Google Ad Grant: The Ultimate Guide for Nonprofits

Google Ad Grant: The Ultimate Guide for Nonprofits

Google Ad Grant: The Ultimate Guide for Nonprofits

This is an additional resource for Digital Marketing Therapy Podcast episode 259.

For nonprofit organizations, raising awareness and driving engagement are key to achieving missions. A strong digital presence is crucial for this. A well-executed online strategy, potentially utilizing Google Ads, can help nonprofits reach a wider audience and amplify their impact. 

The Google Ad Grant offers nonprofits $10,000 in free Google Ads advertising each month. Tjos can make a significant difference in a nonprofit’s efforts to increase visibility. This means organizations can direct their valuable resources to what matters most.

Table of Contents:

How does a Google Ad grant work?

Imagine someone searching online for information. They type keywords into a search engine, like Google. Google Ads work by displaying targeted ads to users based on these keywords.

With the Google Ad grant program, eligible nonprofits receive $10,000 per month in Google Ads credits. They can then use these credits to bid on keywords related to their cause. When users search using those keywords, the nonprofit’s ad might appear at the top or bottom of the search results page.

Understanding Google Ad Grants vs. Paid Google Ads

You might be thinking “What’s the difference between Google Ad Grants and paid Google Ads?”. They function similarly by displaying ads based on keyword searches. However, Google Ad Grants come with a few unique aspects.

Firstly, regular advertisers pay for each click on their ads. Google covers the cost of clicks on Google Grant ads, up to a monthly limit of $10,000. This means eligible nonprofits receive free advertising. The Google Ad Grant program does have a few restrictions to ensure fair use.

Secondly, Google Ad Grant ads mainly operate on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis. This is just like paid Google Ads. But a Google ad grant website restricts maximum bids. This ensures that nonprofits don’t overspend.

Website Requirements for Google Ad Grants

Google has certain eligibility requirements in place to qualify for a Google Ad grant. First, nonprofits must be registered with Google for Nonprofits. This program offers nonprofits various Google tools like Google Workplace.

One critical aspect for approval involves having a secure and properly structured website. Imagine clicking on an ad and landing on a poorly designed website. This wouldn’t inspire much confidence.

Here are a few important elements that every Google ad grant website should have:

Element Description
SSL Certificate An SSL certificate encrypts data transmitted between a website and a user’s browser. It ensures that sensitive information is protected from unauthorized access. Websites with SSL certificates display a padlock icon in the address bar, signaling to visitors that their information is safe. Google considers website security a crucial ranking factor, as it directly impacts user trust.
Mobile Responsiveness In today’s mobile-first world, websites must be accessible and visually appealing on any device, including smartphones and tablets. Websites need to be easy to read, navigate, and interact with.
Clear Website Navigation Website navigation should guide visitors through different sections, pages, and information in a user-friendly manner. Intuitive navigation menus and clear calls-to-action allow visitors to easily access content or take desired actions.

Content Requirements for Google Ad Grant Websites

When creating your website’s content, remember the following tips to meet Google’s requirements.

  1. Clearly Articulate Mission & Impact: Users need to understand what your organization does, what your mission is, and how their contributions will help your nonprofit achieve it. Transparency builds trust, a vital factor Google considers.
  2. Use Relevant Keywords Strategically: Your content should be easy to find when users search for relevant information. To attract the right audience, your site’s content needs to include these words organically. Consider what terms people searching for information in your industry would use.
  3. Optimize Website for Conversions: Driving traffic to a site is the first step, but encouraging visitors to take action is key. Actions like signing up for a newsletter, donating, or registering are conversions, crucial for measuring campaign success.

By structuring your content around these areas, you create an informative user experience. More importantly, it becomes much easier for Google to understand and index your site’s content. This increases its chances of appearing in relevant searches.

FAQs about Google ad grant website

What are the website requirements for Google Ad Grant?

Your organization must be a registered 501(c)(3) or have a similar designation depending on where you reside. Other requirements for approval include owning your website’s domain, having high-quality content, mobile optimization, clear calls to action, and transparent donation processing. You want to make sure your website is set up for success to help with conversion rates and driving traffic.

What is the Google grant of $10,000?

It is an “in-kind” donation of $10,000 in Google Ads spend every single month. Your organization can apply for the grant through Google for Nonprofits. Nonprofits can utilize this for numerous campaigns based on their fundraising goals.

