Updated: Feb 9, 2019
By Trevor Waddington, Principal, Truth Tree Consulting
By now we all know the power of digital marketing. Whether you’ve dipped your toe into keyword ads or you are a pro at remarketing to prospective families with a killer email drip campaign.
Here are SEVEN tips on how to make the most of your Google Ads marketing strategy.
1. Beta, Beta, Beta! – Experimentation is the key to victory. In the past, if your ad in the regional paper was a flop, there were no take backs. Now, for a few dollars, you can test different ads to see what works. I’m amazed at how making the smallest adjustments can yield big results.
2. Make lots – It’s important not to push the same message in just a few ads (unless they are working well). Using a fishing metaphor, you want to have a lot of different lures in the water. On any given day based on more factors than I can count, one lure may work wonders when another does not. Experiment with your messaging and photos. If your head or director allows, push the envelope to really differentiate yourself. You might be surprised to see what happens.
3. Know your target audience – Don’t just blanket the area unless mass impressions are your goal (which it may be if you are looking for a deeper brand footprint or you are advertising something awesome everyone should know about). What I like to do is find out what a school’s enrollment goals and customize campaigns to achieve those goals. Every ad does not need to be generalized for the entire school. PS – if you need more girls use more girls in your display ads.
4. Dedicate at least one landing page – Most schools use their admission page or a registration page as the pointed url in their ads. I prefer to create a new page that has concentrated, emotion-provoking messaging specific to the target audience with a STRONG call to action easily in view. Throw in some testimonials and your top infographic images, and boom, you’ve got a compelling spot that looks and feels great. And when you get really savvy, you’ll have multiple landing pages for specific audience groups. PS – DO NOT PUT TUITION ON THIS PAGE.
5. Conversion tracking – Getting clicks and engagements are great, but what are said clickers doing after they land on your site? Are they signing up for your event, completing an inquiry form, or the holy grail…applying? If they are not, you need to figure out why. A big reason is that your brand promise in the ad is not consistent with the information on your landing page.
6. Bounce house – In looking at your analytics, I bet your “tuition” or “affording” page is one of the top stops for newly acquired site visitors. I bet it’s also your highest ‘see you later’ page. For everyone who comes to your site, you should be tracking their navigation from start to finish. If the bounce rate from the tuition page is higher from your Google Ad campaign than you need to adjust the audience parameters because your tuition may not be in their ballpark.
7. How much ya bench? – The old fashioned way to compare manhood was how much weight you could bench press. In the world of Google Ads it’s, how highs’ ya CTR. Your Click Through Rate measures how many people out of 1000 clicked your ad. I’ve heard a few numbers kicked around, but for a call-to-action, ‘come to my admission event’ ad with proper targeting, 2.00% is your goal. If you aren’t getting it near that number, give us a call. If you are getting over 15%, my number is 301.570.4292, call me.
Bonus – Unless you are one of the top schools in your market, no one cares about your name. What they care about is what you can do for them and their child. Here’s what your ad should NOT look like.
There are a ton more tips I can pass along. If you want to learn more, let me know. We run successful digital campaigns for schools all over the US (and England) every day.