Cost Per Lead: EUR 15,000 Down the Drain?

Guus Goorts is the author of the book “Successful Student Recruitment with Google Ads”. He helps education institutions to improve their student recruitment methods through hands-on online marketing training, so they can attract their ideal students more effectively.

This is the third article in a series of five that is written by Guus for the DreamApply Expert Insight Series. Read the previous article here.


Hi, it’s Guus again!

This time let me start with one real life example.

A few years ago, I spoke with a University that had just spent EUR 15.000 on a Google Ads campaign.

After some investigation into their Google Analytics account, we concluded that the entire campaign hadn’t generated even a single enquiry.

How to prevent wasted ad budgets?

Evaluate your campaigns and other traffic sources by the number of next actions (aka conversions) they generate. These could include:

  • Initiated chats;
  • Enquiries;
  • Brochure downloads;
  • Connects with a student ambassador;
  • And more

You can measure these conversions by setting up goals in Google Analytics and importing them into Google Ads. 

Once you do this, Google Ads will report conversions in near real time, and even tell you how many conversions each ad and keyword has generated; in a graph that looks something like this:


If a campaign does not generate conversions after you have spent, say, 100 euros, do not burn any more budget. Look for ways to improve the campaign.

By the way, once you set up goal tracking in Google Analytics, you will have this stat for all your traffic, not just your paid campaigns.

So you will get a good idea of how many enquiries came from portal websites, social media and organic search as well – and you might realise that certain portal websites contribute a lot, while others don’t. 

That is a great starting point for getting more out of your advertising budget!

Conversions aren’t the holy grail, either…

Seeing conversions happening on your website confirms that your ad campaigns are not just generating random visitors and your website motivates them to take the next step. 

But it does not tell you whether the people who enquire have the right profile for your institution and are sufficiently motivated to engage further. Interested in learning more about lead engagement?

Join me at the next DreamApply Webinar where I am going to talk about lead engagement and the application rates.


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