The road to digitization of the University

The Isabel I University I, the first online university in Castilla y León. This university has been able to exploit the possibilities of online marketing in a radically new and changing educational scenario that believes in the need to generate knowledge in a shared way, in a proactive exchange that satisfies the intellectual concerns of students and that facilitates and enriches their training itineraries.

At Smartup we started working with the brand in 2018 with the objective of optimizing Ui1's economic resources to the maximum in order to achieve maximum visibility of the academic offer available and the highest number of quality leads at a profitable cost.


After the first market analysis, which revealed large investments in search engines and social networks, in addition to major brand advertising campaigns of the competition, we decided to establish a digital marketing strategy that would leverage the most profitable channels. 

Following an audit, we identified the following:  

  • Organic traffic: SEO positioning
  • Contents
  • Search Engine Advertising: Google Ads
  • Social Media Advertising: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, 
  • Programmatic purchasing


The challenge we took on was to develop a global digital marketing strategy that mainly addressed traffic acquisition strategies (paid campaigns and SEO), search engine advertising and programmatic buying, conversion strategies (CRO) and global analytics for all departments and schools of the company.

During the first year, the main focus is set on the SEO strategy and content, so that having the optimal SEO base of the web, we can establish the channel in the medium term to attract traffic through the generic keywords most related to their academic offerings. To this end, we worked on the three main pillars of SEO positioning:

  • Indexing: to get as many relevant urls indexed in search engines as possible. 
  • Content: positioning relevant keywords to attract quality traffic. 
  • Popularity: boost the positioning of the target keywords through external content on websites related to the education sector. 


Once we had established the SEO base and of course all the web analytics that allow us to see the evolution, the results and determine further actions, we reinforced in this channel those contents that needed more focus because they were more competitive or had a higher conversion rate. Thus we introduced the payment channel in Google Ads with a strategy of SEO and PPC synergy that allowed us to invest profitably where SEO positioning did not reach and, conversely, to invest less or not invest in PPC (Pay-per-click) for those keywords that SEO already covered.

"Smartup has become a key strategic partner, functioning as another area, integrated within our structure."

Isabel I University
Santiago Mayorga Escalada


With this optimization process we managed, with a relatively low investment in the sector, to reach the target number of leads set for the first year of campaigns with Smartup. This second year, thanks to these optimizations, we were able to increase leads by 49% compared to the previous year. 

Finally, and once the main channels had been optimized, actions and investments in each area were increased in order to achieve scaling in lead results, increasing by 28% with respect to the previous year and doubling the acquisition in relation to the first year, without increasing the investment proportionally and therefore achieving the target profitability for the cost per lead. 

During this period of more than 5 years we have achieved:

  • Increase the web visibility of the website of the University Isabel I.
  • Improve organic positioning for your academic offerings
  • Attract quality traffic from different channels
  • Continuous growth in student lead generation
  • To train the University team to understand the strategic vision needed in the educational sector, where processes, people and technology must be properly articulated and coordinated to obtain the necessary growth results.
Isabel I University
Technologies and Services
Paid Media and Performance, Search Engine Optimization

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