How to Make the Most of Google Grants and Free Ad Dollars


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Did you know that Google gives out free advertising dollars to non-profit organizations? Did you also know that qualifying organizations could receive $10K or as much as $40K each month from Google to use for advertising and promoting their good cause? If you were not aware of these opportunities or Google Grants, then we want to share our experience and best practices for this generous program. We will give non-profit organizations the tips of how to apply to Google Grants and how to qualify for the top level, $40K worth of free advertising spend every month. Our experts will review all the details to capitalize on the opportunities from Google Grants.

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  • Google Grants is part of a larger program at Google dedicated to helping nonprofit organizations: Google for Nonprofits
  • Google has separate, country-specific programs for nonprofits based internationallyBranches of umbrella organizations (such as local chapters) that share Employee  Identification Numbers (EINs) with their parent organizations are eligible for individual memberships. Branches must indicate that they are applying as a "related organization" during the application process and go through additional screening.
  • Philanthropic arms of educational institutions are eligibleSo what do you get with the program?
  • Have to be a nonprofit with over 3,000 users, includes Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, etc.Nonprofit YouTube Channel:increased uploading capacitydrive fundraising through a Google Checkout “donate” buttonplace a call to action overlay on your videos to raise money or find volunteersbe listed on the Nonprofit & Activism videos page
  • You get $10,000 of credit each month to spend through Google AdWords. Google controls your account by capping your spend each day at around $333 per day ($10,000 divided by 30 days). You’re also limited to bidding only $1 per click (more on the basics of AdWords later). It’s free money, so they’re making it harder to spend!Ads can’t show on the display network (image/video ads on partner sites) and therefore you can only run text adsThe annual survey isn’t long or a big deal – but the most important thing is that it gets done every year. Make sure that the email address that the survey is sent to is sent to multiple people, or is a generic email that multiple people can access. You don’t want the user to have left your organization and then miss the survey because it got sent to an old email address.
  • Apply online - you must first apply for the Google for Nonprofits program and then you can enroll in the Google Grants program.
  • Take your time and answer the questions carefullyDescribe how you will use the money to further the mission of your organization
  • You can call the AdWords help center, but the Grants department is very small (and very busy) so they usually don’t take calls. Practice patience! Unsure of how to get started?
  • Once your organization is accepted into the Google for Nonprofits program, you can enroll in the Google Grants program. In order to enroll you need to create your first campaigns, and then submit them to Google. Google will review your proposed account, which can take up to six weeks. If you’re inpatient, you can log into your Google for Nonprofits account to check the status of your account approval.Unsure of how to build out your account with your first campaigns?
  • If you’re unsure of where to get started, start with the biggest goal of your organization. What do you want people to do on your website? Do you want to get people to the donation page? Do you want to raise awareness about a hot issue? Start advertising first on what’s most important, and build out from there.
  • So now what? Start building out your first campaigns. Each account can have several campaigns. For each campaign you can set different budgets, location targeting, language targeting, ad distributions, and end dates. In each campaign, you can have several ad groups. Each ad group contains one set of keywords, or the search queries that you want your ad to show for. Each ad group also has at least one ad. But more about ad copy in a minute. For each ad group, you can set a default maximum bid per click. Since the Google Grants program restricts you to $1.00 bids per click, just set all of the ad group default bids at $1.00 and you won’t have to worry about bidding again.
  • Use keywords in both the headline and ad copy, where you can. Whenever the search query matches the ad, it appears in bold and can help increase click-through-rates.We recommend having at least two ads for each ad group, so you can test different ad copy and see what wording works best. It’s not always what you think!
  • Grantspro – what is it?
  • The two months do not need to be consecutive, but need to be within the past year/12 months.Because of the daily spend caps, if your account doesn’t spend as much money during a certain day (like the weekends), you can’t make up for that spend during the week. If there’s a holiday weekend in the month, you will likely have trouble hitting spend that month, since most people are on vacations (and away from their computers more) during three day weekends.February – impossible to hit spend that month even if you hit the cap every day since there’s only 28 days (28 x 333 daily spend cap = only $9,324)So build out your account! Advertise on new areas of focus. Spend, spend, spend!
  • If you’re working with an agency (such as us here at Search Mojo), someone at the agency can take the Grantspro Test for you. If you’re taking the exam, Google has plenty of study material online so that you can feel prepared. $40,000 is a lot of money! Google wants to make sure that you understand Google AdWords well enough to take advantage of the extra money effectively.The annual survey isn’t long or a big deal – but the most important thing is that it gets done every year. Make sure that the email address that the survey is sent to is sent to multiple people, or is a generic email that multiple people can access. You don’t want the user to have left your organization and then miss the survey because it got sent to an old email address.
