More and more colleges, universities, and higher education institutions use pay-per-click advertising (PPC) when marketing to prospective students. Gone are the days when students and their families would call a university to inquire about their electives or tuition. Today’s students communicate virtually on their computers, phones, and tablets through social media. Because of this, interactions and advertising dollars should be focused online. 

PPC is one of the most effective marketing channels and budget-conscious forms of advertising. As a result, it can be incredibly competitive, especially within the higher education industry. With the proper campaign management and Google Ads for your school running, PPC ads can be a great way to bring more students to your university, college, trade school, or institution. Today the marketers at the Hive share why higher education advertising is so important and how using PPC advertising can increase the odds that prospective student searches lead them to your school.

Types of PPC Advertising

Pay-per-click advertising is a tactic used by higher education institutions to drive traffic to their website. You pay a fee each time someone clicks on your ad, which allows your university to not solely rely on organically-driven website visits. The most popular form of PPC is running Google Ads for schools, but many institutions also use display or social media ads. 

  • Search Ads – The most simple and standard PPC ad is a paid search ad, which allows your ad to be placed in a search engine’s sponsored links. Your ad will appear to prospective students searching your keywords specific to your school. These ads are helpful if you want families to take action now and click your ad or call your institution for further information. 
  • Display Ads – Display ads are a wonderful option for higher education advertising. These ads enable you to advertise on websites whose content is relevant to your institution while promoting brand awareness through images and video. Display ads differ from search because your ad will appear in front of students who have already shown interest in your product or service. According to Google, display ads allow you to “reach customers while they’re browsing online.” 
  • Remarketing Ads – The most effective form of display advertising is retargeting or remarketing. Remarketing allows you to show ads to students who have already visited your website or used your mobile app before. Remarketing campaigns tend to be highly profitable because they reconnect you with prospective students who have already shown interest in your institution by bringing them back into the sales funnel. 
  • Social Media Ads – Many of your potential students are online using platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and TikTok. Paid social advertising involves creating ads and showing them to people while browsing these platforms. These ads can be especially effective and target groups of people based on demographics, interests, and other data. 

Tips for Highly Effective Higher Education PPC Campaigns 

Now that you understand what types of ads are available to run and which platforms to use, there are several things to keep in mind before starting your PPC campaign: 

Do Your Keyword Research and Cater to Your Target Audience

To make the most of your campaign, you need to cater to your target audience using keyword planning. The broader a keyword, the more expensive it will be to advertise for. Try to use keywords specific and unique to your school. Tools like Google AdWords Keyword Planner, SEMRush, and Google Suggest can help you pinpoint top-performing keywords and determine how many clicks your search terms will get.

Give Them a Great First Impression with Ad Copy

Your ad copy serves as a quick first impression where many potential students will first see or hear about your school. Impressive ad copy is essential when introducing your brand messaging and enticing new students to visit your website. Implementing smart CTAs into your ad copy is a great way to drive click-through conversion rates. Popular CTAs for your school could include:

  • Sign Up
  • Contact Us
  • Learn More
  • Act Now
  • Discover

You should also employ Ad copy A/B testing. A/B testing allows you to split your audience to test several different variations of a campaign to determine which one performs better. It’s a great way to help you optimize your future campaigns based on the findings. 

Optimize Your Landing Pages

A PPC landing page is a dedicated page on your website where students “land” after clicking through a PPC ad. A landing page helps you repeat what makes your institution the best or different from the competition. You should ensure the copy is consistent with your PPC ad. You already paid for the click, so your landing page can help you take advantage of their interest.

Why Choose beMarketing for Your Higher Education Advertising

Competition for higher education is fierce; you need powerful advertising tactics to allow you to be seen by potential students. PPC advertising is a fundamental pillar in an effective digital marketing strategy that propels students to seek out your school over competitors. If you have been searching for the top PPC agency in the Greater Philadelphia area to help you with your campaigns, look no further than beMarketing! Contact us today to get started.