Why my view on Google adwords evolved
My first experience with Google Adwords was several years ago as Director of Communications for the YMCAs of Cambridge & Kitchener-Waterloo. I received an incentive to try Google Adwords. I decided to try it because I liked that it was pay per click (PPC).
I blew through the value of the introductory offer very quickly and I couldn’t see any impact from the trial. At about the same time, I learned that there were PPC experts who spent all their time learning how to get the best bang for your Google Adwords buck. Working for a nonprofit, I didn’t think I could afford to hire an expert who helped private sector businesses nor did I have the time or budget to learn from experience.
So when I first heard about Google Grants about a year ago, I was not enthusiastic. I thought it was nice that Google was giving grants but I didn’t see why they should be recommended because of the expertise required to use them effectively. I figured if you blew through a grant quickly and without results, what was the point?
Over the last month, I’ve learned more about how Google Grants works and will now start suggesting it to my clients including those who want me to handle their online advertising.
Why you should consider Google Grants
My mistake was thinking that Google Grants offered one time grants. I extrapolated from my experience and figured that even if the grant was sizable that it couldn’t help if it had a limited budget or duration.
What I have learned is that the Google Grants are for up to $10,000 per month!
The program is ongoing. As long as you qualify and follow the program’s guidelines (such as not using your grants account to pay for adwords), you can use it indefinitely.
That fact means social profit organizations can learn how best to use Google Adwords from experience. The online home for the grant program also has guidelines for using the grant, a guide just for beginners, a help centre and a blog.
So if you have the motivation and time to learn how to get the best bang for your buck you can. But you may still not have the luxury of time to learn so you may still benefit from external help such as to run a campaign in the near future or get coaching on how to make better use of your grants.
If you think $10,000 a month is great, you haven’t seen anything yet. If you spend your $10,000 limit in consecutive months, your grant budget increases to $40,000 per month! Hard to ignore, eh?
Spending $10,000 a month isn’t as easy as it sounds. You are limited to a maximum bid of $1 in the auction for who gets the ad spots. This limit means that some of the best words and phrases that you want are likely to be out of reach since other advertisers are willing to pay more than $1 to get the placement.
If you are a Canadian organization, you can learn more and get started from the Google.ca portal for the grants. I’d also be happy to talk to you about helping you.
The United States and other countries
If your organization is based in the United States, you should check out Google for Nonprofits Program which includes Google Grants. This program which pulls together several Google programs for nonprofits is only available as a package to American organizations.
If you have found yourself here and are based outside Canada and the United States, see this list of countries to see if there is a Google Grants program for you.
Any tips or advice on using Google Grants?
Are you ahead of me? If you have experience using Google Grants to use Adwords, please share your tips and advice on using it here. I’d also appreciate learning about your “failures” so that my readers and I can learn from them and avoid making the same errors.