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Understanding the Google Ad Grant in 2021

Understanding the Google Ad Grant in 2021

Creating a nonprofit is such an amazing way to make a positive impact within your community and the world at large. Whether you are working to create equal access to advanced medicine, enriching the culture of your hometown, and online community with amazing independent films, helping those who have been impacted by natural disasters one thing never changes. You need to get your services out in front of as many people as you can. That’s exactly what the Google Ad Grants program does!

Google Ad Grants

What Is The Google Ad Grants Program?

Google Ad Grants provides you with access to $10,000 USD for your nonprofit to spend on digital advertising every month. This allows you to get out front and center so you can expand your reach. Whether you need volunteers, donors, or simply some help raising awareness for your social cause, Google Ad Grants is an opportunity that shouldn’t be dismissed.

Is Google Ad Grants Worth It?

Simply put, YES! Google Ad Grants provides you with the funds needed to reach those that may never have had the opportunity to hear your message for FREE.

This is a no strings attached process in which you just simply need to apply. Not only do you receive $10,000 USD a month in in-kind advertising, or approximately $329 per day, in in-kind advertising credit to use on the Google Ad Platform. 

You also get free access to Google’s G Suite program. Which allows you to manage your information and communicate with members of your team securely and efficiently.

How To Qualify for Google Ad Grants

In order to be eligible to participate in the Google Ad Grants program, your organization must meet the following requirements:

  • Your organization must apply for and obtain a Google for Nonprofits account.
  • Your organization must be registered as a charitable organization. Oftentimes this is a 501c3 certification, but depending on the country you operate out of, it may require a different registration type. You can view the countries in which Google for Nonprofits is available, as well as the country-specific requirements, on Google’s support hub.
  • Your organization must be registered with TechSoup.
  • Your organization must not be a hospital or a governmental or healthcare institution. Schools, universities, and academic institutions are also not allowed, but not to worry; Google offers their Google for Education program to provide support for schools.
  • Your nonprofit must agree to the application’s required certifications regarding nondiscrimination, donation receipt, and use.
  • Your nonprofits must not discriminate on any unlawful basis in either hiring/employment practices or in the administration of programs and services.
  • Your mission must not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in hiring/employment practices.
  • You must agree that your nonprofit’s mission will not negatively impact Google’s current or future ability to do business with your organization.
  • You will need to guarantee that any donation your nonprofit receives will not be used to corruptly influence any government official to obtain or retain business or any improper advantage.

Your organization must have a high-quality website as defined by Google. Some of these requirements are:

  • No broken links
  • Mobile friendly
  • Fast loading times
  • A valid SSL certificate installed
  • Substantial and unique content that clearly defines your mission and values.

Running into issues with applying for TechSoup or Google for Nonprofits? Reach out to us; we’ll handle the entire application process for you at no charge.

New Application Process

Joining Google for Nonprofits has never been easier. Just this year, Google updated the entire process so that nonprofits wouldn’t have any issues or unnecessary hoops to jump through. Now, all you need to do is submit the Ad Grants eligibility form. Once approved, submit your activation request and you’re good to go!

Ad Grants Management

The application process is the easy part. The next challenge is the creation and maintenance of ads and your account in general, which means you may spend more time than you want to maintaining your account.

Ad Creation

The Google Ad Grants provides $10,000 monthly in what is called Text Ads, which is exactly as it sounds: ads made up of text. This means you have to create a variety of custom ads using the information on your landing pages that will appeal to your target audience and that will link back to your site. This information should be updated on a regular basis. In addition to maintaining your ads, you’ll want to monitor what works and what doesn’t and replace low performing ads.

Account Compliance

Once your ads are up and running, the last piece of the puzzle is ongoing account maintenance. Google has an extensive list of benchmarks and requirements all Google Ads accounts must follow, as well as Ad Grants specific policies that your account must continue to maintain, such as:

  • Having a well-structured ad account that has correct location settings that match your target audience, at least 2 active ad groups per campaign, and at least 2 unique sitelink ad extensions.
  • Maintaining a 5% click-through rate each month.
  • Implementing conversion tracking to track meaningful conversions, such as phone calls, form submissions, and donations.
  • Using conversion-based Smart bidding for all campaigns.
  • Not using single-word, low-quality, or generic keywords.

