Higher education has become a lucrative market over the years and people are looking forward to entering this profitable business market. What attracts entrepreneurs is the estimated market worth of higher education which is approximately $568.2bn.
However, entering the higher education business is easy but successfully attracting the best students around the globe for your degree program is not as easy as it sounds.
Search Engine Marketing for Universities-2023
Like every business, higher education institutions have to market their degree programs so that they stand out and attract prospective students. As the world is advancing day by day, so are the education standards.
Universities have to make sure they implement the best marketing strategies that help students identify the overall cost of their degree programs as compared to other universities, the career opportunities that your degree program would provide to them and how successful are the notable alumni of your university are.
For this purpose, as a university, you will have to use PPC strategies for higher education institutions. To understand what PPC strategies are, keep reading.
What are PPC Strategies?
PPC stands for Pay-per-Click and it is a type of digital advertising that is used by advertisers to earn when users click on the ads. PPC strategies are used to achieve all sorts of campaign goals such as generating leads, increasing sales and promoting brand awareness.
PPC ads for school, colleges and universities work very well as potential students are searching for specific degree programs and institutions at a time frame which the advertisers take advantage of and show a targeted ad at that given time.
Paid search marketing for higher ed makes it easier for universities and colleges to market their degree programs. Through PPC, advertisers can buy visits to your university’s website. There are a number of applications which let you perform Pay-per-click strategies such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Bing, Yahoo and Google ads for higher ed.
7 Actionable PPC Strategies for Higher Education
Paid search advertising for higher education is an effective way for marketers to do marketing for universities and colleges while spending money only when the ads yield a click. Interestingly, PPC strategies also enable you to target the audience based on certain parameters which mean that universities can segment their target audience for marketing.
These groups can be prospective students, current students, incoming students and alumni. If you are afraid to spend a lot of money on advertising then the good news for you is that PPC is not that expensive for educational institutions. For example, if you want to be on top of the page on search engines like Bing, Yahoo and Google, then it would cost you around sixty dollars per click.
But in order to be successful in PPC marketing for universities, you need to have a solid PPC strategy, only then you will be able to illuminate your unique brand, build a search engine optimization plan, generate an amazing website experience and identify KPIs, i.e, Key Performance Indicators.
To make it easier for you, we have listed down seven actionable PPC strategies for universities that could do wonders for marketers:
According to the latest trends in higher education marketing, it is very important to pay close attention to keyword research as the competition is very high. When you are planning to market your university programs through PPC, you must have patience as the results may take some time to show.
However, you can speed up the process if you do some close research on keywords. There are various tools that help reveal what keywords other higher education institutions are using. One of them is SpyFu.
Moreover, PPC ads on social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest etc can aid in generating awareness for prospective students. If you aren’t aware of the power of marketing on social media platforms like Facebook, it is high time you must shed light on them. Of all the social media platforms, Facebook is one of the top most for advertising. It can help you get on the radar of Google with relevant keywords.
If you are a beginner at PPC, then bidding strategies are the best to start with for higher education. There are two ways to bid, automatic bidding and manual bidding. Manual bidding strategies consist of setting your bids on the keywords and they remain the same until you change them.
Whereas, automatic bidding does not involve adjusting bids every now and then. If you are running one or two ads, then manual bidding would work fine but if you are running more than one ad then changing or adjusting the bids every time would be a little too time consuming.
This is why automatic bidding strategies work best to drive successful PPC ads for college and universities.
Put in Ad Extensions
Another successful and actionable PPC strategy is making use of the Put in Ad extensions by Google. The high competition bar for advertisements of universities and colleges emphasizes the use of these Ad extensions.
These Ad extensions help you convey important business information in a way that it makes the potential customers take an action which can be merely a click. However, you have to strategically distill the information in the form of an enlightening and engaging extension which attracts the users and your target audience.
Target Relevant Audience
If you are paying for your PPC ads and people are getting attracted towards them but they are not your target audience, then the advertising will not reach its desired outcome. You will see results but they will not bring you any good as for universities and higher education institutions, potential students are going to bring profits, but others will not enroll in their programs.
So it is very important that you target relevant audiences. Research what your potential students are interested in and what type of ads attract them. Your research must be very extensive in order to meet the competition.
Measure your Performance
Once your PPC ads are established it is very important that you measure your ads performance on a regular basis. If you feel at any minute that your PPC ads are not up to the mark then you can make changes. There are so many metrics available to measure the performance of PPC advertising, including:
- Click-Through Rate
- Quality Score
- Cost Per Click
- Average Cost Per Click
- Cost Per Acquisition
- Conversion Rate
- Impression Share
- Average Position
- Budget Attainment
Go for Automation
The business for higher education is going through a lot of competition these days because of which you will need a lot of ads running for your business. With so many ad campaigns running for your higher education business, it is wise to opt for automation instead of doing everything manually.
With the advancements in technology, there are so many new apps and software that can make it very easy and convenient to manage your paid advertising for higher education.
A/B testing of PPC Elements
A/B testing is known as PPC testing and comprises testing one aspect of the advertising campaign and making it go through different trials to analyze which one achieves the best outcomes.
You must use A/B testing of the PPC elements so that you can yield the best results. Different ad versions, configurations and features can be tested through this and you can come up with the best one that resonates with the target audience.
A/B testing focuses on different performance metrics like cost-per-click, click-through rate, conversion rate etc and tests different PPC elements like bidding, targeting and ad copy.
In today’s world, where there is immense competition in every business, advertising higher education is very important. PPC ad campaigns are very successful for educational institutions as they are not too expensive as well as they aid in yielding great results.
However, in order to make them successful you need to strategize them properly. The above seven actionable PPC strategies would work best for universities and colleges.