  • When I wrote the application for GuideStar, every time I read through my answers I just thought – America! Make sure they truly feel how important your organization’s work is.How can this money specifically help you save the world. Or America. Or the oceans. What can you do with it? Use your imagination – dream big!
  • Just like the regular Google Grant, they only review applications once every quarter
  • Set up conversions through AdWords so that you can track what really matters to your organization. Is your Google Grants account helping increase donations, sign-ups, etc? Without conversion tracking you’ll never know what the value is. If a user clicks on your ad and goes to your website, there’s no way to tell if they actually performed any valuable actions unless you’re tracking it.
  • When I was first hired on at GuideStar to manage our advertising and marketing programs, Google AdWords was on my responsibility list, but we really didn’t have the time or resources to give it the attention it deserved in addition to our daily marketing activities- We were spending between $7,000 and $8,000 a month, and I really wanted to unlock that $40K grant. When I first joined in 2010, the minimum spend had to be $9,000 a month for three consecutive months. We really focused on expanding ad groups within our 12 existing campaigns and adding additional keywords. We didn’t even think about expanding more campaigns, themes and ideas During the week, we were maxing out on our spend, but really failed to hit the minimum spend necessary on the weekends and holidays When 2011 hit, the minimum spend upped to $9,500 for two months– something even more difficult and we knew we needed help because of the holidays in the new year, the short month in February, and our issues with hitting maximum spend on weekends.
  • DIANA’S SLIDEI had worked with Search Mojo previously in another position, and I knew they could give my account the time and attention it deserved – it’s a full time job that I could not handle, and I did not have the daily expertise that I knew a search agency could handle.When we first came to Search Mojo, we were trying to meet the requirements for the larger, $40,000 Google Grantspro. Our main goal for Search Mojo was to hit the $9,500 spend during two months so that we would be eligible for Grantspro.
  • In an effort to increase spend, Search Mojo expanded the keywords in our current campaigns, adding synonyms, plurals, etc.They also began continuously creating new campaigns to expand the reach of what we were advertising on. One great example is they added five new campaigns that had an ad group for each of our top 10,000 most popular charities. Now, users who are searching for the American Red Cross or Teach for America will see an ad from GuideStar telling them that we have reviews and more information so they can research before they donate to said charity.Search Mojo also wrote new ad copy for all of our campaigns, and continuously tested them to increase click-through-rates. Remember – the goal is to spend, and to spend you need people to click! It doesn’t matter if your ad is at the top position and showing to the right people, if your ad copy is bad, no one is going to click it. Include a call to action in your ad copy – like “learn more” or “sign up today.”Additionally, we also changed the ad delivery to accelerated.
  • (AMANDA-CHECK WITH LAUREN ABOUT THE DATA SHE WAS USING)Implemented for brand campaign on 5/11/115/1 – 5/11 = 10.89%5/12 – 5/31 = 17.05%
  • DIANA’S SLIDEOnce the account hit the $9,500 spend for the second month, we were ready to start the process for getting the Grantspro application. One of the requirements is to score an 85% on the Grantspro exam, which Search Mojo took and passed on our behalf. Search Mojo also wrote all the short answers required for the Grantspro application, making GuideStar truly sound like an amazing organization. They really highlighted all the important work that we do and explained in detail how we would use the $40,000 to further our mission.Once we applied, we were all so excited! We knew that Google only reviews applications once every quarter, but we were hopeful that we would get a speedy reply. We applied on July 1st, the first day of Quarter 3, and Google literally took the entire quarter to review our application. On September 20th we received an email that we were selected to receive the increased budget of $40,000 per month.
  • DIANA’S SLIDEAs soon as the daily spend caps were lifted, the account started spending like crazy. Not only did impressions increase, but clicks and conversions as well.Now that we got the spend increase, Search Mojo shifted gears to focus on increasing conversions. They looked at our top goals, of increasing downloads of compensation reports, nonprofit lists by state and MSA, and in-depth data of charities.
  • Account structure: you were building out campaigns like crazy trying to hit the spend for the $40,000 grant – now make that money work and convert for you! Look at the campaigns you added and make sure they all are well targeted and have good quality scores.Test your ad copy to make sure that the ads you’re showing are performing the best. They have to click on your ad if you’re going to have a chance at them converting!
