UniSQ: Top of class performance for a 40 year old University



The University of Southern Queensland is a prominent Australian institution known for its commitment to providing accessible education. With campuses in Toowoomba, Springfield, and Ipswich, USQ caters to a diverse student body both domestically and internationally. Established in 1967, the university has earned recognition for its emphasis on flexibility, offering a range of online and on-campus programs.

UniSQ joined forces with Clearwater Agency, seeking digital marketing services to enhance organic website traffic and boost university enrolments and inquiries.

This partnership embarked on a journey at a pivotal moment, marked by the conclusion of the COVID pandemic, resulting in a substantial surge in enrolments and inquiries.

The challenge was set high, as the campaign aimed to build upon the remarkable market impact experienced in the preceding 12 months.


Campaign summary

  • SEO
  • Content
  • Web (Technical)

Increase Organic Traffic: The primary objective was to elevate organic traffic by 20% within a six-month period, compared to the previous period.

Top 5 Keyword Rankings: Achieve top 5 keyword rankings for over 50 selected university courses and degrees within the same six-month timeframe.

Front Page Keyword Rankings: Secure front-page keyword rankings for “core” and “generic” university-related key terms.

Website Content Optimization: Review and optimize website content and copy across degree and course-related URLs and pages.

Technical Cleanup: Conduct a technical review of the website to rectify SEO issues, technical errors, limitations, and challenges.


The objective of this campaign was clear & straight forward, a lead generation campaign to drive organic traffic for UniSQ.

The target audience was broken into 4 segments.

  1. Prospective university applicants looking for specific courses & degrees
  2. Prospective university applicants looking for “online universities”
  3. Prospective university applicants looking for “university pathways”
  4. Prospective university applicants looking for “university & tertiary preparation courses & programs”

This provided a very clear plan forward with keyword selection and URL targeting, with over 380 target keywords included within this campaign.

The initial challenge was understanding which course/degrees should be prioritised given the sheer volume of courses and incredibly competitive keywords.


The impact on UniSQ has been substantial, with a significant increase in inquiries, applications, and enrolments. The year 2023 has emerged as one of the best-performing years in UniSQ’s history, which spans over 40 years.

Increase in Organic Traffic: Clearwater achieved a remarkable 49.77% increase in organic traffic within the specified six-month period, soaring from 536K to 803K (period over period).

Top 5 Keyword Rankings: Clearwater secured staggering top 1-3 and top 5 results for highly competitive keywords across 50 selected university courses and degrees.

Front Page Keyword Rankings: Clearwater achieved top 5 results for core and generic university-related keywords, enhancing visibility.

Content Optimisation: Hundreds of pages were meticulously optimised across targeted pages, including courses, degrees, and supporting URLs, resulting in significant organic visibility.

Key results



in organic traffic within 6 months



courses in the Google search results



increase in enrolment applications

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Unique ad impressions

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increase in website enrolments (record year)

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