Remarketing to Improve Student Recruitment in Higher Education

Entering the world of Google Display Advertising can be a confusing, yet rewarding, challenge. If you want to get your feet wet then I’d recommend starting with remarketing. Remarketing, a.k.a. retargeting in other engines, allows you to get your ads in front of people who have already visited and shown interest in your site.Marketing Success in 2014

For users who shop around, as in the education industry, this is a powerful tool to keep your school top of mind. Here are some tips and strategies to start your student recruiting remarketing off right for the new year.

  • Target non-converters: The most basic remarketing strategy is to show ads to those who came to your landing page but did not convert. Entice them to come back, and get that lead.
  • Use past visitors: It takes time to build your user list using remarketing. Despite what you want to do, it’s not instantaneous. There’s an option when setting up a remarketing campaign to include the previous 30 days’ visitors, which allows you to build faster.
  • Exclude enrolled students: Good thing you can set up your targeting to exclude people who go to your log in screen. Unless you have something specific you want to message these people with, be sure to exclude pages such as your LMS. They already drank the Kool-Aid; don’t sink more money into them.
  • Send a different message: Don’t simply display the same message to potential students. Give them a reason to come back and convert. Tell them about information sessions or how to connect with alumni. Send them a discount on tuition, books, or anything free. Students love the word free. It’s the only reason I went to involvement fairs.
  • Similar audiences: Google will read one of your lists and find people with similar demographics and interests to those already in your list. How nice is it that Google finds people similar to, say, your current students? That’s a pretty great present.
  • Remarketing lists for search ads: This last one is for the Search Network. But you can use all your remarketing strategies for users who complete more searches. Only text ads are allowed, but the same tips and strategies should be used here. You can broaden your keyword list since these users have already been to your page. And be sure to bid up since these tend to be more relevant users.

Your lists and stats will always change, as in any other campaign. Make sure you test bids, ad creative, and text vs. images ads, and exclude placements as time goes on. As in any other paid search campaign, you can’t set it and forget it. Setting up your first campaign might give you a head-ache, but after the initial set up you’ll want to test and retarget to any and every part of your website. Or maybe I just get excited by all things PPC. This is only the tip of the iceberg on tips and strategies for remarketing, but it should give you a good start to improving your 2014 student recruitment marketing plan.


Learn about how to nurture across the student life cycle and earn $26 for every $1 invested in marketing automation:

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