Higher education PPC has its complexities. For one, it takes a number of touches before a conversation is started. Second, higher education keywords are expensive. For these reasons, most higher institutions struggle with putting together an effective yet affordable PPC campaign. Consider that an evaluation of the most expensive keywords in 2015 on Bing found that MBA related keywords cost over $60 per click!
Higher education keywords may be expensive, but that doesn’t mean you can ignore the benefits of PPC. Paid search is sometimes the first step in the funnel. Other times it’s the last thing a prospect does before filling out an application. Either way, the key is knowing when prospects are clicking your PPC ads so that you can cater to your audience with the appropriate messaging and call to action.
Let’s look at some of the ways that you can fine tune your pay per click strategies for higher EDU and get more from the effort.
Remarket to Your Prospects
Unless you’re bidding on branded keywords, prospects won’t be overly familiar with your program. Creating great ad copy can entice a prospect to click on your ad, but the click won’t necessarily lead to a conversion. Prospective students need more than a single ad to consider a college or university.
Fortunately, you have remarketing on your side. Any time a person clicks on one of your ads, you begin the nurturing process. Use remarketing to show ads to prospects who have visited your site but did not convert. Every time they see your ad, they will be reminded of your program. This keeps your school front and center. You can also tailor your ads so that each time a person sees them, they are presented with new information that pertains to their search.
Give Each Discipline its Own Campaign
Break down the specifics of your program into separate campaigns, adgroups and keywords. Some parts of your program will attract more impressions than others. When you notice which disciplines are your top performers, you can put more money into these campaigns.
The purpose of breaking down the facets of your program is to give yourself more control over your budget. It may seem complicated at first, but you will thank yourself later.
Use the Display Network
Use the Display Network to your advantage. Gmail Ads are the paid ads that come up in Gmail inboxes. They are an excellent opportunity for higher EDU marketing because you can target domains already receiving your emails as well as those receiving emails from your competitors.
The other option is Display In-Market that allows you to find more qualified traffic to show your ads to. Basically, Google finds prospects with browsing histories that indicate they are more likely to convert. For example, they may have visited your website or your competitors’ sites. It’s also possible that they’ve been active on forums or other third party platforms. The benefit is that you can target these users with cheaper clicks.
By taking advantage of remarketing, targeted search campaigns and the Display Network, you can increase conversions and manage budget spend for your pay per click campaigns.