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In Part III in a Three Part Series by SemGeek on the socially responsible gift from Google called Google Grants, I focus on the importance of utilizing web analytics and some "outside the box" thinking when it comes to analysis. Too many advertisers have focused on the wrong things such as CTR% and Clicks when it comes to the Free Google Funny Money. What's important is NOT THE FREE CLICKS, but what you are learning from the Free Clicks. Let's discuss.
Another integral part of the search marketing process is the implementation of web analytics and analysis. However, evangelizing the importance of that to Nonprofits, both large and small, is rather an uphill battle. For many search marketers who provide PPC and SEO in the “for-profit” world, they can make a much greater case for using analytics to track KPIs (key performance indicators) because most companies cannot survive unless there is a ceiling ROAS%, ROI% or CPA to measure against the investment.
As part of the standard PPC analysis, the search marketer would need to identify either at the campaign, adgroup or keyword level, and the basic conversion or non-conversion flow of the “after the click” scenario. For example,
Keyword → Ad/Creative → Landing Page → Conversion (of any trackable sort).
Now, even though is may seem like a no-brainer strategy for future optimization, I often go beyond this method and dig deeper into other types of analysis, including Ad Messaging Testing, Indirectly related campaign testing as well as anything else that the Nonprofit could benefit from all of their “offline” and event based initiatives.
With the generous $10k per month from Google, a search marketer could position the strategy around a Multi-channel Research, Search Behavior and Website Usability that not only generates traffic, but also provides valuable insight into future endeavors such as new website creation, newly created programs and all sorts of advocacy and messaging in other media. In essence, this methodology, here are a few areas where what is practiced in the “for profit” world can be applied to the “not for profit” world.
Each Google Grantee would be presented with a comprehensive 6-12 month paid search plan, consisting of a campaign-to-adgroup matrix, as well as reserved remnant space for any future “time sensitive” advocacy and messaging that is important to the Nonprofit. . Remember, the search marketer needs to be vigilant about the importance of seasonality of a Nonprofit, as it’s similar to any “for profit” business.
For example, a paid search plan would contain campaigns and adgroups based on Brand; Programs; Initiatives; Fundraising Events; Sponsors; Current news events, etc… As you can see, this is very similar structure to that of mainstream PPC Account. Along with the different audiences that are being targeted, performing a level of Ad testing is another valuable area that should be considers. Wouldn’t a Nonprofit find it important to know that the CTA (call to action ) of the word Donate outperforms the word Contribute that can then be applied to all other offline initiates, which result in more donations?
To conclude, I see Google Grants from a much different perspective than just free clicks to a website. The socially responsible gift from Google has not been given the greatness it deserves and even though many top search marketers may be providing amazing results for the client, the Nonprofit has more to gain for the well-being of the organization because remember they are not paying to LEARN. For SemGeek, such as myself , the true gift from Google is the freedom to do whatever the Nonprofit wants to do with the free advertising. It’s not about the Free Clicks, it’s what you do with the Free clicks, which makes a difference to the Nonprofit.
Greg Meyers is Partner and Co Founder of CampaignGrid, LLC and World Benefactor. He is also author of the search marketing blog Semgeek.com.