You hopefully already know that using your independent school or nonprofit’s brand as a basis for marketing is essential. But, whether you’re new at digital marketing or a master, it’s less likely that you can make sense of the data that your digital marketing tools collect — or that you understand how to use that data to make the most of paid search.
Please allow us to help. While becoming adept at using data analytics and paid search can seem daunting, upgrading your understanding to advance your mission — for free — is within your reach right now.
Paid search tools (of which Google AdWords is the prime example) let you purchase, create, and focus advertisements that appear directly within search engine results. When a user searches for a word or phrase that you’ve specified (a “keyword”), they get their search results back including your ad at the top. You’ve probably seen these search ads identified by a small “Ad” icon.
On Google Search, these ads are set up using Google AdWords. Below is an example:
To use Google AdWords, you create an ad and select keywords that align with the terms for which you expect your audiences to search. For example, if you’re marketing director of the Save the Unicorns Foundation, your keywords might be “rainbow tail” and “one horn,” because you understand people searching for those terms are most likely to care about unicorns and therefore your mission.
When those people notice your ad at the top of their search results, they’re more apt to click on it and reach your website, where they can take a desired action. Whether you want them to apply for enrollment, register for a program, or donate, linking a search ad to the specific page on your website where that action can be taken is effective digital marketing. And, for nonprofit organizations that enroll in the Google Ad Grant Program, it’s also free.
When you first set up your nonprofit’s Google AdWords account, you’ll want to begin by enrolling in the Google for Nonprofits program. Once your application is approved, you can then enroll in the Google Ad Grant Program, which provides your organization with up to $10,000 worth of free advertising per month.
(If you’re setting up a paid account, you can get started directly on the Google Ads site. There are some key differences between grant-funded and paid ad campaigns explained on Google’s forum.)
Your account serves as the collection point for all of your campaigns. Each campaign, in turn, can have its own ad groups, ads, and keywords. This set-up helps you organize and grow your efforts as you learn and as your campaigns become more sophisticated.
Here’s an illustration of how each Google AdWords account is organized:
Once you’re set up, you’ll want to define a goal for your first marketing campaign. By focusing on one desired outcome, you make it easier to assess you who you’re reaching and how effectively.
Here’s a high-level, step-by-step look at how to get started with your first Google AdWords campaign. (For more, head over to Google’s support forum.)
There is, frankly, a lot of data to sort through with anything that Google touches. Google AdWords is no exception. Here’s an introduction to what your account will look like:
And here’s a brief breakdown of a few key terms, so you’ll know what data to watch:
Google AdWords isn’t right for every nonprofit organization, but because it’s so powerful, so adjustable, and free, you may want to include it in your box of digital tools.
Interested in learning more? See how Mission Minded’s brand and strategy-focused approach has helped our clients achieve their digital goals.