How to Rock Google Grants Hardcore

Last week we introduced you to Google Grants, the nonprofit edition of AdWords, which are the text ads that appear on the right of your Google search page results. If you've read last week's post, then you have already determined if your nonprofit will qualify for Google Grants or not. If you do, congrats!  That is awesome news!  Now, you just need to know how to make good use of it.

Whether you are managing your campaign yourself or are working with an agency (like GLAD WORKS, shameless plug there, sorry) there are a few tips we can share with you to make sure you get everything you can out of your account.

Know what you want to do

This seems obvious, but honestly you need to do a lot of planning and have a carefully considered list of objectives. Running ads just for the heck of it is a waste. You need specific reasons and measurable goals. Some of your goals might be:

  • Draw attention to new content on your website like blog posts or videos
  • Get people to sign up for your email newsletters
  • Attract people to an event
  • Recruit more volunteers
  • Get more donations

Once you've got that part sorted out, you need to have realistic expectations. If your goal is to get people to come to your site and immediately sign up to volunteer or receive newsletters, you may be disappointed. But if they click on your ad, you've at least gotten them to your landing page. Don't be discouraged because they will come back as long as you have something awesome and impressive to come back to (like a well designed, user friendly site with great content).

Measuring your success

There are ways to measure your goals. Establish some baseline numbers and then experiment to see if they improve. If something's not working, mess with it a bit until you start seeing results that please you. It's possible through AdWords to see what is performing and there is no extra cost for changing your ads. Make sure AdWords is linked to Google Analytics so you can do this.

Think about your content carefully

You can either write your own content or have it done professionally (ahem, GLAD WORKS, ahem). Either way, it's important to take the time to word your ads carefully. Be sure that what you say goes along with your general messaging and that it's engaging to the reader so that it draws them in

Consider whom you're talking to

If you want folks to make that ever-important click, you need to say something that will interest them. You do this through keywords. AdWords campaigns are collected into groups. Each contains an assortment of ads. Each ad collection is triggered by a set of certain related keywords. Your keywords should be related to what your audience is searching for so that your ad comes up when they perform a search. For example, if you're looking for volunteers, you want that to be one of your keywords

Do your homework

If you're not sure what keywords to use, do a little research. Start googling stuff that you would google if you were looking for an organization like yours. In other words, think like your audience. Having great keywords are at the heart of success with AdWords.

Other ways to come up with good keywords include:

  • Checking into your Google Analytics for what keyword phrases folks have been searching for. Again, make sure that's hooked up to your AdWords so you can accomplish this.
  • Define "negative keywords."  These are words that might come up that are not relevant to you at all. For example you do not want someone to click on your ad who is looking for a job, then you would make the word "job" a negative keyword. If you were selling flutes then you would want to make "champagne" a negative keyword so you don't get folks who are shopping for champagne flutes. Every click counts so don't waste em' on the wrong audience!
  • If you only serve a specific region, make sure that's a keyword 

A good way to start

Take some of your existing copy and edit that to include your keywords. Then, you can tailor your message to communicate what you want people to know. Maybe you have a conference coming up or a new blog post to promote. Work that in. Whatever you do, make sure the ads you are promoting reflect the mission of your nonprofit. If you're selling something 100% of the proceeds must benefit your organization.

Ask for help

You are busy trying to run your organization and it ain't easy. You're pulled in a hundred different directions and you don't have a lot of time to sit and really figure this out. If that's the case, ask for some help. Consider partnering with an agency (Gee, if only we knew one who does this sort of thing…) and get the help you need to make it a success.

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