Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Case Study


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Project Overview

Circa Interactive took a phased approach to relaunching the programs, focusing on the highest quality lead sources first. Keyword-based search campaigns within Google and Bing were audited and either optimized or fully relaunched. An emphasis was placed on using keyword modifiers and negative keywords to increase quality metrics, and click-thru-rates increased across the board. From there, social display advertising campaigns were upgraded through the use of sponsored content. During this process, landing pages were also built that emphasized conversion best practices, such as user motivations, the programs unique value proposition, friction, and conversion incentives.

The Challenge

University of Wisconsin-Extension’s online bachelor’s and master’s degree programs were seeking a cost-effective digital marketing agency to help increase program lead flow and improve the overall ROI of digital-advertising dollars spent. The programs ranged from a niche master’s program to a more general bachelor’s degree completion program in a highly competitive environment.

Our Solution

Circa Interactive analyzed existing search strategies, as well as available lead quality data, and formalized a new strategy based on relaunching and revamping existing campaigns with the goal of increasing quality and decreasing costs. New landing pages were also introduced for the programs and were A/B tested versus historically top-performing controls.



Program Inquiries Increased By 33%

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Introduction of New Audiences

After completing a program-audience analysis, Circa was able to identify new audiences that could be targeted via audience segmentation on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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A 21% Decrease in Cost-Per-Lead

A 21% drop in the aggregate cost-per-lead enabled the program to spend its budget more efficiently through driving more leads at a lower cost.

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LP Conversion Rate Increase of 6%

With the program landing pages receiving up to 500 visits a day, a 6% increase in conversion rate had a large effect on total lead flow.


“I’m the one that comes into a new job realizing how ineffective a Search Marketing agency is and bringing the work in-house.  However, Circa is the one and only Digital Marketing agency that I would bring into a higher education organization.  Circa has proven that they are not only experts in pay-per-click advertising and SEO, but they understand marketing specifically for higher education more so than any other agency out there.  Our marketing department has limited resources, but Circa has taken a huge burden off our backs by managing PPC advertising for several of our programs.  Circa also provided a thorough and actionable SEO analysis regarding our programs.  Circa’s best strengths are their critical thinking skills, analytical abilities, and communication skills that they provide to our program accounts.  Circa has gone above and beyond to ensure the best performance and results for University of Wisconsin-Extension.  I highly recommend Circa for any higher education marketing, recruitment, or enrollment team.”

Justin Fisher

Sr. Online Marketing Specialist, University of Wisconsin-Extension

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