What College Marketing Teams Say About The FE Marketing Best Practice Group:



Gill Hinds, Digital Marketing Co-ordinator

“Signing up to the FE College Digital Marketing Best Practice Project is one of the best decisions we have made.

The webinars are very easy to follow and have been really helpful in providing a focus for our digital marketing efforts.

It’s been brilliant to have some guidance not only on what we should be looking at, but to have examples of best practice collated and commented on – plus one of the advantages of the project is that every example is specific to further education.

In addition the extra support provided by Simon Connor in one-to-one sessions, and the willingness of other participants to share knowledge, means that if I have any questions relating to digital activity I have a knowledge -bank at my fingertips and a potential expert to consult.

If I had to pick one particular benefit from participating in the project it would be that I now have the knowledge to measure much more of our activity and track key online activity that would otherwise have gone unrecorded. This allows me to see what works, benchmark against previous activity and continually seek to improve on results.”

Sally Wysocki, Director of Marketing

“Wirral Met College has made significant improvements to our website and marketing digital activities as a result of gaining valuable insights and development through the FE College Digital Marketing Best Practice Project.

The webinars and 1-1 support have been excellent throughout the programme to date.

Whilst we still have a long digital marketing action plan to complete within limited resources, we now have the vision of what we need to achieve, and a plan of how we will get there!”

Verity Blake, Digital MarketingCo-Ordinator

“Simon Connor’s breadth of digital knowledge and advicehas been invaluable to the College.

Being part of the FE College Digital Marketing Best Practice Project has enabled the College to move from strength to strength digitally and improve our user experience, engagement and conversion.

I am very grateful for Slmon’s support and help driving the College forward in this fast moving digital era”

Alison Coles, Marketing Manager

“As a small college with multiple demands to meet, we were aware we were weak in the area of understanding and monitoring our online presence.

Working with Simon Connor, both through his Best Practice Webinars and one to one consultancy, has transformed our understanding.

Google Analytics is a complex tool and through a combination of staff training and Simon’s advice and expertise we are improving our effectiveness both with how we do things and the quality of the information in the reports.

We now have meaningful data to assess campaigns and value for for money, to demonstrate successes and to identify areas where we can make improvements.

We have further fundamental developments to make to our website and Simon’s recommendations are integral to those improvements.”

Sue Titmuss, Head of Marketing and Social Media

Good morning Simon

Just had a very satisfying telephone discussion with an IT person from . Essentially they are trying to justify why we should continue to advertise on their website and I was arguing that the statistics weren’t that encouraging especially in terms of applications completed.

Their IT / analytics guru was interrogating our analytics set up to see if we were monitoring the right things – acquisitions, conversions, campaigns, page tracking etc etc.

By the end of the call he had to admit that he couldn’t find anything that we weren’t doing correctly and that he was genuinely impressed with all the tracking and analysis that we had set up on the system – ‘one of the best he’s ever seen!’

Thank you for everything that you have taught me so far by being part of the project.
I look forward to becoming even more knowledgeable over the next few months even only to put over zealous sales people through their paces!

Lisa Edge, Head of Commercial Development

I’ve worked with Simon on many occasions over several years. He has always been the ultimate professional and has in-depth expertise in many areas, often providing me with valuable insights, information and advice and guidance in the areas of digital marketing, Google Analytics and many more.

I’ve relied on Simon as a valuable resource to tap into over a long period of time and his immediate and knowledgeable responses have always had a positive impact on our business. Simon has become part of my business toolkit and I hope to continue work to with him for many years to come and wouldn’t hesitate in recommending him.

Sarah Plater, Marketing Manager

“Simon genuinely wants his clients to succeed.
He provides practical help and friendly advice that will help you get your head around all aspects of SEO, PPC and Google Analytics.
He converts complex concepts into easily understandable language, and gives you access to tools and tips that will help you do your job better and prove your impact. If you want to be where the prospective students are looking – and convert them into applicants – I recommend you get in contact with Simon.”

Susan Lewis, Director of Marketing

We engaged Simon Connor to help us understand how Google Analytics works and found his web-based session very useful. Simon has considerable knowledge of digital technologies and, through his straightforward and common sense communications style, is able to make them accessible to practitioners who need help harnessing the incredible amount of useful data they can yield.
We are now starting to use our knowledge of web stats to influence planning and design online.

