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How to Use Google Ads to Promote Online Courses in 2021

How to Use Google Ads to Promote Online Courses in 2021

With so many advances in digital marketing, it is high time you take a look at Google Ads too. You might be familiar with it as Google AdWords. In 2018, the online advertising platform reformed its name, logo, and overall UI design. Now, Google Ads emphasizes "visual" content and plans campaigns accordingly.

 

Speaking of visuals, with Google Ads, you can attract students. We're assuming your target audience is Gen-Z, at most millennials - it's important to use graphical content. AdWords' helps with exactly that. 


It's also important to not overlook the fact that Google gets 5.6 million searches in a day. If you use AdWords, which is powered by… Google itself, prospective students will most likely see the ad. 

What kind of ad though? Well, Google Ads basically works on the concept of pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns. Promote online courses with Google Ads by running timed endorsements. 

If you have an active website, to drive enough traffic, ensure consistent leads - it needs to show up on top of search engine results. We'll explain in-depth. Read on. 

Promoting Online Courses Using Google Ads - The Benefits of Google AdWords

By far the biggest benefit of Google Ads is intersectionality. Meaning that you can run ads on all affiliated apps - YouTube, Gmail, Blogger, Images, etc. 

And that's not all. As an advertiser, you get to bid on a keyword and target your students. Once you place a price on an ad, you'll have to pay each time a potential customer clicks on it. 

That's pay-per-click marketing in a nutshell. Research backs Google Ads. If we talk about numbers, marketers get an average 200% return. Ad revenue can even expand to 8$ for every 1% invested later. There are other reasons to choose Google Ads too. 

Here are the 3 benefits of using Google ads over other ways to promote an online course in 2021:

1. The Wide Range 

When it comes to bidding on a keyword, there's no end. The options you have are limitless. The higher you bid, the more likely it is for your brand to rank higher. 

Plus, it's Google. Need a solution? Google it. The platform is used as a literal verb now. To say that it is well known would be an understatement. 

Google Display Network amplifies your reach - such that it reaches the right customer. 

3. PPC Over SEO - Performs Better 

Pay-per-click marketing is remarkably faster. It's a gem for marketers, and specifically you. If there's a limited time till your next batch begins, do not miss out on the potential of PPC. A few key points: 


  • Use multiple keywords simultaneously 
  • Control your campaigns. 
  • Ads on front 

Um, obviously these are inorganic results but considering the time it takes and the cost-effectiveness - it is surely worth it. 

Customize your ad, go through trends, and get results instantly. SEO is great too - we don't deny that - but it's not the right time. 

3. Analytics and Tracking 

It's the digital age - Google Ads definitely acknowledges it. Google Adwords are probably the most detailed software when it comes to dissecting statistics

Who clicked? At what time? Conversion rate? Demographics reached? Most effective keywords? Surprisingly, Adwords showcases every answer in full detail. 

And Google further provides marketing suggestions, making your job even easier. If you can't come up with a strategy, consult Google Ads and get rational recommendations. 

P.S. Don't forget to link the business's Google Analytics account with Adwords - it'll make sense when you go through the data. 

How to Use Google Adwords to Promote Your Online Course

Now, let's talk about how you can actually start "using" the software. You need to be careful with every small detail. Be it optimizing the landing page, bidding on the right keyword, looking over data, or anything else. 

Anyway… let's begin. 

Step 1: Create an Adwords Account

We assume you already have a Google account. If not, simply sign up with your email as usual. The important part is signing up, click here

The first question you’ll see is “what’s your main advertising goal?” - answer that and move ahead. Set up the account with your business name and website (yes, a functional website is necessary).

The website requirement usually bugs people but it is justifiable. Google actually verifies your business through the website and gives you an overview of Ads. Keep moving forward and you’ll see a default search ad - this is for you to customize (don’t bother, you can tailor it later). 

Lastly, Google will seek your insights on the keyword themes. Remember, Google is trying to understand your business. The AI-based questions are designed to create the ideal campaign for you. So, follow along. Review your campaign and go through formalities. 

Once you’re done, a preview will pop up - that’s it. Your first-ever “dummy” campaign

Next: set up billing information and proceed with the payments. We recommend you use a credit card, it is quick with transactions. 


Step 2: Plan a Budget 

When it comes to finances as we mentioned, you need to figure out what works best. Most online course businesses fail to estimate their budget. 

We know the classroom is virtual but you need to work on more technical aspects now. The budget will be different than usual. Ask yourself:


  • How long do you need to advertise for?
  • How are my competitors planning it out?
  • How much am I willing to bid for CPCs (cost per click)? Which keywords? 

And, why do you need Google Ads? For starters - because you need to increase your reach and target the right students. If your competitor ranks higher on google, use tools like SEMRush or the built-in Keyword Planner and see what budget you need to bid for that kind of “keywords”.


