Top 7 PPC Agencies for Higher Ed of 2024 [+10 Point Selection Guide]

If you’re looking to take your university’s digital marketing strategy to the next level, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a must. However, it can be challenging to navigate the complex world of PPC advertising and develop a campaign that generates significant enrollments. These agencies have a proven track record of delivering effective PPC campaigns that drive traffic, generate leads, and boost enrollment.

To help you find the right partner for your institution’s PPC advertising needs, we’ve compiled a list of the best and most experienced agencies in the industry. Each agency on this list has demonstrated expertise in developing PPC campaigns for higher ed institutions, using innovative strategies and cutting-edge technologies to achieve impressive results. Whether you’re looking to increase brand awareness, improve lead generation, or boost enrollment, these agencies have what it takes to help you achieve your goals.

Here Are the Top PPC Advertising Agencies for Universities and Higher Ed Institutions

This is a list of paid advertisign management agencies that have a track record in working with higher education institutions.

vital marketing agency logo


Location: Portsmouth, NH

Year Founded: 2001

Total Employees: 70-80


Vital has worked with higher ed institutions for over a decade. However they’ve been around since 2001. Vital has been recognized for their marketing philosophy and their metrics-driven approach to managing paid advertising campaigns. During that time Vital has observed notable trends in the elements required for a successful campaign that results in student applications and enrollments.

Vital provides the following paid advertising services for universities:

  • Campaign Strategy & Planning (+Buyer Personas)
  • Google Search and Display Ads Management
  • Instagram & Facebook Ads Management
  • LinkedIn Ads Management
  • A/B Testing of Ads and Landing Pages
  • Ad Copywriting & Design
  • Landing Page Copywriting & Design
  • Full Funnel Reporting

Vital works closely with their higher education clients to map out their ideal student personas, and then structure campaigns the attract and convert at a high level. They meet with clients regularly to review results and further optimize campaigns on a consistent basis.

Their higher ed client portfolio includes:

  • University of San Diego
  • University of Cinncinnati
  • University of New Hampshire
  • University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • University of Connecticut
  • College for America

To learn more about Vital, visit their website:

Direct Development Higher Ed PPC Agency Logo

Direct Development

Location: Fairfax, VA

Year Founded: 1984

Total Employees: 30-40

Direct Development’s roots began in the nonprofit world, back in the 80’s when faith-based charities needed a lot of help with direct marketing communications to raise much-needed funds to support their missions. Over the next few decades, DD expanded into the higher education space to serve schools with creative and innovative marketing tactics that attracted students and alumni. They love helping schools and nonprofits do more with less. And they know how to make any complicated mar-tech strategy easy to understand and execute. 

They provide the following paid advertising management services for universities:

  • Digital Ad Strategy
  • Account Setup & Maintenance
  • Monthly Paid Media Campaign Management
  • Ad Copy and Design
  • Landing Page Design & Development
  • Analysis & Reporting

In today’s business landscape, where marketing budgets are tightening and leadership is demanding clear ROI reports, Direct Development knows inefficient spending is no longer an option. The approach of the company in question is centered on delivering significant conversions – actual people and not anonymous clicks. They prioritize implementing paid and organic strategies that are geared towards driving bottom-line results from the outset.

Their higher ed client portfolio includes:

  • Sacred Heart University
  • Sattler College
  • University of Maryland
  • Vanderbilt University

To learn more, visit their website: 

OHO Interactive

Location: Somerville, MA

Year Founded: 1998

Total Employees: 30-40

Since 1998 the team at OHO Interactive has helped over 100 higher ed institutions with their digital and paid advertising. OHO Interactive works with universities to understand their prospective student journeys and generate enrollments (not just leads). In addition to focusing on digital marketing for student enrollments, they also run capital campaign drives. At OHO they do it all: Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, LinkedIn, Paid Search, Retargeting, and even Geo-fencing.

They provide the following PPC advertising management services for higher ed institutions:

  • Ad Campaign Strategy
  • Keyword Research
  • Ad Copywriting & Design
  • Paid Advertising Management

OHO specializes in helping colleges and universities target prospective students, from undergraduates to adult learners, through effective enrollment marketing campaigns. They design and implement digital campaigns that drive inquiries, boost applications, and enroll students as per their clients’ requirements. OHO is equipped to provide comprehensive data, insights, and optimization support from click to conversion, ensuring that their clients’ digital marketing efforts are optimized to their full potential.

