Almost 20% of nonprofits have no allocated budget for marketing. In a field that’s so focused on giving back, many nonprofits forget the importance of promoting their missions for sustained growth. Google Ad Grants are a perfect place to start for nonprofits new to digital marketing. We’ll outline how to get a Google Grant and grow with it.
What is a Google Ad Grant?
Let’s start with the basics: a Google Ad Grant provides up to $10,000 a month ($329 a day) in search page advertising to qualified 501(c)(3) nonprofits. Your organization can only use this budget for search ads on Google.com. Hospitals, schools, and governmental organizations are not eligible for Google Grants.
Once a nonprofit is approved for a Google grant, there is no end to the period that they can receive funding. To continuously receive funding, though, a nonprofit must keep their account active and reach advertisement engagement benchmarks. Nonprofit organizations often juggle many responsibilities with a small staff, so it may be best to hire a qualified marketing agency to handle the grant application and implementation. While you may pay the agency for its services, the advertising budget should more than compensate for that cost.
How Can it Benefit Your Nonprofit?
Google Grants allow your nonprofit to appear highly in results for targeted search terms. This can benefit your organization in many ways:
Educating the public about your mission
Reaching target audiences for your nonprofit’s services
Your application to be a Google-verified nonprofit will go more quickly if you have a TechSoup account.
If not, make sure to have a 501(c)(3) verification letter and your EIN number ready.
Once your application is approved, sign in to Google for Nonprofits.
Click “Activate Products” then “Get Started” under “Google Ad Grants.”
Build out your Google Ads account with appropriate campaigns and keywords.
Select keywords that are relevant to your audience.
Build multiple campaigns with numerous ad groups to optimize performance.
These steps seem very simple at first, but Google holds you accountable to your ads’ performance….
Google Grants Benchmarks
Here are some of the key benchmarks Google uses to determine if your campaigns can keep running:
5% click through rate
Failing to reach this for two months results in account deactivation
One meaningful conversion per month
2 ad groups per campaign
2 individual ads per ad group
Specific links of your website on each ad campaign
Quality score higher than 2
No single-word keywords
Monthly account login
Changes to account every 90 days
To achieve Google’s 5% click through rate, compelling copywriting is key. In addition, a carefully crafted capture page helps track and optimize your conversions. Finally, keyword tracking software can help you select search phrases that align with your target audiences. Here at Purplegator, we have proven experience with search page advertising. If your nonprofit is considering a Google Grants campaign, reach out to us today. We’d love to help you make even more of a difference.
Libby Foster is a Marketing Specialist at Purplegator. She’s also an Advertising and Public Relations master’s student at the University of Alabama.
Programmatic Cannabis Advertising refers to digital marketing on behalf of legal businesses operating in the cannabis industry. While the targeting options and available products continue to expand, any and all campaigns will include a mandatory 21+ age restriction, and target locations will be limited to states/countries where legislation has been passed to allow for this type of advertising. Due to the ongoing legalization of cannabis at the state level across the United States, more publishers and technology partners are opening the doors for these businesses to take advantage of the powerful tools already available to other businesses.
Do you have a Cannabis-related client that is asking for the newest advertising technology to launch their brand even further than before? Purplegator is excited to announce an expansion of available products and targeting options for cannabis advertisers. These include:
2020 was a year that had a catastrophic impact on many state economies. With a new administration in place, states are seriously considering the legalization of recreational/medical cannabis use to help rebound economies from the substantial hit they took last year. Digital cannabis advertising has traditionally been very limited due to the sensitive nature of the products being sold, and the patchwork of legality between states and the federal government. These limits ad restrictions affected available inventory, platforms, reporting, and everything in between. However, the programmatic industry is increasingly embracing the value of supporting cannabis businesses, and the stigma tied to the products being sold is giving way to greater acceptance across all touch points in the digital journey from business to its target audience.
