Adgen manages all PPC activity for the University of Leicester’s Distance Learning programmes. Using Paid Search, our role is to generate online enquiries for the University’s 53 online programmes. The legacy campaign was generating leads at around £15-£25 and our investigations showed that huge numbers of leads were coming from remnant inventory in countries known for high spam levels, such as India and Pakistan. Historic keyword lists also contained very generic terms that were dubious in quality (e.g. ‘cheap online degree’). While the lead volume and CPL numbers looked fantastic, the click to lead conversion rate was around 1%. Furthermore, the University was flooded with low-quality leads and had trouble knowing which leads to prioritise. As a result, our focus was to generate high quality leads in the £30-£50 range.
What we did
Due to the previous campaign structure, the University did not have access to previous campaign analytics data. Working with the University, we reviewed old agency reports and internal data to gauge how the campaigns had performed. We also used our knowledge of the sector and paid search to guide our decisions.
Immediately we reviewed the country targeting. Those with high lead volumes and low CPLs, alongside poor enrolment rates, were removed from our targeting. We also reviewed old keyword reports. We performed intensive, programme specific keyword research to select terms that would be searched by people seriously looking for an education and come in at a profitable CPL. We rebuilt the entire campaign, ensuring best practices were followed regarding ad group creation, keyword match types, and advert copy creation.
We also made sure we took advantage of the free sitelinks and callout extensions within AdWords, so the University would stand out as much as possible. Finally, we implemented specific site tracking pixels on the microsite, allowing us to retarget adverts to previous visitors.
Since the campaign began, we have maintained steady lead flow of approximately 200 leads per week. After one week of campaign optimisation, the CPL dropped to around £25 and remained stable. The CPL has increased to £30 recently as we are spending more in the highly competitive, high cost per click business programmes. Overall, we have consistently exceeded expectations in terms of the £40 average CPL benchmark for this campaign.
Our biggest success with the University has been the click to lead conversion rate. This client had an average rate of around 1%, however after three weeks of campaign optimisation, we removed the Google display network and concentrated the entire budget on much higher quality paid search. The click to lead conversion rate has improved over 650% since we took over, sitting at an average of 7.6%.