These guidelines are continuously updated and, unless you stay on top of them, can easily lead to frustration when ads get disapproved for seemingly no reason. If disapproval issues are not fixed in a timely manner, it can lead to the entire account being suspended, so it’s vital that you are aware of the policies and any updates that occur.

Google Ad Grants Certified Agency

While Google Ad Grants is a free service, Google also understands that staying in compliance and optimizing the Ad Grant is a time-consuming process.

Thus, Google put together a group of certified professionals to help you maintain your Google Ad Grants. There are a total of 45 agencies that are certified by Google to oversee Google Ad Grants for nonprofits.

Fun fact: RankMonsters was one of the original nine companies asked to join this program by Google

The best way to optimize your Ad Grant in 2021 is to optimize your site by implementing SEO practices, which is exactly what RankMonsters does.

How RankMonsters Can Help Your Nonprofit!

Maximize Your Exposure

The Google Ad Grant allows your ads to show up at the top of search results for your main keywords. With this program you can increase your online exposure and appear in front of your target audience any time they are searching for your services.

Advertise Services & Products

The Google Ad Grant lets you advertise your nonprofit’s services and products to searchers online. Using the Ad Grant, you can reach a much wider audience of motivated searchers with advertisements targeted to the keywords they are looking for.

Connect with Donors

The Google Ad Grant allows you to reach out to potential donors and volunteers online. With this program you can target ads specifically to donors looking for nonprofits to assist or to volunteers looking for an organization to work alongside.

Advertise Events

Google Ads makes it easy to advertise events and special occasions without expending extra funds. The Ad Grant even allows you to target your ads to people seeking events or activities in your location to help increase attendance and reach more people.

Increase Brand Awareness

Using the Google Ad Grant, your ads can appear in searches broadly related to your services. This can allow you to increase awareness of your organization and brand among the general public, or to build interest in one part of your organization’s offerings.

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Receive Valuable Data

When you use Google Ads, you receive valuable data about the people searching for your keywords and clicking on your advertisements. This data makes it easier to target future ads, and it also provides valuable insight into your online audience.

To learn more about our services and how we can partner with you to achieve your goals, call us today at 405-605-8218 or send us a message online!

Identifying the Vulnerabilities Within Your Non-Profit

Identifying the Vulnerabilities Within Your Non-Profit

Identifying the Vulnerabilities Within Your Non-Profit

Whether your non-profit is established or just starting out, it’s incredibly important to keep an eye on any and all vulnerabilities. When you are aware of the vulnerabilities within your company, you can stay ahead of any future problems. Being business-aware can only lead to growth and security. It’s not fun or easy fixing problem after problem, but it is necessary if you want your non-profit to thrive. Not every non-profit is the same, but each one share many of the same vulnerabilities. So lets dive into identifying the vulnerabilities within your non-profit!

Vulnerability One: Yourself

Let’s face it: The biggest vulnerbility to your non-profit is yourself. Our biggest enemy is almost always ourselves. There is likely something within your own company’s practices that you can’t stand. For example, using Microsoft Word over Google Docs. Your team prefers to use Google Docs, but you avoid it like the plague because you haven’t used it before. It wouldn’t be hard to learn the process, but you simply can’t do it right now because you have other pressing matters. By setting some time aside and using Google Docs, you could streamline sharing documents and processes with your team. This applies to all aspects of your business. While your time is precious, you want to make sure you’re also setting aside time to improve your interactions with your team members.

Vulnerability Two: Your Board

If your board is anything like you, then they are incredibly passionate about your cause. That’s a great thing, but without proper communication, a lot of problems can quickly surface. If as the director you don’t properly and clearly define everyone’s roles within your non-profit, your board members may try to take on more of a leadership role then you may like. This can lead to them making decisions that may not align with the plans you have envisioned but have failed to communicate clearly. It’s a best practice to be very clear and communicate everything going on so that you all are on the same page.