How does the Google Ad Grant work?

Organizations can use the funds from their grant to bid on different keywords related to their cause. For example, animal shelters may target search terms like “adopt a pet” or “volunteer opportunities”. When a user searches for one of the keywords you are bidding on, your ad could be shown at the top or bottom of the search results page.

How do I access Google Ad Grant?

Organizations can receive up to $10,000 per month of in-kind advertising which can be used to promote their missions and initiatives. This is essentially free Google advertising for nonprofits. The first step is to apply for Google for Nonprofits. Once you are approved, you can then apply for Google Ad Grants.

Conclusion

The Google ad grant program represents a remarkable opportunity for nonprofits. It can help boost their digital marketing presence and raise awareness for their cause. This resource offers incredible value that’s accessible. With some strategic planning, creative thinking, and a well-designed website, you can maximize the Google Ad Grant.

Revamp for Impact: Your Nonprofit Website Redesign Guide

Revamp for Impact: Your Nonprofit Website Redesign Guide

Revamp for Impact: Your Nonprofit Website Redesign Guide

This is an additional resource for Digital Marketing Therapy Podcast episode 258 with David Pisarek.

Running a nonprofit is hard. You’re passionate about your cause, but let’s be real, managing a website often falls to the bottom of the to-do list. But a nonprofit website redesign shouldn’t send you running for the hills. It can truly transform how you connect with donors, volunteers, and the community you serve.

Think of your website as your online home. A well-designed, modern website makes it welcoming, engaging, and frankly, makes people want to stick around (and maybe even donate.). It might be the first impression someone has of your organization – it better be good.

Table of Contents:

Is Your Nonprofit Website Due for a Redesign?

You’re crazy busy, so figuring out if you even “need” a nonprofit website redesign might feel overwhelming. It’s a big task. But trust me, some signs shouldn’t be ignored.

1. Your Bounce Rate is Higher than a Trampoline Park

Are folks hitting your site and then bouncing right back to Google? That’s called a high bounce rate. If your analytics (you have those, right?) make you sweat more than a Zumba class, it’s time to reassess.

A high bounce rate might mean confusing navigation, clunky design, or content that just doesn’t grab folks. All of these issues can make potential donors, volunteers, and supporters click away before they even learn about your amazing work.

2. You’re Stuck in a Time Warp

That old website from 2002? Yeah, we gotta let that go. Seriously, if your site still rocks the same look as your first flip phone, you’re due for a refresh. And by refresh, I don’t mean adding another animated GIF.

Design trends change quickly, so we’ve got to adapt. A modern website design signifies to visitors that you are credible and can be taken seriously.

3. Your Mobile Experience Makes Donors Frown

Let’s be honest, more people are scrolling on their phones than ever before. And guess what? They’re donating on their phones, too. In fact, in 2021, almost 30% of online donations were made from mobile devices.

A jumbled mess on mobile just screams, “donate somewhere else.”. Your website should work seamlessly on a smartphone. A seamless mobile experience on your nonprofit website can mean the difference between gaining a new recurring donor or losing them to a competitor.

4. You’re Ignoring Your Analytics

I get it, numbers can feel intimidating, like trying to decipher a foreign language. But hear me out – they’re crucial. Take a peek – what are people clicking on? Ignoring those pages that no one’s visiting?

Analytics can feel like a chore, kind of like filing taxes. But website analytics help us make smart choices and use our budget wisely. When we use data to guide our website strategy we make sure we are using our resources effectively.

5. It’s Hard to Find Crucial Info (Even You Struggle)

Can’t find your mission statement without playing hide-and-seek with the menu bar? If finding key details is mission impossible for *you*, it’s definitely a sign it’s time for a change.

We’ve got to make it ridiculously easy for people to find what they need. I’m talking contact info, donation buttons (that actually work), and stories about your impact. This is super important for making a great first impression, too.

Red Flags? It’s Go Time. Planning Your Nonprofit Website Redesign

So, a couple of red flags have popped up? Don’t worry, this doesn’t have to be scary. It’s just time for some tough love for your online home. Start thinking through these stages, you will be that much closer to meeting your goals.

1. Get Crystal Clear on Your “Why”

I talk a lot about “why” with my clients, but in my experience it’s something people have a hard time articulating. You’ve got to nail down *why* you’re doing this nonprofit website redesign in the first place.

