Whether you’re a local nonprofit reaching individuals in a small community or a national organization reaching individuals across the country, Google Grants can help tap into thousands (or even millions) of people who use Google’s search engine every single day.
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Google stated in 2017 that it processes trillions of searches every year and that 15 percent of the searches seen every day are new. The wealth of content available for nonprofits to capitalize on within their Grant account is astounding. Remember, search is about being found the moment you are being sought. Thousands upon thousands of keywords are ready and waiting to be queried on and used to display advertisements. But be aware that not all content is weighted equally, and nonprofits need to be vigilant to only bid on keywords that are general to nonprofits and, more importantly, specific to their organization’s mission, programs, and services.
Here are 12 Ways a Google Grant Can Help Your Charity Reach Your Fundraising Goals via Digital Marketing
- Drive more donors to give to your organization.
PRO TIP: Include a fundraising-centric ad within your brand campaign to appear on your branded search terms. The biggest misconception about brand search is that individuals will donate anyway because the organization’s site will show up organically. Unfortunately, the average web user won’t go past the initial ads to click on the organic results. Don’t make your donors hunt for your donation form.
- Better understand who is donating and what they are searching before they donate. The terms and phrases donors search are usually not branded or fundraising-centric. For example, a food bank donor might search “child hunger,” “volunteer at local food bank,” or “food and hunger.”
PRO TIP: Always have a donation call-to-action (CTA) as one of your sitelink extensions, as this allows the user to guide themselves to additional landing pages that best match their intended destination. This will make it easy to keep giving to your cause top of mind and easily accessible. Make it easy for donors to give!
- Raise awareness about your organization and its mission locally, nationally, internationally, or a combination of all three.
PRO TIP: Set your location at the campaign level. Branded keywords should be visible everywhere while local, program-specific keywords should be geo-located.
- Increase newsletter sign-ups, volunteer registrations, phone calls, contact form fills, and more.
PRO TIP: Include CTAs for each within your sitelink extensions. Google will allow four per ad to show at once, and these can be set at the account, campaign, and ad group level. Although sitelinks require little maintenance, these should be tracked and optimized on an ongoing basis.
- Set up tracking in the Grant and on your website to measure these conversions and learn more about what is driving them from within the Grant.
- Link your Google Grant to Google Analytics to track donors’ journeys through your website after they click your ad. You can also collect demographics and other data about them.
PRO TIP: Take the time to set up e-commerce tracking. This will enable better attribution!
- Determine the effectiveness of different messaging in search ads with A/B testing.
PRO TIP: Plan out thoughtful and strategic A/B tests so that the results can benefit the overall marketing strategy.
- Understand what search queries donors interested in your organization are entering into Google’s search bar.
PRO TIP: Evaluate the donor-centric search queries and assess whether a modified version would be beneficial to include as a callout extension. Callout extensions are similar to sitelinks, but without the link. Callout extensions can be used to draw attention to unique selling points or facts about your organization.
- Use search query insights to create new content pages based on search terms, improving Quality Score, relevancy, and engagement with donors.
PRO TIP: Go beyond your brand and leverage inbound marketing to introduce your organization as a thought leader for a particular topic. Inbound marketing is focused on attracting customers through relevant and helpful content and adding value at every stage in your customer’s buying journey. With inbound marketing, potential customers find you through channels like blogs, search engines, and social media. This approach is designed to address the needs of prospects by providing relevant content for what he or she has searched for. Inbound marketing not only attracts qualified prospects, but subsequently builds trust and credibility for your organization.
- Drive donors to more relevant landing pages deeper within your site that others may not reach. This will provide more relevant content and more meaningful interactions with you.
PRO TIP: Use your website’s sitemap to create an outline for your account. You want to make sure you are leaving no stone unturned if applicable.
- Maximize your account by setting campaigns to max conversion bid strategy (if appropriate for your account goals) and go beyond the $2 max bid cap.
PRO TIP: Ensure that you have a subdomain set up on your donation platform so that you can send traffic directly to a donation form from the Grants. Most nonprofit donation pages are hosted within their CRM — not on their main website. This means that your donation pages may have a URL that is different than your main website domain, such as YourTownFoodbank.org versus Secure3.Convio.net. Google requires that all destination URLs match the domain used to set up the Grant account. We
recommend that sub-domains be set up (when applicable) so that traffic can be sent directly to a form, rather than a landing page. For example, give.YourTownFoodbank.org versus Secure3.Convio.net. Being able to bid more than the $2 will help increase revenue during the holiday giving season while potentially decreasing your supplemental paid search budget.
- Utilize Expanded Text Ads (ETAs) and Responsive Search Ads (RSAs).
PRO TIP: Google has added more elements to their search ads and increased their character counts, which means that you can now use 300 characters in your headlines, descriptions, and paths. That said, make sure you’re using the latest and greatest ETAs in order to take advantage of the new character limit. Also, Google’s machine learning can now benefit your ad copy by mixing and matching up to 15 headlines and four descriptions. Rather than write ads individually, you can now use the power of machine learning to determine what combinations of headlines and descriptions work best!
Ready to learn more? Check out our new white paper: “Google Grants Without the Stress.”
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