Google Grant Management – what does it entail? What is required? How much time do you need? What are the different things you should be thinking about? These are the topics we will cover in this quick video, which will hopefully get you started down that road, whether you’re working with an agency to manage your Google Ad Grant or if you’re managing it yourself.

A couple of quick things that will always be involved in any Google Grant Management plan. First is compliance, and we’ll have a video that specifically addresses compliance, but there are a number of compliance rules in terms of the click-through-rate that you have to maintain ensuring that you don’t have single-word keywords or low-quality score keywords; making sure that your geo-targeting is appropriate and accurately represents the area that you actually serve as an organization; making sure that your conversion tracking is in place so you can actively record the actions that people are taking on their website after they click on your ads; and a few other things. We’ll address that in a different video, but that is a major part of Google Grant Management – making sure on a daily or at least a weekly basis that you’re going through and pausing low-quality score keywords and that you’re pausing keywords that have really low click-through-rates and so forth.

Another big component of Google Grant Management is optimizing ads. Often, a way that you can do this is by split testing different ads against each other. So if you are, for example, an animal shelter and you have a keyword “adopt dogs,” and you have an ad talking about the dog adoption opportunities that you have available, what you can do is you can create a second ad within Google ads – and actually with the Google Ad Grant, you are required to have at least two ads per ad group. What Google will do is it will run those two ads against each other, and it will see which of these two ads performs better, which gets more clicks, and then, ultimately, which gets more conversions. Hopefully, over time, if one ad becomes the winner – let’s say it’s this first ad – it will show that ad more and more often. What you can do is once one ad is clearly becoming a winner, you can delete or pause the old ad and then create a new variant. And then those two, the A version, let’s call it, and the C version, let’s call it, will battle against each other. Then maybe the C version is better and so you pause the A version and you bring out a new version, the D version. It’s a really good way to continue to improve the performance of your account over time.

Another approach that you can use is called “using responsive search ads,” which is a new feature that Google has, at least at the time of this video’s creation, but the world is constantly changing. They’re constantly rolling out new features, which is really exciting. A responsive search ad at lets you put in up to 15 headlines and lots of different descriptions as well into your ad. Then Google will algorithmically shuffle these together and show them to different people. Over time, it will figure out – we’re going to use headline one and then headline seven and then headline six when people search for this. And then we’re going to use a different formula when people search for this other thing.

Those responsive search ads tend to perform really well, and it allows Google to do a lot of shuffling for you. The downside, of course, is that it’s a lot of effort to come up with 15 different headlines at the beginning for each of your different ads.  Over time, it can be really worth it. The responsive search ads we’ve seen for our clients have done really, really well. We have 211 clients that we manage the Google Ad Grant for at the time of this video being created, and we’re rolling out responsive search ads for all of them, essentially, because they’ve been so helpful.  So that’s another big component – this ad split testing and optimization.

Another big component is keyword research and figuring out the new keywords that you can target with your ads. If you have ads, for example, for adopting dogs, maybe there are other ways to say that, so adopt a puppy, adopt puppies, adopt puppy misspelled, and on down the list. For that type of topic, we would expect that you could come up with potentially dozens or hundreds of different keywords for different ways that people could be searching.

Then for each little cluster of those keywords, you can create individual ads.  So if someone searches for “adopt a puppy,” you want to be showing an ad that says “adopt a puppy here.” Whereas, if someone says “adopt a dog,” you’re ad should say “adopt a dog.”  This creates a little link in people’s brains. When they Google “adopt a dog,” and they see an ad that says, literally “adopt a dog,” those words will be in bold because Google is showing that this is exactly what you searched for, so “adopt a dog” will be in bold. It creates this little link in folk’s brains where they think, “Oh, this is exactly what I was looking for.” 

The ideal, then, is that people click on that page that says “adopt a dog,” and they immediately land on your dog adoption page, so there’s a further link in people’s brains. They say, “Okay, I searched for adopt a dog. I saw the ad and I clicked on it. And now I land on a page that is about adopting dogs. I’ve landed in the right spot.” That means that they’re very likely to continue engaging with your website. If, instead, someone Googled “adopt a dog” and then clicked on your ad and then landed on your homepage, they are not as likely to think that they’ve landed in the exact right spot, and, therefore, they are more likely to click the back button.  This is really bad because that sends a sign to Google that the person who clicked on this ad did not find what they were looking for. Almost being equal, that would encourage Google to show your ad less frequently, which you don’t want to do. That’s the third component – finding new keywords and creating new ads for them and then, of course, testing the ads out against each other.

You can also do keyword research more broadly, so you have all of your different ways of adopting a dog, but maybe there is other content on your website. Maybe there is information about puppy mills or about neutering or spaying or different educational topics like that. You can have different keywords and groups of ads for each of those topics. One of the things that our grant managers do at Nonprofit Megaphone is every week, they’re constantly looking over each organization’s website to see if there are new ways that we can promote the existing content so that you get the most bang for your buck out of your website and out of your Google Grant. Then you’re just constantly refining that, finding new ideas, and optimizing further.

The fourth thing that’s involved in Google Grant Management is conversion tracking. We’ll have a video focused on this as well, but just to give a quick synopsis – conversion tracking is about setting up Google Analytics on your website and another tool called Google Tag Manager, which allows you to track the actions that people are taking when they’re on your site.

For example, when someone lands on your website and fills out a form – maybe requesting more information about something or maybe signing up for an email newsletter – Google Analytics or Google Tag Manager can track that conversion and set the data back to Google Ads. And so when Google Ads receives that data, it says, “Okay – this is interesting. People who are searching for these specific things or people who have these specific characteristics tend to land on your website and actually fill out this form, which is really valuable for you.” Therefore, Google Ads will bid more aggressively to get people like that because it knows that those types of people are more likely to land on your website and actually perform conversion actions. It’s using fancy machine learning and so forth to do that, but it’s totally transparent to you. You don’t have to do anything other than set up the conversion tracking on your website and link Google Analytics to Google Ads and then that data will flow totally seamlessly. That’s a very powerful attribute of Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager. These are both free tools. Conversion tracking is a requirement for the Google Ad Grant, so you have to have at least one conversion firing each month in order to keep your grant compliant with Google’s rules.

Those are the main topics of Google Grant Optimization. So to review, we have compliance with the Google Ad Grant policies. We have testing ads against each other. We have finding new keywords and writing new ads for them, and these ads and keywords are grouped into what’s called ad groups and then campaigns. And then we have conversion tracking – setting up, managing, and optimizing the conversions. Of course, you can do any of the things we have talked about on your website as well. You can be split testing landing pages if you wanted. You can be creating new pages that address new topics that allow you to write new ads. It’s this constantly evolving game of figuring out what are all the different things that people are searching for, how can we advertise for the keywords that any of them might be using to search for those topics, how do we make the best ads possible to get them to click when they search for those keywords, and then how do we send them to the best possible landing page so that when they arrive there, they are most likely to accomplish the action, whether it’s filling out a form or watching a video or whatever once they arrive.

Thanks so much. I hope this has been helpful. We’ll dive into each of these topics in more detail in later videos. If you do have questions, please let us know in the comments. Thanks so much.

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