According to Google, the tech giant has given $100,000,000 annually to nonprofits around the world in investments and grants every year since 2014. As a Google Partner, a big part of what I do at DC is to help nonprofits process their grant applications, setup their new AdWords accounts, install Google Analytics on their websites so I can analyze what’s working, what’s not and how to maximize clients’ advertising efforts with Google.
Organizations need more insights, not more data
Here is the outline of the process a 501(c)3 will experience when engaging the Google Grant process.
The application process is a straightforward process. In late 2016, Google brought San Francisco nonprofit specialist, TechSoup aboard to review applications to the Google Grant system. Although the exra layer of security is more than what was required previously, it’s still a fairly simple action and should take no longer than 15 to 20 minutes to process. Click here to get started: https://www.google.com/grants/.
Google Analytics is a very powerful application that users install on their website. If you’re using WordPress, there are some great plugin’s to make this process super simple. Here’s a full list of Google Analytics plugins for WordPress sites: https://wordpress.org/plugins/search.php?q=google+analytics.
This application will help you understand who is visiting your site, how they found the site, what keywords are being used and how frequently, when users visit, how long they stayed, what they clicked, and even more complex data depending on how diligently your webmaster or Google Partner setup your analytics system.
What Google Analytics does
- Provide data on bounce-rates. If a lot of visitors to your site leave after visiting only one page, that’s going to be reflected in your analytics as bounce-rate. Poorly designed site with little relevant content are the most common cause of high bounce rates.
- Helps webmasters identify new markets by providing detailed data on demographics.
- Understand users’ behavior, (flow), with a graphical display. The more you understand what your users are doing on your site, the better you can arrange and create content and calls-to-action to heighten those actions.
- Provide key data on trends. A good Google Partner can look at your site’s analytics and provide keen insights to trends. From day-to-day, week-to-week, and month-to-month, it’s critical to see the big picture and make adjustments to enhance your site’s engagement with users.
- Identify traffic sources. One of the easiest and most useful metrics to understand with Google Analytics is traffic source. Whether it’s Facebook, or Twitter, organic or paid search – traffic sources is easily one of the most useful data sets that you should monitor carefully.
WRITE GREAT AD COPY and then some
Once you’ve been accepted into the Google Grant system, your organization is ready to run ads, for free. Sounds pretty simple, but this is probably the most critical part of your investment into this program. Even a well-written ad will fail miserably if you have not taken the time to do some homework. Here’s a checklist to ensure that your ads will be seen, even in a competitive market where some companies may be spending upwards of $10 per click (CPC); Google Grants limits your ad budget to $2 CPC, but not to worry. A savvy Google Partner or webmaster with Google AdWords experience can help you overcome this seemingly insurmountable hurdle.
- Money is not the key to a great ad rank with Google.
- Google ranks ads based on the ad content AND the page on your website that it links to.
- Do not link ads to your homepage, unless the homepage has a call-to-action directly related to the ad.
- Create custom pages that resonate well with the content of your new ad.
- Create unique campaigns and test variations of ads with different keywords and negative keywords.
- Do not max out your bid (CPC) from the get-go, start small and increase your bid incrementally over a short period of time.
- Review your Google Analytics report every morning, at the least.