Their university website design portfolio includes:

  • Pace University
  • The Brandeis International Business School
  • Miami University Herbert Business School
  • Harvard Undergraduate Admissions
  • Widener University
  • Champlain College Online

To learn more, visit their website:

Edufficient logo


Location: Paramus, New Jersey

Year Founded: 2008

Total Employees: 30-40

Edufficient’s expert education marketers bid on relevant keywords associated with clients’ trademarks and program offerings to display their ads to users actively searching for those specific keywords. The process of setting up and managing a proper Pay Per Click (PPC) campaign in the higher education industry can be intricate and time-consuming. Therefore, Edufficient invests time to understand each client’s organization background and vision, enabling them to construct a tailored combination of brand and non-brand-specific Paid Search marketing campaign.

They provide the following website development services:

  • Google Ads Management
  • Bing Ads Management
  • Facebook Ads Management
  • Twitter Ads Management
  • Pay Per Click Audits
  • Pay Per Click Remarketing Services

Seasoned marketers are aware that a highly efficient Pay Per Click (PPC) campaign demands consistent monitoring and analysis. Edufficient assesses and scrutinizes analytics to acquire comprehensive insights into the campaign’s performance, allowing them to continuously make adjustments, conduct A/B tests to secure the best ROI, and provide recommendations to their higher ed clients based on data.

To learn more, visit their website:

Logo for HEM Agency


Location: Montréal, Quebec

Year Founded: 2008

Total Employees: 30-40

Combining digital marketing and advertising, CRM, SIS, and consulting services, HEM is a one-stop-shop for all digital student recruitment needs. Their range of products and services can empower every aspect of a school’s online presence. They can help institutions attract more prospects through digital channels, automate and scale follow-up processes, and facilitate online applications and enrollments. HEM has been a partner of institutions of all shapes and sizes for over a decade. They offer everything needed to convert more students online.

They provide the following ppc management services for higher ed institutions:

  • Google Ads
  • Facebook & Instagram Ads
  • Reporting

Using Google Ads, Facebook and Instagram Ads, and other providers, HEM’s paid ads specialists can create, build, manage, and optimize ad campaigns for schools of any size. They’re equipped to handle campaigns for single or multiple campuses, in any language, and targeted anywhere in the world. Whether you want to attract more leads quickly for upcoming courses, break into new markets or regions, or retarget prospects who have shown interest previously in your school, you can be confident that your marketing investment is in capable hands.

Their higher ed client portfolio includes:

  • McGill
  • John Cabot University
  • Canadian College of Health, Science, and Technology

To learn more about Echo Delta, visit their website:

motimatic higher ed ppc agency logo


Location: Oakland, CA

Year Founded: 2005

Total Employees: 50-60 

Motimatic is a marketing-for-good behavioral science company in the higher education industry. The company employs science-based strategies and data-driven digital marketing to facilitate student action and success throughout their educational journeys. Motimatic provides a risk-free, results-oriented approach to higher education leaders looking to engage, activate, and motivate students who require support the most. The company’s skilled team offers swift and proven assistance without necessitating IT integration, providing higher education leaders with prompt and dependable outcomes.

Their paid advertising management services include:

  • Google Ads
  • Facebook Ads
  • Instagram Ads
  • YouTube Ads
  • SnapChat Ads
  • Pinterest Ads
  • Twitter Ads

Their university client portfolio includes:

  • Utah Valley University
  • San Diego Mesa College
  • Texas A&M, San Antonio
  • Montgomery College
  • Dallas College
  • University of Wisconsin, Whitewater

To learn more, visit their website:

higher level education agency logo

Higher Level Education

Location: Westwood, NJ
Year Founded: 2013
Total Employees: 10-20

Higher Level Education is an education focused marketing firm specializing in the implementation and delivery of enrollment boosting solutions for both non-profit and for-profit colleges and universities. With over a decade of expertise in EDU lead generation, lead management and strategic campaign implementation, our core competency is helping online and campus schools achieve their enrollment and start objectives.

