As any nonprofit can attest to, half the battle of getting support and funding is just getting the word out to the masses.
Thankfully Google has created systems which benefit nonprofits and helps them get the recognition they need to reach their goals.
Point-in-fact: Google offers over $10,000 to qualifying nonprofits monthly to use on advertising. The primary source of these grants goes into Google’s AdWords. AdWords is a service which allows users to create ads for their company. They offer four different methods (graphic displays, YouTube video ads, text based search ads, and in-app mobile ads) to advertise your brand.
Despite these amazing grants, issues can arise when proper SEO practices aren’t employed. The following three issues are fairly commonplace and can be tricky. Fortunately, this troublesome trio have easy fixes:
Issue #1: Ads aren’t being seen
Resolution: Review and revise keywords/keyword phrases
Keywords are the bread, butter, fork, and table of SEO.
Knowing which keywords, keyword phrases and even tenses of words can make or break your ad.
Check the keywords to make sure that you’ve targeted broad audiences of people. At this stage, you just want to make sure that your nonprofit ad is getting seen by as many people as possible. If your nonprofit is an organization committed to non-kill shelters for dogs, don’t limit your keywords to non-kill shelters and dogs but expand it to anything animal related. A farmer in Texas looking for new feed for his cattle should come across your ad as easily as a college student looking for dog food in New York if the right keyword and keyword phrases are being utilized.
Issue #2: Ads are being seen but aren’t being clicked on
Resolution: Review the phrasing and content of your ad.
Is your ad engaging and concise? Does it evoke the need for action?
Does your ad employ as many relevant keywords as possible?
If not, then you need to a) research and b) rewrite. Research which keywords are currently on the rise and getting the largest click action and then rewrite your content using these keywords. Remember, people are seeing your ad, but aren’t finding it compelling enough to warrant that extra step. Find a way to convince them with those few words your allotted.
Issue #3: Ads are being seen and clicked on but people aren’t staying on website
Resolution: Revise the content, web design, engagement, and accessibility of website.
This particular issue isn’t always such an easy fix. There’s good news and bad news.
The good news is that people are seeing your ad and finding it compelling enough to click on. The bad news is that once they reach your website they aren’t engaging with your site the way they need to. Whether this means they aren’t commenting, leaving responses, volunteering, or donating it all means the same thing; your content isn’t worth anymore of their time. This can feel like a big slap in the face, but shouldn’t demotivate you.
There are various ways in which you can improve your website. Start by looking at it from a graphic angle; does your website appeal visually to the eye or does it look like one of those crammed, not-entirely-legitimate-looking websites telling you they have a magic weight-loss pill? Searchers are already wary when clicking on ads that they’re going to be redirected to an illegitimate site; don’t let the appearance of your website be their confirmation.
Also, make sure your content is what you’re advertising. If I click on an ad thinking I’m going to be learning about how I can help people living with HIV and instead find myself on a nonprofit site geared towards historical preservation, I’ve already discovered that I can’t trust the validity of your content.
Finally, make sure that your goal (whether it’s donations, volunteers, brand awareness through social media shares, etc.) is accessible. Users shouldn’t have to look too long to find the right page to make a donation or sign up as a volunteer.