The National Council of YMCAs describes the local YMCA branches that span the United States as the heart of life in the communities that they call home. These comprehensive institutions provide a broad range of programs that address the physical, mental, social, and spiritual needs of the community members who participate in them. All told, the nationwide YMCA network serves more than 17.5 million adults and children, helping them to develop minds, bodies, and souls with instruction and practices that are consistent with Christian values.
While many nonprofit organizations struggle to make ends meet, YMCAs tend to face even greater financial challenges due to the sheer breadth and depth of their programs and the extensive equipment and infrastructure that these programs require. Furthermore, they must command a sizable advertising and promotional outreach budget if they want to make the local population aware of their programs and remain operational.
In an effort to support worthy nonprofits, Google recently launched a key new initiative called Google Ad Grants. A potential godsend for struggling YMCAs, this initiative can provide up to $10,000 in ad spending on a monthly basis to qualifying organizations.
Want to learn more? Read on for more information about the YMCA Google Ads Grant, what it can do for you, and how you can acquire one.
Benefits of the Google Ads Grant for YMCAs
If they want to be successful, nonprofit organizations and for-profit businesses alike must foster and maintain effective online outreach campaigns. For many reasons, the leading search engine Google is a great place to start one of these campaigns.
Google Ads gives you the opportunity to reach the people who are most interested in your organization and its products/services at the very moment that they are most motivated to take immediate action. When a Google user makes an online search that is relevant to your organization, a Google Ad will appear prominently on the list of returned results. By clicking this ad, users are taken immediately to a page on your official website that is designed to meet their specific wants and needs.
However, every time that a user clicks on one of your Google Ads, it costs you money. Depending on your specific market and industry, each click will generally run you between $1 and $2.
If you are operating a YMCA, it is extremely important to attract fresh and reoccurring donors and volunteers. While Google Ads are a great way to accomplish this, the cost associated with them can be prohibitive.
This is where the Google Ads Grant comes in. Just think about how much your local YMCA stands to benefit from $10,000 worth of free Google Ad clicks! Just think about what you could do with that publicity to meet the health and social service needs of the community in which you operate.
How Can a Nonprofit Organization Apply for the Google Ads Grant?
The first step on the journey to securing a Google Ads Grant is requesting a Google for Nonprofits account on the Google platform. Google offers these accounts to nonprofit charitable organizations that are registered in good standing with the federal government of their country of origin. In the United States, this means obtaining a 501(c)(3) tax exception through the Internal Revenue Service.
Although a wide variety of nonprofits are eligible for Google for Nonprofits status, these accounts are not available to governmental entities, healthcare facilities, or academic institutions. Of course, these restrictions do not apply to the average YMCA.
To request a Google for Nonprofits account, you need to register your organization with the nonprofit sector computer and IT support organization TechSoup. You can do this automatically through the Google website by filling out a simple online form at google.com/nonprofits. When TechSoup verifies your nonprofit, Google will notify you by email.
Now you are ready to apply for your Google Ad Grant. To do this, you must first establish an official Ad Grant account using the same login email that you used for your Google for Nonprofit account. Just sign in to Google for Nonprofits and click on “Active Products.” Look for the “Google Ad Grants” tab at the top of the screen and then select “Get Started” from its dropdown menu. This will bring you to a link to an eligibility form that you must fill out in its entirety. When you are done with this form, click “Activate” to submit it to Google for review.
Challenges That YMCAs Face When Taking Advantage of a Google Ads Grant
If you are able to clear the relatively stringent eligibility and verification hurdles detailed above, Google officials will give you an Ads Grant at an appropriate level of financial reward. For YMCAs as well as other nonprofits, the next challenge is to make appropriate and optimum use of the Google Ads Grant platform.
Many nonprofit organizations simply don’t get the clickthrough traffic that they had anticipated from their Google Ads Grant account. There can be several different reasons for this.
First and foremost, you should ensure that you are employing the right keywords in your campaigns. These keywords should mirror the terms and phrases that Google users are most likely to enter when searching online for your YMCA and its various programs and services. You might also be targeting highly competitive search terms that cause you to lose Google Ad clicks to similar organizations in your area. YMCAs that bid on the keyword phrase “nonprofit donations,” for example, will almost certainly become lost within an overstuffed market.
