Hesitant to Say “Best” or “Top” in Your School Ads? It’s Time to Claim it

Truth Tree Suggests School Ads Claim "Top" or "Best" for Huge Impact | Truth Tree Knows School Marketing

By Maggie Twaroski, Truth Tree Contributor

If you’ve steered clear of superlative advertising in the past, now is the time to reconsider. As more schools crop up and families face a wider range of choices, your school could benefit from taking a more “aggressive” approach to advertising. Let’s be clear–we’re not talking about false advertising, or making arbitrary claims. We’re talking about using power words to spark emotion and action in your prospects–all backed by evidence. 

Here’s how school marketing teams can use superlative advertising the right way:

It’s easy for schools to get hung up on “proving” their school is the best. Graduation rates, athletic wins, test scores, national rankings—these can all be used as proof that your school really is the “best” in a particular area. If you have these accolades, by all means, use them. But even if you don’t, there’s still no reason to shy away from superlative advertising. At the end of the day, parents are simply looking for the best school for their child. They care less about national rankings and more about whether or not their child is thriving. That means, for many families, your school is the best because it’s the right fit for them. 

No two schools are the same, and each has its own strengths and areas of excellence. It’s helpful for parents, especially in the beginning stages of school shopping, to envision their child participating in the best your school has to offer—whether it’s your academic programs, student-centered teaching methods, or athletic opportunities. It’s true that being “the best” in any of these areas is subjective, but it’s 100% true for the students who thrive in them. If you’re not entirely sure what makes your school stand out, try looking at your testimonials for inspiration. For example, maybe parents have praised your Catholic school for having “the best” religious education for their child. Use this feedback as inspiration for your school’s advertisements. 

Today’s parents want to be assured that they’re making the right choice in their children’s schools. Using superlative words in your advertisements can provide the reassurance parents need to feel confident in their decision. Think about it from your own perspective. Chances are, you’re more likely to purchase a product or service from an advertisement that instills confidence, especially when the value of that product is important. When it comes to education, parents are looking for the best of the best. The quality of their children’s education matters and your advertisements are key instruments in communicating that value. 

Brian Smith & Sam Chaffin, Lead Partner Strategists, Truth Tree

Truth Tree Suggests School Ads Claim "Top" or "Best" for Huge Impact | Truth Tree Knows School Marketing | bar chart with star above tallest column

Have you ever started shopping for a product or service online and been quickly overwhelmed by the number of options? Most of us have, and prospective parents of your school are no different. Pretty soon, the options start to blur together, and parents start to look for keywords that stand out. You guessed it–seeing the words “top” or “best” elevates your school above the rest and encourages searchers to take action on your school’s advertisement. That’s why users often search for keywords like “best restaurants near me” or “best neighborhoods to live in Chicago.” They want to filter through the noise and find the best. By using these words in your advertising, you’re not only practicing good SEO, but you’re attracting new prospects through those high-level searches.

A screenshot of Google Trend searches of "private schools near me", "top private schools near me", "best private schools near me", and "independent schools near me". This screenshot shows the frequency of those terms being searched within a 30 day timespan.
A screenshot of a twitter post praising a restaurant for "mastering" SEO. The name of the restaurant is "Restaurant Near Me".

This restaurant may not have the most creative name, but it certainly gets points for SEO. While changing your school name to “school near me” probably isn’t the best branding idea, your goal should be to stand out in search results. 

As with all other marketing campaigns, testing and fine-tuning your copy can make a big difference in nurturing leads through the funnel. Experiment with different superlative power words, weave them into your ads, and see which versions perform best with your audience.

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