Back-to-School PPC Strategy

As competition ramps up for the biggest education advertising weeks before the school year starts, you want to make sure you are getting the most out of your PPC budget. Listed below are five ways to get the upper hand over your competitors and how to show your brand to more relevant users than ever before.

1. Interest Categories and Topics

Seeing a high demand in education, Google AdWords has added more educational-related interests and topics to their list this year. Some of these include: Colleges & Universities, Primary & Secondary Schooling, Standardized & Admissions Tests, Special Education, and many more! Setting up ad groups around these buckets will show your ads to a highly relevant audience that may not have seen your ad through traditional methods. Just remember, Interest Categories target users, and Topics target websites!

2. Sitelinks

Sitelinks are a simple thing to forget but also a simple thing to implement to increase user engagement.  This allows you to have up to 10 rotating ad extensions that guide users to different pages of your website.

3. Mobile

This year it is expected that 33% of education-related searches will be performed on a mobile device. Desktop and mobile devices need to be treated differently, as they perform differently. It is extremely important to appear in the top two spots on mobile since any spot after that puts you at the bottom of the page or not on the page at all. It would be a good idea to break out mobile into its own campaign to allow for more control … and for you to grab more traffic.

4. Managed Placements

While using automatic placements in the Google Display Network (GDN) allows Google to do the work in finding relevant placements for your ads, there is still much to be said about finding your own sites to target. If you know you really convert well on a specific site, then breaking it out to a manage placements campaign and controlling your bid can help you get even more traffic and leads. Using account history, your own brain and some nifty tools out there like DoubleClick AdPlanner, you can develop a strong list of well-performing sites that let you have all the control.

5. Remarketing

Did you know that 72% of education website visitors arrive at your site at least two weeks prior to a conversion? You would not want to miss out on a conversion because someone forgot about you! During this crucial time, make sure you are remarketing to visitors who have come to your website, especially those who have not converted.

Things are heating up fast in the education world, and you want to make sure you remain a key player during this time. If you haven’t started already, use these and other tactics to get the traffic you need to succeed. But, hurry … you don’t want to be left behind!


Check out Fathom’s 30-pg. Ultimate Guide to Marketing an Educational Institution with Social Media. It’s full of insightful interviews and illustrative case studies on using Twitter, Facebook and YouTube for marketing a school.

Social Media 101 for Schools

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