Winning the Internet

Demystifying Google Grants

After a great run, the Winning the Internet blog has been retired. However, you can still keep in touch with New Media Mentors here.

Google’s grant program represents both a terrific opportunity for non-profit organizations and a source of confusion and frustration for most of them. It sounds pretty easy on the surface: Google will give you $10,000 a month in ad words and you can increase that to $40,000 a month if you’re consistently using the $10,000. It can be quite difficult to spend even a fraction of that $10,000 if you don’t employ the right strategies.

The folks at e.politics have a guest post from Human Rights Campaign’s Brian Cook that’s worth checking out.

To get started on thinking through your ad words campaign this is a key insight overlooked by a lot of people:

The main difference between a standard AdWords campaign and a Google Grant AdWords campaign is the maximum cost-per-click (CPC) bid of $1. That restriction is lower than CPC bids for many high-traffic keywords, which effectively precludes Google Grantees from competing for those terms. Therefore, Google Grantees must focus primarily on long-tail, lower traffic, niche searches, for which the $1 CPC bid is sufficient to appear on the first page of search results.

The remainder of the article talks about some specific strategies for developing keywords you can use for your campaign. The results for HRC were pretty astounding: after two months they were ready to participate in the Google Grantspro program and have consistently been using the full grant each month since then. That’s $480,000 in free advertising from Google each year.

Your results may vary depending on the scope of your work, but with the right strategy in place you can absolutely increase your usage of this program.


About Raven Brooks

Executive director of Netroots Foundation and Netroots Nation.

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