How can I take advantage of Google grants to make a successful paid keyword strategy for my non-profit campaign?

Google offers a £10,000 grant for eligible non-profits to use on online ads. This scheme can help organisations raise awareness, funds, or direct potential supporters’ attention towards a cause. As with most grants, there is a long list of requirements, and organisations must meet all of them to be eligible for funding. This survey allows you to determine if your organisation ticks all the boxes. 

Being entitled to apply for this grant is only the first step. In addition to some limitations on the use of single-word keywords, an organisation must meet numerous standards to be eligible. Some of the requirements are less stringent, such as having: at least two ad groups per campaign, two ads per ad group, two sitelink ad extensions, and maintaining an active account. 

Others are more than tick box exercises. Firstly, you will need to maintain a minimum 5% clickthrough rate to your chosen landing page, meaning that out of every hundred people who come across one of your ads, five will choose to visit your site. Secondly, you must ensure that the keywords used in your ads have a decent quality score (above two). Quality score is an aggregated estimate of the quality of your ads, keywords, and landing pages. The successful penetration of your ads will ultimately let you remain eligible and this takes effort, strategy, and well-chosen keywords.

Online advertising offers a world of opportunity for the non-profit sector

The beauty of online advertising is that you can program the demographic targeting of your audience by age, location, gender, parental status or household income. The downside, it offers you no guarantee that people will see your ad as they would watch a commercial midway through their favourite show, notice a piece of publicity after reading their weekend newspaper, or look at a banner on their daily commute. Google uses data to analyse content consumption patterns and predict what a user is likely to want to see in the immediate future, this is often referred to as intent based advertising. In order for your organisation to have its content viewed by relevant users, your ads must use words that are highly relevant to the cause you are promoting, so that Google can use its data to target users who are likely to engage with it.

Combine keyword research with creative brainstorming

The first step is to discover trending keywords that relate to your cause. Google’s keyword planner facilitates this, but using trendy keywords that users are searching for does not ensure clicks on your ads. Using the most popular keywords all but guarantees that you won’t hit the performance requirements to sustain your grant, please take time to carefully review the words you want to use.

Whilst Google suggests that users select more general keywords to reach as many people as possible, when it comes to your ad grant, this can be detrimental. If you use words such as “charities”, “donations” or “London” your ad will disappear amidst dozens of others and your clickthrough rate will fall. Instead, create a distinctly specific campaign. A good way to start is to look at your website and identify the main words that it uses. You can follow that up by brainstorming a set of words that relate to your organisation’s objectives and the problems you are trying to solve, and then use data-driven research tools to find the most effective ones. 

Use long-tail keywords and find negative keywords

Less searched long tail keywords or key phrases will be seen by less users, but these usually have a higher conversion value. This means that a higher percentage of people who come across your ad will click on it, which will help you achieve a conversion rate above the 5% clickthrough threshold. Just as long-tail keywords will allow you to target the most relevant audience, ruling out negative keywords will help you exclude problematic searches. Negative keywords are ones that can prompt your ads to show up when they are irrelevant to what users are searching for. If you are running a campaign seeking to raise awareness on animal welfare in the UK and hundreds of people are searching for ‘adopting an animal UK’, it is not likely that those searchers are terribly interested in reading about animal rights. 

List different variations and understand keyword matching points

Keywords should be specific, but be sure to allow for variations in user search terms. Users think about the same topics in distinct ways and use mismatched vocabulary to define similar phenomena. Be flexible and list an array of variations when thinking about your keywords. Pay equal attention to different levels of keyword matching points. Allow some mismatch but not enough that your content can become irrelevant to those searching, as this will affect your clickthrough rate and your quality score. It is very important to regularly review the words you use and the impact they are having on your campaign. We are very happy to help you through this process of looking at your most and least effective keywords.

Get in touch with our team

Keywords are an important aspect of Google ads but they are just one piece of the puzzle. Our experts are equipped with the expertise required to optimise your campaigns. Contact us to learn more.