COVID-19 GOOGLE ADS BENCHMARKS FOR HIGHER ED: COVID-19 has impacted ad performance across every industry. The new ‘normal’ for ad performance is anything but normal compared to last fall or even the start of 2020. WordStream conducted a study from the last 3 weeks on average click-through-rate, cost-per-click, and conversion rate across different industries. In the education industry, cost-per-click has dropped slightly to $0.42 on Google Display and increased to $2.91 on Google Search over the last 3 weeks. Conversion rates have increased: 0.68% on Google Display, 5.09% for Google Search. Here’s what these numbers looked like back in August of 2019.
Why you should care: The data from WordStream seems to show that prospective students are converting at a higher rate than before (and compared to other industries). This could be a result of prospective students having more questions/concerns about going to school and turning to what might have been their top choice school to determine if tuition is still affordable, or to read more supplemental information about financial aid, program requirements, etc.
18 ADVERTISING TIPS DURING THE CORONAVIRUS: How do I speak to my audience at a time like this? Will this come across as insensitive or pushy? What’s most relevant to prospective students right now? Marketers are struggling to come up with the right messaging, and even if they’ve found it, it might not be the right time to publish that messaging. Adweek gives us 18 tips for advertising during the virus, including examples of how to tweak ad copy, how to introduce a new product (did you know Bacardi now sells hand sanitizer?), and how to position your brand as a valuable resource.
Why you should care: Many schools are tiptoeing over egg shells while trying to communicate with prospective students this recruitment cycle. In reality, many prospective students have had their futures altered in one way or another as a result of COVID-19, but it doesn’t mean enrollment teams should pause messaging altogether. Perhaps more than ever before, prospective students are looking for help, guidance, and answers to their questions.
MAJOR MARKETING TRENDS CAUSED BY COVID-19: Yes, Google searches for COVID-19-related keywords have skyrocketed, but there are some other pretty shocking trends. Mobile search traffic has decreased by nearly 25%. We’re on the go less and users are switching back to desktop as a result of working from home. Ad traffic has also dramatically changed; Google Search ad traffic has decreased by 20% while Google Display Network traffic has increased by 13% and YouTube ad traffic by 21% since the beginning of March.
Why you should care: If you’re running PPC campaigns on Google, consider adjusting your device bid amounts. Less mobile traffic and fewer searches means ad performance on mobile devices could be low. Also, it could be worth it to move ad budget dollars slightly away from Google Search to YouTube or Google Display Network considering the decrease in ad traffic from Google Search.