Other common problems with Google Ads Grant operation include a lack of clear and focused keyword campaigns, low Google quality scores for your website, and an inability to track user conversions.
To Learn More
For help securing a YMCA Google Ads Grant and making the most of it when you have it, reach out to the experts at Cleveland, Ohio’s Marketing Done Right through our official website or by phone at (619) 354-0355. We have a history of assisting nonprofit organizations like the YMCA with a digital marketing approach that stresses practical affordability and public trust.
Your Guide to Google Ad Grants for Nonprofit Organizations
January 9, 2023
As reported by the nonprofit fundraising solutions provider Donorbox, internet users are four times more likely to click an ad on Google than on other online platforms. In light of Google’s supreme market dominance, this stat should come as little surprise.
Whether you are running a charitable nonprofit or a for-profit business, you need to reach out to people where they already are. And people who are looking to support a specific organization or general cause tend to turn to Google in extremely large numbers.
Google Ads allow you to reach these people when they make an online search using keywords that are relevant to your nonprofit organization and what it does. These clickable ads appear prominently before users as they peruse their search engine results.
Of course, this key public outreach comes at a price. Depending on the particular nature of your nonprofit and the market in which you operate, your Google Ads clicks will typically cost you between $1 and $2 apiece. At those rates, many cash-strapped nonprofits will struggle to afford a proper Google Ads campaign that will deliver real results.
This is where Google Ads Grant for nonprofit organizations can make an incredible difference. By signing up for Google Ad Grants, you can get up to $10,000 in ad spending each month to support your online marketing outreach. That’s a whole lot of $1 or $2 ad clicks!
What Organizations Are Eligible for Google Ad Grants?
Before you can apply for a grant, you must obtain a Google Ad grant for Nonprofit organizations account. These accounts are only for nonprofit charitable organizations that are fully recognized by their home countries.
In America, nonprofits must have 501(c)(3) tax-except status with the Internal Revenue Service. Each nonprofit must certify that it isn’t a governmental entity, a healthcare provider, or an institution of learning.
Nonprofits that meet these requirements can request a Google for Nonprofits account by applying for one on the Google platform. Google employs the nonprofit sector tech support provider TechSoup to verify all eligible nonprofits.
How to Apply for the Google Ad Grant
When Google notifies you that TechSoup has verified your nonprofit, you are ready to apply for your Google Ad Grants. The first step in this process is to prove that your nonprofit’s official website is fully secure with an installed SSL certificate. To confirm this, log onto your Google for Nonprofits account, click on “Get started” under the “Google Ad Grants” heading enter your organization’s website address, and then click “Submit website.”
After your website’s security has been confirmed, you must complete the Ad Grants eligibility form by clicking on the “Eligibility form” link on the Google for Nonprofits platform. This form takes roughly 20 minutes to complete and not only allows Google to confirm that you are eligible for an Ad Grant but gives Google the detailed information that it needs to support your nonprofit more moving forward.
Next, you must submit your Google Ad Grants activation for official review by, once again, clicking on “Get started” under the “Google Ad Grants” heading. Then, click the checkbox to confirm that you have completed the eligibility form and click “Submit activation request” for your final submission. Google will review your activation request and typically get back to you by email within three business days.
The Basics of Google Ad Grants for Nonprofits
According to the official Google Ad Grants website, Google created its Ad Grants program to help charitable nonprofits “raise awareness,” “attract donors,” “recruit new volunteers” and “share their causes with the world. Each qualifying nonprofit receives free access to as much as $10,000 each month in search engine ads that appear on Google.
For More Information
Cleveland, Ohio’s Marketing Done Right has a long history of providing essential digital marketing services to nonprofit organizations like the United Way and the YMCA. We have the expertise needed to guide you through every facet of the Google ad Grant for nonprofit organizations process. You can contact Marketing Done Right through its official website or by phone at (619) 354-0355. A skilled and knowledgeable representative is ready to answer any questions that you might have about Google Ads Grant for nonprofit organizations.
Local SEO Ranking Factors in 2023
November 23, 2022
Local search engine optimization (SEO) is the art and science of improving online search results for a business at a specific location. It is particularly important for small and mid-sized companies that operate in and serve the residents of a particular city or region.
