Google Ads for Schools: Increase Enrolment Numbers [2023]

Google Ads for your School’s marketing is the no #1 choice, and you are getting better ROI.

If NO, there could be two reasons. One, you are still contemplating diving into it, and second, you still need to hire a Google Ads expert for your School’s digital marketing campaign.

Otherwise, keep wrestling with the giant or hire an expert who slays it.

In any case, you want to boost your ROI unless you are fine burning your money. An experienced Google Ads expert knows better what works and what does not and knows which marketing objective to choose with the right bidding strategy.

Here I am sharing some tips and ideas to run a successful Google Ads marketing for your school.

What is Google Ads for School?

Google Ads is a marketing platform for digital marketing. It allows businesses like your School to promote your products online. It has two types of ads available: Search Network and Display Network ads.

Search Network Ads:

These are text-based ads and appear on Google search results. Google shows four ads on the top, getting higher CTR and Conversions than the bottom search and second-page ads.

Here is an example of Singapore’s school ads for their Engineering programmes:

Image: Google Search Network Ad Example

Display Network Ads:

These ads appear on Google partner sites. These are the right fit for your School’s online marketing if the objective is to reach a mass audience. 

Display ads appear on over 2 million websites, videos, and apps. According to Comscore, Display Network sites reach over 90% of Internet users worldwide.

Here is an example of Display Network Ads:

Image: Google Display Ad Sample.
Image: Google Display Ad Sample.

Why does my School need to use Google Ads Marketing?

There are many reasons to advertise your School through Google Ads. Here I will share some significant reasons schools invest in Google Ads marketing.

First, you can show your ads to the intension-based audience, which means you can target the students who are intentionally searching for schools and programmes through Google Search. 

The conversions are always higher on targeting this segment of the audience.

Second, you can reach a mass audience and spread awareness of your School and available programmes. Google has millions of partner sites and allows targeting your desired audience segment. 

This is one of the best marketing channels to reach a broad audience.

Third, I like this, which is one of the essential reasons I recommend Google Ads to Schools. You cannot deny the competition and how tough it is to get new students. 

There are direct searches of your competitors, and you can attract students and parents by showing your ads on your top competitor’s keyword searches. 

In Short, you can buy your competitor’s keywords and show your ads. I call it WhackBack, your competitors šŸ™‚ 

Apart from the above top three reasons, there are many others, such as it is fast and gives results in real-time. You have complete control over your daily/monthly spending and can pause & activate your Google Ads for Schools. You can display your ads within 24-48 hours and get programme leads.

If you are investing in the SEO of your School and running Google Ads, it gives a strong brand presentation to your prospectives. Imagine your school appearing on top Google paid ads and organic results, and you have better chances of getting more clicks and traffic to your website. More traffic indeed brings better enrolments for your school.

How to create fruitful Google Search Ads for your School

Keywords Research

Picking the right keywords that bring genuine student enrolment inquiries is crucial. Keywords research and analysis is the first step to your School’s Google Search Network marketing success.

A Google Ads expert will only launch a marketing campaign with keyword research, including your top competitor’s keyword research.

You can use the free Google Keyword Planner tool and find the right & best keywords for your School’s Google Ads marketing.

Image: Google Keyword Planner Tool in Google Ads

Select the Right Bidding Strategy

Picking the wrong bidding may not deliver the expected results. So, it is crucial to know which bidding strategy will work for your campaign according to your selected marketing objective for School’s Google Ads.

Image: Google Ads Bidding Strategies.

Maximize Clicks: Sets bids to help you get the most clicks within your budget. I use this strategy when there is an Open House, Roadshow or Event marketing because the objective is to reach more target audiences and bring them to our landing page.

Maximize Conversion: This strategy helps you get more conversions within your budget. The conversion you can set on the programme enquiry form submissions.

Maximize Conversion Value: You can select the amount you want to pay for conversions, and this strategy helps you get the most conversion value possible within your campaign budget.

Target impression share: You can decide how often your ads appear on time with your selected keywords. In short, it automatically sets your bids to increase your ads’ chances of appearing in the Google Search page area you choose.

Manual CPC: In this strategy, you can control your spending on each Ad’s click. Use this bidding strategy for your School’s Google Ads if you have a strict ad budget.

Relevant Ads Headline and Descriptions

A Well prepared ad copy helps get better CTR and conversions from your School’s Google Ads. It is crucial to write perfect headlines and descriptions for your ads. 