Philip Sayles, Deputy Principal

“Simon Connor’s Google Analytics Webinar was extremely useful, covering a lot of ground within two hours, providing expertise, suggestions and also responding to our specific questions.
An extremely worthwhile exercise”

Varsha Patel,
Marketing & Communications Manager

“As a novice to Google Analytics the webinar was a great starting point. It provided an overview on what this facility offered and the data it could provide, which was a real eye opener.
Simon Connor was great at explaining how it worked in simple terms. I would happily recommend this course to others who want to build their confidence in Google Analytic”

Chris Brossard, Director of Admissions & Marketing:

“We had excellent Google Analytics training from FEmarketing which helped to improve our practice and led us to develop a whole new website that would better fit our needs. Now the website is running I need to understand how best to develop it and make it work for users so that the website becomes ‘the’ core communications tool of the college and defines everything else we do.
Simon Connor of FEmarketing helps me to see the possibilities and opportunities ahead. His manner is supportive and his attention to detail is spot on. I look forward to our next Best Practice webinar.”

Ben Verinder, Communications Director

“In a very short session on new (and some older) features of Google Analytics, Simon was able to demonstrate his insight, experience and expertise.
His advice centred on straightforward and achievable actions. A very valuable lesson in the intelligent use of this technology.”

Samantha McKay, Marketing Manager

“As a College Group we have been working with Simon for the past six months on Google Analytics and SW training, which has proved to be very successful.
Simon helped us to successfully negotiate nearly a 5O% discount on our online advertising profile with Hot Courses. He suggested ways to negotiate a significant discount from the package price they were offering. We were able to successfully agree another year’s advertising for a significantly reduced price.”

Michael Carter, Web Developer

In my position we get flooded with offers of help to optimise our website and improve search engine rankings – most are companies after payment for doing very little and have no idea about out site, our objectives or how we resource it.
FEmarketing have been the opposite. They’ve researched our site, got to know how we work, researched competitors sites and are very well prepared going into the webinars.
FEmarketing’s fresh eye on our site has enabled many quick wins which we implement immediately (sometimes within the webinar itself!). The key focus of the webinars is to look at the site from the viewpoint of our target audiences and looking at ways to improve the user experience.
We have implemented short term fixes immediately – sometimes its the glaringly obvious that makes the biggest difference – and without this neutral eye we don’t spot them
FEmarketing have also provided advice on our imminent web redevelopment project and we will be utilising them further in the future.

Sally Wysocki, Marketing Manager

FEmarketing have given us numerous suggestions for improving our website and we are implementing the recommendations on a daily basis. We’ve so much still to do but already the best practice project has had a significant impact and the feedback from staff has been very positive.

Lindsay Meredith, Marketing Manager

“Simon’s advice and input has been really insightful and added value to our website development project. His knowledge and understanding of the market and website content, structure and usability is second to none and he has given us some inspired ideas to set our site apart from the competition. I look forward to working with Simon again.”

Claire Thomas, Marketing Officer:

“As a Sixth Form College we hired Simon -initially my knowledge of Google Analytics and SEO was limited, but Simon offered clear advice and worked with us to create goals so by the end everyone had a good understanding of what we wanted to achieve and, more importantly, a clear idea of how to achieve it. I would definitely work with Simon again in the future – he has a way of sharing his knowledge without all the technical jargon that can make this area seem inaccessible.”

Niomie Benjamin Marketing Officer:

“Simon has been instrumental in transforming the way we communicate digitally with external Employers at Solihull College. His wealth of knowledge, enthusiasm and passion for employer engagement and online communications within Further Education is first class. On a personal level, Simon has helped me to realise my own potential within online marketing and I’m truly grateful for his support over the past 4 years.”

Dave Cooper, Director of Marketing:

“FErnarketing and Simon Connor play a crucial role in developing our colleges online marketing strategy. They helped clarity what our new website needed to help us achieve our business objectives.
Working alongside both the marketing team and the design company. FEmarkehng ensured solutions to problems could be found.
Simon also spent a significant amount of time training the whole marketing staff in Search Engine Optimisation strategies.
Ranking has increased weekly and in a number of crucial business areas the college ranks at the top. From launch the colleges online presence increased daily and within months visitor numbers had doubled. A significant development has been the increasing volume of web based enquiries to the Employer engagement team. There is lithe doubt that the effectiveness of the site owes a great deal to Simon Connor and FEmarketing.”

