Paid search ads have always served as an efficient outreach mechanism aimed at highlighting the presence of a product / service to users actively searching for the same.

For entities focused on imparting education, these ads serve as an important factor influencing user perception and expectations.  So along with optimizing and improving on other parameters of the ppc ad campaigns, these ppc ads also need regular monitoring, testing, and improvements.

Being put forth are examples of such ads as we currently see them on searches and highlighting what can be seen on them.

1. Pepperdine University

What they did well:

  • Clear cut emphasis on the core offering of ‘Earning an MBA’ in the heading.
  • Brand emphasis in the heading.
  • Highlighted the benefit of having multiple campus locations.
  • Relays the AACSB accreditation. This goes a long way important to make the ads appear more legit.
  • Having sitelinks that relate with natural questions in a user’s mind are good options to click on.

What can be improved:

  • The first sentence of the ad description appears quite generic and variations of it could be tested.
  • The ad is for MBA but the structured snippets ad extension is referring to various degree courses. This could be made more relevant with MBA / Masters courses.
  • User reviews can help improve the overall confidence and click-thru rates on the ads.

2. Rutgers MBS

What they did well:

  • Heading utilizes Branding right up front.
  • Specialization in ‘User Experience’ is highlighted in the heading.
  • ‘High Demand Position’ is highlighted in the heading to emphasize a direct link to in-demand career opportunities.
  • Course length (2 year) is clearly mentioned in the ad copy.
  • References to Master’s Program, Part/Full Time, MS + MBA combined set clear-cut expectations for the user.
  • Mentioned online, evening / weekend classes in the ad thus confirming right away about their existence.
  • On/Off campus housing helps users looking for those options.
  • Having sitelinks that relate with natural questions in a user’s mind are good options to click on.

What can be improved:

  • User reviews can help improve the overall confidence and click-thru rates on the ads.
  • Test with lesser call outs to reduce the amount of text that follows the ad copy.

3. California Lutheran University

What they did well:

  • Heading utilizes Branding right up front.
  • ‘Masters in Economics’ in the heading improves relevance to a user’s search.
  • ‘Ranked 3rd in the Nation’ feel’s good to read and emphasizes being a top-ranked program.
  • Affordable tuition, feel’s good to read for the users.
  • Having sitelinks that relate with natural questions in a user’s mind are good options to click on.

What can be improved:

  • User reviews can help improve the overall confidence and click-thru rates on the ads.
  • The ad is for Masters in Economics, but the structured snippets ad extension is referring to various degree courses. This could be made more relevant to the search, or removed totally.

4. UC Berkeley

What they did well:

  • Heading utilizes Branding.
  • ‘Electrical Engineering’ in the heading improves relevance to a user’s search.
  • User reviews help improve the overall confidence and click-thru rates on the ads.
  • The ad description is written more specific to the course.
  • The mention of it being a ‘100% Online’ course sets user expectation from the outset.
  • ‘10 semester units’ confirms the benefit of gaining educational credits with the course.

What can be improved:

  • The sitelinks seem out of place and not very relevant to typical queries a user may have when looking for an option in education.  These can be tested with variants for any improvements in click-through-rates (CTR).
  • Test with lesser call outs to reduce the amount of text that follows the ad copy.

5. Bennington College


What they did well:

  • The relevancy to ‘Visual Arts’ is established in the heading.
  • Heading utilizes Branding.
  • Ad description containing ‘learning and making are inseparable’ emphasizes on learning through practice which user’s consider good in all fields, especially art.
  • ‘Small Classes’ sets user expectation.
  • The callout extensions are used wonderfully with ‘ Scholarships. Bachelor Degrees. Notable Alumni. Beautiful Campus’ all relaying total meaning and the diversity of benefits that are on offer.
  • ‘Accepts Transfer Students’ confirms the possibility for those seeking to transfer out.
  • Having sitelinks that relate with natural questions in a user’s mind are good options to click on.

What can be improved:

  • User reviews can help improve the overall confidence and click-thru rates on the ads.
  • Test with lesser call outs to reduce the amount of text that follows the ad copy.

All the above ads did well to face the challenge of fitting so much that universities, colleges, and educational institutes can offer to their students.

While content is bound to differ, having the following in-place for any educational paid search ads is a good practice:

  1. Relevant Headings with a clear mention of the core offerings.
  2. Branding in the Heading.
  3. User reviews.
  4. Course specific ad description, callouts, and structured snippets.
  5. Mention of any accreditations and recognitions.
  6. Naturally occuring queries of users used as sitelinks.

Which of these ads sound more appealing to you as a user?

Do your paid search ads for education speak the user’s language?

We will be glad to share our opinion on them – Request a Free Audit of your Educational PPC campaigns

(Caution: We strive to leave no corners unturned and this free ppc audit often contains shocking details of things that went unnoticed and wasted precious $$$’s).

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