How can we better compete with the University of Phoenix in paid search?
For-Profit Education Company
Our client in the ultra-competitive online education business was falling short of enrollment goals because they could not compete with the University of Phoenix and other top online universities for the most sought-after paid search keywords. The most profitable degree programs for online education were getting up to $100 a click on Google and Bing, and Phoenix was the consistent #1 in those categories. Could we develop a strategy to compete and drive incremental cost-effective leads?
- Implement single-keyword campaigns for the best degree programs, e.g., Business, MBA, Finance, and Engineering.
- Create highly targeted landing pages to increase quality scores for the related keywords.
- Set aside a testing budget as proof of concept.
- Gather enrollment data by degree program to determine the lifetime value of a student.
Before this strategy, our authorized cost per lead (“CPL”) was a blended $180 per submitted application. This made it impossible to compete for the top keywords costing $100 a click. By segmenting the business by degree program, we could place CPL on a sliding scale and better optimize the monthly media spend to capture more applications.
- Lifetime value data modeling allowed an increase in paid media spending by 4x and significantly increased leads across top categories.
- The incremental media spend delivered 60% more submitted applications.
- Created a buzz with Google in the online education space as our client leapfrogged competitors to consistently be in the top three paid search positions.
- Generated multiple new business opportunities as word of mouth spread on success.