Paul Yabsley, Web & Digital Officer

The SEO for FE Marketing Training Programme has been invaluable for us, providing relevant training specifically for the College market.
We wore looking to improve our understanding and knowledge about SW as well as from general strategies to help us going forward and we’ve definitely achieved those goals as well as seeing short term improvements in our ranking as a direct result of suggestions made in the training.
We were given fantastic support from Simon who made time outside of the training course to help us on a 1 to 1 basis.”

Nicola Ingle, Head of Strategic Marketing & Communications:

“The SEO for FE Colleges Programme led by Simon Connor was brilliant. Whatever your level of expertise in this area you are guaranteed to come away with of least five ways of improving your college’s Google Rankings”

Matthew Lowbridge; Online Marketing Officer:

“We utilized FEmarketing’s SEO knowledge to improve our organic site rankings from the deep depths at Google (Page 30 +) to page 1.
We are constantly making changes/improvements to our website, many suggestions come directly from Simon with aim to Improving our organic rankings.
We are pleased that our new webmaster is now an SEO expert, all thanks to Simon at FEmarketing. The support we receive is fundamental in improving our rankings and with the continuous support we can maintain our high place but we are also able to see where improvement and changes need to be made.”

Beth Cornish, Marketing Officer, Queen Mary’s College:

“I participated in the training as our website wasn’t ranking as highly as it should, or as I would like. In some instances it wasn’t even ranking at all and other local providers were! The training gave some great ideas to quickly and relatively easily improve rankings. For example I’d previously been putting the same description for every page which I learnt wasn’t best practice for rankings. Ed also been guessing at keywords and the course showed how you can really use keywords.”

Lisa Swan, e Communications Officer:

We recognized the importance of SE0 being integrated into our marketing strategy and wanted support in making this happen effectively. The ideas and strategies provided in the training are clear, effective and easy to implement. Keyword priorities, internal links and website optimization are some of the strategies we are taking on board.

Charly Bourne, Marketing and Employer Services Assistant:

I hope you continue to run the SEO workshop and pass on this very useful training to other Colleges. I attended the SEO for FE Colleges Workshop because myself and my manager were very interested in how it could help improve our website and Google rankings. During the training I learnt how to write articles and web pages with SEO in mind. This has improved the Colleges website. Now I have a better understanding of how to do this our google rankings may improve in lime. Thank you once again for providing a clear and concise training day.

Helen Stylianou, Web Journalist

“The main motivation for participating in the EEO for FE Colleges training was to gain a clearer understanding of the factors that affect our Google Rankings. The training was excellent. We came away with loads of ideas to help me develop press releases and articles to help us rank highly for our key courses. Your idea about utilizing our existing content was superb and your tips on link building were exceptional.”

Rebecca Amir, Marketing Officer:

“I attended the workshop to learn learn more about SEO in the FE sector. Having worked in SEO previously, I wanted to find out how other Colleges are using search and other industry-relevant information.
Great content, great delivery and some great ideas to work with.”

Phil Wareham, Marketing & Communications

“Since this superb one-day course I have been working hard to improve not Just our search engine rankings but also uniformity and style, putting out the right messages and responding to the most popular words used for searching.
As our new site nears its completion I am using this brilliant one day training to ensure we get our SE0 data and functions correct. It was money welt-spent with a superb tutor and a hugely productive and enjoyable day. I thoroughly recommend it to you.”

Samantha Plumb,
Business Relationship Manager:

I attended the Engaging Employers Online workshops as a Sales Person as I felt that it would benefit the college if I had a greater understanding of other college websites and tips and tricks of getting people directed to our website.
I learnt a lot from this session, as it was very practical and motivated us to look at our own websites to see where improvements could be made.

Heinrich Ferreira, Web Developer:

“Simon Connor knows his stuff and is a pleasure to listen to”

Neel Bidessie, Director of Sales & Marketing:

“The Engaging Employers Online Workshop was very useful in terms of research, content and continuous drive to engage with employers on an online platform. The content of the workshop fits in with our current aims and objectives of engaging more closely with employers through our website.”

