A Case Study
President and co-founder, SEO-PR
Telling Y/Our Story
September 19, 2019
Case study: Launch of Rutgers online Master’s
program in Human Resource Management
• In January 2019, the Rutgers School of
Management and Labor Relations
(SMLR) hired SEO-PR to help launch a
new Online Professional Master’s in
Human Resource Management
• Our objective was to generate 30
applications by August 1, 2019.
• The tuition for SMLR’s online professional
MHRM program is $3,174 per 3-credit
course and students need 36 credits to
graduate, so each application represents
up to $38,016 in tuition.
• Full-time students can complete the
MHRM program in as few as 18 months
and part-time students can take as long
as 5 years.
We used Google Surveys to expand our target
audiences and identify their important factors
• SMLR’s target audiences were Human
Resource (HR) professionals, managers,
and supervisors with 4 or more years of
• SEO-PR used Google Surveys to discover
that professionals in personnel, staffing &
recruiting, and talent acquisition should be
• Our survey also identified the most
important factors when respondents with
4 or more years of HR experience
selected a university that offered an
online Master’s degree in Human
• “No GRE/GMAT required”,
• “Top-ranked university”,
• “Fully 100% online program”.
We emphasized these important factors in the
subhead of our optimized multimedia release
We used Google’s Campaign URL Builder to
add campaign parameters to URLs in release
• We used Google’s free Campaign
URL Builder tool to add campaign
parameters to URLs in the release
to track our Custom Campaign in
• This enabled us to quickly see the
number of users, new users,
sessions, bounce rate,
pages/session, average session
duration, conversion rate,
conversions, and goal value
generated by our optimized
multimedia release from January
17 to August 1, 2019.
The campaign included an optimized landing
page about the new online MHRM program
Release shared the day before the launch with
Emily Bader of ROI-NJ and David Hutter of NJBIZ
A copy of the release without multimedia was
posted in the news section of SMLR’s website
Google does a good job of choosing a version
of duplicate content to show in search results
• On February 20, 2019, Doug
Lederman, the editor and co-founder
of Inside Higher Ed, wrote a roundup
story on new online academic
programs, which mentioned SMLR’s
program and included a high-quality,
relevant link to the copy of the release
posted in the news section of SMLR’s
• Although the optimized multimedia
release was distributed to 271 news
sites, Google only shows the one
without multimedia on SMLR’s
website in its search engine results
page (SERP), not the “duplicate
content” on the 271 other sites.
Our campaign increased familiarity with and
likelihood to recommend Rutgers University
• In late June, SEO-PR used Google
Surveys a second time to measure the
impact of the integrated campaign.
• The percentage of respondents who said
they were “familiar with” Rutgers
University had increased from 13.8% pre-
launch to 18.5% post-launch.
• In addition, the percentage of
respondents who said they were “very
likely” to recommend Rutgers University
to a friend or colleague who was
interested in getting an online Master’s
degree in Human Resources
Management had increased from 16.7%
in early January to 19.0% in late June.
Our campaign generated 8,337 new users, 694
leads, and 38 applications worth $1.4 million
• As of August 1, the launch campaign had
driven 8,337 new users to SMLR’s landing
page and generated 694 leads.
• We evaluated the source/medium of the
new users and leads in Google Analytics:
• Optimized multimedia release generated
1% of the new users, but 8% of the leads.
• Google organic search generated 3% of the
new users, but 19% of the leads.
• Google Ads generated 11% of the new
users, but 18% of the leads.
• LinkedIn ads generated 81% of the new
users, but 37% of the leads.
• More importantly, the launch campaign
generated 38 applications, which
represents up to $1,444,608 in tuition
over the next 18 months to 5 years.
Our case study has been shortlisted for 2019
US Search Awards in two different categories
• In the Best Use of PR in a Search Campaign category, our case study demonstrates
that an optimized multimedia release, duplicate content in the news section of
SMLR’s website, and an optimized landing page generated 4% of the traffic, but
27% of the leads.
• And measuring PR using the same set of metrics and KPIs used for Digital
Advertising – including pay-per-click (PPC) advertising – is a game changer.
• It means that marketers no longer need to treat PR as a “faith-based initiative”.
• And in the Best Integrated Campaign category, our case study demonstrates that
PR, SEO, display advertising, and PPC advertising can increase brand awareness
and generate leads at the same time.
• So, the distinction between above-the-line (ATL) and below-the-line (BTL)
marketing is obsolete; they’ve been replaced by through-the-line (TTL) marketing.