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Mary Stovall

10 things learned from running $10,000 a month Google for Non-Profits campaign!

By | Google Adwords, Google Plus | No Comments

Google for Nonprofits offers charitable organizations in more than fifty countries an opportunity to apply for a Google AdGrant. If qualified, Google provides $10,000 USD per month to use for AdWords advertising. And, if successful over time, the nonprofit may qualify for  $40,000 per month with AdGrants Pro.

  1. Partial List of Eligibility requirements for the AdGrant:

  • Link ads to the domain name the AdGrant was applied for
  • Daily ads limit $329 = $10,000 per month
  • 00 max CPC (cost-per-click)
  • Advertising on Google Search Network Only
  • Keyword targeted ads
  • Monthly login and at least one change per 90 days
  1. Install Conversion tracking: (TIP)

Install conversion tracking on a “Thank-you” page to capture people who complete the action process.

Conversion tracking enables nonprofits to understand how those responding to ads are connecting to products and services.

There are several different ways to install, including adding the tracking code to the appropriate section of the website or using Google Tag Manager.

Test to be sure conversion tracking is working. One way to check is by using Google Tag Assistant Chrome extension. This extension troubleshoots various tags, including Google Analytics, Google AdWords etc.

Google Adwords 1

  1. Add extensions (TIP)

(Followup to check they are working): Here are three to consider:

Add relevant and useful extensions for both desktop and mobile (at least 10 each). For example: create sitelink extension links to specific pages on the website you want people to visit.. Check results to see how Ad Position is affected

In this example all of the sitelink extensions appear to rank well in terms of ad placement. Yet, the CTR is below the desired minimum 1% for the AdGrant.

Looking more closely, the CTR for mobile is doing very well and the desktop sitelink extensions are not. Instead of deleting the desktop sitelinks, disable them and test at another time.

Reviewing again a few days later, the sitelink extensions are not driving the CTR, instead it is  the headline. Good information to know and to consider for further adjustments.

  • Call Extensions: (TIP) Schedule call extensions to show when staff are available to answer calls. If your nonprofit relies on direct customer service, this is potentially useful for driving phone calls and providing the answers your donors and customers are searching for.

Excellent tool to use if volunteers, donors or donees are local, or your organization server a large area.

  1. Connect Google AdWords to.Google Analytics

Understanding audience, website, social media channels and how different parts an pieces of an organization connect together are key to making the most of your AdWords account.

  1. Daily check-in: (TIP)

Review campaigns daily.

There are many moving parts in AdWords campaigns and it takes time to learn what works and how the components work together. For example, an campaign may resonate well with audiences during the week but not on the weekend. Or, an AdGroup may stop performing because of Keyword competition.

  1. Quality Score – (QS)

As defined by Google “an estimate of the quality of your ads, keywords and landing page.” QS has a range of 1-10 out of 10. Ads that have good landing pages and are relevant to your users tend to have a higher QS.

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  1. Befriend The “Bubble”

Bubbles are tiny little boxes that lead to a wealth of information. Located in the account in places like Keywords, Extensions and Ad Status, Bubbles help provide an understanding of ad components and areas for improvements.

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  1. Think Counterintuitively

Having the budget an AdGrant provides initially appears to be equivalent to hitting the jackpot. On the other hand, you are competing for ads on a small, $2.00 CPC budget and a daily limit of $329. While it may be tempting to “set it and forget it”, AdGrants require thoughtful consideration to maximize the potential. Here are a few tips:

  • Opportunities: Google will auto suggest opportunities that are tailored to a “regular” AdWords account. Take time to consider if that opportunity makes sense for nonprofit goals. For example, raising the budget may not be practical given the daily limit and may also affect the timing of ads.

Google Adwords 4

  • Quality Keywords over Quantity: (TIP) Test Google Keyword suggestions with a separate “Test” Ad and see how they perform before adding to an ad that is already working well.

Adding 710 suggested keywords (see example below) may not make sense for a campaign or relate to a particular landing page. Keeping 6 -10 Keywords per ad tends to work well and allows a quick understand how an ad is performing.

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  1. Keyword Matching: (TIP)

Try using Broad Match keywords to reach a larger audience.

