When it comes to education marketing, keyword research is vital; but while it may be the first step in your process, it shouldn’t be the last.
Let’s cover some of the unique challenges facing the education marketer, and make note of some of the strategies you can use to overcome those challenges.
In 2015, WordStream ran a study on the 20 most expensive keywords in Bing ads, and keywords related to “MBA” degrees came in at number eight (at $62.78 per click). To make things even more difficult, clients in education are often working with small budgets.
Seasonality considerations in education marketing
One way to combat small budgets and expensive keywords is to take a seasonal approach. Spend more on your PPC campaigns in the late winter and early spring (when potential students are researching/applying) than you do in the summer.
Build out your remarketing campaigns
Another key PPC tactic (for all paid search accounts, but especially for education paid search accounts) is remarketing. We harp particularly hard on remarketing here because of the nature of the industry—unless the consumer comes to your PPC ad via some iteration of branded keywords, they likely will need multiple interactions with your brand before making a decision. By running aggressive remarketing campaigns, you can gradually nurture these leads toward conversion.
Separate disciplines/programs into separate campaigns
When doing PPC in the education industry, it’s a good idea to get granular. In higher education marketing, for instance, programs like Computer Science, Economics, and Pediatrics should all be designated their own campaigns (as opposed to making them ad groups within an Applied Sciences umbrella campaign).
CPCs can fluctuate drastically based on the area of study—business, for instance, is incredibly high—so designating each program its own campaign will allow you to maximize control over your budget.
Think twice about bidding on brand terms
With regard to branded keywords: while typically we advocate bidding on one’s own keywords, education is one of the few industries in which you might want to reconsider this strategy. The reason is this: students who already go to your client’s school, or parents whose kids go to your client’s school, are going to be constantly clicking through your text ad to get to your client’s webpage. Therefore, bidding on your own branded terms has the potential to drastically inflate your costs per click.
Increase conversions with shorter lead forms
One other good practice in education marketing is to keep form size to a minimum. There can be a tendency in higher education to want to get as much information as possible from potential leads; but forms with 10+ questions can deter leads, lowering your conversion rate and making nurture marketing that much harder.
For more education marketing tips and tricks, head to the WordStream blog.