How to Create Ultra-Clickable Google Ads for Private Schools

Updated: Feb 4

by Trevor Waddington, Principal, Truth Tree

Google Advertising For Private Schools

How do Parents Looking for Private Schools Find an Ad?

You may have read a time or two my line that goes something like this: Parents don’t cross their fingers, go to Facebook and hope they see ads for private schools.


They go to Google and search “private school” or some iteration of the phrase.

Oh, so quick tip: while we like to call ourselves independent schools, parents search for private schools more than 4 to 1.

Once they hit Search, the action above the fold will look different for everyone who reads this blog. Your age, parental status, location, month/day/time, searching habits, and more will be factored in nanoseconds to show you your personalized results.

Private Schools Using Google Ads Need to Stand Out

Like many of our school partners who compete with other schools for Google Ad space, it’s crucial to make their ads stand out.

The funny thing is, everyone involved may feel that the ad copy is awesome only to have it turn out to be a dud.

As we hone our craft more and more, those duds happen less and less. So with over 40 school partners, we felt it was high time to take an intense deep dive to find out what ad copy performs the best.

Google Advertising Metrics for Private Schools to Monitor

To get things started, we looked at one metric: click-through rate (CTR), which measures how often people click your ad after it's shown to them, which can help you understand the effectiveness of your ad.

We looked at 56 of our clients’ top-performing Extended Text Ads. These ads consist of three headlines, two descriptions, multiple sitelinks, sitelink extensions, callouts, and more. We looked at all aspects of the campaigns, including the bid strategy, call to action, user intent, and more. So the best performing ads from a CTR standpoint tended to be ones with the strongest CTA.

Private Schools Need a Strong CTA Included in Google Ad Copy

With that, here’s what we found:

  • 4% of the ads led with the school’s name

  • 17 of the top 20 overall ads

  • Started with:

  • Your

  • Top

  • [Name of town/city/region]

  • Discover

  • Or ended with:

  • ?

  • 30% of the ads did not even mention the schools’ name (though in 88% of those ads, the description stated the school’s name).

  • 50% of the ads had a quote as headline #1 and/or a quote in description #1

  • 73% of ads were hero-centric

  • Ads did not start with, ‘At [school name], we….’

  • Ads started with#08A039

  • Your child…

  • Are you…

  • You…

  • 80% of the ads that do not have the location in the school’s name had location identifiers in the headlines or at the beginning of description #1.

  • 91