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Out of the core four business school tracks—management, marketing, operations, and finance—management is probably the vaguest. What exactly are those students learning? Is it just a bunch of talk about “moving the needle?” How many times does the word “synergy” get thrown around per class session?
We’re only poking fun, of course. The ability to galvanize a team of employees and direct them towards a common goal is as crucial as it is rare. If everyone had the drive to be a leader, delegation and collaboration would be nearly impossible.
It’s the job of business school marketers to find those with that drive and attract them to their respective degree programs. With hundreds and hundreds of options in the U.S. alone, this is no easy task. That’s why we’re here—to provide the online advertising wisdom business school marketers need to fill their classrooms. Let’s begin!
A key thing to recognize about the process of picking a business school: it’s not quick. Choosing the next direction of one’s higher education path is a major decision, and your prospects will need to interact with your program many times before converting. Google Display Network remarketing allows you to target prospects who have already visited your website and keep your name at the fronts of their minds while they mull over the options. Additionally, remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA) enable you to bid up on a particular keyword when one of your remarketing prospects uses it in a search query. That way, you can direct more of your Google Ads budget towards high-intent prospects and secure conversions more readily.
So, RLSA lets you score the top ad spot when it matters most. What can you do to make sure that prime real estate drives as many clicks as possible? For starters, you can use ad extensions to lay out all the awesome perks your school offers and that the others can’t match. Perhaps your faculty-student ratio is outstanding. Maybe your classrooms are state-of-the-art. Or maybe you offer both! Whatever it is that makes your school special, make sure it’s included in your ad copy. On top of that, remember to use your headlines to give your prospects what they want: “Become a Leader Today | MBA Courses Open Now.”
When it comes to landing pages, customizing them according to keyword is an essential practice. Think of it this way: should your ads for “mba finance” and “mba accounting” direct prospects to the same generic landing page? No! Failing to offer a personalized landing page is a surefire way to miss conversion opportunities. Plus, landing page relevance is a huge part of Quality Score—the Google metric that determines where your ad ranks on the SERPs. The less relevant your landing page is to the search query, the worse you’ll rank in the ad spots.
Another great landing page strategy: publish alumni testimonials to show prospects how successful your former students have become. Someone searching for a great business school is more likely to enroll if she knows it’s truly worthwhile.
Let’s move on to unpaid search tactics. Search engine optimization (SEO) refers to the process of improving a website or web page such that it ranks highly in the organic (non-advertisement) search engine results. SEO tactics are based on Google’s ranking algorithms, which—you guessed it—determine where your site ends up on the SERPs. Per its ranking signals, Google rewards sites that publish high-quality, informative content. As such, any business school website can boost its organic traffic by adding a blog—a platform to publish helpful stuff such as business news, studying advice, alumni spotlights, and so on. The better the content, the more links it will earn, and the higher your school’s site will rank.
As always, we recommend a strong balance of paid tactics and SEO.
For more online advertising advice, head over to the WordStream blog.