The nationwide easement of lockdown measures and travel restrictions, coupled with the emergence from winter into the warmer months of spring and summer signal an amazing opportunity to get in front of these businesses and help them take advantage of the powerful tools that help them bring business through the front door.
Purplegator’s Cannabis network is expanding beyond what has traditionally been limited to geo-targeting and/or device ID targeting due to the increased scale in available inventory and technology partnerships. Notably, this includes enhanced targeting options (behaviors, demos, etc), video placements, Streaming Radio (including podcasts), and Streaming TV.
Metrics & Reporting
At Purplegator, we provide weekly statistical updates for most programs. On a monthly basis, we provide in-depth statistical reviews usually during a personal meeting with the client. As we obtain more data, we use that information to enhance your marketing program by continually tweaking the creative, the mediums and the target markets.
Pricing & Forecasting
Contact Purplegator if you are interested in reaching new highs with your cannabis store marketing.
Recreational marijuana use is legal in 19 states. Medical marijuana use is legal in 35 states. Business Insider
Colorado saw more than $2 billion in recreational marijuana sales in 2020. Marijuana Moment
Dispensaries have been considered essential businesses during the CoronaVirus Pandemic. Forbes
How can you tell if your website is mobile friendly? Luckily, Google has a quick answer to this question. Test any website or page here, just type in your URL and Google will do the rest.
How to Check If Your Website is Responsive Design
Here are two easy tricks to check if your website’s design is responsive:
Bring up the site on your desktop computer. Go to one of the corners of the site and drag that corner diagonally to the middle of the screen. If you see the elements of the website start to “stack” on top of each other, then it’s likely a responsive design website.
But, there’s an even easier way to do this with one of the many responsive design tools that are online. A Purplegator favorite is ResponsiveDesignChecker.com. Here, you can simply enter your website URL on your desktop to check if it uses responsive design.
2. Make sure you check the top right corner of the page, that is where the resolution is listed. Of course, it’s always width x height so the first number will always be higher on your desktop and lower for a mobile phone.
Now, enter the resolution you wish to use for a smartphone. The most common resolutions in the United States are 750 x 1334 and 1080 x 1920. Once this is plugged in, you will see how the site will look on mobile.
Did the elements “stack” on top of each other? If so, it’s likely a responsive design. Congrats! Your website’s design is responsive and you are ready for viewers to visit.
Some More Mobile Web Design Tips…
Here is a resourceful infographic that summarizes some of the best mobile web design tips the web world has to offer. This graphic is especially useful for restaurant owners because mobile access is by far the predominant access point.
Some companies that use adaptive design often provide a scaled down version of their desktop site on mobile. One of the key considerations of Google’s mobile-first indexing is making sure that your mobile site has the same extensive content, as well as clear and meaningful headings following copy as your desktop version. Since only the content shown on the mobile version will be used for search engine indexing, this is extremely important. If your mobile site has less content than your desktop site, you may have lost some traffic as of Spring 2021 since Google won’t be viewing the complete desktop site anymore.
Of course, if you use responsive design on the entire site, losing content from the desktop site will not be an issue. Responsive design is a key success factor for a functional mobile website. An easy-to-follow website makes your site more approachable and drives viewer engagement.
Over one-third of websites across the world use WordPress.
Easy to Use
You do not need to know html, be a programmer, or even a professional to use WordPress. Website is very easy to navigate and should become fluent to the learner in a matter of a few hours.
There are so many great plugins available on WordPress. They do the whole search engine optimization process exceptionally well. The Yoast SEO feature allows for easy input of title tags and meta tags to enhance your search engine results and drive traffic to your site.
WordPress makes it easy to restructure picture sizes and post bright and powerful images without unnecessarily weighing down the website.
Fast Load Times
WordPress is known to load quickly as long as you do things correctly. One amazing plugin we love for site speed optimization is WPOptimize. It caches the site, clears the database and compresses images for faster loading.
