Google Ad Grants for Nonprofits: 5 Tips for Success

November 29, 2021

5 mins

If you’re a nonprofit leader and your organization recently received a Google Ad Grant—congratulations! This is a great opportunity to get more traffic to your website and hopefully raise more support for your cause.

However, if you are new to online advertising, you may not know exactly how to begin. Google Ads is a complex system that allows users to “self-serve” their advertising needs. That means you will need some level of knowledge to be successful with the program.

One thing that often happens when nonprofits receive a Google Ad Grant is that they quickly become overwhelmed. There are many new details to learn and metrics to track, not only to be successful but also to remain in good standing so that Google doesn’t revoke your grant.

In this post, we will cover the basics that you need to know in order to get traction with your Google Ad Grant and keep the grant working for you in the future.

Google Ad Grants for Nonprofits: 5 Tips for Success

Tip One: Commit to the Process

We know that you worked really hard to secure this grant, but winning the Google Ad Grant is just the first step in the process. Now that you have the grant, you have to make a plan to incorporate online ad management into your regular routine.

Decide from the outset who within your organization will run point on ad management. Depending on the type of nonprofit you’re leading, this could also be a job you entrust to a team of volunteers. Either way, just be sure you assign this task to someone so it actually gets done.

Getting started in online advertising will take some time. Plan to invest 2-3 hours a week until you get the hang of it. Once you have a list of keywords and campaigns in place, it only takes about one hour a week to maintain your work.

This tip may seem obvious at first, but it’s not uncommon for a nonprofit—already strapped for employees and time—to set online ad management on the backburner. It is a lot to learn and you will always have other priorities competing for your attention. But remember—ten thousand dollars worth of free advertising a month is not a perk you want to neglect!

Tip Two: Know Your Goals

Advertising is a vital part of nonprofit marketing. Now that you have a Google Ad Grant, you need to set some goals to guide your activity and measure your success. To get started with online advertising goals, consider your answers to the following questions:

1. Who is our target audience?
Persona development is the most critical piece of all effective marketing campaigns. A deep understanding of the type of person you’re trying to attract will inform not only the kind of content you create but also the keywords you select.

2. What impression are we trying to make on the people who click on our ads?
Branding is so important because it helps build your nonprofit’s online identity. A strong visual brand will help your nonprofit make a lasting impression, build trust, and differentiate your organization in the crowded online marketplace.

(Read More: Here’s What it Means to Humanize a Brand (& How to Do it Well)

3. What do we want them to do?
Now that you have your audiences’ attention, what do you want them to do? What action(s) do you want them to take when they land on your website? A strong call to action is essential for success. For example, you may want to recruit volunteers for an event, or you may want to build your email list. Eventually, you will want them to make a financial contribution, but we find that it is best to nurture the relationship before making the ask.

4. How will we measure success?
This goal is directly related to your goals. If your goal is more emails in your database, you can set goals and metrics to evaluate your progress on a weekly or monthly basis. If you find that your efforts are not producing the results you had hoped for, try changing your keywords or creating a specific landing page geared specifically toward the goals you have.

(Read More: Nonprofit Marketing 101: Need to Create A Nonprofit Marketing Plan? Do This First)

Tip 3: Choose the Right Keywords

Choosing the right keyword is instrumental to your success with Google Ads. Your goal with keywords is twofold: choose ones that will create a successful AdWords campaign, and then figure out how these same keywords can convert users into buyers or leads.

In order to increase your conversion rate from online ads, you need to find the right keyword that will trigger a person’s interest. It is a good idea to use a keyword research tool such as Google’s Keyword Planner so you can get a lot of ideas and see which keywords have the potential for success.
Remember that not all keywords are created equally. Choose words that have a high search volume and low competition. Other tools like SEMRush and ahrefs are helpful for keyword research.

Tip 4: Create Great Content

You may have heard it said that content is king, but in marketing, content that converts is king. In our previous blog post, we talked about how important an outstanding website is to get the Google Ad Grant. Maintaining a high standard will continue to benefit your efforts as you use the ad grant to promote your nonprofit website online.

Keep in mind that content is more than words. Everything you put on your website can be considered content. That includes videos, photographs, webinars, whitepapers, and more. The more meaningful content you offer your website visitors, the more likely they are to click through and ultimately make a conversion.

Tip 5: If You Need It, Get Help Managing Online Advertising

Online advertising is an entire world on its own so if you’re overwhelmed or confused and need help—get it. Think of it this way, you are saving a ton of money on marketing because you won the Google Ad Grant. Why not find an online advertising partner you can trust to get the most out of it for your nonprofit organization?

At Cross & Crown, we have significant experience helping nonprofits with all manner of digital marketing campaigns From website development to online advertising and social media management, we would be glad to help your nonprofit maximize the Google Ad Grant to benefit your cause.

We love partnering with passionate people who are making a difference in the world. Please get in touch with us today to schedule a meeting to learn more about how we help nonprofits do more with their marketing.

In the meantime, check out this post that describes how we help this Boston-based environmental nonprofit organization with its marketing efforts.

Cross & Crown

About Cross & Crown

Cross & Crown is a team of creatives who are passionate about solving problems through design and technology, taking what is there and making it better. Based in Chambersburg, PA, we strive to help educate, advocate, and thrive in a digital world.

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