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If you’re a charity, you’re entitled to $10,000 a month of free advertising through Google Ad Grants. Hurray!

All that traffic sounds amazing, doesn’t it?

But there are conditions to your grant that can make it difficult to get the traffic you might be expecting.

Here’s how to get the best out of your Google Ad Grant.

1. Don’t go for the obvious keywords

Unless you have maximised conversions in place, you can only bid a maximum of $2 per keyword if you have a charity ad grant. Because Google works on a bidding system, there’ll be paid advertisers bidding a lot more than $2 for popular keywords like ‘donate to charity’ or ‘volunteer in London’.

The best way to put your charity in the top positions is to identify keywords that are not so common. This is easier if your charity is unusual. It’s more difficult if your charity has lots of competition from better-known organisations.

 

2. Don’t ignore your quality score

To prevent organisations with big fat advertising budgets from pushing everyone else out, Google introduced Quality Score.

It’s their way of making sure that people searching on google land on pages that are relevant to what they are looking for. Keywords with a good quality score appear in higher positions and have a cheaper cost per click, so there’s a real opportunity here to save budget if you have great quality keywords in your account.

Your keyword should match your advert and be closely connected to the copy on the landing page in order to improve your Quality Score. Stay away from completely irrelevant keywords, as these may damage your account.

For example, if you’re an animal charity, you might advertise on the keyword ‘help dogs’, which is loosely related, but stay away from ‘dog leads’, because people searching for this are not likely to be looking for you at all.

 

3. Split everything out

This top tip links to the point above. In order for your Quality Score and click through rate to be at the optimum level, you need to split your keywords out as much as you can.

For example, if you’re an animal charity that looks after pigs cows and sheep, you’ll want separate ad groups for each. That lets you show really relevant adverts about those animals to your searchers.

You have a much better chance of encouraging people to visit your website if people are looking for ‘pig charity’ and you show them ad copy that shows that you rescue pigs, instead of showing them that you are a general animal charity.

 

4. Take advantage of ad extensions

There are tonnes of ad extensions that you can use to make your adverts bigger, such as structured snippets, callout extensions and sitelinks. They display more information to searchers. They can also give searchers the ability to call you directly from an advert or to view your location. They also have a higher click-through rate than normal ads.

The more information you can give to potential donors or volunteers the better, so don’t overlook these.

5. Check your account regularly

Don’t lose your enthusiasm; Google Adwords accounts can be very profitable for charities as long as you check them regularly and make necessary changes.

Make sure you’re logging in and optimising your account whenever you can. Your Google account can be terminated if you fail to log in over a period of nine months, but you should be logging in much more frequently than this. There are a number of rules you need to comply with, too, such as having more than one ad group per campaign and getting rid of keywords with Quality Scores of two or under.

Update your URLs when they change so that you’re ads are not disapproved, add or remove keywords when necessary, segment groups further if you can, and test new ad copy.

AdWords takes time to get results from, so even if you’re not getting what you hoped for, stick with it.

 

6. Consider hiring professionals

People train for years to learn how to get the best from Google Adwords. It’s so complex that you can even sit exams and become certified.

If you don’t have the time to learn how to take care of the account in-house, consider hiring an agency (an agency like us!) to look after your Google grant account on your behalf.

They’ll get the results to make the investment worth your while.

 

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