In April 2019, Stikky Media helped Alzheimer’s Society of BC maximize the use of their Google Grants budget by increasing CTR by an astonishing 40%. This case study explains the challenge, the solution and how we helped our client move the needle through some of our best search engine marketing work this year.
The Challenge with Google Ads Grants
Being a non-profit, Alzheimer’s Society of B.C. qualified for Google Ad Grants, a great program where Google provides a $10,000 credit for qualifying non-profits to market through pay-per-click advertising.
While they had the PPC budget through the program, they were not using their Google Ads budget effectively. This is, unfortunately, a common challenge with Google Ad Grants recipients, and it’s rare that a non-profit has the in-house experience to handle a PPC campaign. They acknowledged they needed to improve their Google ads and turned to the experienced Stikky Media team to help them move the needle.
The Challenge we see most with Google Grants is that too often nonprofits apply and are rewarded without knowing how to run a PPC campaign – let alone navigate all the limitations that come with the grant. Because of this, it’s clear that Google Grants is not “free money,” and more a really good discount on PPC campaigns.
Google Ad Grants Success Measurements
Before we could get started, we had to dig in further to see the problem. We popped the hood on their Google Ad Grants account, identified three key areas to improve upon.
Maximize Google Ad Grants Budget
The first thing we noticed was how little they were spending on a monthly basis. While the average spend on Google Ad Grants is only $300-700 per month, the Alzheimer’s Society of B.C. was only spending about $150 per month out of $10,000! This had to change.
The second problem was their Click Through Rate (CTR). It was low and we saw some significant opportunities for improvement. Google has limits on how low a CTR can drop before losing the grant, so this was a top priority.
Improve Keyword Relevance and Optimize Ad Parameters
Lastly, they needed to revisit the keywords they were targeting for the ads themselves. The efficiency could be improved which would help target more qualified searches and ultimately move them closer towards maximizing their monthly budget.
Results: How We Moved the Needle
Our team was up-to-date on industry best practices, so after identifying what would move the needle, we got to work. The account had very little activity, and of that activity, almost none of it was having a meaningful impact for the Alzheimer’s Society of BC. Our approach was to restructure anything we could.
After identifying then narrowing the problem, we got rid of irrelevant keywords, closed gaps between relevant keywords, added thematic relevance and reset the parameters for the ads to fire. All the work we did was intended to impact our three main challenges. Let’s look at what that did:
Key Takeaway for Managing Google Grants
As the above demonstrates, the biggest change is the Click Through Rate (CTR) which is a blistering 12.33%, and a 40% increase over what they had been doing previously managing Google Ad Grants in-house. For reference, the benchmark for a “good” paid search CTR is around 2%. Along with more than tripling the Ad Spend, and more than doubling the total clicks, the Alzheimer’s Society is quite happy with the work we’ve done.
Online space is becoming increasingly harder and harder to navigate, let alone to run meaningful marketing efforts. While Google Grants is a wonderful program, it’s important that you can handle them. Otherwise, you risk losing them and then struggling to restart the program – our philosophy is to do it right the first time.