Every month, Google gives charities $10,000 per month to spend on advertising on their search engine.
And if you spend it well, there’s also an opportunity to apply for AdWords Grantspro, which quadruples the grant to $40,000.
Yet not every charity is making the most of this money. According to a small survey in 2016, over one in five charities don’t have the Grant and 66% don’t believe they’re making the most of it.
So why doesn’t every charity use AdWords Grants?
They don’t know how
For a number of organisations, a lack of understanding of AdWords (or even knowledge that it exists) can be an instant barrier.
Fortunately, applying for Grants is pretty easy – especially for charities already signed up to Google for Nonprofits.
They don’t think it will help
From what I’ve seen, this can be a big issue. Even though PPC is often one of the top web traffic sources for charities using Grants, AdWords can still be difficult to sell.
It takes too much time
For many charities, especially small charities and social enterprises, this is likely to be the biggest issue.
Investing time into understanding how AdWords works, setting up relevant campaigns and continuously managing and optimising the account can seem like a huge drain on resources.
It’s worth noting here, as we’ll explain in a minute, that this is not necessarily as time-consuming as it seems. There’s so much support out there and with AdWords, you tend get out what you put in – so if you only have a small amount of time to invest, that’s usually better than nothing!
So what are the benefits of AdWords Grants?
It’s free money
I can’t stress this enough. In the USA, four out of five of the fastest-growing companies spent money on PPC – and some of them spend an incredible amount.
Amazon, for instance, spends around $157million on Adwords each year. That’s a lot of money.
So when the world’s biggest companies are investing so much money in an advertising platform, you can be fairly sure it’s worth giving a second thought.
And you might be thinking that, comparatively, $10,000 doesn’t seem like all that much. But this grant can definitely go a long way, especially if you’re smart about the keywords you’re bidding on.
It’s a quick win for matching up to competitors
It’s pretty much impossible to rank first position in Google for every relevant keyword. For many charities, just being on the first page would be a huge bonus.
AdWords Grants gives you the opportunity to do exactly that. If you’re sensible about choosing the keywords you want to rank for, if you’re ads are well-written and your landing page is optimised, you’ll have the opportunity to rank above your top competitors.
You have all the control
When it comes to organic rankings, it’s very easy to feel like things are out of your hands.
Google’s algorithm changes on (what seems like) an hourly basis and you can go from ranking first for a keyword one week, to being position 25 the next. Even when you invest time into writing your meta-descriptions or optimising your content for Google’s featured snippet, there’s no guarantee that these will be used all the time.
With AdWords, you have much more control. You can choose the keywords you want to rank for (and the ones you don’t want to rank for), you set bids for individual keywords, write your own ads, choose the landing page, choose times and locations your ads should show up in, and so much more.
You can use the data
Organic search data can be very limited, whereas AdWords (especially when connected to your Google Analytics account) provides insightful analytics reports for your campaigns.
Even if you don’t think that Google AdWords is that useful as a traffic source, by testing different keywords, ad content and landing pages, you can get a much better idea of what your audiences are looking for and use this information to guide your general content strategy.
It doesn’t actually take up much time
Genuinely. Once you’ve got a basic grasp of AdWords, understand a little about account structure and learn how to set up your first campaign, you’re pretty much there.
It may take a bit of time to get into the swing of it, but it’s definitely worthwhile in the long run.
And in terms of monitoring and optimising campaigns, this doesn’t need to be a huge task. Just half an hour each week can be enough to keep everything on track.
Where can I sign up?
If you want to get started, just create a Google account (or sign into an existing one that you’re happy to use). Then click the button below and follow these instructions!