International Connections Academy Logo - Education Website

Increasing PPC Conversion Rate by 65% for Pearson.

Design / SEO / PPC

The International Connections Academy (INaCa) is an affordable, college preparatory online private school for grades K–12. One of the largest virtual private schools in the USA in a virtual classroom, students from around the world work with certified teachers to reach their highest potential through fully accredited, uniquely individualised learning programmes that include full-time schooling, individual courses, and summer schools.

Owned by Pearson, INaCa approached Strawberrysoup in 2016 to embark on a global digital direct-response campaign for the school. In 2017 they wanted to run the campaign again only this time with 40% less budget and with the aim to increase leads and reduce overall CPA.

A word from
Matt / Digital Marketing Specialist

“Achieving INaCa’s objectives for 2017 was initially daunting, especially with 40% less budget. Never-the-less, we strategised and implemented recommendations to increase Conversions by 43% and reduce Cost/Conv by 58%.”

The baseline

For the previous Campaign in 2016, 60 core countries were identified to target from historical Google Analytics data, previous enrolment data, past Salesforce leads and by simple desk research. 60 location-specific landing pages were created for each country that dynamically updated with the relevant country specific headings and banner images making them contextually relevant to the user.

Google AdWords was chosen as the main platform driver and a core set of campaigns were created with the aim of capturing users at different entry points and requirements. Ad Groups were added for different ‘online school’ keyword variations. In essence, this was our best option for capturing a US audience living in another country looking to access a US curriculum, most likely for their child/children.

A combination of the following campaign types were used:

  • Customer match
  • Display – Global (Excl US)
  • Display – Location
  • Search – International (branded)
  • Search – International (non-branded)
  • Search – Location
  • Display Remarketing – Global
  • Display Remarketing – Location
  • RLSA

Using Google Analytics and with the right tracking in place we could clearly attribute campaign performance to specific countries, based on the actual pages the leads were submitted from. We could also break these down further, based on the interested curriculum.

The client was really happy with the results achieved across the 130-day campaign, which included a £41.84 Cost / Conv. and 2,073 Conversions.

Supercharging performance for 2017

So we had 40% less budget and we needed to further increase leads at a lower CPA compared to last year, sounds scary right?

Fortunately, with the data gathered from the previous year we could really dig deep and gain some insight to assess how realistic achieving this objective would be and formulate a strategy. After a long hard look at the data, we took a step back to see the bigger picture from a users perspective which helped us better understand user intentions and ways in which we could improve relevancy.

The improvements we recommended included the following:

  • Landing page Conversion Rate Optimisation
  • Refinement of target Countries and Campaigns
  • Update all Text Ads to expanded Text Ads
  • Optimise Ad Extensions
  • Adjust location targeting options
  • Moving RLSA into each of the location specific search campaigns
  • Using if statements to tailor Ad messaging and CTAs based on audience
  • Creating animated Display Ads for the Display – Global Campaign
  • Replace old location specific Display Ads with Responsive Ads
  • Budget reconciliation – allocating more to higher performing campaigns
  • Bid adjustments for device and day of week for each location
  • Managing placements and negative keyword filtering
  • Custom Audiences based on user engagement
  • Refine Facebook audiences and settings

The high volume of actions meant they could not all be actioned immediately, so a strategy was formed for the period of time the campaign was scheduled to run. This meant we could ensure all points were actioned and in priority order. Weekly updates with the client allowed us to discuss progress and report on KPIs using a Google Data Studio custom dashboard that could be shared with and interacted with by the INaCa team.

How we achieved results

Reviewing the landing pages and conducting user testing identified areas we could further optimise to better meet user expectations and also increase user understanding. Updating CTA terminology and adding to the step by step guide made the process much clearer to the user.

Originally there were 60 countries being targeted each with its own Search, Display and Remarketing Campaign. By pausing all those that underperformed (high CPA, low conversion rate and low conversions) we managed to refine the number of countries down to the 30 top performing.

Having reviewed the performance and settings for the RLSA Campaign that ran in 2016 we decided to refine it by location focused. We opted to move the RLSA into the location-specific Search Campaigns and implement conditional Ad messaging and CTAs based on the custom engagement audiences we’d created.

Creating animated Display Ads, updating Display-Location Ads to responsive, managing placements and further optimising targeting helped increase CTR and engagement from those looking at relevant third party websites.

Remarkable results

INaCa are very happy with the results achieved in 2017’s campaign.









More work.

Hennings Wine
eCommerce / SEO

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