Clean Up Keywords
Your New Year’s resolution doesn’t have to wait until January. As you look back at the year, don’t forget to check in on your keywords and eliminate what’s not working. Then you can also focus on what’s working best.
One of the first steps in keyword optimization is to clean up keywords. To remove keywords, I recommend checking out keywords with a low clickthrough rate (CTR) but a high cost. These keywords usually decrease your overall performance. Then try pausing any keywords with a CTR of less than 1.0%, since these keywords are only bringing a few clicks.
Review Keywords to Maximize Traffic
The holiday season is a good time to highlight specials and to drive additional traffic that is online during these months. Review your current keywords and think of additional terms. This will enable your ads to reach as much qualified traffic as possible.
Just like when you paused keywords, you may use CTR as an indicator of a high-performing keyword. Look for keywords that have CTRs above than 1%; this is a great starting point for expansion. Then you may want to use the Keyword Tool to find related keywords to add to an ad group.
Another option is to add other relevant keywords with a holiday focus. Since many people are looking to make holiday donations during this time of year, you may want to add donation-specific keywords that still relate to your organization.
To improve your ad’s performance, try to make each one as relevant to your keyword list as possible. Think about how this time of year relates to your marketing. If an aspect of your org receives increased attention around the holiday season, try to find a way to touch on that in your ad text. This can help drive more traffic to your site as well as get your message across to users who come across your ad.
These tips are great for this time of year, but you can continue to use them in every season. Cleaning up keywords, adding new ones, and revising your ad text help maintain your account’s high-performance.
From time to time we receive questions about the $1.00 CPC limit within the Google Grants program. Today we are hoping to make this limit, and the reasoning behind the limit, a little more transparent.
What is the limit?
Google Grants accounts have a $1.00 maximum CPC bid. The $1.00 maximum bid is non-negotiable and should be sufficient for most keywords if you are maintaining a high enough click through rate (CTR). High CTRs are usually obtained by choosing highly relevant keywords in conjunction with closely related and engaging ads.
Why do we have the limit? Can I bid more?
All Google Grants accounts have their bids capped at one dollar ensuring a level playing field for all of the nonprofits in our program. Under no circumstances can this limit be raised, nor is it possible to supplement the $1.00 bid with your own funds in a Google Grants account. The only alternative to using a $1.00 bid is to open a paid AdWords account. For this reason we recommend that Google Grants recipients work to maintain high quality scores and also utilize less common/competitive keywords, which are more relevant to your organization.
Why are some of my keywords not generating any traffic?
If you see that your keywords are not performing well or not showing with a $1.00 CPC, it is likely that one of two things has happened:
1. The most common reason that grants recipients will obtain a poor quality score is due to a low click through rate (CTR) and other quality score factors.
Essentially, the Google algorithms are designed to show only the most relevant information for each search done on Google. This is because there is a limited amount of space on the search results page and the goal is to provide the user with the best and quickest search experience possible. If a certain keyword/ad combination is not performing well it will earn a low quality score and will rarely show ads.
2. Alternatively, you may be bidding on highly competitive keywords and finding that other advertisers' ads are outperforming your ads. This can happen if you have selected keywords that are very common such as "volunteer" or "donate." Likely, there are thousands of nonprofits that would like to show ads for those terms and only 10-12 ad slots on the first page of Google's search results. Therefore, all other factors being equal, only the top 10-12 best performing ads with the highest quality scores will show.
How can give my keywords the best opportunity to succeed within this limit?
Optimization is the best way to increase your keyword's performance without increasing your CPC. To learn how to optimize your account, see the Optimization Tips page in our Help Center. If optimization does not help, you may also want to choose less competitive, more specific keywords for your account.