First, you have to create groups of keywords. Once you have grouped keywords, you must ensure the target keywords are available in your ad’s Headlines and Description. Google allows 15 headlines and 4 descriptions. By following this strategy, you provide an Excellent score for your ad copy.

The better your ad copy score is, the better it performs. I always aim to score excellent so that cost-per-click is lower than competitors.

Let’s understand with an example; you want to run Google Search ads for your Engineering programmes, and your target keyword is “mechanical engineering degree”. So, refer to the below screenshot to see how the Headlines and Descriptions should be to make sure your ad score is Excellent:

Image: Google Ads Ad Copy Score.

Use Ad Extensions

Google Ad extensions help improve your ad’s score and make your ad copy appealing. These Ad extensions are another strong reason to invest in Google Ads than SEO.

Below are examples of the ad copies with and without Google Ad extensions, and you can easily compare which ad copy is strong and will aid get better CTR and conversions from your Google Ads of School campaign.

Image: Google Ad with Extension sample.
Image: Google Ad with Extension sample.

Image: Google Ad without Extension sample.
Image: Google Ad without Extension sample.

Dynamic Ads

In your school’s Google Ads, Dynamic Ads are the best way to find prospective students and parents searching for the programmes your school offers.

It is highly recommended for schools with good and quality content on the website. Google Ad’s dynamic ads pick the ad’s content from your available website content and help generate better results for your Google search keywords campaign.

Dynamic Ads for your school are entirely different from the typical search ads, which come with 15 Headlines and 4 Descriptions. In dynamic ads, you must add your target website URL and 2 Descriptions. Rest, leave it to the Google Ads machine.

To get the maximum outcome and benefits from Dynamic Ads must involve Google Ads for Schools experts.

Image: Google Ads Dynamic Ad Copy Sample.
Image: Google Ads Dynamic Ad Copy Sample.

Top Fatal Mistakes While Google Ads Set Up for Your School

Below you will learn why you should hire an expert for your School’s Google Ads marketing. All your marketing dollars are burnt if the campaigns are not set up precisely and have followed all the best practices.

No Conversion Tracking Set Up

You have launched your School’s Google Ads marketing campaign and acquired a few enquiries but are still determining which keyword or ad copy brought those conversions.

If that is the case, you should have included the conversion integration on your landing page. With conversion tracking, you will know which Ad Group, Keywords and Ad Copies are performing well; otherwise, you will spend money on non-performing ads.

Refer to the below screenshot. You can see which Ad Group generated more leads, and you have precise data on conversions in hand. Such conversion data help your school’s Google Ads campaign optimisation.

Image: Google Ads Conversion Tracking.
Image: Google Ads Conversion Tracking.

You can generate the conversion tracking codes from your Google Ads account, available under the Measurement section.

Image: Google Ads Conversion Set Up Navigation.
Image: Google Ads Conversion Set Up Navigation.

Location Targeting

What if you want to run your School’s Google Ads marketing campaign in Singapore only but realise you are getting ad clicks from outside of Singapore who aren’t your target audience?

It will be a complete waste of money on your Google Ads marketing. It is also why you need an expert in School’s Google Ads marketing.

Image: Google Ads Target Location Selection.
Image: Google Ads Target Location Selection.

This mistake can burn your marketing $$$$. Always ensure you have activated Presence: People in or regularly in your targeted locations bullet point if you don’t want to target the audiences outside your targeted location.

You need to restrict the location of your Google Ads. With an example, let’s understand that your school offers some programmes only local students can apply. So, in this case, you want to refrain from showing your ads and receiving programme enquiries from international students.

Keywords Match Types

Your School’s Google Ads are shown according to the user’s search queries. Keywords are the search queries that sync ads with the user’s keyword phrases. There are three types of keywords available in Google Search Ads. These are:

Broad Keywords Match

Phrase Keywords Match

Exact Keywords Match

Suppose you want to run Google Ads for your engineering degree programmes and want to target the “engineering degree” keyword. Refer to the below screenshot to understand what searches your ads will show: 

Image: Google Ads Keyword Match Types.

I hope the above screenshot gave you an understanding of what keyword match type you should use for your next school’s Google Ads marketing.

In addition to it, typically, Broad keyword bidding is lower than Exact and Phrase keywords. Exact keywords are the most expensive keyword match types.Ā 

Negative Keywords

Have you ever encountered that you are searching for degree programmes on Google, but there are Jobs-related ads? 

