It’s estimated that there are around 4,000 higher education schools in the US. This includes branch campuses and undergraduate degree programs for students to choose from.

If you run a college, you need to consider higher education marketing. The reality is that a lot of schools tend to neglect marketing, impacting student enrollment.

This is why Google ads tips are so important for colleges to follow. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about using Google ads for schools.

Keep reading to find out what Google ads tips you should be utilizing. 

What Are Google Ads?

When it comes to online marketing, things can become very confusing. But colleges must push through this to break into this marketing strategy.

Google ads provide the perfect option as it is user-friendly. It provides two primary types of content, which include search ads and display ads.

Search ads are text-based and appear on top or below the Google search results. They’re also based on keywords and Google adwords strategies.

On the other hand, display ads are much more visual and are found on websites. They are highly targetable and tend to attract more attention from people online.

These ads allow you to target prospective students and parents. You can bid on keywords and create custom listings for your target audience.

These ads redirect the student or parent to your website. 

Benefits of Google Ads for Colleges

A lot of colleges tend to be hesitant when it comes to marketing. Google ads for education and marketing can feel especially intimidating.

If you have fallen behind on your marketing strategy, this is a place to start. Here are some examples of the benefits you can get from using Google ads for higher education.


There are a lot of marketing options when it comes to schools. The problem is that most standard forms of marketing can become expensive.

Google ads are not expensive, making them very budget-friendly. You have complete freedom over how much is spent as you can set a bid limit.

Wider Audience

Every college needs to have a very broad marketing strategy. These kinds of strategies should have a farther reach, attracting a larger audience pool.

Marketing online is the perfect way to do that and reach more people. You can design your Google ads to reach specific locations or specific demographics.

This gives you much more control over your marketing strategy and a better chance of converting.

Location Specific

What are the benefits for colleges is that they can advertise just about anywhere. You most likely accept local students and other students from around the US.

Google ads allow you to create location-specific ads. These ads only show up in local results or results that are location specific.

This is the perfect marketing tactic if you want to attract a specific demographic. It is also a great way to diversify your campus if you are smart about it.

Different areas of the US have a larger population of minorities. You can target those locations in your ads to try to appeal to these minorities and get enrollments.

Better ROI

Getting your return on investment is important when it comes to ads. Google ads have a good track record for helping schools to return on their investment.

It doesn’t cost much to run these ads, and they can lead to someone enrolling in college. Because of this, the return on your investment is much higher.

Increases Brand Awareness

With so many colleges available, it can be hard to stand out. If your college is a bit smaller in size, it is easy for it to become buried.

That is why marketing is so important for higher education facilities. Google ads are especially good at this since they put the college in front of more people.

Even if a particular ad does not lead to a conversion, people will still see it. They will learn the college name and recognize it later on if they see another ad.

There is always the potential that that person may later find your website on their own. This is what brand awareness is, as you are getting the college name out there in the public eye.

Keep in mind that brand awareness also impacts brand credibility. Credibility is extremely important for colleges as this builds your reputation.

When people see ads for colleges, this makes the college seem more legitimate. This can build the trustworthiness of your college so that people are more willing to act.

Adds a Personal Touch

There are many forms of traditional marketing colleges still use. Examples of this include billboards, pamphlets, magazine ads, and so on.

But a lot of these forms of marketing can feel a bit distant and plain. Google ads are more personal since they can be customized to fit the college.

You can include the college colors and the crest as well as other graphics. You also have the opportunity to create custom text and call to action.

These are all things that help the ad to stand out as it is more personal.

How to Use Google Ads Efficiently

Before you start using Google ads for education, you need to understand how it works. It is easy to create a few Google ads and let them do their thing.

But creating ads without a strategy is not going to be as efficient. You may miss your target audience or lose money on ads that aren’t returning on your investment.

Here are Google ads tips you should start using in your strategy.

Research Keywords

There are many important elements to consider when crafting Google ads. One of these Google ads tips is to find the best keywords.