Vivienne Redgrave, Skills Adviser

“Very good day – lots of ideas to take back to the learn.”

Sara Jenkins, CRM Manager

“The workshop has helped me frame what actions I need to take forward and implement into the improvement of our website. Thank You.”

Joanna Fuller, Marketing Officer:

“I found the information and techniques particularly useful. I will be feeding back to the marketing team so we can implement the strategies discussed. I will also use today to feedback to the Employer Services team to help them engage with employers. We have recently rebuilt our website so this has been very useful to help optimize the website.”

Nikki Ahmed,Business Resource Officer:

“Very interesting and beneficial workshop which has really given me ideas to improve our employer website. Whole day in general was great. Enjoyed the workshop.”

Ian Rowden, Marketing Officer:

“A very cost effective way to get some real effective changes to drive up business to the website when traditional media is in its death throes. It is a heartening beacon to follow when in marketing the college can look bleak. Well done, an innovative move to undertake the research and just the right time in FE College development.”

Derek Danks, Marketing Co-Ordinator

“Good presentation and commentary. Useful content -will implement ideas.”

Chris Herbert, Head of Business Development

“Definitely value for money – time well spent thanks.”

Angela Bucknor, Head of Marketing:

“I found the Engaging Employers Online Workshop very relevant to anyone who is about to develop a new website and the many elements / factors to consider.”

Leah Buckingham-Warner, Business Development Sales Manager:

“Very informative and enjoyable workshop, which was presented well.”

Kam Shingadia, ESF Project Co-ordinator:

“Certainly been an eye opener. A lot of info to take back and disseminate to the employer engagement team and marketing team.”

Heinrich Ferreira, Web Developer

The Employer Engagement Online Report & The College Home Page Report are indispensable to me an on FE web developer. We purchased the report because there was no real way of finding out all the information that it provides. The report has proved an invaluable source of practical information to tackle common issues (which I think) most FE web developers are frying to solve.

Louise Marrin, Business to Business Marketing Officer

“FEmarketing are a well-established and respected company, producing reports specifically for the needs of our sector. The FE College Employer Engagement Online Report gave us written evidence that the plans for our employer web content that we had in place were good, and also where we could make it even better. I would soy that the report is worth the investment. It helped to form the content of our website. and gave us the reasons/research to show why.”

Emma Thompson, Digital & Online Marketing Executive:

“We decided to purchase the report because we wanted to drive more traffic to our Employer Services section, but weren’t sure where to start. The report has been invaluable in providing us with useful hints and suggestions that we can implement with lithe effort and resources.”

Cathy Webb, Head of Marketing & Student Services:

“Stafford College invested in the Best Practice Reports as port of moves to improve a website specifically targeted towards employers. The reports helped to inform the evaluation process. identifying some ‘Quick Fixes’ which could readily be implemented for immediate effect and other more far-reaching suggestions which have been incorporated into ongoing improvement of the site.”

John Gray, Marketing Manager

“The FE College Homepage Design Best Practice Report delivered real value to our college.
I wanted to see if our college’s homepage met the best practice criteria- I particularly wanted feedback about our navigation to ensure we are signposting our online visitors correctly.”

Eve Davies, Project Co-Ordinator:

“We purchased the FE College Home Page Design Best Practice Report because we wanted to assure ourselves we were traversing the right path and see if other FE Colleges were facing similar challenges. The report has helped rationalize the improvements we wanted to make to our homepage.”

Varsha Patel, Marketing and Communications Manager

“Purchasing the Home Page Best Practice Report has provided not only invaluable insights into best practice design of College homepages but also valuable research into the needs of different target markets e.g. school leaven. As a sixth form college. the website is managed by the marketing manager and budgets for website development and research are minimal. Therefore for me personally. this report has been worth every penny and highlighted gaps even on our new website based on the report’s findings.”

Miles Porton, Publications, Advertising & Website Co-ordinator:

“During the process of commissioning a new website we needed a second opinion on some aspects of design. We wanted a dynamic homepage that didn’t alienate our business customers as they navigated to their relevant section. Seeing how other colleges achieved this balance in the Homepage Best Practice Report was very helpful. The Best Practice Report featured various ways of interacting with visitors, including social networking and encouraging signups to mailing lists.”

