August 21, 2012

6 ways to supercharge your Google Grants account

Editor’s note: One of the best-kept secrets in the nonprofit world continues to be Google Grants. If your non-profit fits Google’s criteria, you could be eligible for up to $10,000 a month in free Adwords.

There’s one hitch, though. It’s hard to figure out how to spend anywhere near your $10,000 ad allotment because the maximum you can spend is $1 per click. SEO expert Dennis Yu tell offers six tips on how to reach a bigger audience.

Guest post by Dennis Yu
CEO, BlitzMetrics

dennis-yuYou’re excited that you’ve been approved for Google Grants: $10,000 a month of free ads! (Don’t forget you can apply for your nonprofit to be entered in all of Google’s programs for nonprofits in one shot.)

But then you find, if you’re like most nonprofits, that you’re spending only $1,000 a month, even if you’re bidding the maximum $1 price per click. That’s $9,000 worth of traffic you’re leaving on the table.

Why is this the case and how do you fix it? Here are six things you can try right now.

Target themes of partners that you work with and related causes.

1For starters, your keyword portfolio is probably too narrow. I don’t mean the number of keywords, but the “topics” that you cover. Odds are, you’re targeting only search terms that directly describe your topic. If you’re Grameen Foundation, maybe you buy “microfinance.” If you’re Soles4Souls, you target “donate shoes.” Sounds reasonable, right?

The problem is, not that many people type “donate shoes” into Google each month. How do you think “donate shoes” compares in query volume to “Brad Pitt” or even “Brad Pitt photos”?

If you’re going after terms that have no volume, no amount of optimization on the same narrow, literal themes will yield a multiple of your existing traffic. Continue reading

July 5, 2011

First impressions of Google+: Security and control

Guest post by Amy Sample Ward
Membership Director, NTEN

amy-sample-wardGoogle+, the latest iteration on social networking from Google, is here.

As always, when it’s just the first trickling of people joining up, the way the tool is used, the depth of some functionality, and the technical issues are all a bit out of proportion. With all of that as a grain of salt, I want to share a few reflections focused on security and control – the items touted ahead of launch as the elements separating Google+ from Facebook.

Privacy: Changing your settings is a breeze

It may seem strange to users who are new to Google tools, but the Google+ privacy settings are tied in to all of your Google account privacy settings. (Check your settings now if you want!) In some ways, this could be confusing to people who’ve become accustomed to Facebook’s approach which has layers of settings and changes those layers, options, and controls all of the time. Now, your sharing and connecting settings apply to much more of the Web than just your social networking profile. Continue reading

March 18, 2011

Google integrates its services for nonprofits

John HaydonNonprofts have been using Google tools to get some pretty amazing results!

For example, Direct Relief International raised more than $100,000,000 with AdWords. And the Natural Resource Defense Council got over 100,000 views on their YouTube videos by getting featured through YouTube’s nonprofit program – a huge win during last year’s BP oil spill.

On Wednesday Google launched an expanded offering of their tools and services so that nonprofits can apply for special status in one place — google.com/nonprofits — instead of having to apply separately for Google Grants, YouTube for Nonprofits and so on.

The offering includes:

  1. Up to $10,000 a month in Google AdWords to get more donors
  2. Free and/or discounted Google Apps
  3. Premium nonprofit features for YouTube and Google Mapping
  4. Educational videos
  5. Case studies
  6. Nonprofits Marketplace of partner services at free and/or discounted rates

Below is a short video with another example of how Samasource uses Google:

You can apply for the program here.