  • Search Mojo started creating custom landing pages to help improve conversion rates. Custom landing pages help control the environment that users who click on your ads land in by eliminating distractions that may occur on the website. Custom landing pages also help encourage conversions because they are targeted towards the action that you want the users to complete.If you want the user who clicked on your ad to sign up for your newsletter, the landing page should be focused on the benefits of the newsletter, what it includes each month, and a short form the user can fill out to sign up. The form is the focus of the page – make it stand out!
  • Client was using home page as LPConversion Submission Query to find eligible candidates for certain job areasConversion Rate = 1.17%
  • Immediate action: Change LP to a more targeted page on their websiteSame conversion, just more targeted content.Conversion Rate improved to 2.40% with that small change.
  • Created custom LPShowcased main conversion actionServed up relevant contentIncreased conversion rate to 12.5%
  • For example, here is the landing page Search Mojo created for our Nonprofit Lists. There’s not much navigation at the top of the page, so the user can’t easily click away from the page and get distracted. The page includes more information about our nonprofit lists and their benefits on the left, and a short form with the different options on the right. Notice that the button color is bold and in contrast with other colors on the page. When a user looks at the page, you want them to know where you want them to click – make it obvious!
  • Today, Search Mojo is continuously optimizing our account so that we are using the $40,000 each month as effectively and efficiently as possible!
  • If you’re ready to apply for a Google Grant & are interested in an agency partner, reach out to Search Mojo. We have helped several non-profit organizations successfully navigate the application process and qualify for GrantsPro, $40K/month in ad spend. Call Justin today!
  • How to Make the Most of Google Grants and Free Ad Dollars

    1. How to Make the Most of Google Grants and Free Ad DollarsSpeakers: Lauren Kade, Junior Account Manager, Search MojoDiana Hand, Marketing Manager, GuideStarModerator: Amanda Chaney, Account Director, Search Mojo @SEARCHMOJO SEARCH-MOJO.COM 800.939.5938
    2. ABOUT SEARCH MOJO • Search engine marketing firm founded in 2005 – Search engine optimization (SEO) – Pay-per-click advertising management (PPC) – Social media advertising – Online reputation management • Headquartered in Charlottesville, Va • Featured in the Washington Post, B2B Magazine, MarketingSherpa, Visibility Magazine and many blogs • Speakers at SMX Social, PubCon, BlogHer, and more@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    4. MISSION To revolutionize philanthropy and nonprofit practice by providing information that: • advances transparency, • enables users to make better decisions, and • encourages charitable giving.@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    7. GOOGLE FOR NONPROFITS@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    8. GOOGLE FOR NONPROFITSEligibility Requirements:• 501(c)(3) status determined by the IRS• 501(c)(3) status must be publicly updated within• Must be located in the United States• Only one membership per organization@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    9. ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS (CONT’D) • Ineligible organizations: – Governmental entities or organizations – Hospitals and health care organizations – Schools, childcare centers, academic institutions and universities@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    10. GOOGLE FOR NONPROFITS • Get 40% discount on Google Apps for Business • Apply for “Nonprofit” channel on YouTube • Apply for software grants – Google Earth Pro, Google SketchUp Pro, Maps API Premier@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    11. GOOGLE FOR NONPROFITS And FREE Advertising through Google AdWords!@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    12. GOOGLE GRANTS: WHAT IS IT?@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    13. GOOGLE GRANTS: WHAT IS IT? • Nonprofit grant to use through Google AdWords • Reach potential donors or volunteers through the top search engine!@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    14. GOOGLE ADWORDS ADS@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    15. GOOGLE GRANTS: THE BASICS • $10,000/Month for Google AdWords • $1 bid per click • Ads on • Complete Annual Survey@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    17. APPLICATION TIPS • How will you use the money to further the mission of your organization?@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    18. APPLICATION TIPS Make Google understand that you’re saving the world! One whale, child, or tree at a time.@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    19. WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? • Google reviews applications once a quarter • Reference Grants Help Center for more information: #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    20. ENROLL IN GOOGLE GRANTS Accepted into Google for Nonprofits? • Now enroll in Google Grants by creating an account • Submit proposed account to Google • May take up to 6 weeks for approval@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    21. GETTING STARTED • What do you want to advertise on? • What are the main goals of your website?