplifying the content on the homepage was important, and this needed to be done whilst maintaining the relevance and quality of information available to users.

The changes Squiz made began with the home page that has:

A multi-page carousel

Tiles and a ‘latest news and events’ section.

Segments that can be easily updated

The website is now controlled centrally with content ownership distributed to relevant business owners.

The Communications Team, Marketing Officers and Events Team can all schedule updates that are managed through automated workflow and approval processes.

Content updates now use an extensive array of metadata schemas. This drives dynamic content aggregation in the frontend. And it makes the discovery of related content easier for the user.

To make all this content accessible, Funnelback Search powers the Site-Search. Across the entire website the search offers multiple options for the discovery of content. Site-Search and all the Course, People, Events, News and Case Study Finders include Faceted Browsing and Auto-Suggestion.

The Results

Surpassed the target of 40,000 per month

After the launch in 2013, LSBU’s new website reached 60th in the Sitemorse ranking, a result the team were very proud of.

At Squiz we love working with organisations that strive to improve their user experience, and in 2015 after partnering with Sitemorse to iteratively better their offering, the LSBU website consistently reached the top 20.

LSBU saw a 13% increase in conversions – beating the target of 8%

In order to reach the number 1 spot, LSBU and Sitemorse, with assistance from the Squiz team, worked to break down the final barriers to the summit of the rankings by improving coding and accessibility throughout the website.

On 16th May 2016, the hard work had paid off. The website has gone one better, now holding the number 1 spot – a great achievement and congratulations all round.

Reached #1 on the Sitemorse ranking on 16th May 2016

The project has resulted in the university being represented as they should be, helping to make their physical presence and culture, digital. LSBU is an organisation at the top of their game and we’ve enjoyed tackling the unique problems faced in Higher Education, together.

With LSBU, the results really do speak for themselves.

Visit to see for yourself

The Technology

Squiz Matrix and Funnelback were built for each other and your users. Out-of-the-box personalisation capabilities, coupled with easy and intuitive search, the combined platform enables segmentation and personalisation on an unparalleled scale.

The Services

Squiz's services are designed to help support you and your technology - helping you to make the most of your technologies and deliver on the goals that you set.

Download LSBU Case Study
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