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An All-Encompassing Marketing Strategy For a Trade School Leads to Increased Web Traffic and Conversions

A trade school for aspiring automotive technicians had an opportunity to become a leading training program in the Cleveland area. Their strictly hands-on approach and efficiency training models by experts in the mechanic field could help bring new auto techs into the industry in just a mere 20 weeks. However, the trade school had one large problem: they were a startup organization unrecognized in the education or automotive industry.

The trade school came to Aztek in need of designing and developing a new website before doors opened, followed by a digital marketing program that could help build awareness around their hands-on training programs and drive new student applicants. With essentially no digital presence at all, the Aztek team needed to create several digital marketing strategies and tactics through a variety of channels to establish brand awareness that would ultimately drive student applicants.

Tactics to Establish a Digital Marketing Presence from the Ground Up

Website Design & Development

We needed a clean, modern, and mobile-friendly website design to appeal to the automotive training school’s target market of 18-25-year-old prospective students. Our design and development teams worked to integrate an aptitude test into the application pages as well, so prospective students could test their automotive knowledge and get a first-hand glimpse of the game-style learning technology offered at the school and for the trade school admissions office to measure the prospective students’ probability of success. With a cool edge on the website's design and plenty of videos incorporated into the site, we had the right foundation to showcase the atmosphere and student-life of the trade school.

Content Research, Strategy, and Development

Aztek conducted thorough research on the trade school’s audience and the education/automotive industries. This included topic and keyword research to identify the most important topics to prospective students, their parents, and employers in the mechanic industry, in addition to the level of competition for this content within search engines.

We were then able to develop an overall recommendation for new pages of the site as well as a content calendar for reoccurring blog content. Aztek’s internal content specialists used to research, interviews, and school visits to quickly understand the mechanic industry. Each blog post included prior keyword research to determine SEO opportunities, with our long-term goal of using this optimized content to drive more unique visitors from search engines to the site.

Local Search Engine Optimization

Because the trade school was located in Cleveland-area, our SEO efforts were emphasized on a local level to ensure aspiring auto techs and existing employers in our defined radius were seeing the school in their search results. We utilized student reviews and quality images and videos to build the presence of the Google My Business page, alongside local press releases to announce the opening of new programs for coverage in the Cleveland area.

Google Ads and Display Advertising

While content and search engine tactics may take months to see a return, we turned to Google Ads and Display Advertising to bring quick, relevant audiences to the site in the meantime. Using Google Ads, we targeted a radius of 50 miles around the trade school to capture men and women searching for local trade schools, related auto mechanic careers, and training terms during their school research phase. Simultaneously, we used display advertising through Google’s network to create brand recognition for the trade school’s logo and 20-week, hands-on training programs.

Social Media Posts and Advertising

After conducting social media audience research, we determined Facebook and Instagram to be our two top platforms for engaging with our core audience. We used both targeted video and image ads to target our ideal prospective students through Facebook advertising, alongside a steady stream of content on the platforms to engage with our following and highlight the student programs and success stories.

Email Marketing

Once we captured student and/or parent email addresses through open houses, the aptitude test, and more, our verified email subscribers received updates on a “day in the life” at the trade school – including prospective student info, student success stories, and the latest news within the industry.


The Outcome

Over a 10-month period, the trade school was pleased to see overall search traffic to their website trending positively month-to-month, and new student applicants generated from both advertising efforts and search engines.

  • Growth in organic search engine traffic to the site increased by 450%

    Organic Website Growth for Trade School

  • Growth in new student applicants (form submissions to the site) increased by 2,866%

    Conversion Growth for Trade School

Are you ready to work with an agency that can help you develop an effective online digital marketing campaign for your trade school? Contact us today to talk to one of our experts about how we can help you support your goals.