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Google Ads: Beyond the Bare Minimum

In March of 2018, we wrote about changes to Google’s Ad Grant requirements, and what nonprofits had to do to make sure their accounts weren’t suspended. With a few months to follow that advice we thought it was time to take things to the next level. If you’ve nailed down the basics and are ready to take your Google Ad Grant up a notch, here are a few tips to get you started.

Callout Extensions

Your organization is unique, and you offer services that set you apart. Callout Extensions give you the ability to highlight these special characteristics with extra text below your ads. Callouts cannot contain text that’s already in ads, but it’s an ideal place to include additional information that would otherwise not make the cut in the character count limit. Does your special event include a raffle or prizes? Are you in the midst of a time-sensitive membership discount? These are just a couple examples of short bits of information (less than 25 characters) that you can include in a Callout Extension. Learn more about callout extensions.

Optimize Landing Pages

Google Optimize is a free tool within the Google Suite that allows users to create multiple versions of landing pages to test which is most effective. You can use it to build A/B versions, or even multi-variant versions (ex: testing different combinations of images and headlines). Google Optimize will rotate the content variations that you choose for all the possible combinations. Then you can see which version yields the highest conversion rate and use that as the landing page for your ad. It’s important to think beyond the click and use tools available to track conversions.

To successfully start using Google Optimize to test your landing page, you’ll need to have the following pieces in place:

  • Google Analytics tracking code implemented on your website
  • Google Analytics conversion tracking – are you trying to drive list growth and capture emails with your ads for example? Then make sure you have a conversion goal setup to measure signups!
  • Create a free Google Optimize account and install the Optimize code snippet on your website
  • Link your Google Analytics and Google Optimize accounts

Keyword Adjustment

Much of your time using Google Ads is spent listing the keywords you want to trigger your ads. But don’t forget to think about negative keywords as well. You want to make sure that your ads don’t appear in situations where your services don’t match the search terms. Think about times in which Google could drive incorrect traffic to your site and suppress your ads from displaying in those situations. For example, if you don’t have a chapter in a specific state you will want to make sure ads don’t show up when people search related topics there. Start by reviewing the search terms report for your campaigns and add negative keywords as needed from this list.

Compare Performance

Check out this article on Google’s help site that explains how to find and use the Auctions Insight Report. This report gives you the ability to see how your ads are performing by comparing them to other ads that are in the same auctions. By learning how you compare to competitors using the same keywords, you can make adjustments to your ads and bids that will improve your ranking.

Keep Track of Platform Updates

Only a few months after the last big announcement from Google we find ourselves amid more news. At its annual event in July of 2018, Google announced a new name, Google Ads, a new logo, and lots of new features. This time the updates aren’t likely to deactivate nonprofit accounts, but it’s worth bookmarking the Google Ads blog and ensuring that your admin account is linked to a valid email address. As the technology continues to evolve, you want to make sure you don’t miss the next update.

Like any digital marketing tool, you get out of Google Ads what you put in. If you’re ready to go beyond the bare minimum but need some help, Firefly Partners is standing by. Complete our Start Your Project form and let’s see how Google Ads can raise your organization’s profile today.

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