Google Ad Grants: Successful Keyword Strategies

Keywords are the foundation of your nonprofit’s Google Ad Grants account. Check out these tips on how to find effective keywords.

Before getting into keyword strategies, here’s a quick outline on how to set up keywords in your Google Ad Grants account.

Step 1:

When you’re logged into your account, you will see all your campaigns and ad groups on the left hand side of the screen. Click on the specific ad group that you want to add keywords to and then click on the “Add keywords” button.

Step 2:

Enter a list of keywords – one per line – and hit “save.” If you need ideas for keywords, check the suggestions provided by Google Adwords on the right. You can also click on the link to the “Keyword Tool” for more ideas.

Google Ad Grants keywords

Now, let’s move on to keyword strategies. Choosing keywords that are relevant to your nonprofit’s mission is vital to the success of your account. But don’t go for broad terms like “donate” or “nonprofit.” You will only be setting yourself up for disappointment.

At the same time, don’t pick keywords that are too specific. For example, if you work for a nature conservation group in Seattle, using a keyword like “501(c)3 Pacific Northwest wilderness conservation” certainly isn’t going to work.

So how do you find perfect keywords?

1. Use the Adwords Keyword Tool

This built-in tool can give you dozens of relevant keywords for your site. You can enter either a list of keywords you think are relevant to your nonprofit or provide the URL to your site, and you’ll receive a list of hundreds of keywords. Review these keywords carefully, because not all of them will be relevant to your nonprofit.

2. Find Inspiration in Keyword Details

In the “Keywords” tab, click on the “Details” button to get a list of searches users made on Google that activated your ads. Look over this list and see if anything sticks out to you. For Rainforest Alliance, we found that there were hundreds of searches each day for “rainforest animals.” This gave us the idea to make new pages on their site about the impacts of deforestation on rainforest animals. Once the new pages were ready, we created new ad groups centered on different jungle animals like macaws, toucans, jaguars and spider monkeys.

So if there isn’t any relevant content on your nonprofit’s site for particular keywords, you can always add new content that contain those keywords.

3. Turn to Your Old Friend – the Thesaurus

What’s a synonym for deforestation? How about clearcutting or logging? Use a thesaurus to find alternate words to use as keywords.

4. Use Google Analytics

Your website should be equipped with Google Analytics or a similar tracking program. Use this to find keywords. Check out these simple steps on how you can set up Google Analytics for your nonprofit.

5. Think Outside the Box

Don’t limit yourself to only the obvious keywords. For example the SPCA of Monterey County was able to increase pet adoptions by bidding on the keyword terms “buy a dog” and “dogs for sale.”

Download our Google Ad Grants whitepaper, which features step-by-step instructions on creating a successful Google Ad Grants account. Also, follow @GoogleAdGrants on Twitter, where we post daily tips on making the most of your nonprofit’s Google Ad Grants account. Questions? Leave a comment below or send us a note at connect [at] mediacause [dot] org.