As a new school year begins, we on Finalsite's Consulting Services team are busy launching new Search and Display ad campaigns for many of our clients. As a Google Partner, it's our job to be up-to-the-minute on the latest best practices and strategies schools can use to increase qualified website traffic.
If you're on point for this work at your school, here are three tips from the team to help you max out your use of ad extensions on the Google AdWords Search Network:
1. Use Callout Extensions
Callout extensions are 25-character opportunities to go beyond your base copy and get more information in front of ad viewers before high-value ones get away and before low-value ones spend your money by clicking. With very tight character limits on ad headlines and core copy, this is a feature you have to take advantage of.
2. Use Sitelink Extensions
Sitelink extensions are even better than Callouts because they are 25 characters of text that link to a page on your site — typically a different page from the one the main ad headline points to. In this way, you can compel many individuals to come through your ad directly to the part of your story they find the most compelling -- "Small Classes", "Nationally Ranked Debate", "IB Curriculum" -- and engage them where their priorities lie, rather than on a generic landing page.
3. Use Call Extensions
Call extensions enable a mobile ad viewer to initiate a phone call to you simply by tapping a button on the ad, accelerating the development of the personal connections that are essential to getting a family to fall in love with a school. This feature can be scheduled to run only during the times of day that a friendly human voice is able to pick up that phone, too. And you might be surprised how great a share of school ads are seen on mobile devices.
In general, ad extensions tend to improve click-through rates because they grab people's attention and provide a more useful result. But at the same time that they compel more high-value clicks, they also improve your ability to limit low-value clicks. They also increase the amount of real estate your ad occupies on the page, which has the added benefit of pushing competing results down toward or below the fold.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Red leads our team of experts who have your back when it comes to organic online searches and ads. With a long history in independent schools — as an alum, former teacher, dorm parent, coach, and now a current parent — his passion for helping you is rooted deep in his own experiences. Alongside his degree in engineering and a master's in school leadership, it's easy to see why clients say Red "gets them" when they discuss marketing strategy!