All posts by Aaron Schrock

EDU Update: The New AdWords Interface

The rise of big data and its accessibility presents modern marketers with new challenges, updates and opportunities every day. In March 2016, Google announced the start of a major rejuvenation of its AdWords interface, but most accounts didn’t start seeing the new interface until recently.

As Google Premier Partners, we were granted early access to the platform update and are excited to report that it’s very easy on the eyes. With Google’s new data visualization project, this comes as no surprise. Using charts or graphs to visualize large amounts of data makes it easier to analyze trends, convey concepts (and ROI) and share insights with stakeholders.

What should EDU marketers expect with the new interface?

The new AdWords makes it easy to segment campaign performance by type, such as Search and Display. Options such as Locations, Ad scheduling and Devices that were previously hidden—and many times forgotten in the ‘Settings’ tab—are now easily accessible as a part of secondary navigation off to the left of the page.

There are now four visual dashboards shown on the Overview page that provide insights on Biggest Changes, Campaigns, Devices and Day & Hour performance. You can customize these dashboards by editing the metrics and obtaining the data most relevant for your team.

AdWords now allows you to navigate quickly through the platform by hitting G and then T to conduct a search. This saves time and simplifies navigating throughout the platform. You can even do a quick search to take you right where you want to go.

Not a fan of the new look? Don’t worry, you can switch back to the traditional interface. To do this, you will just need to navigate to the three-dot menu at the top right of the page and then select “Return to previous AdWords”.

How do you feel about the industry trend toward data visualization? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Get Texts from Prospects with AdWords Click-to-Text

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In a day and age where people increasingly rely on text messaging to communicate, it’s important to think of ways to integrate texting as a touch-point in your recruitment process.

Google AdWords recently moved click-to-text message extensions out of beta, allowing you to connect with prospective students who may not want to speak over the phone. AdWords click-to-message extensions are designed to connect interested users (your prospects) with advertisers (your program or institution) through SMS, directly from the pay-per-click ad.

Click-to-text message extensions present a unique opportunity for colleges and universities to connect with prospective students. Students can now reach out using their preferred method of communication when they’re ready to engage.

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What are the requirements?

Advertisers looking to implement message extensions must have a phone number that can receive, process and send text messages. The message extensions can only be shown to individuals with mobile phones that can send and receive text messages.

How to set up message extensions

At the campaign or ad group level, you will want to go to the ‘Ad Extensions’ tab at the top and select ‘View: Message Extensions.’

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After selecting ‘New message extension, you’ll be prompted to fill in the fields below:

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The extension text has a 35-character limit and will be shown as part of the ad on the SERP. The message has a 100-character limit and populates after the user selects the extension, making it quick and easy for the individual to begin the conversation.

You will want to create different message extensions at the campaign or ad group level. This will give you control over the extension being served based on the target audience you are trying to reach.

Message extensions should be clear and relevant to the theme of the campaign or ad group. Extensions created around the theme of the campaign or ad group are more likely to convert than catch-all extensions.

AdWords makes it easy to schedule your message extensions by date range, day of the week or by hour of day by expanding the ‘Advanced’ section when setting up the message extension.

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Schedule message extensions at times your team is available to respond to any texts received. This will deliver an immediate response for inquiries and ensures that your brand is top of mind when connecting with prospects.

Want more best practices on digital advertising for recruitment? Learn more about the new CTA for higher ed.