Amila Moslimani, Web Services Manager:

“A big thank you for your Website Optimization Health Check Report. It was packed with brilliant ideas on how to engage learners and employers. Not only did you give us a comprehensive analysis of our colege’s search engine rankings and comparisons with our main competitors. you also outlined recommendations on how to make SEO and online marketing wort better for us.”

Lisa Edge, Business Systems Manager – Employer Responsiveness:

“The College is extremely pleased with the detailed report received from FEmarketing with regard to the Website Health Check. The detailed analysis highlighted some very interesting issues which could have otherwise been overlooked. The report has vastly contributed to the decision to re-design the entire website and in the way the College analyze its data in future. The benefits of purchasing the report have well outweighed the investment! Many Thanks.”

Gillian Donald, Director of Business Enterprises:

“An excellent review of our website with clear, practical recommendations to improve our online marketing to businesses. An honest and straightforward report on the effectiveness of our online marketing. The recommendations from this Health Check Report will inform our future planning.”

Stephen Drysdale Marketing Manager:

“FEmarketing’s Website Optimization Report gave us an independent baseline to work from that contained bench marking and comparisons with our competitors. Most importantly the report showed not only what was and was not working but also the steps to take to improve matters. If you are not a website “techy” this gives you high quality evidence to take your website forward.”

Lucy Mountford, Marketing & PR Manager:

“Many thanks for a very useful webinar this morning. Your comments and suggestions, particularly about how we can better compete with other colleges in our area in search engine rankings, were extremely helpful. I now hope to be able to implement many of your recommendations as we look to redevelop our site over the coming months. Many thanks once again.”

Jason Fry, Web Developer:

“Thanks for the webinar, it came at the perfect time during redevelopment of our employer website. Even in just one hour you provided lots of evidence to support our plans and recommendations, and it will hopefully help the marketing team to develop a successful strategy that can be understood and adopted by all the concerned parties. Optimizing a website can be a huge task, so your help in maintaining focus on clear and effective objectives could be a great advantage!”

Nicola Sevenoaks, Head of Marketing and Services to Students:

“The FEmarketing Website Review was invaluable. We received sound, impartial advice from people who really understand online marketing and the myriad of issues relating to the FE sector.”

Sally Ann Wilkinson, Marketing & Student Services Manager:

“Thanks for your helpful telephone feedback session. It was so good to hear your perspective on our website and your advice was more than welcome. Your common-sense approach and easy fix solutions were just what we needed. with the limited resources we have to hand. As you know, your ‘Seven Strategies’ guide has already been translated into an urgent action plan for us and you’ve inspired us to review our web pages with fresh insight and perspective.”

Adrian Beynon, Assistant Principal:

“Thank you for your help and advice yesterday during what was a very informative and enjoyable feedback session. Your suggestions were extremely helpful and will enable us to develop the functionality of the site whilst at the same time being conscious of our target audiences and keeping things simple, straightforward and yet comprehensive for them. Again, thank you for your input yesterday which was extremely constructive and has given us a focused agenda for the development of the college’s website.”

Stephen Drysdale Marketing Manager:

“Getting a fresh view of our product from people who are experts in the field proved invaluable to us.
FEmarketing provided a good, solid analysis of our website and offered quality advice which helped us make our website more intuitive and user-friendly.”

Andrew Stowell, Sales & Publicity Manager:

“I took the kind offer from FEmarketing of an impartial consultation of our website. The qualitative information and recommendations supplied, was quickly implemented and proved to be highly beneficial to our organization.
The clarity and simplistic relay of information made the whole consultation process easy to understand and was completely relevant to the education industry.”

Nicola Cutts-Watson, Marketing Co-ordinator

“Thanks for all your advice yesterday. I found our conversation very useful, and I’ll be able to implement many of the changes immediately. The advice was very practical and tailored to my needs.”

Tracey Roff, Marketing & Customer Case Manager:

“Good seminar – very relevant especially as I am planning the content and structure of our website for employer engagement.”

Ruth Lomax Assistant Director. Marketing & Communications:

“Excellent use of a morning, thanks. Superb quality of information.”