Nonprofits: How to Get the Most From a Google PPC Grant

Posted by Kelly Braun on March 28, 2018 at 1:58 PM     Senior Care & LivingDigital Advertising
Nonprofits: How to Get the Most From a Google PPC Grant

Ready to test the PPC waters? If you’re a nonprofit, now is the time.

Google Ad Grants are providing non-profits up to $10,000 a month in Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising through its AdWords service. It’s a chance to gain online exposure without the costs. It’s an opportunity to share your brand with the world.

For our client, Kendal at Oberlin, a non-profit senior living community in Oberlin, Ohio, they found it was well worth jumping in the water.

A $10K Google Grant Success Story

Since receiving their Google Ad Grant in fall 2017, Kendal at Oberlin has seen a 56% growth in online traffic and more than 400 lead submissions from PPC ads.

google grant


What’s the key to their success? No. 1, they didn’t just dip their toes in the water and walk away. They tied their PPC campaigns to their digital marketing strategy. They used strategic insight, analysis and optimization to gain optimal return.


Using PPC ads to get at the top of Google search results wasn’t enough. With a successful lead-generating inbound marketing program already in place, they knew there was potential to gain even more. They wanted more than just clicks.


Bottomline, PPC and inbound digital marketing are two of the most effective lead generation methods — especially when they work together.

Make It Your Most Successful PPC Campaign Yet

Kendal at Oberlin acquired the grant with the assistance of Nonprofit Megaphone. Before the ads were implemented online, they worked with their digital marketing team here at Marketing Essentials to align the PPC ads with their lead-nurturing content strategy that was already successfully delivering leads. That meant:


  • Looking at buyer personas and keywords: There is a science behind selecting the right PPC keywords based on what your audience is searching, what ads your competitors are taking out and how those keywords affect the cost per click.
  • Aligning ads with top performing content and the buyer’s journey: It’s essential to offer users the right content at the right time in the buyer’s journey.
  • Optimizing landing pages: It’s extremely important to ensure the landing pages (the pages where the ads take users when they click) are optimized to give users the content they seek, capture them with design, build trust through testimonials or social proof and include a lead conversion opportunity, such as a form to get a downloadable white paper or brochure, or a phone number to schedule a tour.
  • Determining key geographical locations: With residents from 36 states and Washington, D.C., Kendal at Oberlin needed a strategy based on local and national ads.

PPC — Is It Right for You?

Is PPC right for your nonprofit organization? Or, if you’re already testing the waters, are you gaining maximum potential and seeing optimal ROI?


I’m sure it’s no surprise to hear that 2018 will be the year of digital media as digital media spend will overtake offline spend for the first time, according to market insights from the Winterberry Group. Digital media spend saw increases across the board in 2017.

Increases in U.S. Digital Media Spend 2017

2017 digital spend numbers

Source: “Outlook for Data-Driven marketing 2018,” Winterberry Group

2018 digital media spend is expected to hit $100.8 billion, a 16% growth, while offline media spend for events, teleservices and direct mail is estimated to drop to $97.8 billion this year.


For radio, newspaper, magazine, television and billboard advertising, Winterberry forecasts a decrease at $117.4 billion in 2018. That’s down from $118 billion in 2017, which was already down 3.1% from 2016.


Looking even further ahead, by 2021, CMOs are predicted to spend nearly $119 billion on search marketing, display advertising, online video, email marketing and other digital marketing tactics and strategies, according to a Forrester report.


More and more marketing departments are shifting their traditional ad spend to PPC and other digital tactics because that’s where their audience is and that’s where they can capture trackable ROI. Today’s advanced technologies can provide the data and metrics needed to tie all the digital marketing pieces together and show ROI.


No matter whether you have a Google Ad Grant or not, for PPC to be done correctly, it needs to be tied to your overall digital marketing strategy to drive buyers to your site, nurture them through the sales funnel and deliver qualified leads to your team. It’s more than just getting prospects to click on your ad.


We are now helping four additional nonprofit clients align their PPC ads (also funded by Google Adwords Grants) with their inbound digital marketing programs. They, too, want more than just a top spot in Google search results. They want tours. They are ready to show off the pool.

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