| Ford Church

Google AdWords

For those non-profiteers out there looking to harness technology to spread the word about their organization, I would highly recommend playing around with Google AdWords. The Cottonwood Institute has been test driving the program since early January 2006 and I have to say that we have been pleasantly pleased. To check out how it works, go to Google and type in Cottonwood Institute as your keyword search. Our AdWords ad "Teens Change the World" appears on the right column of your browser.

I really like Google AdWords because it is a way for a small, grassroots non-profit like the Cottonwood Institute to compete with larger, more established organizations in our field like Outward Bound and the National Outdoor Leadership School. I also like the program because we get to determine out budget and only pay when a student, parent, or interested donor clicks on our ad. We set the maximum we are willing to pay per month and if we exceed that limit, Google will automatically pull our ad. We get to enter as many keywords as we want that pertain to our organization so the people who click on our ad are highly qualified leads.

Question: If you are currently using Google AdWords to drive traffic to your website, what tips, best practices and advice would you give to someone interested in test driving this marketing tactic?

Categories: Non-Profit Management

Back to Blog

One Response to “Google AdWords”

  1. Ford Church

    AdWords has great reporting features so you can get real-time statistics about how many impressions your keywords are generating and more importantly how many people are clicking on your ad. I check out our reports every few days to see what keywords are the most successful and continually add new words.

    If you have a way to track stats on your website, run a keyword analysis to see how people are finding your website and incorporate those keywords into your AdWords campaign.

    In terms of tips, turn the budget optimizer feature on so Google will automatically change the bidding for you so you don’t have to worry about doing it manually. Be careful about using your competitor’s registered trademark name as a keyword for your campaign. Internet law is changing rapidly and the law is currently fuzzy in this area. Worse comes to worse, they will simply ask you to remove that keyword and it is up to you if you want to try to fight them in court. Bottom line is if you have good intentions nobody will get hurt.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.