What You Need to Know About Keyword Match in Higher Education

keyword match for higher education terms

Whether you run SEO and ad campaigns internally or work in partnership with a higher education marketing agency, there are some basics about keywords and keyword match that you’ll want to know. Because even if you think you understand the words and phrases you should target, missteps can cost you money and students.

Here’s what you need to know:

Higher Ed Keywords Can Be Expensive

It depends on the kind of degrees and programs you offer, but some keywords can be prohibitively expensive. That’s why it’s critical that you target well and don’t rely solely on paid media to achieve the results you want. By targeting high cost keywords through content marketing and search engine optimization, you can spend more efficiently and drive organic traffic to your website and auxiliary pages.

Relying on Google Recommendations Is for Beginners Only

In all its magnanimity, Google makes it pretty easy to set up accounts and campaigns and spend money. You choose a few super relevant keywords and phrases and Google puts your keywords into “broad match.” The search engine will find plenty of words that might also work. That means you’ll reach the widest audience possible. Whenever a user searches for any words in your key phrase—even if they misspell them or choose synonyms—your ads will appear. Awesome!

Or maybe not.

Because this is the broadest possible match, your ads will appear in front of lots of people you might want, but also lots of people who have no intention of coming to your school or looking into your programs. And even if there’s no intent, there may still be clicks. Clicks cost money. Google is happy, but are you?

Keyword Match Types Matter

Now you understand that the quantity of keywords you include in your campaign isn’t nearly as important as their quality. Using broad match modifier, phrase match and exact match can help you further hone in on the users you really want to attract. Target better, spend less, get the right kind of clicks.

Don’t Forget Negative Matches

If you’re not familiar with how negative keywords work, consider the kinds of words that might be associated with your programs but have absolutely nothing to do with them. For example, you do not want your nursing program ad to appear in front of lactating moms looking for nursing tips. Do you? You also probably aren’t interested in anyone looking for “free” programs, right? Just as there are match types for your keywords, there are negative keyword match types.

Regardless of how you choose and use your keywords, it’s important to monitor campaigns every day. You need to know how your investment is being spent, and whether it’s producing clicks, conversions, and most importantly, students!

If Google’s keyword match options seem a little too much to add to your plate, don’t worry. At ESM Digital, our paid media team can help you build and run campaigns that work. And we’re higher education experts; it’s all we do. Contact us today to learn more.

~Linda Emma