It is important to do some research to make sure you understand what makes good-quality keywords. You don’t want something too broad or too short since it won’t be as effective.

Consider things like the credentials the students are wanting. Do you want students from a specific geographic location?

These are things to consider before you choose your keywords. It is also important to target at least a portion of the long-tail keywords for your SEO strategy.

Long-tail keywords are long phrases that attract a more specific demographic. It is a good idea to have some vague keywords and much more specific ones throughout your ads.

Add Value

A lot of colleges make the mistake of using basic ads. Google ads provides a basic ad structure that you can use or customize.

It is always better to customize your ads to represent your college. The text that you include should be very specific and present a short message.

You can add photos of the college or photos of other students. Any kind of image or graphic will immediately grab attention and make the ad stand out.

How much customizing you can do depends on the type of ad you choose. Display ads give you more creativity since you can incorporate the college colors and crest.

You need to end the ad with a call to action. This is the sentence that is going to help convert your ad into an enrollment.

A high-quality call to action should present a clear message and be easy to see. Your call to action should encourage the student or parent to do something.

Specify Your Audience

Before you create your Google ads, who do you want to see them? This is a question that you need to ask to find your target audience.

One of the good things about Google ads is that it gives you some options. You can choose age, gender, household income, and parental status.

These are all details that are very useful when narrowing down your audience. But you also need to have an idea when it comes to your entire strategy.

Do you want to target students fresh out of high school? Or are you interested in attracting adults who are going back to college?

Your desired audience will dictate every aspect of ad creation. This impacts the message you are presenting and your call to action.

You can also create different groups of ads meant to attract different people. Doing this is efficient if you want to branch out your options.

Choose the Right Bid Strategy

Certain things can be a bit confusing about Google ads when you first start. For example, you may not know how to handle Google AdWords management.

Or you may not understand the bid strategy for Google ads. Google has three different categories for the types of bids you can use.

The cost per click helps drive traffic to your web pages. The cost per 1000 impressions is used to boost brand visibility.

The last option is a cost-per-click action that helps increase conversions. You also need to set up your bidding method, you have the option of manual or automatic bidding.

Make sure you have created a Google ad budget before beginning your strategy. This ensures you know how much you can spend and the lengths you can go to.

Link to Landing Pages

When it comes to higher education marketing, links are very important. You want to make sure your website is in tip-top condition to receive visitors.

Your Google ad links should redirect people to one of your landing pages. You most likely have multiple landing pages depending on your call to action.

Make sure these landing pages are easy to navigate and load quickly. It is a good idea to have visuals and bullet lists to make the landing page easy to skim.

These are all things that are going to impact your website’s SEO. If you aren’t familiar with SEO, you should go with a company like Local Finder to help you with your website SEO.

Optimize for Mobile

Speaking of SEO, there is another important aspect of this. One white hat SEO rule is that your website needs to be mobile-friendly.

Make sure your website loads for all kinds of devices, including phones. But you also need to make sure your Google ads are optimized for mobile use as well.

This allows users to click on your ads and visit your site on their phones. If the website isn’t mobile-friendly, the page doesn’t fit the screen, and it can glitch.

Track Successful Ads

It isn’t enough to use these Google ads tips to create your ads. You also need to make sure you are tracking your progress and evaluating ad performance.

A lot of colleges make this mistake, walking away from ads once they’re completed. If you do this, you won’t be able to see what is working and what isn’t.

Google provides analytics that allows you to track how ads are performing. You can see what ads people are clicking on and which one creates a conversion.

Find the ads that are converting the most and re-create those.

Google Ads Tips for College Marketing

If you run a college or university, you may be worried about higher education marketing. This is a common issue colleges have since it takes a lot of time and knowledge.

Is very important to maintain a marketing strategy to attract more students and parents. A great way to do this is with Google ads tips to help create the perfect ad.

Are you interested in SEO and marketing assistance? Contact us today at Local Finder to get started with a phone call.


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