Optimizing Away Summer Melt: How Search Engine Optimization May Reduce Summer Melt at Highly-Ranked U.S. Institutions of Higher Education

This study sought to understand the relationship between undergraduate yield and an institution’s Internet presence. Data were collected from 2018 U.S. News & World Report national university rankings, the Integrated Postsecondary Education Database (IPEDS), and summer 2018 (June-August) SEMrush data, a web metrics database housing institutional (.edu) search and traffic information. Results demonstrate, when controlling for institutional characteristics, organic keywords/search-engine optimization (p < 0.001) predicts undergraduate yield as well as overall number of undergraduate applications (p < 0.001) and better than undergraduate admission rate (p < 0.05). Implications for research and practice are addressed, in addition to implications for theory regarding online academic capitalism and summer melt.

You must be an AACRAO member to view this article.

Please login in or learn more about joining AACRAO.