It happens when negative keywords are not implemented on Google Ads.

Adding negative keywords to your School’s Google Ads campaign helps your campaign show your ads to the right audience and save from irrelevant clicks. 

You can go to your School’s Ad campaign and find Search Term under the Keywords option on the left and use the checkbox to select which keyword you want to put in your Negative Keywords list so that Google does not show your ad on those searches queries.

Image: Google Ads Negative Keywords.
Image: Google Ads Negative Keywords.

Alternatively, you can create the Negative Keywords list in advance and tag it to your desired campaign so that your ads will not show on those negative keywords you have added to your School’s Ads campaign from the beginning.

Image: Negative Keywords Navigation.
Image: Negative Keywords Navigation.

The primary benefit of implementing negative keywords in your Google Ad campaign is saving money from irrelevant clicks and a better conversion rate.

Secrets of Killer Google Display Ads for Schools

Google Display Ads appear on over 3 million websites, over 650,000 apps, and across Google properties such as Gmail and YouTube (Source: Google).

Image: Google Display Ads (source: Google Support).
Image: Google Display Ads (source: Google Support).

In-market Audience

We can call it “interest group marketing”. It is suitable for School advertisers who want to run awareness or lead Google Ads marketing campaigns and drive consideration among the audiences who are more likely interested in making an action such as programme enrolments or course enquiries.

In short, you can reach your potential future students while they are actively exploring or researching the programmes your school offers.

Suppose you want to run the Bachelor’s degree campaign and target students researching or exploring post-secondary education. It would be best if you targeted the In-market->Post-secondary Audience. In-market Audience is available under the Audience section.

Image: Google Display In-market Audience.
Image: Google Display In-market Audience.
 Image: Google Ads In-market Post-secondary Audience.
Image: Google Ads In-market Post-secondary Audience.

Remarketing Audience

Google Ads remarketing is the part of online marketing which allows you to target your past website visitors. In Remarketing ads, your past website visitor will see your ads while they visit Google partner sites and YouTube.

Through remarketing ads of the school, you can entice prospective students to come back and contact you for programme enrolment.

To run the Google Ads remarketing campaign for your school, you either have to connect your Google Analytics account with the Google Ads account or install the Google Ads code to your website’s all pages. A few steps need to be followed to create the remarketing Audience.

Let the Google Ads experts for Schools assist you in creating the remarketing Audience and do all the necessary setup.

You can find the remarketing audience selection under the Audience section:

Image: Google Ads Audience Section.
Image: Google Ads Audience Section.
Image: Google Ads Remarketing Audience Category.
Image: Google Ads Remarketing Audience Category.
 Image: Google Ads Remarketing Audience Selection.
Image: Google Ads Remarketing Audience Selection.

Top Google Display Ads Mistakes Your School Should Avoid

Missing A/B Testing

We learned above that Google Display ads help reach the mass audience. It is crucial to test the Ad Copies, CTA, Landing Page and Target Audience and see which works better for your school’s Google Display Ads marketing. 

With the help of A/B testing, you can compare which version is doing well, giving you better ROI. You can continue with the well-performing assets and optimise them regularly to boost your ROI.

Advertising on the Wrong Sites

Google Display Ads will show your ads on millions of sites, depending on your daily budget and audience reach. It would be best to exclude the specificĀ TopicsĀ orĀ PlacementsĀ that you think are irrelevant to your school’s programme advertisement.

Image: Google Display Ads Option to Exclude Topics Audience.
Image: Google Display Ads Option to Exclude Topics Audience.
Image: Google Display Ads Option to Exclude Specific Placement.
Image: Google Display Ads Option to Exclude Specific Placement.

Repeating Same Ad Copies

Display Ads are generally charged on impressions, and we cannot show the same content repeatedly to the target audiences. It’s vital to keep optimising and showing new ads and information to prospective audiences to get better returns from your School’s Google Display Ads.

Google Ads for Schools: Final Thoughts

We must acknowledge the power of Google Ads for schools and the education sector. It is an essential digital marketing channel to reach prospective students and parents. 

The school’s Google Ads marketing may give you a lower ROI, and things can get more complicated when you launch the campaigns. Hiring an expert in Google Ads will help you save your marketing dollars and plan bulletproof Search and Display Ads for your school.

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