In this lesson we will focus on using Google's search engine for commercial advertising and converting Google users to customers. In the contents of this lesson you will find all that you need to get you started on your first campaign on Google and use some of the most advanced advertising services in existence.
Google handles around 80% of the text based searches on the internet. A distant second is Bing, by Microsoft, at about 7% (Fall 2017). Further, Google is an advertising company. Now, you might have thought of it as a Search company but that isn't how the company makes money. Search is the primary service offered to the public and advertising is how Google makes money.
Google also operates the worlds largest "Display Advertising" platform where advertisements are shown on websites. In the Fall of 2017 the number of Domains in the network was over 1.35 million based on data from BuiltWith.com
The good news is that means there are many opportunities for you to advertise on Google's platforms and services:
- Search result ad placements (aka "AdWords")
- Shopping ads
- Display ads
Google offers Retargeting for Shopping and Display ads as well.
Each of these advertising types are managed through the Google AdWords platform.
Search Results Ads
The simplest ads to setup are Search Results Ads. To do so you provide the keywords you want your ad to show for, the amount you are willing to pay for a click on that ad, and the content of the advertisement (Text, links, etc). Google then takes the highest bidders in order and shows them in the advertising placements for searches made with the target keywords.
Note that not all search results pages have ads on them, and it is generally tied to search volume. The higher the volume, the more advertising placements are shown. So, even though you may bid on a keyword, ads may not be shown.
Google Ad Grant or "AdWords Grant"
For Nonprofits there is a special program called the Google Ad Grant where an organization can receive free Search Results Ads from Google. To apply for the program visit the Google Ad Grants website. The default maximum in-kind donation per year $120,000 and organizations that use up their grant are generally bumped up to a higher maximum automatically. The only drawback to the program is that the maximum bid on a keyword is $2 which limits ad success to keyword searches where bids are below that amount.
Setup is really easy and the only maintenance required is to log in to the account monthly to make a change (which is easy since every month you will have recommended changes from Google).
Additional Ad Grants Information & Training:
Warning: There are a lot of companies out there that offer services to "manage" Ad Grants for nonprofits and overcharge. It's worth less than $50 per month. We've seen companies charging $250 per month... don't get scammed on this.