Pay per click campaigns are relevant to all marketing strategies, but the best practices depend on the specific industry. Higher education PPC campaigns require a focus on click value and budget management. To keep your higher institution ahead of the game, you need an industry-specific PPC strategy that includes the right keywords, simplified lead forms and mobile friendliness.

Below are three PPC tips to put your higher institution ahead of the game.

1. Try different strategies with branded and non-branded keywords.

In the higher education field, keywords don’t come cheap. Terms like “nursing degree” or “business degree” are expensive and hard to rank for, unless you want to run through all of your ad budget. To help control costs, you should bid on both branded and non-branded keywords.

Bidding for branded keywords helps you rank higher in the organic search results, and prevents other schools from bidding on the same keywords. If you already have a secure spot, you may be able to cut back on branded ad spend.

For non-branded terms, long-tail keywords can be helpful. These keywords are more specific and have less competition, which means they are generally lower in cost and easier to rank for. Instead of “nursing program” you can try “online nursing degree program.”

2. Consider your younger target audience.

If you look at ads geared toward a higher education, many are written to people who are continuing their education. Many schools miss the mark when it comes to writing their ads to high school students looking for colleges.

High school students have different things on their minds compared to continuing education students. Many are looking for a full campus experience, equipped with extracurricular activities, campus events, comfortable dorm rooms and a vibrant college town. Think about how you can shape your ads to cater to this audience that is less interested in convenience, flexibility and time efficiency.

3. Structure your campaigns around specific programs.

Higher education prospects are generally looking for information on specific programs rather than general degrees. This is why it’s best to structure your campaigns around the programs you offer.

As an example, your nursing program could contain ad groups like “pediatrics nursing program,” “nurse practitioner program” or “intensive care unit nurse program.” Within each ad group, you should have a small set of keywords related to the theme. These ads should then be linked to specific landing pages that contain helpful, relevant content.

It’s important to revisit your PPC strategy to ensure that it’s working for you. With so much competition for higher education keywords, balance is key. Fortunately, you can stay ahead of the game by trying different strategies, writing ad copy to high school students and building AdWords campaigns around your specific programs.