Grantee Best Practices Summary

Tuesday, August 4, 2009 | 10:25 AM

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We've collected some of the handiest and most effective best practices from our grantee base so that you all can benefit from their hard-learned lessons.

Think about the goals your org is working toward and choose the tips that can help you achieve them with AdWords and Google Grants.

Establish goals
Regularly checking their AdWords and analytics account for progress and changes has helped one grantee, "...establish a more concrete baseline of data and move forward with other options such as conversion tracking."

This is an excellent way to become comfortable with the features of the program and get a better understanding of the ebb and flow of your account's performance while setting goals meaningful to your org. Then, when you're ready to branch out, you're already versed in the basics of your account and AdWords and have goals you can measure against.

Secure organization funding
Sometimes it's difficult to provide substantial data about your org's performance, a challenge when working with potential and existing funders, but a few grantees have begun to use the detailed reporting available from their Google Analytics and AdWords accounts to share with their funders and prospective sponsors to ensure new and future funding for their organization.

One grantee pinpoints this strategy even further, using reports showing the downloads of their online materials by their target audience to appeal to the larger sponsors who make up the majority of their funding. Being able to show the efficacy of your org's efforts is a powerful tool in securing support from potential funders.

The reports available in Google Analytics and AdWords can be powerful tools for making a case for resources and funding your org's needs. These tools are free to use and help centers are available for both Google Analytics and AdWords to help you find and build the reports that best suit your needs.

Reach new markets
Reaching new markets with your org's message can be challenging, especially when you aren't sure how to customize your message for different regions.

One grantee uses the geo-targeting capabilities in AdWords to focus their regional messaging only to the most relevant regions, rather than diluting the message with global targeting settings. Another grantee launches new landing pages and markets by running test campaigns in their account and choosing the best messaging based on the rate of impressions and CTR throughout the test period.

React effectively to timely events
There are times when it's crucial to be fast and accurate with your org's message, like during a natural disaster or humanitarian crisis. In some cases, you just need to conserve time and resources so you can get everything done! A couple grantees have begun to take advantage of the speed of AdWords to react to emergencies and be more efficient with their marketing strategies.
One grantee has pre-built adgroups built specifically for crisis response which they turn on or off at a moment's notice so that they can, "...quickly help donors when a crisis occurs."

Another grantee, finding herself with limited time to go through the usual process of testing for an email campaign, decided to try a rotation of ad messaging in her AdWords account and was able to see what performed best, thus informing her decisions for the rest of their campaigns. "With Adwords, I can be trying some new ads in 15 minutes! Analyzing what keywords are pulling is also a snap."

Increase traffic
Getting more traffic is a goal for most online advertisers, but there are some tried and true methods for accomplishing this sometimes tricky feat. Some have mastered the launch and iterate method for the benefit of their orgs.

One grantee continually tweaks their best performing ads to maintain or increase high CTRs, which in turn also drives traffic and brings awareness to new their new offerings. Another has taken advantage of a drop in competition for their terms, potentially a result of a down economy, by increasing their bids closer to the $1 maximum CPC and running more ads than normal to promote their content.

Look out for new best practices every quarter as we review the latest grantee trends and strategies in AdWords and analytics. If you've had a recent success with AdWords or analytics you'd like to share, please visit our discussion forum to share with other grantees right now or share the story with our team here.