@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    22. SETTING UP YOUR ACCOUNT@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    23. AD COPY • Ad Copy Basics: – Headline: 25 character limit – Each description line: 35 character limit – Try to use keywords – they appear in bold@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    24. GOOGLE GRANTS OVERVIEW Benefits Limitations $10,000 free advertising each month! $1 bid per click Increased brand visibility Ads only show on Potential to increase donations, Text ads only volunteers, etc. Help further your mission Spend Caps: $333 per day@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    25. GOOGLE GRANTSPRO • $40,000/Month for Google AdWords • New application • New eligibility requirements@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    26. ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS • Spend Requirements: – 2 months at or above $9,500 – Within past 12 months • This is harder than it sounds: – Daily spend caps – Holidays, weekends – Shorter months@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    27. ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS (CONT’D) • Score an 85% on Google Grantspro Test • Be actively tracking one conversion goal through Google Analytics • Annual survey@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    28. APPLICATION TIPS • Similar to the Google for Nonprofits application, make sure you let them know how awesome your organization is. • You can spend $40,000 every month, dream big!@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    29. APPLY ONLINE #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    30. WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? • Google reviews applications once every quarter • Google will email you with results: Thank you for taking the time to apply for Grantspro. Were pleased to say that your organization has been selected to receive an increased budget of US$40,000 per month. Please take note of the following updates regarding your organizations account.@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    31. DID YOU GET THE $40,000 GRANT? Congratulations!!!@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    32. NOW WHAT? • Now you have $40,000 to spend every month. Make it work! – Establish conversions – Continuously optimize the account to make sure you’re spending the money wisely@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    33. GOOGLE GRANTSPRO OVERVIEW Benefits Limitations $30,000 more advertising spend each $1 bid per click month ($40,000 Total) Further increased brand visibility Ads only show on Further potential to increase Only text ads donations, volunteers, etc. Help further your mission New spend caps: $1,333 per day@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    34. MANAGING ADWORDS AT GUIDESTAR • Limited internal resources – only a few hours per week • 12 Campaigns for individual products, programs, and audiences • Expanded Ad Groups within existing campaigns; Added Keywords • GrantsPro requirements increased to a minimum spend of $9,500@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    35. WHY GUIDESTAR NEEDED HELP • GuideStar was having trouble meeting the $9,500 spend requirement@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    36. FIRST STEPS • Campaign expansion & addition • Keyword expansion • New ad copy • Accelerated ad delivery@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    37. AD SITELINKS EXTENSIONS • Implemented Ad Sitelinks Extensions@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    38. AD SITELINKS EXTENSIONS Click-through-rate for Brand campaign increased from 10.89% to 17.05%@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    39. SEARCH MOJO CONTRIBUTIONS • Hit the $9,500 spend requirements • Took the Grantspro Exam • Worked with GuideStar to write the application • Applied for Grantspro!@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    40. AFTER GRANTSPRO • Spend increased 236.57% in just the first month! • Clicks increased 191.19%@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    41. GUIDESTAR AFTER GRANTSPRO60,00050,000 Site Visits Thru Google Adwords40,000 January 2010 – January 201230,00020,000 $40K Grant Unlocked10,000 0
    42. GRANTSPRO ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT • Now focus on conversions – Improve conversion metrics • Look at account structure • Improve CTR: – More granularity & relevancy – Ad copy testing – Ad extensions@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    43. CUSTOM LANDING PAGES • Custom landing pages to help improve conversion rates • Different landing pages for different conversion actions • Use dynamic content • Follow best practices@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    44. LANDING PAGES: CASE STUDY OK Website Home Page Average Conversion Rate: 1.17%@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    45. LANDING PAGES: CASE STUDY BETTER Targeted Website Page Average Conversion Rate: 2.40%@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    46. LANDING PAGES: CASE STUDY BEST Special Landing Page Average Conversion Rate: 12.5%@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    47. GUIDESTAR LANDING PAGE@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    48. TODAY • Focus on effectively and efficiently using the $40,000@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    49. INTERESTED IN GOOGLE GRANTS NOW? Want to get started on your Google Grant now? CONTACT: Justin Champion Sales Consultant 800-939-5938 x 116@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    50. UPCOMING WEBINAR Online Reputation Management – Protecting Your Brand in the Internet Age • March 1, 2012 • 2:00 p.m. ET • To register, visit – #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    51. CONTACTLauren Kade Diana dhand@guidestar.org800-939-5938 x 115Google+: +Lauren Kade Google+: +Diana Hand(and +Search Mojo) (and +GuideStar)Twitter: @llkade Twitter: @GuideStarUSA(and @SearchMojo)Facebook: SearchMojo GuideStarUSA@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    52. QUESTIONS?@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM