How Nonprofits Can Run Successful Google Ads [6 Things to Know]

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How can nonprofits have successful Google Ads? Nonprofits can have successful Google Ads by following Google Grant guidelines (if eligible), targeting the right audience, conducting keyword research, crafting compelling ad copy, monitoring performance metrics, and adjusting campaigns regularly.

Nonprofits have the unique challenge of reaching out to potential donors, making themselves visible in a sea of other causes, and ultimately getting people to give. One of the most popular and effective ways to do this today is through Google Ads. Google Ads provide your nonprofit organization with an opportunity to get visible in the search engine, reach your target audience, and drive donations.

However, it’s not as simple as setting up a campaign and waiting for the donations to roll in. Here are six things to know about running successful Google Ads for nonprofits.

Nonprofits That Use Google Grants Need to Follow the Guidelines

Google Ad Grants is a program specifically designed for nonprofit organizations, providing access to up to $10,000 per month in Google Ads. Your nonprofit organizations must apply for Google grants to receive them and follow strict guidelines set out by Google to be eligible. Among other things, your ads must:

  • Clearly state your mission and how donations will be used.
  • Link back to the relevant page on your website that explains your mission and how donations will be used.
  • Be appropriate for a diverse audience.
  • Use the same domain as your website.
  • Not seek commercial gain.

It’s important that you stay up to date with current guidelines or work with a digital marketing agency that specializes in Google Ads for nonprofits. That way, you can make adjustments in your campaigns as needed. If your nonprofit isn’t eligible for Google Grants, you can still use Google Ads by paying for them.

Define the Target Audience for Your Nonprofit’s Google Ads

Defining a target audience may seem like the most natural step when running any ad campaign, but it’s important to be very specific with Google Ads for nonprofits. Think about who you want your ads to reach and use demographic data, such as age, gender, income level, location and more, to narrow down your audience.

Defining your target audience goes hand in hand with researching the type of keywords or phrases people are using in their searches that pertain to your cause (we’ll cover keywords next!). Once you have an idea of who you want to reach with your ads and how they search for information related to your organization, you can create targeted campaigns that will reach the right people.

Image of a man doing research on a computer symbolizing Soulheart's blog titled How Nonprofits Can Run Successful Google Ads [6 Things to Know].

Use the Right Keywords in Your Google Ads

Choosing the right keywords is crucial for any Google ad campaign, and nonprofits are no exception. Ensure that the keywords you choose reflect the language your target audience uses when searching for content related to your organization. Use a mix of keywords to reach different types of people.

For example, if you’re running an ad campaign for a homeless shelter, you could use keywords like “homeless shelters,” “housing for the homeless,” and “emergency homelessness services.” This will help you to reach those looking for more general information and those who are in immediate need of help. A great way to research and test the popularity of keywords is to use keyword research tools like Google Ads Keyword Planner or Ahrefs.

Image of lots of different words representing Soulheart's blog titled How Nonprofits Can Run Successful Google Ad Grants [6 Things to Know].

Tailor Your Google Ad Copy to Your Nonprofit’s Audience

Your ad copy needs to stand out in a sea of other ads. Get creative and find a compelling message that will help your ad stand out while also conveying your mission.

For example, if you want to run an ad for a pet adoption campaign, you could say something like “Give a loving home to a pet in need today.” This speaks to the emotion of potential donors and reminds them that their donation will help a pet find a home.

Avoid overly technical or jargon-filled language and focus on what your nonprofit does, why it matters, and the difference it makes.

Keep Track of Your Google Ad Metrics

Your ad campaign will not be successful if you don’t track and measure it. Google Ads provide you with valuable insights like click-through rates, conversion rates, and bounce rates. As you track your campaigns, it’s important to make changes to ensure that they are as effective as possible (we’ll cover that next!).

You can use tools like Google Analytics or Hotjar to track your website performance and optimize it for the highest impact. This will help you identify any weaknesses in your campaigns, such as low click-through rates, and adjust accordingly.

Ensure you’re tracking these metrics regularly, making the necessary tweaks in the campaign to improve its performance.

Image of a chart on a laptop symbolizing Soulheart's blog titled How Nonprofits Can Run Successful Google Grant Ads [6 Things to Know].

Test and Tweak Your Google Ad Campaigns

Your Google Ads are likely not going to be perfect the first time around. Try multiple versions of your ad copy, keywords, and ad groups to see which combinations give you the best results. You can also split-test your ads, which means running two versions of the same ad side-by-side. This helps you identify which ad resonates most with your target audience and gives you the best return on investment.

Don’t be afraid to test what works and what doesn’t and tweak your campaigns. Be open to experimenting with different audiences and targeting, and always look for ways to optimize your campaigns. Not only will this give you great performance data, but it can also help build the perfect audience for your nonprofit.

How Soulheart Helps Nonprofits’ Google Ads Thrive

Digital marketing agencies can help nonprofits with their Google Ads by setting up and managing their campaigns, researching keywords, creating ad copy, and providing ongoing analysis.

At Soulheart, we specialize in helping nonprofits maximize the impact of their digital marketing efforts. We have a team of experts that will work with you to create effective Google Ads campaigns tailored to your nonprofit’s needs and goals. We help ensure that these campaigns are running smoothly and efficiently so that you can reach out to more potential donors, build awareness around your cause, and generate donations for your organization.

Get Google Ads for Your Nonprofit

Google Ads is a powerful tool for nonprofits to reach their target audience, encourage donations, and ultimately get their cause the visibility it deserves. By following these strategies, nonprofits can make the most of their advertising budget and make sure their Google Ads are delivering the best results.

We understand that starting or optimizing a Google Ads campaign for a nonprofit organization takes time and effort. That’s why Soulheart is Google Ads certified and here to help you every step of the way so your ad campaigns are effective, efficient, and successful. Contact us today and let’s get started!

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Post by

Claudia Macdonald

Claudia Macdonald

Claudia is a content and project manager at Soulheart. She’s written for and managed content departments of digital marketing and creative agencies, specifically in the nonprofit sector. She loves Jesus, people, and stories.
Claudia Macdonald
Post by

Claudia Macdonald

Claudia is a content and project manager at Soulheart. She’s written for and managed content departments of digital marketing and creative agencies, specifically in the nonprofit sector. She loves Jesus, people, and stories.

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