Modern WordPress templates use responsive design and it will address any issues with the site loading properly on mobile, tablet, desktop and even watches! As a result, all WordPress sites are mobile friendly.
Social Media Enhancements
A social media campaign will indirectly have a positive impact on your website. The campaign will drive traffic to your site and improve SEO based on increased site engagement. It’s easy to add custom social media buttons to your site or blog on WordPress, which makes it even easier for readers to share your content.
One major criticism WordPress faces is that all of the sites look the same. That is true, but only if you don’t add your own personal touch. Think of a WordPress template as the building block that you will use to begin the process of customizing your own website. Make your website’s appearance unique to you, and only you.
Most simply put: WordPress is king in the world of website building. Easy to use, enjoyable to create and a powerful force to be reckoned with in the world of digital marketing.
In August, Google notified website owners via Google Search Console (formerly known as “Webmaster Tools”) of its plans to show security warnings on websites that are still using the (now old) http protocol. Search Console users were told that the Chrome browser (currently with market share of 45% in the USA) will begin showing security warnings to users when they go to sites that are still using http instead of https.
You’ve seen these warnings, haven’t you? They are, kind of…scary.
Now, these warnings won’t likely effect all sites; just those with form fills. So, if your business is e-commerce, you really have no choice to move to https…at least if you want to be in business come November.
But, what about all the other sites out there? I guess if your site is only informational, then you can avoid it, but can you really? Have a contact us page with a form fill? You need to move to https. If your site has a search function, you need to move to https. Chat function? You need to move to https. If the user has the ability to interact in any way with your website, you will need to take heed of this notice and get cracking. Otherwise, you are going to lose a significant amount of your traffic come October.
HTTPS: WHAT IS IT ANYWAY?
https (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is an internet communication protocol that will protect the confidentiality of data sent from a user’s computer to your website. It provides encryption of the exchanged data to keep it secure from eavesdroppers who may want to “listen” to the interaction. It also verifies the integrity of your data so that it cannot be modified or corrupted during the transfer process. Finally, https ensures that the communication from your users goes only to the intended website, thus protecting against “man-in-the-middle” attacks. Man-in-the-middle attacks are those devils that may want to alter the details of the private conversation.
In today’s high profile world of data being stolen from websites, users have come to expect the security that their online conversations with websites will remain private and protected. https solves much of that problem by adding an additional layer of encryption and signaling to the website to protect the information being sent by the user. That information is sent in an unreadable form that is guarded by some crazy algorithm code, thus making it generally impenetrable.
HTTPS: You’ll Need an SSL Certificate First
To qualify for https, a website must first purchase an SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate. SSL provides standard security technology that provides an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data sent between the server and browser will remain private. This is especially important given the insecure nature of wi-fi connections which are notorious targets for unsuspected eavesdropping.
SSL certificates are relatively cheap and they help guard visits to your website. At Purplegator, we purchase ours from Comodo or Geotrust. SSL certificates need to be renewed annually so there is an ongoing cost associated with them. There are free versions of SSL certificates such as Let’s Encrypt, but we don’t use them. I suspect a free SSL certificate is fine, but we wouldn’t recommend them. The reason is that if they ever stop working for some reason, what is the business incentive of an open certificate authority in fixing the problem? In our opinion, SSL certificates are simply too important, and too cheap, to take that risk, regardless of how small it is.
HTTPS: This is a Big Deal
Less than half of all websites use the https protocol today. But, not surprisingly, the best ones are already using it. In fact, more than half of the first page sites in Google are already using https. That shouldn’t be surprising, as Google has been saying since 2014 that using https is an SEO ranking factor. Now, however, it’s suddenly become not just a minor SEO ranking factor, but a real traffic negator if you don’t make the switch.
Bottom Line: You need to move your site from the insecure http to https. And, you need to do it NOW!
At Purplegator, we are now in the process of notifying and migrating our website customers from http to https. If you need help in moving your website, please contact us.