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How Nonprofits Can Effectively Market On A Budget Using Google Grants

Guest blogger Simon Choy is the Founder of ConnectAd Inc., an online marketing firm for charities that specializes in obtaining and managing Google Grants.

Learn how to apply for and use Google Grants to strategize your next campaign

You know how some things sound too good to be true, like when you receive a text message for a free iPad or when a website ad offers to share the secret behind making $1,000 a day from home? The Google Grants program, which gives nonprofits $10,000 every month (or $120,000 per year) in free advertising, can seem a bit like that too. While I’m still waiting for my free iPad, fortunately the Google Grants program is real and when used correctly, can create explosive marketing growth in areas like awareness, volunteering and fundraising.

What Are Google Grants?

Google Grants provides eligible nonprofits with $10,000 in monthly credits that can be used to buy pay-per-click search advertisements. These pay-per-click or PPC ads are the sponsored links you see on the top and side of search results pages. For example, if you searched “buy chocolate” in Google, you would see a number of targeted PPC ads selling chocolate.

Why Nonprofits Benefit

PPC ads allow your website to instantly appear at the top of search results pages for specific keywords. It’s beneficial because it lets you connect with an audience that is already looking for you. For example, if you’re a cancer charity with the goal of spreading awareness about your organization, you could advertise your website using the keyword “cancer charity”. Then, whenever someone uses Google to search for “cancer charity”, you have a much greater chance of being found because your website would be listed in a highly noticeable area of the search results page.

Over the course of thousands of searches a day, using hundreds of different keywords, there are a lot of eyeballs you can capture. In fact, some of the best performing nonprofits can connect with over 500 unique users or potential contributors each day just from Google Grants.

How To Get Google Grants

There are some criteria for eligible nonprofits. The main one is that your nonprofit must have registered charitable status. In the US, that would mean holding 501(c)(3) status. In Canada, that means being registered under the Canada Income Tax Act as being able to issue charitable receipts. To get the full list of eligibility criteria, you can visit the official Google Grants site.

It’s highly recommended that you review the eligibility criteria carefully. If you don’t meet one of the requirements, you will almost definitely be rejected by Google’s team. By the same token, if you meet all the requirements, you will almost definitely be approved.

Creating Effective Marketing Growth

Once you’ve secured Google Grants, here are a couple starting steps to developing an effective marketing campaign.

1. Brainstorm Keywords: Start by brainstorming keywords you think people would use to look for you. This forms the foundation behind your entire marketing campaign, because you use those keywords to capture traffic from searches. Try to involve other stakeholders in your organization, as they may have different perspectives on what keywords potential users would use.

2. Pick Landing Pages: Pick the pages on your website that you want people to visit, since each ad needs to send that click to a specific URL. This helps you structure your marketing campaign, because you develop a clearer idea of your marketing goals and objectives. Another benefit to doing this is that you can derive more keyword ideas from the page itself.

3. Expand Keywords: Plug your keyword ideas into Google’s Keyword Tool. This will not only generate related keywords and help you greatly expand your list, but also it estimates the numbers of searches each keyword gets in a month. That way, you can better understand where you audience is, and target the keywords with high traffic.

Armed with Google Grants and a few simple starting steps, you’re on your way to generating huge amounts of traffic and awareness to your nonprofit. If you don’t have Google Grants already, the application is simple so apply here today!

Also, don’t forget to check out our Non-Profit Resource Page with more helpful social media tips and tricks.

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