What You Will Learn: This post discusses the most common reasons why most nonprofits don’t see results with the Google Ad Grant.
Time to Read: 6 minutes
Why Can’t Most Nonprofits Leverage The Google Ad Grant Properly?
Nonprofits who participate in the Google Ad Grant program are awarded $10,000 a month in free advertising. This is a total game changer for nonprofits. So, why do nonprofits only spend an average of $300 out of the $10,000 each month? And, why is it that we’ve heard so many nonprofits say they just don’t get results with the Ad Grant?
What makes AdWords so complicated?
Google AdWords uses an algorithm that takes time to understand. It’s like a code you have to crack in order to learn how it can work for you. Additionally, there are a lot of different features and strategies to learn making it a complicated platform. If you’re not an expert then it takes a lot of time, resources, and commitment to learn it and run it properly.
Nonprofits have trouble with the $2 maximum CPC.
Nonprofits are limited to spending no more than $2 a click on their ads. What does this mean? Google charges advertisers using a cost-per-click model. When an ad is displayed, there is no charge until someone clicks the ad and visits the advertiser’s website. When advertisers set up a campaign, they enter a bid amount for how much a click is worth to them. The maximum amount that nonprofits are allowed to bid with their grant is $2. If another advertiser is bidding $5 on the same keywords a nonprofit is using, the nonprofit’s ad won’t be displayed as prevalently. To put this into perspective, a bid on the search term “donate” costs $40 to be displayed on the front page of Google.
Keyword research is crucial.
Nonprofits don’t always have the expertise to conduct keyword research and aren’t able to generate the best longtail keywords. Nonprofits must find unique keywords, that won’t have such a high cost-per-click. “Donate” is way too expensive for an Ad Grant recipient to use. It’s better to use phrases that include multiple words, also known as “longtail keywords”. It’s important to be as specific as possible. Thoughtful research will help nonprofits generate keywords and phrases that are specific and attainable for under the $2 maximum bid
NPO’s don’t know best practices when it comes to advertising.
Nonprofits often don’t know that they should include a call-to-action in their ad. Also, A/B testing is an important part of the process in optimizing ads. Two ads with slightly different language, but similar messaging, can have a completely different click through rate.
NPO’s are sending traffic to the wrong places.
Many nonprofits send traffic right from their ad on Google to their homepage. What they should be doing, is sending traffic to a different landing page that’s relevant to the search words they typed in Google. You don’t want to get traffic to your site that isn’t interested in staying long enough to figure out who you are. You want to provide information that they were looking for, as you introduce them to your organization. For example, let’s say you’re a nonprofit that has a lot of different services. If a user finds your ad by typing a search query about helping the elderly with transportation, you should send the user to the specific page about transportation for the elderly, not your homepage.
NPO’s don’t take advantage of the new traffic.
Half the work of AdWords comes after you’ve already gotten new visitors to your site. You have to put in effort to convert the traffic into email subscribers, who you can build relationships with and turn into supporters and donors.
At Community Boost, we send new traffic to custom landing pages, relevant to the search queries and nonprofits that we work with. Then, we capture their email address and create a series of emails, building the relationship between the potential support and the nonprofit. Each email is custom, and relevant to how the user came across the organization on Google. For example, if the user clicked on ad about elderly transportation and provided us with their email, we create an email sequence related to elderly transportation.
Our goal is to move people through the marketing funnel, not just to send traffic to the website. If you look at the image below, you’ll see that a site visit is at the top of the funnel. We look beyond that, to move people through the funnel, by converting them into email subscribers, and supporters. When a new email subscriber reads emails from the nonprofit, they’ve become a supporter. Then, they have the potential to be a first time donor. Next, we want to turn them into “visionary donors”, who donate regularly to a nonprofit.
With our expertise and finely-tuned processes, we have helped our nonprofit clients utilize their Ad Grants to the fullest, and actually see results with increased email sign up and donations.