Vulnerability Three: Your Employees

There are more potential vulnerabilities between you and your employees than you may realize. Not just silent issues like allegations of wrongful termination or payroll discrepancies, but your intellectual property can also be at risk, as well as your income source, such as your customers and/or donors. That’s why it’s important to have non-competition contracts and contracts that protect all aspects of your business. Let’s also look at this in another dynamic: the duties of your employees. If you don’t properly define what you expect from your employees, then how can you expect anything other than subpar results? This further reinforces the idea that communication is key in all aspects of your non-profit.

Vulnerability Four: Your Competition

The competition will always be an issue you face. Nothing you do will make this problem go away. It boils down to three questions you need to ask yourself: are you keeping an eye on them, are you watching the trends, and what your competitors are doing?

A great example could be comparing Blockbuster to Netflix. If Blockbuster had adapted to what Netflix was doing, they could still be growing; instead, they have one location left. With their lack of response, Netflix grew and became what Blockbuster could have been. Now you most likely aren’t competing with a company as formidable as Netflix, but it’s still important to keep your cards close to your chest and an eye on your competitors.

Vulnerability Five: The Economy

When the economy collapses, so does revenue. There is no better time than now to discuss this vulnerability. COVID-19 has changed the way we collect revenue and go about doing our work. It most likely has impacted the number of donations you receive, especially if those donors depend on the oil industry. We are facing an oil collapse like never seen before; just this month oil prices dropped below zero in a historic low dwarfing the 1986 oil collapse. Such events like these can really throw a wrench in your plans. That’s why it’s so important to understand your donors. After all, their income is your revenue. You also want to make sure you don’t put all your eggs in one basket so that when an industry your donor is in sees a decline, you have donors in other thriving industries to offset that loss.

Vulnerability Six: Big Brother

The last thing you ever want to hear is “someone saying they’re with the government is here” so let’s make sure that doesn’t happen, and that if it does, all your t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted! It’s important to know how the government can harm your non-profit. Regulations and funding can cause critical vulnerabilities, so make sure you stay on top of your compliance with big brother.

Vulnerability Seven: Your Customers

You may not have thought about this being a potential vulnerability, but believe it. For example, a group of customers could grow angry with an aspect of your business and try to bring legal action against you. That’s why it’s so important to stay in governmental compliance. It also wouldn’t hurt to make sure you have proper legal protections in place.

Vulnerability Eight: Your Vendor

Next up on this list of vulnerabilities are your vendors. Let’s imagine you donate shoes to children all over the world and, in order to get these shoes, you work with multiple vendors. If one or more can’t provide what you need on time, this can seriously slow down the donation process and create many headaches. It’s important that you and your vendors enter into a legally binding contract so that they can be held responsible for any breaches of contract, maintaining your reputation for reliability.

Vulnerability Nine: Your Reputation

Reputation is everything. Without that, your word is meaningless; in the worst case scenario, you can end up being blacklisted in your community. A great example of the importance of reputation management are online reviews. Word of mouth can make or break you. That’s why it’s important to have a process in place to get those reviews. You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t have people that love what you do, so it’s important to ask them to support you through giving your non-profit a review and providing testimony on how you had a positive impact in their life. In addition, when you receive negative reviews, always try to reply to them within a 48 hours period. This shows both your donors and potential customers that you take negative reviews seriously and do your due diligence to fix the problem.

Now You Know

Now that you can identifying the vulnerabilities within your non-profit , you can brainstorm new policies with your board. If you were already ahead of the game when it came to these issues, then kudos, you’re doing great! The team of business lawyers at Davis Business Law hopes that this has helped you see aspects of your non-profit that can be improved and has given you ideas on what should be implemented during the creation of your non-profit organization.

 

Website Analytics Benchmarks

Website Analytics Benchmarks

When you’re diving into the sea of data that Google Analytics collects for your website, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed or not understand what all of the metrics are telling you. In this article, we’re going to take a look at some of the more commonly used metrics, such as bounce rate, time on site, pageviews, conversions, and what the generally accepted website analytics benchmarks are for each, based on information provided by Google and by various SEO experts in the field today.