  • Carefully considering keyword matching options like Phrase-Match, Exact-Match and Broad-Match allows control over how ads are shown in search. View the keywords that triggered an ad by looking at Search Terms:

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  1. Embrace Patience:

Non-profits often operate with small teams and on limited budgets. Their Director and team members are likely wearing many hats and may have different priorities, experiences and time tables. Other consultants may be part of the team as well. Be prepared to contribute the extended knowledge that you bring to the table and work with other team and board members towards the rewarding and common goal of the non-profit.


Implementing Google AdGrants for a nonprofit is one of the most rewarding projects I’ve had in my career. A deeper dive into AdWords and Analytics to more specifically reach donors and donees and taking advantage of other parts of the AdGrant including YouTube and Google Generosity continue the journey. Stay tuned for additional updates!

Want to know more about our services? Contact us here!

Quick Guide to using ‘Yelp for Business’

By | Google Plus | No Comments

As a business owner or a Local SEO professional serving clients in the USA, Yelp is one  tool to consider using to help your business gain visibility and garner reviews.

Why only USA?

According to Google Trends, Yelp for business is not used by businesses in the UK, Australia or New Zealand. In the US, California leads with the most regional users.

Yelp for Business 1

Which Businesses Should Be on Yelp?:

Retail – Yes: Surprisingly, restaurants are not Yelp’s biggest review category. Retail stores lead the pack.

Restaurants – Absolutely!: Perhaps not number one, a very close second to retail. Many people use Yelp to search for a great restaurant, bar or taco shop.

Attorneys, Doctors and Real Estate Professionals – Evaluate:

It’s challenging for these types of  businesses to get recommended reviews to surface in Yelp. On the reviewer side, many people don’t want the world to know about attorney and physician visits and won’t leave reviews. On the business side, professional ethics and the confidential nature of the business limit the response to reviews.  Real Estate professionals may sell 12-15 homes in a year, not a large amount of reviews to surface.

Finding and Claiming Your Yelp Business Page:

The most common mistake business owners make when setting up their page is setting up a personal profile. Take care to set your business profile up as a “Business Owner” not as a Yelp reviewer.

Yelp uses phone verification for your business page. Best to set it up when the owner is available to call and verify.  Include business information: hours, address, about and pictures of you, your team and location.

Yelp for Business 2.gif

Business Tools

Yelp has a plethora of free and paid business tools. Two are outstanding, simple and easy to put in place.

Yelp Reservations:  Keep those tables full! By using this super (FREE) tool, any restaurant or nightclub is able to accept online reservations from their website and their Yelp page.

Check In Offers: Hidden in “Manage Your Business with Yelp”, one of the best (FREE) tools Yelp offers. As a business owner you can run Groupon like ads in Yelp. For example: A restaurant can run a Happy Hour check-in special for a few hours.

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What to Do With Reviews: Engage with both good and bad reviews.

Respond as the owner or representative of the owner. Make certain your profile has a nice picture and tells a bit about you.

Bad Reviews: Take care of unhappy customers.

As a first step, use the private message feature to connect individually. Take time to get to know your customer and understand what happened.

Offer a discount or replacement meal, whatever is customary when a customer complains in person.  Often a bit of kindness will soften the blow and the reviewer may change the review to a more favorable one.

If unable to resolve with your customer, respond politely and non-defensively to the review publicly. This lets others see that you are a concerned business owner and are willing to address negative situations.

Good Reviews: Thank the customer publicly for leaving a nice review.

Privately invite them to your next event or offer them a coupon or treat. Next time they visit, take the time to say hi! Consider having a special event to honor your top customers.

Keep attention focused on the happy customers.  

Oftentimes, there is a tendency to obsess over the few bad reviews.  In turn, the attention to happy customers slips.

More than likely, 80% of reviews on Yelp are 3-5 stars.

By focusing on keeping happy customers happy, they will remember and mention their experience to their ‘real life’ friends in day to day interactions.

Less than 80% good reviews for your business? Take time to understand and correct the problem.

Why Would A Yelp Review Not Get Recommended?

Yelp’s recommendation software is automated.  A few reason a Yelp review may not make it to the recommended list:

  • Multiple reviews for one place originating from the same computer
  • Reviews from a less established user
  • A seemingly unhelpful commentary
  • Reviews that appear to be from a friend of the business owner

There are no Yelp representatives available to help change reviews.

Yelp explains the automated review system in this video:

At the end of the day, it comes back to providing excellent customer service, regardless of which platform you are using. Choose Yelp as a tool if appropriate for your business and implement along with other tools such as Twitter and Google Reviews.