We run many search campaigns for schools, colleges and Universities – education campaigns make up 10% of our total marketing campaigns, of which 12,363 leads have been made over the last 12 months, which shows just how many conversions a search campaign can generate for education clients.
Search marketing is a powerful, effective strategy that any educational institution can utilise. Here we delve into why and how you can use SEM to measurably increase school enrolments.
Promote Your University, College Or School
If you’re needing to drive private school admissions, increase University applications or generate more college enrolments, you’re going to need to take your marketing to the next level and above!
We’re not talking sticking up a few outdoor posters, or upping your Instagram usage, either – although doing so won’t do any harm! No, we are talking serious stuff… generating leads, increasing conversions, and accomplishing a very large ROI. Lovely jubbly.
How To Promote Your School?
Unless you’re Hogwarts and can promote your school via owls, your educational institution needs many strings to its bow when it comes to an effective marketing strategy.
Marketing strategies for schools deliver the best results when they are multi-channel, targeted and strategic – meaning that you should run campaigns across several channels and platforms, ensuring that they all complement each other and work together seamlessly to drive consumers down the old funnel. Call it unified commerce, or omni-channel marketing, if you will.
One of the most important elements of any school marketing or education marketing campaign, should be search engine marketing.
Education And Search: A LOCALiQ Case Study
The education industry average for paid search CTR is 3.78%. This is a benchmark used across the industry to indicate good performance from a school or college’s search campaign. Yet, our own search campaigns for schools and colleges, have consistently performed with a CTR of 4.28% and above, for the past 12 months, and our highest CTR from an education client’s search campaign is currently 26.14%. We optimise our search campaigns with cost-effective, strategic keyword bidding.
Furthermore, with search engine CPC (cost-per-click) models, if you are paying a very low amount for a click (a cost per click model is where you pay each time an online user clicks your search ad through to your website) and the users you send to your website convert, that is a huge ROI when you are only paying a few pence for a click! Average CPC in the education industry is £1.75, but as with all CPCs, these costs fluctuate.
For example, AOV for our private schools is £8600, yet our average CPCs are starting at £0.12 – so they are more than making their money back when a conversion is closed.
Using Search For Marketing Your School
Search engines, such as Google and Bing, are where prospective students and parents arrive when they are at the research and consideration stages of purchase and sign-up. People often land on search engine result pages (SERPs) when they have seen an advertising campaign elsewhere, and that has instigated their search – perhaps they saw your school on social media, plastered on the side of a bus, or on television after Corrie! Therefore, you need a prominent presence within search engine results, so that interested parties can continue their buying journey with you, and hopefully convert.
If you are advertising elsewhere yet have no SERP presence or are hard to find (you need a Google My Business profile as well!), your potential customer will end their consumer journey right there and then, probably going elsewhere – to a competitor!
Why Search Is The Answer For Marketing A School
Advertising on search means you will appear in a user’s search results when one of your chosen keywords are triggered. If your organic website presence isn’t great, and especially as SEO is a longer-term strategy rather than an overnight fix, search advertising bypasses this problem by giving you a presence on page 1, in one of the prominent positions.
This increases your website traffic, and because you’re using tailored keywords, the website visitors you are generating are interested in your school or University – they’re literally searching for an institution just like you! This means that because you’re driving engaged, interested parties through to your website, you’re going to see an increase in conversions – whether that’s prospectus downloads, visitor bookings, or open day registrations – whatever you want to measure!
Other Benefits Of Search Engine Marketing
Search allows you to undertake guerilla marketing – where you can bid on competitor schools and Universities to detract potential conversions from them, as well as bidding on your brand name to prevent competitors from doing so. You can use as many keywords as you want in your search marketing strategy – although we do recommend quality over quantity, doing your keyword research and using a combination of match types and lengths. You could bid on course types, boarding offerings – whichever search terms are going to increase school enrolment for you.
Furthermore, you can track it all! You can literally measure the results of your marketing efforts by seeing which search ads have driven conversions, as well as which keywords are the most effective for traffic and CTAs.
To find out more about our conversion tracking, visit our solutions page here.
Additional Ways To Promote Your School On Search Engines
Alongside paid search advertising, you need to implement SEO marketing strategies for schools to increase your organic ranking and drive website traffic, and ensure you have an up-to-date, accurate Google My Business profile(s) for your school – our quick guide to Google My Business listings will help you to get you started.
The trick is dominance – the more space you take up across SERPs, the more website visitors and conversions you will produce.
How Else Can I Market My School?
Due to declining organic reach and social media algorithm changes, we recommend these Facebook Ads strategies for marketing your school, alongside your SEM campaign.
To see just how many conversions search engine marketing can generate, read NPTC College’s success story from working with us.