Google Ads, especially through an Ad Grant account, can be fickle. You might go years without driving a significant amount of traffic to your website, or you may see a boom in traffic one month that promptly disappears the next. But a little Google Ad Grant help can go a long way once you get the hang of how things work.
If you’ve been working in Google Ads long enough to know the basics of setting up your account and managing it on a regular basis, there are other ways to boost the success of your account. However, it’s important to note that the foundation for success depends upon an effective setup and continual maintenance.
Maximizing Your Account
The following tips will help you get the most out of your Google Ads grant and take your account to the next level.
Look at Results, Not Spend
First of all, you might be thinking that by “maximize your Ad Grant” we mean to spend all $10,000 every single month. But that would be a bit off. While the spend in your account is tied to the number of people clicking on your ads, what really matters is what visitors do once they land on your website.
There’s no need to spend lots of money on ads that don’t achieve results for your nonprofit. For example, a small, local nonprofit without much ad competition might only need to spend a couple hundred dollars on ads to recruit all of the volunteers they need. Instead of obsessing over that $10,000 threshold, focus on the number of conversions from ads. This is the most important metric for reaching your organizational goals. Which leads us to…
Optimize for Conversions
Google Ads allows for conversion tracking. In fact, they even require it for all Ad Grants accounts. But are you tracking the goals that are most important to your organization? Conversions like new email signups, resource downloads, volunteer signups, event registrations and donations might all be on your list of tracked conversions in Google Ads.
Experiment With Smart Bidding Strategies
And once you’re tracking things, it would be silly to not take advantage of automated processes that can help increase conversions through ads. Smart bidding strategies use the conversion data from your account to show ads to those more likely to take action. You can update your bidding strategy within the Settings tab on the campaign level of your account. I’d recommend starting with the “Maximize Conversions” bidding strategy.
To add a more comprehensive look at the visitors to your website who take your desired actions, you might also look into setting up Smart Goals that use a Target CPA (cost-per-action) bidding strategy. While the setup for this strategy is a bit more technical, it gives Google access to more data in order to more accurately target and show ads to those most likely to engage with the content on your website.
Create Ads for Content That Converts
Take a dive into your website data. What content on your website leads to the most conversions? Do you have ads set up for those pages? For example, maybe visitors who viewed a page on your site about criteria for donating used furniture and home goods were more likely to submit a pick-up request for said donations. Creating an ad group for that page could lead to even more pick-up requests for in-kind donations.
What paths do visitors from ads take before converting? Are there ways to expand ad groups that have high conversion rates? Break them into two smaller and more focused groups to improve results. Using the home goods donation example again, you might have ad groups for specific types of popular items, like sofas and appliances.
Understand How Ads, Keywords and Landing Pages Work Together
Connecting the dots between ads, keywords and landing pages can help improve all three. These key elements impact each other and contribute to how often and if your ads appear for searchers. Keywords should be relevant to ads that show. Those ads should reflect the searcher’s intent, and the landing page that it leads to should uphold the promise of the ad content.
None of those pieces can work without the others. So if updating ad content does not lead to increased clicks or conversions, you may need to review the keywords for the ad group, make revisions to the landing page on your website, or both.
Find Ways to Boost Ad Impressions
The keywords piece of the puzzle is typically the area where marketers have the least control. While the algorithm of whether or not Google shows your ad can get fairly technical, impressions are rooted in the search volume of the particular word or phrase and the competition from others vying for that same keyword or phrase. It’s often a trial and error game to determine which words and phrases searchers look for before finding your content.
Finding that magical group of words that expands the reach of your content is a process. By adding new keywords and replacing those that are performing poorly, you can work toward boosting the impressions of well-crafted ads and landing pages.
Prevent Wasted Spend
Perhaps you have reached the point where you are consistently using all of your ads budget. That’s great news! Now is the time to focus on those keywords that are not relevant to your nonprofit or supporters.
Google Ads allows you to add negative keywords to your account to prevent keywords from pulling in specific variations. If you run an animal shelter, a broad match keyword for “animal shelter” might also pull in variations for “homeless shelter” or “womens shelter”. Since those keywords do not apply to what you do, you can add them as negative keywords to prevent wasting precious grant money.
Experimenting With Keyword Matches
Beyond that, you might experiment with different keyword matches to help increase impressions and decrease wasted spend. Since broad match keywords bring in all variations of a particular keyword, including variations that may be less applicable to your content and organization. “Phrase match”, “exact match” and even “broad match modifier” keywords can help you be more specific.
Say you’re noticing that your ad group promoting volunteer opportunities is spending money on unrelated searches, like a food pantry appearing in the search for “volunteering with animals”. You could use the keyword match settings to get more specific. The phrase match keyword “volunteering at food pantry” would appear for the search “volunteering at food pantry in chicago”, but would not appear for “volunteering with animals”.
Or the broad match modifier keyword “+food +volunteer” would appear for searches like “food bank volunteer”, “food pantry volunteer” and “volunteer with food”, but would not appear for “volunteer walking dogs” or “homeless shelter volunteer opportunities”.
Google Ad Grant Help
There’s no shame in asking for Google Ad Grant help. The following resources are great for those of you who have a good sense of how the program works and are looking for ways to uplevel your skills and maximize your nonprofit’s account.
Digging into these resources will help you learn more about crafting a Google Ads strategy and find ways to boost the results that you see from Google Ads. Try to make incremental improvements as you test what works best for your audience of searchers.
- Google Ads for Nonprofits: How to Manage an Ad Grant Account
- Tips for success with Google Ad Grants
- The Nonprofit Guide to Managing the Google Ad Grant
- The Ultimate Google Grant Management Guide for Nonprofits
Have you struggled to maximize a Google Ad grant for your nonprofit? Do you have any other tips for nonprofit marketers looking for Google Ad Grant help to take their account to the next level? Let’s talk strategy in the comments section.