Paid Search Best Practices and Strategies for Grad Schools
Paid search ads (also known as pay-per-click, or PPC ads) can be a powerful marketing tool for graduate schools for many reasons. How so? Paid search best practices and strategies for grad schools allow for specific demographic targeting based on specific criteria, can be turned on to generate leads almost instantly, and offer a lot of flexibility when it comes to crafting your messaging and marketing goals, such as boosting brand awareness, generating demand, or bringing in more qualified leads.
All of that being said, it’s important to have a strong grasp of how paid search marketing works in order to use it the most effectively. Below, we’ll examine a few strategies and best practices in detail so you know how to effectively leverage it. Let’s take a look.
Research and understand your audience very carefully
Before actually launching any paid search campaigns, always conduct thorough research of your target audience and understand their goals, demographics, and pain points.
This may seem obvious, but all too often paid search campaigns are launched by schools, businesses, and organizations without a clear understanding of who exactly they’re targeting. As a result, many of them waste their time and money on ineffective campaigns. To avoid this, have a strong grasp of who you want to target and for what reasons before budgeting for any paid search campaigns.
Conduct thorough keyword research
Conducting extensive keyword research is also crucial.
Focus on high-volume, relevant keywords with user intent in mind. For example, focusing on a general keyword like “MBA” is too vague and will likely result in squandering your budget, but targeting keywords like “best schools for an EMBA” are much more likely to connect you to the right target audience that’s seeking the programs you’re offering.
By targeting these longtail keywords based on user intent, your campaign will more effectively target the right audience and more effectively funnel leads directly into your specific programs.
A/B test consistently and for many variables
A/B testing is a great way to determine what’s working most effectively in your campaigns and help you optimize them by leveraging this information.
When A/B testing, focus on variables like ad copy, keywords, landing pages, calls-to-action (CTAs), and visuals in both the ad if applicable and landing page. The more information you can glean from A/B testing, the better optimized your campaigns will be, leading to higher conversions without wasting precious dollars.
Determine your goals and KPIs
Setting up specific goals and KPIs early on is critical too.
Without a clear goal and KPIs to track in mind, your campaign will be aimless and end up wasting a lot of time and money. Instead, map out what your specific goals are and the metrics needed to track them before launching a campaign. For example, you may want to set a goal of increasing leads 25% before the start of the next semester. Whatever your goals and KPIs are, be sure that everyone on your team is aware of them and is working towards them with the correct metrics and timelines in mind.
Avoid contact forms that are too long and complex
Finally, avoid contact forms that are too long and complex for your ad landing pages.
While paid ads are great for generating leads and increasing conversions, your efforts may go to waste if your landing page contact forms are too long, overly complex, and invasive in terms of privacy. Instead, keep your contact forms simple, concise, and avoid asking for too much personal information, as many people may be reluctant to give that out early on.
Leverage paid search best practices and strategies for success
By keeping these paid search best practices and strategies for grad schools in mind, you can better optimize your paid search campaigns for your grad school programs. Whatever your goals are, paid search can be a powerful tool when it comes to accomplishing them – if you do it well!