Nowadays, 83% of parents in the UK turn to search engines to find local information or services. As Independent day schools are a local business with a specific offering they need to become more digitally aware to be found and fight the competition. With their tailored services and extensive reach, paid search advertising from the likes of Google have now become a seriously powerful marketing channel that school marketer’s need to explore.

Within this article I’ve listed five reasons why paid advertising is a channel that is able to deliver a measurable ROI.

  1. Local Geo targeting: With the ability to now target advertising to a specific geographical areas school is able to focus it’s advertising spend within it’s catchment. Paid search ads can be set to show to users in a specific geo location that the school knows it can service. For example, if the school only offers busses that pick up from certain stops and wants to target parents near those stops or within a radius from it’s location, then this targeted tactic allows the ad spend to be managed wisely and not blown on users that are searching outside of the school’s area.
  2. Tailored keyword targeting: In conjunction with Geo targeting paid search campaigns can be tailored to a school’s unique offering which means their ads will show only when one of its parameters is searched. For example, if the school has a strong Dance or Creative Arts facility and a parent is looking for one of these specialist subjects then a well-targeted ad will always convert. This tactic increases the likelihood of finding a perfect match between the school and the parent / pupil by driving relevant traffic to your prospective parent website.
  3. Adjustable messaging: Growing your natural position in search tools is a lengthy operation and can’t be used as a reactive tactic when you need pupil numbers or a certain type of pupil. Paid search ads however, can be set up relatively quickly, updated as and when relevant information becomes available from the admissions team, such as the need for children to enter a specific year group, the need for more girls or the need for certain nationalities in order to create a healthy balance or mix. The use of negative keywordsis also important to insure you’re not attracting parents searching for something that you clearly don’t offer.
  4. Demographic targeting:in order to maximize your ad spend, it’s important to only show ads to parents that have a strong chance of converting to an enquiry, demographic and segment targeting allows you to exclude users outside your typical prospective parent age bracket along with any other demographic data such as information within the affinity categories.
  5. Marketing with a measurable ROI: Reviewing the data on a regular basis is key to building an effective campaign that offers a strong ROI. As data helps and supports real-time, data driven decisions it assures the school’s marketing activity and ad spend is focused on delivering an effective return and is able to responded quickly to the admissions departments needs.