What is Bounce Rate?

Google defines a “bounce” as a single-page session on your website. That is, when a visitor follows a link to your website and leaves the website without visiting other pages. Your website’s bounce rate is simply the number of all single-page sessions (bounces) divided by the total number of all sessions on your website.

When viewing bounce rates, it’s important to keep your website’s goal in mind. If your goal is to sell a product or to get visitors to explore your website, then a high bounce rate is a major warning sign. However, if your website is geared to provide all the necessary information on a single page, a high bounce rate is probably a good sign.  It means they didn’t have to search your website or go to other pages to find what they needed; everything was in one place and your website is performing exactly as you want it to.

Bounce Rate Standards

Bounce rates don’t currently have an across the board standard, as each website has a different goal, and each goal has a different bounce rate. Also, contact us pages and blogs will typically have high bounce rates, as visitors are looking solely to interact with that page alone. Under the lens of a worldwide “average” bounce rate benchmark, anything over 50% is considered high and worth taking a look at, and anything between 20-50% is considered low. Anything under 20% is likely an error. Again, these are worldwide standards. If a website is over 50% bounce rate, it doesn’t mean the website is performing poorly. You simply need to then look at the purpose of the website and if the bounce rate reflects it well. If anything, bounce rate is best used to give you information on visitors and their experience on your site.

Bounce Rate Benchmarks (per Google Analytics)

  • Landing pages with one call to action: 70-90%
  • Content Websites: 40-60%
  • Lead Generation: 30-50%
  • Blogs: 70-98%

The following are some helpful graphs that provide a closer look at bounce rate benchmarks by device, industry, channel, and device type (all graphs are courtesy of CXL).

 

Time on Site Benchmarks

Anything under 20 seconds is a major red flag, as that’s barely enough time for a visitor to look at the page, much less read its content. 40-50 seconds is a great start, as it means you have their attention. In general, anything over 2 minutes is the accepted standard for websites.

Pageview Benchmarks

Pageviews are much like bounce rates; there is no universal benchmark. Again, if your website is information based, a single pageview could mean your website is doing exactly what it’s supposed to do: provide everything in one place. For the sake of discussion, however, let’s look at the e-commerce industry standards:

  • 1.58 sessions/user
  • 5 avg. pages/session
  • 3 mins avg. session duration
  • 41.26% bounce rate

What does this tell us? For e-commerce, having a high number of pages/session is good, as you want people to browse their products. Having a sessions/user number that is higher than 1 is ideal, as it means visitors are returning to the site at least once. A 3 min average session duration is also good, as that’s a very good time for a user to spend on a website (remember, 40-50 seconds good and 2+ minutes is the benchmark). Lastly, a 41.26% bounce rate means over half of their visitors are going beyond their landing page and interacting with the site, which is exactly what you want to see.

Conversion Rate Benchmarks

The average conversion rate in Google Ads across all industries is 3.17% on the search network and 0.46% on the display network. Using the health & medical industry as an example, the 2018 averages were as follows:

  • 3.27% CTR for search ads
  • 0.59% CTR for the Google Display Network
  • 3.36% avg. conversion rate for search ads
  • 0.82% avg. conversion rate for the Google Display Network

Other Useful Information

  • In 2016, 42% of companies had hired a content strategist executive.
  • As of 2017, content marketing (i.e. blogs) gets 3x more leads than paid search advertising.

We hope this has been a helpful overview of some of Google Analytics’ most commonly used metrics and that you have gained a deeper understanding of what these metrics can tell you about not only the performance of your website, but also the visitor experience and engagement with your content.

RankMonsters is a Google Ad Grant Certified Professional Agency

RankMonsters is a Google Ad Grant Certified Professional Agency

Our team at RankMonsters is proud to announce that we’re now listed as Google Ad Grant Certified Professionals. As one of the first agencies to be included in this program, we’re very excited to continue our work with both the Ad Grants team at Google and with nonprofits around North America and beyond.

