Trebas Institute has offered market leading educational diplomas and certificates for the music and entertainment industry in Canada for over 30 years, with campuses in Toronto and Montreal. With a reputation for excellent programs, well-placed alumni and strong promotional marketing, Trebas has maintained a leadership position in this market for many years. Increasing program competition from other career and community colleges has placed added pressure on Trebas to maintain a strong online marketing presence, including investing in search engine optimization for its website and PPC advertising to maintain a high search profile and effectively engage with prospective students.


The Challenge

Google Adwords Pay-Per-click Campaigns, targeting prospective students in Ontario and Quebec were being used successfully for a number of years, to produce a steady, reliable flow of prospective students, at an acceptable ROI. Over the last seasonal recruiting cycle, increased competition was seen to be driving up overall online marketing costs with no corresponding increase in student recruitment. A careful review of these PPC campaigns, by HEM, identified the following issues.


The average PPC conversion rate of clicked on ads to student lead, on Trebas Adwords campaigns dropped by 38% over a 12 month period in 2012. As a result of this decrease, the average cost per lead over this period increased by a total of 15%. This drop in conversion also produced an associated drop in the total number of leads generated by this source, by approximately 60%.


Trebas had not developed custom landing pages for PPC ads or PPC ad groups. Individuals clicking on Trebas PPC ads were being taken to general Trebas program information pages rather than to customized landing pages. As a result, very few visitors were going to the contact form to submit their contact details to receive more information from the college.

The Solution

To increase their competitiveness and drive down the cost of student lead acquisition, Trebas contracted HEM to review and overhaul their PPC marketing efforts. Higher Education Marketing provided its solution thought the following steps:

  • HEM conducted a detailed audit of the existing PPC campaigns to determine what was working and what was not. A review was also made of the Trebas’ Google Analytics account to determine which keywords were most used by prospective students and leading to the most conversions. A priority list of 30 keyword phrases (out of the hundreds in the account) were identified for the Trebas programs in both English and in French. ie. Keyword: “audio engineering school”                          
  • Customized campaigns were developed for each of these priority keywords, including the text of the PPC ad itself and the form and content of the unique and customized landing page. This alignment of keyword, ad and landing page allowed HEM to optimally address the original search intent of the visitor and to increase our opportunity to convert the visitor into a lead.
    i.e. Google Adwords Ads for keyword “audio engineering school”

i.e. Google Adwords Ads for keyword "film production school”

i.e. Customized Landing Page for keyword “audio engineering school”


HEM implemented the revised campaigns, monitored results in analytics and over time, fine-tuned the campaign’s ads , and landing pages to produce as many high quality leads as possible.


The Results

HEM’s work with Trebas has resulted in a number of specific outcomes:

  • The conversion rate on the PPC campaigns double from 3% to 6%, producing 37%more leads than the old campaign structure.
  • The PPC cost per lead was reduced by 58%, dramatically increasing the return on investment on Trebas’ online marketing activities.


About Trebas Institute

Established in 1979 as a private career college, Trebas Institute was created in response to the music and entertainment industry’s need for skilled professionals.Whether looking for audio production engineers, event planners, entertainment managers or event and venue managers, Trebas Institute is the trusted source for professionals.

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