Their services include:

  • Google Ads & Bing Ads Management
  • Retargeting

Their client portfolio includes:

  • Rasmussen
  • Indiana Tech
  • Regent University
  • New England College
  • Berkeley College

To learn more, visit their website:

 [10 Tips] How to Choose the PPC Management Agency for Your University

Ok, so you’ve seen the list, there’s a lot of options here, so how do you choose which agency is right for you?

1. Look for a track record of success in higher ed: The best PPC agencies for higher ed institutions will have a proven track record of success in the industry. Look for agencies that have experience working with colleges and universities, and ask for case studies and references to verify their results.

2. Check for relevant certifications: Certifications like Google Ads certification demonstrate an agency’s expertise in PPC advertising. Look for agencies that have relevant certifications and ongoing training programs to ensure they stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices.

3. Choose an agency that understands your audience: Higher ed institutions have unique audiences with specific needs and interests. Choose an agency that demonstrates an understanding of your target audience and has experience creating campaigns that resonate with them.

4. Consider their approach to tracking and reporting: PPC campaigns generate a lot of data, and the best agencies will have a data-driven approach to tracking and reporting. Look for agencies that provide regular, detailed reports on your campaign’s performance and use data to inform future decisions.

5. Evaluate their communication and collaboration skills: Effective communication and collaboration are essential for a successful PPC campaign. Choose an agency that is responsive and transparent in their communication, and has a collaborative approach to working with clients.

6. Assess their approach to landing page optimization: A well-designed landing page can significantly impact the success of a PPC campaign. Ask potential agencies about their approach to landing page optimization, including how they test and refine landing pages to improve conversion rates.

7. Look for an agency that prioritizes conversion rate optimization: While generating traffic is important, the ultimate goal of a PPC campaign is to convert leads into enrollments. Choose an agency that prioritizes conversion rate optimization, using strategies like A/B testing and behavioral analysis to improve the effectiveness of your campaigns.

8. Consider their approach to mobile optimization: With the majority of web traffic coming from mobile devices, it’s crucial to choose an agency that prioritizes mobile optimization. Look for an agency that has experience creating mobile-specific campaigns and optimizing landing pages for mobile users.

9. Look for an agency with expertise in programmatic advertising: Programmatic advertising uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate the ad buying process and target specific audiences. It can be a powerful tool for higher ed institutions looking to reach specific demographics or personalize their advertising. Consider choosing an agency with experience in programmatic advertising to take advantage of this cutting-edge technology.

10. Evaluate their approach to local advertising: Local advertising can be a highly effective strategy for higher ed institutions looking to target specific geographic regions. Look for an agency with experience creating local advertising campaigns that leverage location-based targeting and messaging to reach potential students in specific areas.

Avoid These Five Mistakes When Choosing a PPC Agency for Your University


Here are five common mistakes people make when choosing a PPC management for your higher ed institutions:

1. Focusing solely on cost: While cost is an important factor in choosing a PPC agency, it’s essential not to prioritize it over other considerations. A lower-cost agency may not have the expertise or experience necessary to generate the results you’re looking for.

2. Neglecting to establish clear goals: It’s essential to establish clear goals and expectations for your PPC campaign from the outset. Universities that fail to do so risk partnering with an agency that doesn’t share their vision or doesn’t have the necessary expertise to achieve their goals.

3. Failing to research the agency’s reputation: Before choosing a PPC agency, it’s essential to research their reputation in the industry. Failure to do so can lead to partnering with an agency that has a history of poor performance, lack of transparency, or unethical practices.

4. Not reviewing the agency’s reporting capabilities: PPC campaigns generate a lot of data, and it’s crucial to choose an agency that has a robust reporting process in place. Universities that fail to review an agency’s reporting capabilities risk partnering with an agency that doesn’t provide adequate insights into campaign performance.

5. Neglecting to review the agency’s understanding of higher ed: PPC campaigns for higher ed institutions have unique challenges and opportunities. Universities that partner with agencies that don’t have a deep understanding of the higher ed landscape risk creating campaigns that don’t resonate with their target audience or don’t effectively capture the institution’s brand and messaging.