The Google AdWords for nonprofits grant is very generous, but many nonprofit organizations become quickly frustrated, as maximizing the $10,000 monthly spend is often the biggest obstacle a nonprofit has when implementing the grant into their marketing strategy. Nonprofit organizations that qualify for the grant are awarded with a $10,000 monthly budget, but there are a few stipulations that are different from a traditional AdWords campaign.
First, there is a maximum $2 cost-per-click (CPC) allowed, so this is can be difficult to overcome for some very competitive terms, but it is a vast improvement over the pervious maximum CPC of $1. Paying advertisers will always command the top positions when bidding with nonprofit accounts, but this doesn’t mean that a successful campaign cannot be created. The best option is to utilize our Google Ad Grant management service, which is heavily discounted for nonprofit organizations, but if your organization is operating with virtually no budget there are still some things you can do to help improve the performance of your campaign.
1. Get Organized
It is important to keep your campaign very organized with detailed ad groups, as this will allow you to track the performance and goals better. Many nonprofits will create a very limited number of generic ad groups and just load all of their keywords into each one, but this can have a negative impact on your quality score. A low quality score will result in a lower ad position and fewer impressions, which are two things that you can avoid simply by creating smart ad groups. Make separate ad groups for each keyword group. Don’t be afraid to make several ad groups and ads for each related keyword group.
2. Have an Abundant Number of Keywords
You will have your main keywords that describe what your organization does, but in order to expand your reach and exposure you will need to expand your keyword selection. Think of keywords that relate to how people can find your organization and how your organization benefits people. This will allow you to compile more keywords, and with the CPC limitation of $2 per click you will need a large list of keywords, but remember to keep them very organized and grouped correctly as explained above.
3. Target Mobile Devices
Make sure that you include mobile targeting, as it will help increase your reach. Some companies that are working with a limited pay per click budget will eliminate mobile targeting in order to just focus on PC and tablet devices, but mobile traffic is increasing at such a rapid rate, providing a great opportunity for nonprofits to capture more traffic.
4. Ad Extensions Help CTR
Using ad extensions can help attract more attention to your ads (especially if the $2 CPC limit keeps you ads at the bottom for some keywords) and they are a great way to drive people to specific pages of your website. Use site links to push people to specific pages, use call extensions to drive phone calls to your organization (very effective for mobile targeting) and use social extensions to add your organizations Google+ page.
5. Continue to Test and Optimize
Sadly, many nonprofits view the Google grant as “free” money and do not put in the effort in to monitor conversions and continue to test and optimize the campaign. We often see many nonprofits that create some ads, load up keywords, and just let the campaign run. This is a very generous offer from Google, so make sure to take full advantage of it.
We have taken campaigns that received as little as 300 visits a month and quickly turned them into highly converting campaigns that drive 6,000+ monthly visitors to our nonprofit client websites each month. Put in the time and effort to constantly test and optimize, and if you do not have that time available hire an agency to fully manage the Google grant program. We offer a very affordable and heavily discounted AdWords management solution for nonprofits.
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