It has been well documented on this blog that the Google Grants program is of great benefit to non-profit organizations. However there are still a number of misconceptions about the program and how it relates to small organizations. This article will address the most common myths that I hear about the Google Grants program.
The Top 7 Myths for Small Non-Profits and Google Grants
Myth #1 – You Will Use the Full $10,000 per Month
The Reality: The average participant in the Google Grants program ‘spends’ $300 per month.
The limiting factor in this equation is the number of people who search for your keywords in the geographic area you have defined. For example, if 500 people see your ads and decide to click on them you will have used $1,000 (assuming it costs the full $2/click you are allowed).
For small non-profits who have a regional, not national, presence it is hard to use the full $10,000. Don’t be disappointed if you don’t use the full amount each month. Instead, focus on your goals and monitor the results.
Myth #2 – Having a Google Grant Is Free
The Reality: Managing your Google Grant costs staff time and salary.
The major cost is employee wages. Starting and running a successful online advertising campaign takes skill, knowledge and time. If your organization does not have a marketing department or a staff member that specializes in online marketing, this could be a burden on your resources.
For more information on this topic click here.
Myth #3 – Small Non-Profits Can’t Compete with Large Organizations on Google
The Reality: Small organizations that serve local clients may have the upper hand.
Google rewards relevancy. Including your city or region in your keywords is helpful in having your ads shown to users searching for keywords in a specific geographic area. For example, someone who lives in Toronto and searches the term ‘places to volunteer in Toronto’ will more likely be shown your ad over a national organization’s ad assuming everything else is equal.
To capture the most traffic, it is a good idea to also use descriptive keywords that include your city.
Myth #4 – Google Grants Will Mean Increased Fundraising
The Reality: Direct fundraising is difficult with Google AdWords.
This is one area that large nationally recognized non-profits are at a definite advantage. For smaller organizations it is difficult to convert users searching for your programs directly into donors. However, it is very possible to capture the email addresses of visitors to your site. By doing this, it is easier to stay in touch with the people who have searched for your keywords and turn them into future donors and supporters of your organization.
Click here for more information on Using Google Grants to Build Your Contact List.
Myth #5 – AdWords Is Easy For Staff to Learn and Manage
The Reality: Google AdWords is complex and can be difficult for a beginner to learn.
There are a lot of online resources to help you learn AdWords, but there are no shortcuts. Search Engine Marketing takes time and effort to learn and the Google Grants program is no exception. When starting out with AdWords, it is easier to digest if you don’t overwhelm yourself on the first day. Learn at your own pace and designate small blocks of time that you dedicate to learning the program.
For a head start, read the Getting the Most Out of Your Google Grant Series.
Myth #6 – Small Non-Profits Won’t See a Benefit from Google Grants
The Reality: Any organization who offers programs and services that are searched for online will benefit.
You don’t need to have an overwhelming response to your ads in order to benefit from this program. If your non-profit is highly focused and only offers services that are sought after by a small segment of your community it is okay to not see a huge influx of traffic.
Take the time to set up campaigns that are important to you. You never know who will find you online – potential volunteers, clients, partners – but this will only happen if you set up related campaigns.
Myth #7 – Applying to Google Grants is Difficult
The Reality: It isn’t.
Applying for a Google Grant for your organization is not difficult at all. The application is very straight forward and shouldn’t take too much time to complete. The hardest part is deciding to apply.
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