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Mastering PPC for Online Education: Tips for Effective Lead Generation

April 26, 2024
7 mins

Now we have access to knowledge of all sorts at our fingertips at any given moment of the day, no wonder that new online courses and learning platforms emerge daily. While this is good news for the eager learners, it makes it steadily more challenging for businesses in the online education field to capture attention. 

Mastering Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising will help you transform your educational offerings from hidden gems to popular choices among the knowledge-hungry Internet users. This article offers beginner-friendly tips to ensure your campaign is effective in online education lead generation, helping your courses reach the right audience and inspire enrollments.

Why You Need PPC for Lead Generation in Online Education

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising is a digital marketing model where advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. This model provides a tool to drive fast traffic directly to your websites or course registration page. PPC allows for the creation of ads that can appear on search engines or on social platforms such as the Meta network, targeting specific keywords related to the courses offered. 

For example, if you run an online business school, you could set up PPC ads for keywords like "online MBA programs" or "business certification online." Each click brings students directly to your landing page, where they can learn more about your courses and potentially enroll. The best part is that such ads target only those who are actively searching for related educational opportunities. The only thing they need to be persuaded about is that your course will bring the exact results they’re looking for. 

PPC for Online Courses

Let’s sum up the benefits of PPC for selling online courses:

⚡Immediate Visibility: Unlike organic search strategies, which take time to yield results, PPC offers immediate placement at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs). This visibility is crucial in a competitive market, ensuring your courses are the first thing potential students see.

🎯Targeting the Right People: PPC campaigns allow for precise targeting based on demographics, interests, search behaviors, and more. This means your ads reach the internet surfers who are most likely to enroll in your course.

📊 Easy Access to Data: With PPC, every aspect of your campaign is measurable, from the number of clicks to conversions. This means you will be able to see the impact of each change you introduce to your campaign in numbers.

👩💻Flexibility: PPC campaigns can be adjusted in real time based on their performance. This flexibility allows you to optimize ads, test new approaches, and pause underperforming campaigns.

Setting Up PPC Ads: Key Steps

While setting up Ads can have a lot of nuances depending on the platform, the basic steps usually looks like this:

  1. Choose the platform. It can be Google Ads, Bing Ads, Linkedin Ads or Facebook Ads.
  2. Define campaign goals. Clearly identify what you want to achieve with your ads, like increasing website traffic, generating leads, or boosting sales.
  3. Research the right keywords. Use tools like SemRush or Ahrefs to find keywords that your target audience searches for. These keywords will help your ads show up in the right searches.
  4. Set up targeting. Choose what demographics will see your ad.
  5. Set up the budget. Calculate how much and how often you are willing to spend.
  6. Create ad copy and landing page. Keep reading for more tips on how to do it.

5 Tips to Generate More Leads for Online Education with PPC

1. Have a Clear Picture of Your Target Audience

Know Who You're Targeting:

Before launching any PPC campaign, it's crucial to understand who your ideal learners are. Are you targeting professionals seeking skill enhancement? Students looking for degree programs? Or hobbyists interested in leisure learning? Identifying your audience helps tailor your keywords, ad copy, and landing pages effectively.

Create a customer portrait. Imagine in all details how old is your perfect student, what they are looking for, when and how do they study and what is their motivation behind assigning to a course. This will help you set up the targeting and create a marketing message that resonates. 

Look Into Demographic Data:

Platforms like Google Ads and Facebook Ads provide powerful tools to target users based on demographics, interests, and behavior. Use this data to refine your campaigns, focusing on those who are most likely to enroll in your courses.

2. Write Clear and Persuasive Copy

Highlight Unique Selling Propositions (USPs):

What makes your online course stand out? Maybe it's expert instructors, flexible learning schedules, or accredited certifications? Highlight these USPs in your ad copy to catch the attention of prospective students. The less generic it is the better. 

Use Emotional Triggers:

Effective ad copy connects on an emotional level. Use language that inspires motivation, achievement, and the joy of learning. Phrases like "Switch to IT", "Advance your career", “Learn X and get a remote position” can resonate more than generic calls to action. Back in the days many courses were advertised with the catchphrase “Become your own boss”. Today it would rather raise suspicions because of the negative associations, but then it worked well.

Let’s take a look at an example:

online course

Unique propositions: 

  • “learn by working on real projects”; 
  • “job placement program in Europe”; 
  • “most of our staff are data science experts”.

Emotional triggers:

  • “build a career”;
  • “career opportunities”.

Come back to the customer portrait you created previously and direct your copy towards that exact person.

3. Make Sure Your Landing Page Sells

Ensure Message Match:

Your landing page should closely match the promise made in the ad copy to maintain continuity. This alignment increases the likelihood of conversion as it reassures students they've come to the right place. This is why it’s also not advised to use clickbait in your ad copy—that destroys trust.

Focus on User Experience (UX):

A clutter-free, easy-to-navigate landing page enhances user experience and aids conversions. Ensure your call to action (CTA) is prominent and the enrollment process is straightforward. Include testimonials and clear benefits to reinforce the decision to enroll.

Remember that signing up for a course should ideally only take a few clicks. The more actions it takes, the smaller the chances users will follow through.

4. Test

Test Different Elements:

Don't settle for the first version of your ad or landing page. Testing different elements can reveal what truly resonates with your audience. Test different headlines, images, and even CTA buttons to find the most effective combinations.

The easiest way to do this is to show the ad and the landing page to your colleagues/friends/family. Create several versions and ask people to choose the best ones. Run 2 kinds of ads and see which one gets more clicks.

5. Analyze and Adjust

Regularly review your campaign performance in your Ads account to identify what works and what doesn't. Use these insights to refine your approach continually. Performance metrics can guide your adjustments and help optimize overall campaign effectiveness. 

To understand whether you’re doing well, compare your performance metrics with the latest industry benchmarks for Paid Ads:

CPM (cost per thousand ad impressions)$25.00 when using an agency, whereas buying ads directly from vendors like Facebook or Google typically costs educational businesses around $9.31
LRC (Lead Conversion Rate)4.63%
CPL (Cost Per Lead)119.34
Win Rate (Close Rate)3.43%

Click for more marketing benchmarks for online training industry:

By using the aforementioned targeted strategies as a baseline for your PPC campaigns, you can enhance your lead generation efforts in the online education sector. However, managing a successful PPC campaign is complex and requires experience and attention to detail. A single configuration mistake can drain your account in no time without yielding any results—this can happen to even the most experienced professionals, not just beginners. If you’d like to save time, budget, and worry, consider delegating this task to experts.

How Promodo Can Help You

At Promodo, our experts are ready to take over managing your PPC campaign for your online courses. We know the ins and outs of digital marketing for education and can save you time while improving your campaign's effectiveness. Our team will handle everything from setup to optimization, aiming to increase your enrollments and get the best return on your investment. Let us manage the details of your PPC, so you can focus on providing great educational content.

See what our client had to say about working with us:

For further inspiration and valuable PPC insights, be sure to explore our detailed case study, where we showcase our proven strategies and the impressive results they've achieved:

Written by
Anastasia Marchyshak

Content Marketing Manager at Promodo

Immersing myself fully in any topic I explore and my appreciation for simplicity are the driving forces behind my work.

April 26, 2024
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