Google Ads Logo

The Goal Of A Certified Google  Ad Grant Professional

According to Google, the goal of the Certified Professionals Community is to “enhance the Ad Grants experience for professionals and Grantees alike.” Google recognizes that there are many challenges for nonprofits when it comes to understanding the Google Ads platform and managing the Ad Grant. Through this initiative, nonprofits will be able to find trustworthy agencies and partners to help apply for and manage their Ad Grants.

When you partner with RankMonsters to manage your Google Ad Grant, you get an experienced and engaged partner to help with every aspect of your Grant account. We’ve worked with nonprofits across the US and Canada of every type and size, from single-person organizations to large museums and libraries.

What We Bring To The Table

Here are a few of the benefits you can see when you work with RankMonsters to manage your Google Ad Grant:

  • Fast Approval – If you don’t have the Grant yet, our team can help you get approved quickly and without unnecessary delays.

     

  • Free Applications – We will help your nonprofit apply for the Google Ad Grant for no charge and with no obligation to use our management services.
  • Experienced Management – Our team has years of experience managing both standard Google Ads campaigns and Ad Grant accounts. We can recognize issues before they become problems, and help respond to and solve them fast.
  • Full Reporting – Every month you get a complete and detailed report of your campaign’s performance and progress.
  • No Strings – Our goal is to help your nonprofit fulfill its mission. Because of that, all of our services are straightforward and can be canceled at any time.

Let Us Help You Help Others

If you’re interested in partnering with us to apply for or manage your Google Ad Grant, simply fill out the form on our website or give us a call at (405) 605-8218 today. We’re ready to help your organization take the next steps toward online success!

Understanding TechSoup for Nonprofits

Understanding TechSoup for Nonprofits

 TechSoup is an organization that partners with technology and service providers to grant opportunities to nonprofits online. They help nonprofits access special tools and services, such as technical assistance and discounts on computer programs and hardware. TechSoup has partnerships with companies like Google, Microsoft, Adobe, Cisco and Symantec. Your TechSoup membership can be a valuable asset. Especially if you are trying to grow your nonprofit and save money on much-needed tools.

How To Apply

In order to apply for the special programs offered by Google, Microsoft and more; TechSoup provides NGO (non governmental organizations), validation services foundations, libraries, and other civil society organizations worldwide. These validation services allow TechSoup’s partners to know your organization is a legitimate nonprofit. In effect, TechSoup verifies your nonprofit status and makes it easier for you to access special nonprofit tools and offerings from their partners.

TechSoup and the Google for Nonprofits Program

One of the requirements for the Google for Nonprofits program is for your organization to have an active TechSoup membership. Google requires nonprofits to apply for TechSoup as a way of verifying your nonprofit status and identity. Once you are validated by TechSoup, you will be able to get a validation token that you will use on your Google for Nonprofits Membership application.

When you work with RankMonsters to apply for the Google for Nonprofits program, we will walk your organization through the enrollment process for TechSoup. This ensures your organization gets the required validation token that you need to apply for the Google for Nonprofits program and other online offerings.

TechSoup Benefits

Your TechSoup membership carries several benefits, including:

  • Discounts on useful software including Microsoft Windows, Adobe Creative Cloud, Intuit Quickbooks and more.
  • Refurbished desktop and laptop computers to help keep your organization connected and up-to-date.
  • Cloud services consultations to get your organization set up for future success online.
  • Dedicated IT assistance to help keep your nonprofit running smoothly.

TechSoup Eligibility

Most 501(c)(3) nonprofits are eligible for TechSoup. To check your organization’s eligibility you can visit the TechSoup website and take a short quiz about your nonprofit’s activities and budget. The eligibility for the programs and tools available to TechSoup members varies. You can check your eligibility for the various programs after your TechSoup enrollment is completed.

Want RankMonsters to Help?

RankMonsters can help your organization enroll in TechSoup, as well as other programs for nonprofits. Call (405) 605-8218 today to speak to one of our representatives today!