Your Trouble With Adwords
Aug 11, 2016
In higher education, a great deal of the student recruitment budget is invested in AdWords – so here are a few tips we would like to offer up in response to the most common problems. (And just to toot our own horn …our clients typically see a 10% increase in leads after 2 months. Efficiency is improved with a decrease in cost per conversion for almost all clients.)
Keywords aren’t focused.
With AdWords, there are five match-types for you to choose from and they are:
- Broad match: This is the default match type and ads may show on searches that include misspellings, synonyms, related searches and “other relevant variations”.
- Broad match modifier: This match type lets you specify that certain broad match keyword terms, or their variants, must appear to trigger your ad. Those variants include misspellings, singular/plural forms, abbreviations, acronyms and stemmings (such as “floor” and “flooring”). Synonyms are not included.
- Phrase match: This match type shows your ad to those searching for your exact keyword and close variations. For example, your keywords are “dress shoes”, your ad may show on searches for “black leather dress shoes” or “dress shoes on sale” but not for “shoes for dress” or “shoe laces”
- Exact match: This match type shows your ad to those searching for the exact keyword or close variations. For example, your keyword is “dress shoes”, your ad will be shown to those that search on “dress shoes” but not for those that search for “black dress shoes”
- Negative match: This option is available for “Search Network only” and “Search Network with Display Select” or as keyword exclusions for “Display Network only” – and with negative keywords you can:
- Prevents your ad from showing to people searching for or visiting sites about things your do not offer
What we see is that a lot of organizations stick with broad match – but that can lead to a lot of unqualified inquiries/responses/leads.
That’s why we work with our clients on better focus – so they can see quality and quantity rather than quantity. Consider using broad match modifier.
Poorly worded text ads.
Feature rich, benefit poor. Lack of strong, relevant offer that the prospect sees as uniquely valuable.
That’s what you want with all copy – especially AdWords. Here’s an example….
“Online MBA – Click here for Information” is alright but “MBA As Fast As 15 Months – 100% Online & ACBSP Accredited” is even better.
There’s a focus on the unique value in the second example.
Could it be better? Yes! Get in an offer that is strong, relevant.
“MBA In 15 Months – Click Now & App Fee Waived” or “MBA in 15 Months – Click Now & Save $100”
But there’s more. Remember to include at least one keyword in the text. Match your ad to your landing page so that when a prospective student clicks your ad, there is continuity between the ad and landing page so that the visitors/prospects immediately realize they have landing on the right page. (Don’t send someone to a page that has multiple programs listed on it when they clicked on an ad for a specific program.)
You might also want to check out Google’s guide.
No site extensions.
Ad extensions are a format that shows extra information – some can be added manually, others are automated. They give your ad more prominence/pop on the search results page so it’s easier to see. Performance wise, Google claims that your clickthrough rate (CTR) should improve because it is easier to see….
There’s no additional cost to add extensions to your campaign – but because they are more easily seen and reportedly generate higher CTRs, you need to be careful. If your targeting is off, you’re going to spend a lot and get little back due to the poor targeting.
There are many different types of manual and automated extensions – and for specifics, click here.
Patrick McGraw is VP of Higher Educaton Marketing Services and has more than 25 years experience in market research, competitive intelligence, business intelligence including database marketing and CRM, strategic planning, brand development and management as well as operations/campaign management. His work has consistently helped his clients and employers develop and implement more efficient ways to attract and retain profitable customers, enter new markets and launch new products. His areas of focus include the education, hospitality, travel and tourism, hi-tech, telecommunications, financial services, and retail industries on both the agency and customer sides.