Paid Search is the process of bidding on relevant search queries in Google and other search engines to gain visibility and drive traffic and conversion to your site.

There are a broad array of techniques, strategies and optimisations that can be used in paid search to ensure an efficient use of budgets.

Key to paid search is ensuring that keywords, ads and landing pages are as relevant as possible to the question or query a user is searching for an answer for. Click costs can be high, particularly in the competitive tertiary education sector, however ensuring you have an efficient account structure, relevant keywords and landing pages will help drive efficiency and lower costs.

At Storm, we have defined a 4 pillar best practice approach that consists of over 100 unique best practice points that, from experience, we know delivers higher performance, efficiency and cost savings.

Nearly all universities are using paid search as part of their digital approach to student acquisition, the sector is ultra competitive and can be expensive, wasteful and inefficient if best practice is not followed. Paid Search can work holistically with organic search methods to ensure that a university has coverage and exposure across multiple touch points, devices and channels.

We have taken a snapshot of observations on paid search activity across each university within this analysis to uncover what kind of search terms are being bought and what messaging is being targeted.

Do you want to know how efficient your university’s paid search account is? At Storm, we offer a free paid search audit against our 4 pillar best practice and advise on efficiency gains.

Free paid search audit

Year on Year search queries have grown by 19% on mobile devices in the university sector.*

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35.8% of all university and Post-secondary Education related searches were on mobile devices during Q4 2017.*


  1. * Google non-public proprietary study