Optimize a Grant

Optimize a Google Adwords Grant: Grow it from $10k/month to $40k/month!

Optimizing an Adwords Grant means making changes to your Adwords account that result in getting more and better clicks to your website for less money.

Sounds simple, right? Well some of it is, some of it isn’t, and there are some simple tactics we’ve learned over the years that can make dramatic differences right away. In any case, Google Grant Adwords optimization is an ongoing process that is part science, part art, and part just plain luck.

While many of the basic Grant optimization techniques are similar to ones used in commercial Adwords accounts, many are exactly the opposite and would never be used by commercial pay per click experts. This is why it is important to work with someone who has non-profit Adwords Grant experience if you are going to use outside help. And frankly, to use this site that is specific to Google Grants Help.

Why Adwords Optimization is Critical

According to Google, the average use of a $10,000 per month Grant is only $300 per month. So most Grant holders have $9700 per month that they are leaving on the table. And this happens every month. To put it another way, most Grant holders are getting 300 visitors to their website when they could be getting 10,000 or more. This is an incredible missed opportunity that can be fixed with optimization.

Take heart. If you fall into the $300 per month utilization category, you are not alone and you’ve come to the right place for help.

Following are the most critical building-blocks of optimization, in order of importance, plus resources and links that add more detail. You can learn to do this over time, but 20/80nonprofits can do this for you as part of our reasonable Google Grants Management fee. We’ve done this so many times that for most clients we can optimize their Adwords Grant so it is using all of the $10,000 available within one month. And, to put in a bit of a commercial plug, we often get over 50,000 web visitors per month for $10,000 Grant accounts we manage.

The 20/80 Top Five Google Grant Adwords Optimization List

This top 5 list is designed to help your non-profit increase its utilization of your Google Grant immediately. It assumes you already have a Grant up and running, and, you are not spending all of your Grant money. Follow this list in order and you will achieve immediate improvement.

1. Focus Adgroups around single multi-word keyword phrases. The more focused, the better. Even to the point of splitting out singular vs plural forms of words into different Adgroups. For example a campaign named Diabetes Help might contain separate Adgroups like:
A. Diabetes Help
B. Diabetes Support
C. Diabetes Questions (Phrases: Diabeties What, How, Why etc.)
D. Diabetic Help
E. Diabetics Help
F. Diabetic Support
G. Diabetics Support
H. Diabetic Questions (Phrases: Diabetic What, How, Why etc.)
I. Diabetics Questions (Phrases: Diabetics What, How, Why etc.)

This is what all the general advice from Google and others means about being specific. We try to help with examples you can understand and use. Why do this? Increased click-through rate and Google Quality Score which leads to lower a cost-per-click that enables you to compete with commercial companies that can spend more than your limited $1/click.

2. Write simple Ads using your keyword phrase via keyword substitution and in the display URL plus action words like Free. There are four concepts here: simple Ads, keyword substitution, display URL, Free.

A. Simple, descriptive Ads: Write ads differently than commercial & other folks by using language without hype, and writing ad text in all lower case rather than initial caps. Simply state your case, it will stand out over the commercial crowd and look more like editorial than an ad, and will get more clicks.

B. Use Google’s Keyword Substitution capability in the headline of your ad. This is huge as the result is that the headline of your ad is the exact search phrase that prospects type in, and since searchers are impatient they are far more likely to click on an ad with a headline that includes exactly what they searched for. The results difference in our tests have been as high as 20 to 1 versus a fixed Adwords headline.

C. Use your keyword phrase as an extension of your display URL. This doesn’t have to be a real web address, as your real web address is specified in the actual go-to-URL field. By doing this you are again using consumer language based on their search phrase that will by highlighted in bold by Google, and anything highlighted in bold by Google in their results will get more clicks.

D. Finally, use the word Free if you can. This is a strategic advantage that all non-profits have over their commercial competition… free information, free download, free trial… anything you have to offer on clicking, free. Commercial enterprises don’t use the word free because of their bias to getting paid, and weeding out prospects that are simply looking for something for free. Non-profits have a huge advantage here, use it!

3. Have Specific Landing Pages. Include your multi-keyword phrase in the headline of all pages you are pointing Adwords ads to. This is called a landing page and it is critical to your Adwords quality score and your ultimate ability to generate tons of clicks at low cost. If you can’t include your keyword in the headline of the page, make sure it appears at least twice in the first paragraph of copy or in page subheads. This is critical if you want to succeed. Never point Adwords to your homepage unless your homepage includes the above rules.

4. Generate 100+ Targeted Keywords. Start with a large number of targeted keyword phrases within your narrowed Adgroup. At least 100, and up to 500 or more.

A. Create your Adgroup with the core multi-word keyword phrase in both broad-match and exact-match form. For example: broad match- diabetes diet, and exact-match- [diabetes diet]. Save these first two keywords and continue to start your Adgroup.

B. Immediately go back to that Adgroup and click on the “Add Keywords” button in the middle left of your screen. When you do you will be presented with a list on the right of potential keywords to add that Google thinks is relevant. Click on this list and add all that contain your exact multi-word keyword. Don’t add anything that does not include your exact keyword. Save and add this list to your keywords.

C. Do B above again. You will be presented with a new expanded list from Google that wasn’t on the list before. This is a Google secret to only show you a few keywords at a time which is a good strategy for commercial accounts to maximize Google’s income, but a bad strategy for Adwords Grant accounts who want to advertise as deep and as cheap as possible.

D. Do the above one or more times. And add relevant keywords that contain your targeted phrase. Yes, do this three times or more.. This is how you build a big list of targeted keywords with low competition that you can compete with at less than $1 per click.

E. Next, click one more time on the “Add Keywords” button as in B above. But this time, click on the Keyword Tool button on the right. This will take you to the input screen for Google’s Keyword Tool. Type in your primary multi-word keyword phrase and check the box below the input form that says “Only show ideas related to my search terms”. This will bring up any keywords you may have missed that contain your search phrase. Add these to your Adgroup. Again, be specific, add only those that contain your mult-word keyword phrase.

If you follow the above progression you will get 500+ long-tail keywords for even the most obscure and specific search phrases. If you get 1000, this is good. The more the better initially. This will enable you to compete with commercial accounts, and be successful, as the more specific you are, the better you will do and the lower your costs will be.

5. Revise: Give it a Week: As you make changes, give each a week to see what happens. Some changes will show up quicker than a week, but some will not. Be patient. Learn from your experience. In general terms, cut any keywords that deliver less than 1% click-through. In fact, add these as negative keywords. Expand successful keyword phrases into their own Adgroups and maximize your spend. If you do so you should have a click-through rate of beyond 1.5% overall, with star ideas getting 6% or more.

The above are our top 5 general suggestions to maximize and optimize your existing Google Adwords Grant Account. We are confident that if you follow the above you will increase your utilization of your Google Grant Adwords account and further your cause in a big way. There are many more advanced tactics we provide to our clients and get paid to do so at low non-profit rates. If you need help with your non-profit Adwords strategy, give us a click or call for a free consultation.

Following are a few of the very best resources we’ve found that will help you with your Google Grants Optimization:

The Google Grants Help Blog: Our blog, most excellent if we do say so ourself.

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Optimize a Grant
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