Students researching higher education options with PPC. Some are in clouds. Some are just meandering around giant tablets. It's a bit strange.
blog post | marketing

The Importance of Including PPC in your Higher Education Advertising

Where do most student prospects start their higher education research these days? With Google, of course!

In fact, students have become quite adept at researching their higher education options themselves thanks to the abundance of online information That’s why getting involved early in the decision-making process is critical for your school’s digital recruiting plan.

How can your school get involved? By having a pay per click (PPC) component to reach student prospects in the world of digital recruitment.

Why Should Higher Education Advertising Include a PPC Initiative?

Higher education marketing plans keep growing larger while budgets keep getting tighter and marketing spend is scrutinized more closely than ever. This predicament is part of what makes PPC advertising so good – it’s completely controllable.

In addition to the ability to set and adjust a daily budget, search advertising only requires that you pay for the activity you receive: namely, clicks that lead to your recruitment website.

Search marketing also improves higher education marketing through its ability to iterate and evolve to success. By focusing on the ads and keywords that perform better than the others, you can refine and improve your message. This is especially true when your campaigns are mature and you can start optimizing for higher rates of conversion.

Integrating Search Marketing Ads into Your Marketing Communications Plan

Like any higher education advertising initiative, pay per click advertising should integrate with your overall marketing strategy. Too much focus on paid search advertising can cause your organic marketing to suffer and hurt you in the long run.

Our PPC Management Service Company supports your other digital initiatives in these ways:

Get instant results while you build an organic presence:
As the educational sector moves to a digital, content-driven marketing strategy, it can feel like you’re starting from scratch. Organic content can take a while to build momentum and PPC advertising can allow you to plug the gap by boosting your reach and visits in the meantime.
Test keyword effectiveness:
Your organic recruitment content will focus on certain keywords, but which ones are the right ones? How do you know what new keywords to add to broaden your marketing strategy? Pay per click advertising is an effective way to get a preview of the impact that these new keywords will have on your higher education advertising.
Win on difficult keywords:
The most effective keywords tend to be very competitive, especially from an organic point of view. You can use PPC to bypass the organic competition and buy yourself to the top of the search results. A note of caution: You will want to watch these results very closely – competitive keywords can be expensive and if they’re not turning into conversions, your dollars may be better spent on other higher education advertising keywords.
Experiment with long-tail keywords:
Long tail keywords can be effective, but there’s also a lot of experimentation that goes along with them. Instead of going through the effort and costs of developing organic content, use your pay per click advertising to easily and rapidly test their effectiveness.
Extend your impact with remarketing:
When a visitor comes to your website, they’re presumably demonstrating interest in your school. Using remarketing, ads that will only be shown to people who have been to your site, you can have a second bite at the apple.

Measuring the Success of Your Higher Education Advertising

The process of selecting an educational institution is a long one. Search engine marketing reaches people early and often in their decision-making process. If you don’t have thorough conversion tracking during this process, you may be lead to believe that it’s not effective (and expensive to boot).

Especially with pay per click marketing, where you’re spending real, traceable dollars for every website visit, you must be able to measure the number of student prospects that eventually convert after having clicked an ad at any point in the process.

The final student application will only come after a series of touches and marketing contacts, but if the process was started by a search engine ad click, then they were dollars well spent.

If you need help with any of what was discussed or have questions, then you can always get in touch with our team. We love marketing and we love teaching marketing. Let us know how we can help you.

About the writer
Brian Thackston
Brian Thackston
Brian creates exceptional content and enduring publishing strategies that attract and convert. He is also a Nintendo fanatic who is grooving through law school so that he can fight for the freedom of the web.

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