In 2015, we shared a case study about Hunger Solutions, a Minnesota-based nonprofit using Google Ads to connect people experiencing food insecurity with resources and information. With Google Ads, Hunger Solutions was able to increase conversions by 178%. If you missed that post, check it out here.
Fast forward five years.
We’re getting close to wrapping up 2019 and guess what? Hunger Solution is still reaping the rewards of using Google Ads to reach people in need. Hunger Solutions runs a program called Minnesota Food Helpline.
The purpose of the Helpline is to help people experiencing food insecurity. Unfortunately, food insecurity is still a big problem in Minnesota, affecting families, students, older adults, and others. If you’d like to help, find out about donating to Hunger Solutions here.
The Helpline program works by connecting Hunger Solution’s staff with users and answering questions about SNAP, the nearest food shelf, farmer’s markets with SNAP programs, eligibility, and more. It’s easy and helpful.
Behind the Scenes
Hunger Solutions uses Google Ads combined with a Google Ad Grant to reach people in need. This hybrid approach leverages the Google Ad Grant program with regular ads so opportunities aren’t missed. Google Ad Grants is an awesome program but there are quite a few restrictions that go along with it, so having a regular Google Ads account is ideal.
Here are the main difference between an Ad Grant and regular Google Ads.
By combining a paid account with an Ad Grant account, Hunger Solutions is able to reach more people for less money and gain valuable intelligence about their users, and make the most of opportunities.
Strategic Keyword Segmentation
We segmented the inexpensive, long tail keywords such as “EBT Minnesota” from pricier keywords that are more competitive. And since there’s an auction every time someone searches, (yup, you heard that right. Each and every time someone searches), we can shift keywords from the Google Ad Grant to the paid account if they get too expensive.
Improved Brand Visibility
Using a Google Ad Grant to reinforce branded keywords is a definite perk. Unless you’re a big brand or a have a name that’s generic, branded keywords tend to be less expensive.
They’re a natural fit for a Google Ad Grant campaign. That’s why we recommend running a branded campaign if you have a Google Ad Grant. Branded keywords allow you to take up more real estate within the search results and help your overall click through rate. This accomplishes two things:
It helps keep your required 5% CTR in a safe zone.
A higher CTR overall (organic and paid) indicates to Google that your site is trusted and deserves visibility.
Did we mention that you receive up to $10,000 per month with Google Ad Grants and it’s FREE?! This is usually reason enough for nonprofits to take the Google Ad Grant plunge. After all, who doesn’t like free money? There are a few simple eligibility requirements.
Your organization must hold valid charity status.
You must acknowledge and abide by Google’s required certifications.
Your organization must have a professional, functioning website.
You must actively manage your account. In other words, you can’t simply set it up and leave it. Don’t worry though, we know someone who can help you with this part.
Visit the Google Ad Grant website to find out if you’re eligible.