Step 3: Choosing A Network For Your Ad Campaign 

When promoting an online course, choosing the right medium matters a lot. Like we said, it all depends on your end goal. So, here are a few listed mediums - we’ll discuss each in detail. 

Search campaign for online course promotion

it's a basic one. Whenever you search for a product or service, there is always a highlighted ad. Here's an example: 


google search campaign for online ad


If a student searches for universities, they will get similar ads. In this case, an online school. The advertiser targeted these keywords and their brand is showing on top of SERP. Follow a similar Google Ads strategy

Video campaign for online course marketing: 

You're probably familiar with this. Have you ever come across a video on the side when watching a tutorial on YouTube? That's a video ad. Google allows you to pick and choose - unskippable, skippable, placement of ads, etc. 


video ads for course promotion


Here, you can see that Grammarly's ad has taken over the screen, in a good way. A skippable ad before the Youtube video and a clickable ad at the bottom too. 

The other two mediums… 

Display campaign for increasing enrollments: 

It's self-explanatory. This is the "dummy" template you will get. Display campaigns are everywhere - websites, YouTube, third-party apps, even Gmail. The Display Network is quite vast, you can expect a lot of reach. 

App campaign to increase online course engagements: 

Over here, the Display Network will optimize visual-based ads for apps - adjusting an ad for a specific app is the main goal. 

Step 4: Design an Optimized Landing Page 

We'd like to continuously emphasize - "optimization". When you pay for a landing page and expect instant conversions - make sure that it matches the customer's funnel journey. 

Most marketers stop at "displaying" ads, not focusing on the aftermath. 

You need to have a clear goal - where will the customer go when they click on the ad? What's the conversion point? 

In your case, the landing page should never redirect to the main page. Make it convenient for the student to sign-up. 

Step 5: Conduct Keyword Research

Do not randomly bid on keywords based on their performance on a certain ad. Go through your requirements. 

Will a student search for this keyword? Is this keyword remotely related to online courses? 

Remember: purchase a keyword that is similar to your goal. If, for example, a student searches for "cheap online courses" - your brand should show up if it's cost-effective. 

Step 6: Set your Bid

When researching Google Ads, you might have heard these terms:


  • CPC (cost-per-click): paid for each click.


  • CPE (cost per engagement): pay, only when once a user engages.


  • CPM (cost per mile): paid for every thousand impressions.


Well, here's a breakdown - this falls under PPC campaigns and is part of the bidding system. 

If you're not clear on bidding, let automated bidding by Google handle it for you. Based on algorithmic trends, Adwords will give you a range to bid from. And there's always manual bidding too. 

Step 7: Create Copies 

This is the final step of crafting a digital ad. Once you've gathered the right keywords, proceed further. Experts recommend this. 

Consider the URL where the link will lead towards. This is the "conversion" point - make a sale! Link the exact page a potential student might be looking for. 

And be creative with the headline, you only have 30 characters. This is your chance to show the course's main features. 

What about the display? Here, you should go all-in and depict the online course. Use exceptional graphics. 

With the description, expand on the headline and show important details. Like you would for an email preview text. 

Step 8: Track the performance 

If the mathematical figures go over your head, don't worry, you'll understand it in no time. Just be consistent with checking key metrics - Google's algorithm changes literally every day. 

Which metrics? Here are a few KPIs you should definitely track over the entire campaign. 


google ads performance tracking


Starting with… 

Impressions: how many users even saw your ad? They don't have to necessarily interact but how far did your ad go? 

Clicks: where you have to pay. Remember - whenever a viewer clicks on your ad, a certain amount (depending on bid) from your account gets deducted. Keep track. 

Conversions: the fun, and most important part. How many students actually signed up for the course? Use conversion tracking

Hire Professionals to Promote your Training Course Using Google Ads

A lot of information to take in right? Well, you can always consult an online course marketing agency to handle everything. Let us introduce ourselves. Here at Think Orion - we deal with PPC advertising, among many other marketing services. 


thinkorion online course marketing agency


Our team of experts has used Google Ads over the years to carry out PPC campaigns. In fact, paid advertising is our main spotlight. 

All of our ad campaigns are linked with Google Ads. We believe that the platform has made it easier for B2B businesses to collaborate and craft the perfect campaign. 

We welcome you to share your ideas. Let's see how we can collaborate in time for your next online batch!

Conclusion

Anyway, the point is - Google Ads should always be considered when it comes to implementing any sort of digital ad strategy. 

It's an evolving field and you'll have to keep learning at every step, though. Whether you decide to choose Think Orion as your partner or go solo - it's a brief worthwhile journey. 


Manno Notermans

Manno is a wanderer of the world looking to make an impact and change the world for the better. He has over 10 years of experience working in various marketing positions. Manno’s main focus the past few years has been accelerating the growth of businesses, increasing revenue, and profit with out-of-box creative ideas and implementations.