Six Hot Tips on How to Get Google to Love Your NFP
18 February 2016 at 11:18 am
Boosting a Not for Profits presence on Google takes time and effort but the rewards can be enormous, writes Alice Brennan from The Funding Network, who offers her top tips on becoming a Google AdWords superhero.
We don’t need to tell you that Google is important. Google has become so ubiquitous that “to Google” has almost completely replaced the phrase “to search the internet”. What we do need to tell you, is that Not for Profits can significantly boost their presence on Google, and get more attention, supporters or customers – all for free.
Why do I need to know about Google? I already have a website!
All websites (unless your website is password encrypted or deliberately kept secret) will be indexed by Google. This means that when people enter phrases into Google that match words on your site – for example “social enterprise”, “food truck” and “Brisbane” – your site will appear in their search results.
However, if there is more than one Brisbane-based social enterprise food truck, your website may be pushed down the search results by better indexed websites. If your website appears on page two (the horror!) you are pretty much invisible to potential new customers.
But what can I do about my Google search result?
Although there are many ways to boost your website on Google, this article is going to concentrate on Google AdWords. AdWords is an advertising service where companies pay to boost their websites in Google’s search results. It can help you target audiences who are searching for relevant things – for example – cool new places to eat in Brisbane – and send them to your awesome website.
By registering as a Not for Profit , Google will give you $10,000 a month’s worth of AdWords advertising for free.
This is great! But there is a caveat – you have to work to make that $10,000 count. To get the most out of this awesome tool, you will need to invest a reasonably significant amount of time (a few days a month) creating the ads, testing them, analysing the results and making improvements. The more time you invest, the better the results.
How do I get AdWords for free?
If you are in Australia, you will need to:
- Get yourself an account with Tech Soup and Connecting Up
- Then register for Google for Non-Profits
- Once Google has approved your membership (this can take a few days or weeks) you will be able to start using AdWords for free.
Now that I have AdWords, how do I use it?
Google provides new users with a handy step-by-step guide to setting up your campaign once you are approved. We will leave the technical guide to the experts, and give you a few of our favourite tips to help you make the most of your $10,000:
The Funding Network’s Six Hot Tips for AdWords for Not for Profits
Decide what you want people to do before you write your ads. Do you want people to sign a petition? To register for your newsletter? To connect with you on social media? Use this to decide what your “call to action” will be.
Put the customer at the centre of the ad. Ask yourself what problem the customer has that your organisation will solve. This can range from the customer wanting to find a cool new place to eat, to them wanting to get involved in a cause they feel passionately about.
Use specific numbers rather than round numbers. People believe that “1,543 happy customers last month” is more creditable than “1,500 happy customers last month”, and are more likely to click on these “trustworthy” ads.
Target geographic locations. If you are hosting an event in Wollongong, there is no need to serve ads to people in Perth. Targeting geographic areas when setting up your ad is likely to get you a better response.
Use a countdown to spur on action. People hate losing out on things, so if you have a limited time offer, promote this on your ad with a ticking clock to galvanise more sluggish customers.
Get excited about data analysis. Yes, I know it sounds dull as dishwater – but analysing the results from your Google ads can tell you a lot about your target audience. For instance, do they click on “food truck” but not on “social enterprise”? Are people clicking your ads more on sunny days or rainy days? There are plenty of great guides out there to help you figure out what your data means, like this one and this one.
Now that you have some ads and ideas to experiment with, you can start your journey to becoming a Google AdWords superhero.
About the author: Alice Brennan is the Digital Marketing Coordinator at The Funding Network – an Australian Not for Profit organisation that hosts live collective-giving events where where social entrepreneurs pitch for funding from a philanthropic audience. Brennan is a digital and NFP sector expert who has worked on campaigns in the UK, Japan and Australia and has dedicated her time to helping small start-up charities and social enterprises grow.