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Writing Google Ads Copy for Education Clients

 In Paid Search, PPC
Writing effective paid search copy can be a challenge. You have to accurately represent the advertiser and appeal to potential customers. Edu copy comes with its own specific set of challenges in that you’re often writing in a sea of competition while needing to satisfy a strict compliance team. There are, however, plenty of differentiating strategies that paid search experts should consider when writing copy for an Edu account.

1. Clearly define the school’s value propositions

Whether you’re promoting a school as a whole or a particular course within the school, it’s important to know what you can say to differentiate your ads from the rest of the SERP clutter. Prospective students will look for this as well as they consider what will likely be one of their most expensive lifetime purchases. To start, consider the following:

  • Course completion ETAs
    For instance, can you finish a Bachelor’s in three years vs. four?
  • GRE/GMAT waivers
    Will the school waive graduate entrance exams for applicants with outstanding GPAs?
  • Online/Flexible scheduling
    Does the school offer online or evening classes that make it easy to obtain a degree while working?
  • Immersions
    Is on-the-job training offered as part of the course requirements?
  • Financial Aid
    Is it easy to qualify for financial aid and flexible payment plans?

Once you know what the value props are, you can begin crafting ads to speak to them. Below is an example of effective copy used to promote a culinary school. This ad touches on completion ETA, immersion opportunities, and financial aid to showcase value


2. Familiarize yourself with compliance best practices

Adhering to compliance standards can be one of the most challenging aspects when writing for Edu. Most institutions have strict regulations around what is and is not acceptable to say in ad copy and it’s important for marketers to work closely with a school’s compliance team to ensure accurate representation in all promotional language. While every compliance team will differ somewhat in acceptable practices, there are a few things you should always vet through them.

  • Allowed abbreviationsWhat are the approved abbreviations for a school name or course? This will be helpful to have when writing copy with strict character limits.
  • Get vs. Earn vs. CompleteOften schools will not approve language saying “get your degree” since it is not something they can guarantee. Preferred alternatives include “earn your degree” or “complete your degree”.
  • Degree Completion TimeAgain, it’s presumptuous to write that a particular degree can be completed in X amount of time (i.e. “complete in 3 years”). Typically, it’s preferred to write that degrees can be earned in “as few as” or “as little as” a specified amount of time.

3. Test alternative and emerging ad formats

In addition to making sure you’re testing variants of expanded text ads, there are also newer formats and (older) scripts that can be leveraged to maximize your creative Edu strategy.

  • Responsive search ads
    These ads dynamically rotate up to 15 headlines and four description lines to find the optimal combination of headline/description. On the SERP they are indistinguishable from a standard text ad.
  • Countdown timer scripts
    While this has been a long-time staple for retail copy, using this script within your existing ads can create urgency around a class start date or application deadline. The script counts down to a set time by adjusting the number of days/hours in a dynamic fashion. In the example below, “3 days” would update to “2 days” and “1 day” with the passage of time.
  • YouTube video formats
    Don’t forget to take advantage of any video content produced to promote on YouTube.

With so many options, both in content and format, good Edu copywriting is often a function of time and testing. It’s essential to create a robust testing plan and then give yourself time to execute on that and properly collect results within the data. Zero in on what works and then focus on making that better…and better.

Need help with paid search for your business? Call OpenMoves for a consultation and to learn how we can help you!

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