Each year, hundreds of universities compete for a coveted spot on the annual US top colleges lists. Securing a spot near the top of one of these lists guarantees more visibility and increases the odds for college-bound high school students to apply.

But ranking lists shouldn’t be the only thing universities pay attention to. According to a 2011 study by Compete Inc., 8 out of 10 students apply online. Universities should be looking to SEM strategies to effectively boost site traffic, online recruitment efforts and enrollment.

Driving more online class registrations starts with understanding what prospective students want from their education search. In other words, create ad copy that is relevant to what students are searching for.

In one case study, Boost’s testing insights showed students responded positively to the mention of “Live and Online Classes,” suggesting these students may be interested in having flexibility around course options. These insights resulted in a +44% CTR increase during peak registration periods.

In addition to an increase in CTR, Boost was able to accomplish more SEM initiatives for the client without them having to hire more staff, thus keeping resources constrained. The time needed to test and write ads with automation was cut and the client gained more insight on prospective students’ online education search.

So, what can we learn from this? Universities that invest in a turnkey SEM solution gain more in the long run than universities with a top spot on this year’s college ranking list.


About Boost Media

Boost Media increases advertiser profitability by using a combination of humans and a proprietary software platform to drive increased ad relevance at scale.

The Boost marketplace comprises over 1,000 expert copywriters and image optimizers who compete to provide a diverse array of perspectives. Boost’s proprietary software identifies opportunities for creative optimization and drives performance using a combination of workflow tools and algorithms. Headquartered in San Francisco, the Boost Media optimization platform provides fresh, performance-driven creative in 12 localized languages worldwide.