Are you trying to boost donations? Ramp up volunteer sign-ups? Become the go-to resource for your cause? Getting specific sets us up for success. Defining goals for our nonprofit website is an important step in the redesign process.

2. Identify Your Nonprofit Website MVPs

Time to figure out who you are really speaking to. You need to know exactly who you are trying to connect with – and you don’t want to sound like a robot to those people. This is about truly connecting and making them understand.

I’ve learned the hard way – trying to appeal to *everyone* means you’ll resonate with *no one*. I once made this mistake when redesigning my own site, so trust me on this. Clearly identifying our target audience will allow us to create website content that converts.

3. Map Out Your Content Like a Pro

Time to ditch outdated content and prioritize. Get ready to embrace the Marie Kondo method. Only this time, instead of tidying your home, you’re spring cleaning your website. Remember – every single page needs a purpose. Think about things your audience actually needs from your website.

Maybe they need your address and hours for visiting or a clear idea of the problem you’re working to solve in your local community or maybe the world. And for goodness’ sake, make that donation button shine brighter than a disco ball (and easy to find, of course).

People often abandon their donations if the process takes too long. Make sure the pages and content are all focused around your goals. This helps with search engine optimization and the overall user experience of your site. Don’t let your bounce rate suffer from bad content.

Ready to Get Technical? Choosing the Right Tools

The next step? This is where some nonprofits get stuck because tech is changing rapidly. There’s more options than ever for web design platforms. If tech isn’t your thing (it certainly wasn’t mine starting out), consider consulting with an expert on the latest technology that will help you best reach your organization’s goals. 

If you want more resources on how to approach your website redesign take the quz “Should you DIY Your Website” from our sister company, The First Click.

Conclusion

Nonprofit website redesign isn’t just about a pretty new look; it’s about connecting with your community in a real way. Embrace the process, ditch outdated tech, make those calls to action clear, and keep your content fresh and focused.

With a well-executed nonprofit website redesign, your digital space will not only shine brighter than ever – but it’ll become a powerful tool for driving change.

Essential Website Accessibility Tips for Nonprofit Success

Essential Website Accessibility Tips for Nonprofit Success

Essential Website Accessibility Tips for Nonprofit Success

This is an additional resource for Digital Marketing Therapy Podcast episode 257 with Max Ivey.

As a website owner, you want everyone to access your content. This includes individuals with disabilities who may face barriers when navigating websites that aren’t designed with accessibility in mind. This is where website accessibility tips come into play. Implementing these website accessibility tips can lead to a better user experience for all visitors. It also helps you comply with accessibility standards and guidelines.

Table of Contents:

What Does Website Accessibility Mean?

Website accessibility refers to the practice of designing and developing websites everyone can use, including people with disabilities. This means ensuring your website can be navigated and understood regardless of a person’s physical limitations or disabilities. There are four key principles that form the foundation of website accessibility: Perceivable, Operable, Understandable and Robust (POUR).

The Four Principles of Accessibility

Perceivable

Information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways they can perceive. This means avoiding elements that exclude some of your users. For example, a person with a visual impairment might utilize a screen reader to access and navigate your website. If your website relies heavily on visual elements without text alternatives, those users would be excluded from accessing the content.

Operable

This principle centers around functionality. It ensures users with disabilities can interact with all elements on the page. Additionally, all functionality should be available from a keyboard.

Understandable

Making content easy to understand is vital to an accessible website. To achieve this, avoid ambiguous language. You should also ensure consistency in your navigation, provide clear instructions, and use headers to distinguish page structure.

Robust

Content must be robust enough that various user agents, including assistive technologies, can interpret it reliably. A variety of assistive technology devices, such as screen readers, are used to access and navigate websites.

Website Accessibility Tips

Now that you understand the importance of incorporating website accessibility best practices into your design process let’s explore some specific website accessibility tips. These tips will improve the overall user experience on your site for individuals with disabilities.

1. Include Alt Text for Images

Imagine not fully experiencing the visuals that make websites appealing. For people with visual impairments, this is a daily reality. That’s where alt text, a cornerstone of web accessibility, comes in.

Alt text involves adding a concise, descriptive text alternative to every image on your site. This text alternative isn’t visible to regular visitors. However, screen readers used by people who are blind or have low vision read it aloud. Image alt text should be simple and descriptive. If the image is only decorative, you can leave it blank.

