Maximizing Ad Grants, Google’s in-kind advertising program for nonprofits

Maren Dougherty, San Diego Convention Center, USA

Google Ad Grants is the nonprofit edition of AdWords, Google’s popular online advertising tool. The Ad Grants program empowers U.S.-based nonprofit organizations to promote their programs through in-kind (free) search engine marketing campaigns valued at $120,000 per year.

Many museums and other nonprofits apply for Google Ad Grants but very few reach the maximum spend of $10,000 per month. Creating and maximizing campaigns requires time and familiarity with the complicated AdWords user interface.

During this introductory AdWords workshop, I will explain the following steps toward creating effective campaigns through the Ad Grants program: Applying for Google Ad Grants; understanding online advertising jargon; setting up campaigns and ad groups; adding and refining keyword lists; linking AdWords and Analytics; identifying and tracking website conversions; and optimizing campaigns to reach target audiences.

I will also review restrictions of the Google Ad Grants program and common problems beginners have with using the AdWords interface.

The workshop will conclude with a discussion about other online advertising options, such as Facebook ads and basic banner ads, and how to track campaign success.

Workshop participants will come away with an in-depth understanding of how to create and monitor Google AdWords and other low-cost online advertising campaigns.

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