How to Maximize Your Higher Education PPC Results

Pete Schauer

Marketing Director

Pay per click is a valuable tool for higher institutions, but it can be tricky to get things to work in your favor. You have to choose the right keywords, budget accordingly and create compelling ads that stand out to your audience. Even though you have the option to split test these various elements, it takes time to perfect your ads. In the process, you can lose time, money and leads.
 
Fortunately, there are ways to maximize your higher education PPC results in a short amount of time. Let’s go over the best ways to improve your pay per click efforts.

Start with your school’s active keywords
The first step is to do a quick review of your active keywords and how well they are performing. You can do this in your pay per click platform, such as Google AdWords or Bing Ads. To determine which keywords are most lucrative, identify those that have high numbers of clicks, impressions and conversions.

Increase your visibility in local searches
Once you know your top-performing keywords, take things a step further by adding a location to your active keywords. Choose locations where you want to improve your school's visibility. For example, do you want to expand your school’s reach in certain geographical regions? Do you want to tap into an international market?
 
In addition to localizing some of your active keywords, you might also want to adjust your ads based on language, device type or time of day. The more specific your ads are to your audience, the more relevant they will be.

Cater to top-of-the-funnel searchers
People who are looking online for schools and programs are generally at the top of the funnel, meaning that they’re searching for general information. Once they move down the funnel, they’re more likely to go directly to the page they need rather than a search box. Therefore, it’s best to create PPC ads that appeal to a prospective student in the early stages of research.

Filter out negative keywords
Negative keywords are words and phrases that you don’t want your ads to show up for. It’s important to optimize your ads for negative keywords, otherwise you could waste valuable impressions. Negative keywords are usually low in value and have no relevance to your school. By filtering them out, your ads won’t show for these searches.

Structure your account around your programs
Structure your accounts according to your programs and not your general keywords. For example, if a student wants more information on your psychology program, they’re not going to search for “bachelor’s degree.” Instead, they will search for information regarding your psychology classes.
 
Each ad group should have a small number of keywords that link to specific landing pages. This way, when the student clicks on an ad for your psychology program, they will be directed to a form where they can learn more about this program or download an infographic on the top 10 psychology careers.
 
These are just a few of the ways that you can maximize your higher EDU pay per click results. PPC requires effort, but it is a worthwhile investment that can help your college or university get found by the right students.

About the Author: Pete Schauer

Born and raised at the Jersey Shore, Pete Schauer is the Marketing Director at SEMGeeks. He holds a M.A. in Digital Communications from William Paterson University and has 8+ years in the digital space with companies such as Bleacher Report and Social Media Today in addition to SEMGeeks. His background includes creative and professional writing as well as strategic digital marketing communications and management.

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