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ppc for education

PPC for Education: 7 Tips for Exceptional Campaign Management

PPC is an effective way for education programs to be promoted online. With a range of manual and automated tools leveraging the power of smart machine learning and artificial intelligence it’s now more possible to run effective campaigns with minimal effort.

And universities, colleges, schools and other institutions of learning are using PPC advertising to reach students online effectively. Using a range of tools on platforms like Google Ads they are able to target them as they search, browse, view and interact on the web.

This also includes retargeting and Remarketing tools that help to reach those that have shown interest in education programs.

And with the right campaign management, the ads are able to continue improving and achieve a high conversion rate.

In this article I list some of the best campaign management tips for your PPC campaigns. Follow these tips and reach out to me if you have any questions about PPC for education.

 

1. Setup conversion tracking

Running effective PPC campaigns for education companies and institutions can be a challenge when conversion tracking is not in place. This tracking helps you to see which campaigns, ads, keywords, placements, networks etc are driving conversions for your courses, degrees, programs or anything else you are promoting.

For Google Ads you can set up conversion tracking in your account. This will require that you add some code to the confirmation page that your visitors reach when they complete an action like registering for a course.

Conversion Tracking

Another option, and a better one in my opinion is to set up goal tracking in Google Analytics. The one benefit is that you won’t have to add additional tracking code. And you’ll be tracking all your traffic sources and you’ll be able to see how PPC traffic contributes to conversions with these other sources.

Also, you can import the goals into your Google Ads account for conversion tracking. There are a number of goal templates to use and you’ll pick the most relevant for you.

Analytics goal setup

 

2. Add new negative keywords

Regularly check for searches that are not relevant for your campaign and block them. In the search terms report under Keywords, you’ll see a long list of searches that are triggering your ads and leading to clicks. You’ll notice that some of them are not relevant for you.

So you should select these and add them as negative keywords either at the campaign level, ad group level or in a negative keyword list.

Add Negative Keyword List

Doing this regularly will improve the targeting of your ads and you’ll see your conversion rates increase and your cost per conversion will drop.

 

3. Find new keywords

Keywords are the cornerstone of a PPC campaign. So, it’s important that you pick the absolute best ones that you want to appear for and that will drive the right searches to your ads and website.

And you should conduct keyword research regularly and not just when you first set up your PPC campaign.

Using the Keyword Planner tool you should conduct research at least once a month to find more to add. Another option is to check your Recommendations page for any keyword suggestions, and I describe that below too.

Also check your search terms report for any keywords that have not been added to your campaigns. You will see some searches that have impressions but no clicks and you can add them if they are relevant and then set bids for them or allow the automated bid strategy to set bids.

 

4. Update bid strategy

As a university, college or school it’s important to use the right bid strategy at all times because that determines where your ads get positioned and the results you get. Many competitors will be aggressive with their bidding to achieve higher positions and better performance.

But it’s important to follow your own strategy and not go into a bidding war. So, the bid strategy you choose should be in line with the goals you want to achieve for your account.

In Google Ads there are automated and manual bidding strategies and each has its purpose.

Google Ads Bid Strategies

Maximise Clicks is usually a good one to start with to try and get as many clicks as possible for your budget. And Manual CPC gives you more control over your bids because you set them manually. Maximise Conversions with a target cost per acquisition (tCPA) is one to use later when you have some historic conversions and know what CPA you want.

 

5. Check Recommendations

The Recommendations page is a great place to check for opportunities for your campaigns. In here you’ll get ideas on how to improve your campaigns by driving better qualified visitors.

Google Ads Recommendations

The recommendations cover areas like bidding & budgets, keywords & targeting, ads & extensions, repairs and others. So, you can apply the relevant ones and dismiss any that are not relevant.

Updating them in this way helps to improve your Optimisation score and brings it closer to 100%. And when you do this regularly, you are training the machine learning system to send better recommendations in the future.

 

6. Do competitor analysis

Reviewing competitor PPC strategies is an important exercise to help you improve your campaigns. There are powerful tools that can help you with this. So, you can check what other direct competitors are targeting in their PPC campaigns and then implement the best parts in your campaigns.

SERanking is a Competitor research marketing platform and you can use it to see what ads and keywords other education sites are using.

Competitive Research

And in your Google Ads account there is the Auction Insights report that shows you who your direct competitors are at auction time. And you can see how often they show when your ads show too and how often you rank in the top and absolute top positions.

Auction Insights

 

7. Check Quality Scores

Quality Score is a diagnostic tool that shows you how your keywords are performing. It works like the dashboard in your car, that alerts you when there are problems that need to be attended to. You may ignore them for a while but eventually you’ll need to take action because that could affect your whole campaign.

The score ranks between 1 to 10 and improving them to bring them closer to 10 will help to improve your ads.

Quality Score Columns

To improve your scores, work on the three factors that contribute to them:

Ad relevance
Expected click through rate
Landing page experience

Improving your landing pages by working on your bounce rates will help to improve the landing page experience. And making your ads relevant to your keywords and search queries will improve the ad relevance and expected click through rate.

 

Get in Touch

As a PPC expert for education, I have worked with many universities and schools to promote their courses, degrees and more in Google Ads. Use the form below to contact me to discuss.

    I'm a Certified Google Ads Expert and Marketing Author and in this blog I share my latest tips and secrets on how to promote your business successfully on the web and increase customer loyalty, retention and advocacy on Google Ads.