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In our previous blog post we reviewed the Google Grants program, describing its strengths and limitations. This blog post is focused on the application process and account setup.

Applying for a Google AdWords Advertisement for Non-Profit Organizations grant is straight forward, but requires knowledge of the process, limitations and expectations of the Google Grants Program.

1. Check Eligibility

First of all, make sure your organization is eligible

Some major requirements are listed below:

  • US organizations must have current 501(c)(3) status (Canadian non-profits can qualify as well)
  • organization must have a website and ads must link to this website
  • must be able to provide on-going advertising campaign setup and management
  • cannot:
    o    be educational, academic and childcare organizations
    o    be government related organizations
    o    be healthcare organizations

More detailed list of restrictions is available on this page.

2. Be Aware of Limitations

As we mentioned in previous blog post, the Google Grants program has some limitations and budget constraints. Please make sure you are aware of these limitations.

3. Apply

The Google Grants application process is simple. It starts here. It typically takes 2-4 months to hear back about your application.

If you are not signed with a Google account, then the system will ask you to sign in or create a new Google account

If you are already signed in with a Google account, then you will continue to the first application step.

The next step is the membership application

4. Create a AdWords Account

After getting an approval from the Google Grants team, you will need to create a Google AdWords account. The following are the steps you should take to assure your account gets off the ground properly:

a. Goals and Objectives

Before diving in and setting up your AdWords account, start discussing the advertising campaign’s objectives. There should be a clearly defined list of goals you would like to achieve.

b. Strategy

Based on your organizational goals, you should think about your advertising strategy. It is important to understand the audience you would like to reach from different points of view – geographic location, search related mindset, interests, current search, etc. Then select (or create) the pages that you are going to drive this traffic to.

Keep in mind that your ads and landing pages should be relevant to your visitor.

c. Keyword Research

Based on your strategy and your target audience keyword research is conducted to find keywords that you will include in the campaign. There are many tools available for such research. One of them is the free Google Keyword Research tool

d. Account Structure

Your keyword research will help define your account structure, architecture and naming for all levels including campaigns and ad groups.

e.  Account Setup

Start creating new AdWords account here

Create and set up the AdWords account:

  • Campaigns setup (geo-targeting, language targeting, daily budget, ad scheduling, etc)
  • Adgroups setup (keywords, maximum Cost-Per-Click, etc)
  • Ad copy setup (consider using ad split testing)
  • Setup ad extensions (if applicable)

f. Launch

Launch your new campaigns and start driving traffic to your website.

5. Measure Results

It is important that you have the ability to measure your advertising campaign results. Google AdWords provides a variety of reports to evaluate the account performance and make adjustments. However, these pale in comparison to what web analytics tools can provide. In fact, one of the Google Grants requirements is the use of web analytics tool (such as a free Google Analytics account) to measure results (and to have set at least one tracking goal).

6. Provide Ongoing Account Management

It is important to provide ongoing AdWords account management to assure that you are utilizing all of your available grant money in the most efficient way.

Ongoing AdWords account management could include following steps:

  • Adjusting maximum cost-per-click to optimize the amount of traffic you are getting from your grant
  • Providing ongoing keyword research and add new keywords to your adgroups
  • Providing ad copy development
  • Ad copy A/B split testing
  • Providing negative keyword research and setup – so that you aren’t paying for keyword phrase or broad matches that aren’t related to your offering
  • Adjusting ad scheduling
  • Creating new campaigns/adgroups/ads (required)

Coming up in part three of this series; we’ll outline how you can expand your Google Grants program budget from $10,000 to $40,000 per month as well as provide a wealth of information about other Google services for non-profit organizations. Can’t wait? Contact Cardinal Path now to find out how we can help you with your organization’s Google Grants application. Cardinal Path can also help you maximize the return on your Google Grants efforts.

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