If youa��re a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit in the United States and you have a website, sign up for Google Grants now.A� Seriously, do it right now if you havena��t already.
Google Grants provides qualifying nonprofits with the equivalent of $10,000 per month in credit to run text ads on Google Search.A� Unfortunately, most nonprofits dona��t know the first thing about managing pay-per-click campaigns (and are limited by the $1 keyword bid cap) and as a result end up not using most of that credit that Google provides.A� To help with this, below are five tips to get up and running quickly with a Google Grant, and to spend as much of Googlea��sA� money as possible.
1. Go through every page of your site and pick out 3 unique keywords on each page
By every page, I do mean every page.A� Have a 1000 page site?A� Set aside some time each day and slowly go through each one (or have an intern do it a�� sorry, ita��s summer and I couldna��t resist) keeping track of which keywords correspond to each page.A� The great thing about Google Grants is that youa��re not paying for the clicks (Google is), so the more crazy long-tail terms you can find and think of, the better off you will be.
2. Plug your keyword list into the Google Keyword Tool
Be sure youa��re signed into your Google Account for this part otherwise youa��re only going to get 100 keyword ideas.A� Take those keywords and throw them into a spreadsheet to develop your campaigns and ad groups.
3. Build out tightly-themed campaigns and ad groups
This tip is really just AdWords 101, but ideally dona��t have more than 5-10 keywords in each ad group and have the keyword in the ad text.A� I also like to have as many campaigns as possible and as few ad groups in each campaign so I can play around with different campaign settings such as geographic and device targeting (which can only be done at the campaign level).A� Want bonus points? put less than 5 keywords in each ad group.
4. Make your ad group/keyword destination pages as relevant as possible
Remember all that time you spent tracking down keywords on specific pages of your site?A� Now ita��s going to pay off.A� Have your destination pages be as relevant (i.e., include the keywords that are in your ad groups) as possible, and ideally have a specific call to action on each page of your site (donate, sign up for a newsletter, etc.).
5. Use free ad extensions
Have your ad take up more real estate on search result pages by extending it with Googlea��s ad extensions.A� These are completely free to set up, and can be extremely powerful for nonprofits of all sizes, but especially local nonprofits who take advantage of location and click-to-call extensions.
With the restrictions that Google puts in place on their grantees, quality score becomes even more important in order to gain visibility.A� Leverage the existing content on your site and provide as much relevance to searchers as possible.A� None of the above instructions cost any money, just staff time to implement.
What are your best tips for Google grantees?