2. Provide Captions and Transcripts for Videos and Audio Content

Creating an inclusive website isn’t just about visual accessibility; it also includes the audio component of user experience. If your site features videos or audio content, such as podcasts or webinars, accompany them with accurate captions and transcripts.

Adding captions to videos makes it easier for viewers to follow spoken content. This is especially helpful if they are in a noisy environment, have a slow internet connection, or are unfamiliar with the video’s language. Closed captions (CC) are captions that viewers can turn on and off.

In many cases, such as live broadcasts or user-generated content, closed captions aren’t available right away. If available, it is computer-generated and might contain inaccuracies. Open Captions, on the other hand, cannot be turned off because they are part of the video.

Think about watching a TED Talk. You might be surprised that captions are vital for many viewers to absorb and enjoy such content. Captions are non-negotiable for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to access information. This makes your content inclusive to a wider audience.

3. Ensure Your Website Has a Logical and Consistent Structure

Imagine navigating a library with no signage or an airport with scrambled departure boards. This chaotic and confusing experience is similar to what users who use assistive technologies experience when websites lack logical structure and predictable navigation flow.

A well-structured website isn’t just visually pleasing—it’s crucial for accessibility. Use a logical hierarchy for headings and subheadings (H1-H6) to break up your content into digestible chunks, providing context to assistive technologies about page structure.

You want to create an easy-to-follow path for all your visitors, guiding them smoothly through your content, regardless of their abilities. Stick to familiar layout conventions, like having the main navigation bar prominently placed at the top and keeping consistent placement for essential elements. For larger websites, a sitemap can be significant for all users.

This is crucial for visually impaired users, who may find it more difficult to grasp a website’s layout. A sitemap improves overall usability, regardless of whether a visitor requires assistive technology or not.

4. Ensure Your Website is Keyboard-Friendly

In a world increasingly driven by mouse clicks and touchscreens, we take for granted the keyboard’s essential role in making the web universally accessible. Not every user can easily operate a mouse, particularly those with mobility impairments.

Ensuring your website is navigable using only a keyboard isn’t an extra feature—it’s imperative for accessibility. Put yourself in the shoes of someone using a mouth stick, voice-controlled software, or a switch device to navigate the internet.

A website accessibility tip every website owner can implement is to test their website’s navigation using only their keyboard. Go through pages and forms, noticing if any element isn’t accessible with a simple tab keystroke. Pay special attention to interactive elements like drop-down menus, buttons, and links. Confirm they receive a visible focus indicator (usually a highlight or border) when selected using the tab key. If a visitor can do something with a mouse, they should also do it using their keyboard.

5. Write Descriptive and Informative Link Text

Think of link text as signposts that tell you where you’ll go next on your digital journey. However, for visually impaired users, those signposts can feel more like dead ends without clear and informative anchor text.

Avoid generic phrases like “Click here” or “read more.” Instead, use text that clearly conveys the link’s purpose. This specificity provides valuable context to your users—especially those relying on screen readers. For example, instead of:

To view our current services, click here.

You would write:

Learn more about our services.

6. Avoid Using Color as the Sole Method of Conveying Information

You probably enjoy using vibrant hues in your website design. But colors alone can’t tell the full story, especially when catering to users with disabilities. While strategic color use is integral to design, it’s crucial to recognize that color perception varies greatly among individuals. Those with low vision or color blindness might perceive or distinguish certain colors differently. Relying solely on color cues can inadvertently create barriers, particularly with interactive elements.

Website accessibility best practices aren’t about draining the vibrancy out of your designs; they’re about fostering inclusion for everyone. Consider complementing your color choices with alternative visual cues whenever possible. If you’re using color to highlight required form fields, reinforce it by placing an asterisk next to the label.

7. Avoid Automatic Media and Animations

Auto-playing media and animations might seem like they’re adding flair to your site. However, to users with disabilities, such as cognitive differences or vestibular disorders, they can be more disruptive than delightful. For some users, motion can trigger dizziness, nausea, or even seizures. Website accessibility tips we haven’t even considered are crucial in such cases.

A website accessibility tip that any site owner can incorporate today is to always provide controls to stop, pause, or adjust the volume for any animations. You can include an option to turn off animations completely if a user desires.

Conclusion

These website accessibility tips should be combined with thorough testing, seeking feedback from users with disabilities, and continuously staying informed about evolving best practices for accessibility on websites. By implementing these website accessibility tips, you contribute to a more welcoming and accessible web for everyone. After all, an inclusive online world benefits everybody.

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