Charities aren’t in it for the money, but for the cause. Google understands this, which is why they offer charities grants for the advertising campaigns. Yes, Google ads are the best paid advertising strategy for charities to get their cause in front of the people that care.
What are Google Ads?
Google ads are those search results that are at the very top. They used to be on the side of Google, and in some areas or browsers, they still might be. But for most, they are at the very top of the search engines and have the word “ad” next to them. These pop up when someone searches for the term that you are bidding on. A bid is what you would pay if you didn’t have a grant, to run that ad. With the proper management and analytics these ads can be very powerful. Think about all the people that are searching for that would find your charity and help with your cause.
How do you know if you qualify?
While most charities have the proper paperwork in place, you will need a copy of that paperwork to show to Google. Government entities such as schools, hospitals, and other non-profit government agencies do not qualify. This must be a stand-alone charity without any government involvement. However private schools that are not backed by any government funds do qualify and should take advantage of this great program. You can search on the Google grants forms to find all the necessary information.
You also must have a high-quality website that meets the expectations of Google. This typically needs to be designed by a professional and shouldn’t be on some free platform. The website must be very clear on its vision and what it stands for. The main focus of the website shouldn’t be on selling items, offering services, generating leads, or anything of the sort. It should be about your charity and what you stand for. While you can have some of these items, they need to be used to support your cause. Your organization must support the public in some manner that doesn’t charge. It must be unique with clear goals and a calendar that has the events listed out on it.
Of course, a reputable SEO agency can help you through the hoops of getting qualified. Speaking with Google and understanding what their expectations are is important at the design level. Understanding their expectations is critical while the design is being done. This ensures that you don’t have to build the website twice.
Google Ads Grant Program
The Google ads grant program has been around for a while. However, most charities are not aware of it. This program is meant to help charities and is limited to $10K/month or $329/day. You can run multiple campaigns with this money but the totals cannot exceed these amounts. Multiple campaigns are when you are targeting different audiences, different keywords, or going after a different market altogether. Generally, you will have multiple campaigns going at all times. This allows the SEO specialist to compare what is working and what is not. This allows for tweaking and trial and error on the campaigns to get the most bang for the buck. Even if this is a grant, you want to get the most out of it, which is why you need to have multiple ways you are approaching the search engines.
To keep your ads running, Google will monitor them and have the same expectations on the quality of them as they would on any other Google ad. This will be determined by how well your ads perform as well. This is why having a professional set them up is critical so that you don’t lose this valuable advertising money.
Facebook PPC advertising
While Facebook advertising doesn’t offer the same great grants as Google, it is something that should be mentioned here as well. PPC or Pay per click is the type of advertising that this is for both Google and Facebook. However, when you are looking at charity pay per click services, you need to keep some things in mind.
- Are people looking for your service or event?
- Would people benefit from seeing an ad that they didn’t look for?
Think about it. When you are advertising on Google, your ad will show up for what people are looking for. However, if you have a carnival coming up or maybe a showing of the animals in your rescue, they might not be looking for that. That’s when you want to look into Facebook ads. Facebook ads are placed in front of people that are the demographics of your choice. You can choose a certain area and people that say like dogs. This will then serve your ads to those specific people, even if they were not looking for your service, but they would have an interest.
Facebook ads are perfect for those that don’t know about you. It is a great way to brand out and you can certainly find ways to keep the costs at a minimum by running them correctly. Things such as great titles and images that draw people in as well as having extremely targeted audiences helps to keep the costs down. If you already have a list of people that have used your services in the past, this is a wonderful way to remarket and retarget to them, as well as making look alike audiences.
For example, if you have a list of people that are going to your next and upcoming event, retarget them to thank them. During this retargeting effort, you might lay out what the next step or thing you’d like them to do, of course in a manner that is appealing to them and not pushy. This is where having a professional run your marketing campaign can be really helpful as well. Most marketers are great for laying out a marketing campaign that is appealing to your audience. While you love your charity and what it stands for, sometimes it is hard to not be pushy. However, that is not the way to get funds for your cause. Let the professionals take over your PPC and see far better results. In fact, many people wonder why they didn’t start with professionals after they had given it a go.
Get professional help with your PPC
Google ads and Facebook PPC ad campaigns are not hard to set up. There are some tedious tasks in there that can be confusing to those that don’t know their way around a computer. These ads will benefit from understanding the various tracking tools that are provided by both Google and Facebook to ensure that you are targeting the right audience. These are pixels that are put in place to help your marketing efforts. However, most charity management doesn’t know anything about these or even how to build or create an audience. This is why it is very important that you speak with a professional so that you are not wasting those advertising dollars!
Facebook ads allow you to put a “donation” button on your ads. This is a great feature that many people will take advantage of. The very best thing you can do for your charity is to make it as easy as humanly possible for people to donate for your cause. Don’t add in a bunch of steps that they will get distracted from and lose interest. Make it clean and easy to donate without having to fill out a bunch of forms.
Other ways to get the most out of your charity’s PPC ads
While you are running ads, you probably need to take advantage of PPC campaign scheduling. Think about what time of day most people you are targeting will be on their social media. This might need a little tweaking to see what the best spot is for your ads, however, it is silly to run them 24/7 blindly. Pick some peak times and days and see what works best at converting the ads to traffic and donations.
Facebook ads are a bit different than Google ads. While Google ads are very effective they don’t have the same visuals as Facebook. Meaning that you cannot appeal to the emotions as well. For example, if you are running a pet rescue, you can put a picture of a bunch of cute animals on your Facebook ad to appeal to the emotions of the people that you are running the ad too. Appealing to the emotions will get more results, then just using words. However, the Google ads, people are actually looking for your charity or service offered. Because they are looking, they are most likely going to click. But, for those that are not looking but have a heart, Facebook ads are a great option.
Again, with the animal rescue, maybe someone is looking to adopt a pet. They would go to Google and type in “dog rescue” which your agency would come up in the search engines. This is a great way to find people to come in and adopt. However, this isn’t a great method to get random donations. Facebook PPC is better for that.
As a company that pre-dates Google (you read that right!), we have extensive experience assisting traditional businesses to build effective websites, drive traffic to those sites, and generate sales. We also have experience helping clients connected to the community and charitable sectors so if you’re charity is looking for ways to improve your online visibility be sure to contact us!