Widely embraced by a broad spectrum of companies, local SEO has become an essential component of most modern digital marketing campaigns. Think of it as helping Google to help customers who want to find your services online.
6 Factors to Help Boost SEO Ranking
Landing at or near the top of relevant Google searches isn’t easy. Digital marketers have developed a wide range of complex strategies and processes to boost search rankings. But as Google and other search engines continually adjust their operations to improve user results, best local SEO practices must evolve in response.
With this in mind, here are six SEO ranking factors that business owners and marketers should prioritize in 2023.
1. Optimized Google Business Profile
In light of the extraordinary popularity of Google’s search engine, a good Google Business Profile is a great way to let people know about your business, what it does, where it is located, and how customers can reach it. While providing relevant information to customers, your Google Business Profile can aid in local SEO by boosting your Google search results. Although it is free of charge, you should invest a significant amount of time into setting up and maintaining your Google Business Profile. To better serve customers and enhance local SEO, consider customizing your profile with captivating photos, special consumer offers, and regularly posted updates.
2. Good Online Reviews
Although Google keeps many of its ranking factors and processes a secret, the company has publicly acknowledged that the prominence and quality of a local business’ online reviews can have a significant impact on its overall SEO results. “Google review count and score are factored into local search ranking,” says the Google Business Profile Help Center. “More reviews and positive ratings will probably improve a business’s local ranking.” In short, the reviews of your business that appear online exert a powerful influence on your website traffic and financial bottom line. The number, rate, and diversity of these reviews send powerful signals to the algorithms that ultimately determine your final search result ranking.
3. Consistent Citations
Citations for your company can appear on any number of online business listings or community/industry directories. In fact, any online reference to your company’s NAP (name, address, and phone number) data will function as a citation that not only informs consumers but guides Google and other search engines in their ranking operations. With a power that is similar to that of online reviews, the quantity and quality of these citations help search engines determine just how legitimate and trustworthy your company and its website really are. In addition to reaching out to a large number of reputable business listings and directories, wise business owners and SEO marketers will ensure that NAP data remains strictly consistent across all platforms.
4. On-page Signals
All aspects of your website design and on-page content should serve your local SEO efforts. This means including relevant keywords on your home page, landing page, and other key places. It also means prominently featuring your business’ home city and general region of activity. You will also want to include keywords and geographical information in the website page and section titles as well as readable URL addresses. All of these actions will help boost your company’s search result rankings with leading online search engines such as Google. Be aware, however, that keywords and location information must be incorporated naturally and organically into the titles and text of website content. If Google detects that you are overstuffing your website with on-page signals, it can actually result in worse search result rankings.
5. High-Quality Local Content
Google penalizes websites for inorganic keyword stuffing because it identifies companies that are trying to take SEO shortcuts at the expense of the average web user and consumer. Ideally, your company’s relevant keywords and location information should be integrated into high-quality local content that informs, entertains, and otherwise engages a specific target audience. Make no mistake: it can be quite a chore to create and continually optimize website content with SEO firmly in mind. However, high-quality local website content will not only improve your search engine results but better serve existing and potential customers alike.
6. Superior Backlink Quality
Every embedded link to your website that appears on another website is a “backlink.” All of the backlinks to every page of your website constitute your “backlink profile.” Google and other search engines take a very close look at your backlink profile when determining your placement among relevant user search results. When it comes to backlinks, quality is far more important than quality. Wise business owners and digital marketers will do all that they can to establish backlink connections to reputable and authoritative websites and organizations. Links to untrustworthy or unpopular sites may significantly damage your SEO efforts.
Ask the Experts
Covering a wide variety of highly technical areas and processes, the launch of a local SEO campaign can be daunting to say the very least. Not all strategies work equally well for all businesses in all geographic locations across all market sectors and industries.
A specialized marketing agency based in Cleveland, Ohio, Marketing Done Right provides expert SEO services, that can help you identify your needs and create a customized campaign that is right for you. In addition to offering considerable SEO expertise, we can help you with everything from website creation and development to social media advertising, all with a specific focus on local businesses.
Various factors, including those above, will continue to impact local SEO throughout 2023 and well into the future. Stay up to date with these changes and address other digital marketing issues by contacting us today.