5 Quick Ways to Find AdWords Keywords Ideas for Your Nonprofit

You’re working on building out your nonprofit’s Google AdWords account when you run out of ideas for keywords. You’re stumped. How do you move forward? Where do you find inspiration? It may be closer than you think.

Here are five places to search for AdWords keywords ideas.

1. Google Trends

You’re an expert on your topic, which means the way you speak about it—and search for it—is probably different than the way your audience actually does. Figure out how your audience is already searching for your topic through Google Trends.

For example, because Greater than Aids has resources about the Affordable Care Act, they use “Affordable Care Act” as a keyword. However, the keyword “Obamacare” has four times the search volume. By using “Obamacare” as a keyword, GTA has the potential to reach more people: theoretically, four times as many people. Use Google Trends to break out of your professionalized vocabulary and get in touch with your demographic.

2. Existing Queries

You can use Google Search Console or the acquisition report in Google Analytics to see which search terms are already bringing users to your site via paid and organic search.

Take Power Poetry for example. By looking at their organic search queries, they can see that users already coming to their site are crafting searches for specific types of poetry, such as slam poetry and spoken word, rather than general poetry how-tos. Using these insights, Power Poetry is able to build out more specific keywords targeted at what their visitors want them to produce.

3. Your Website

Scan your organization’s website for keywords and phrases that you can include in your AdWords account. You can also use Google’s Keywords Planner to get recommendations for keywords based upon the content on your—or a competitor’s—landing page. Speaking of competitors…

4. Your Competition’s Keywords

Use tools like iSpionage to see which keywords competitors or similar organizations are bidding on. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?

5. Pop Culture and Current Events

Tap into new audiences by staying attuned to the world outside of your organization.

A few years ago, the National Aphasia Association began bidding on keywords related to Game of Thrones. They had noticed that, conveniently, fans of one of the most widely discussed shows on television were speculating that a character had aphasia. Because NAA was paying attention to pop culture, they were able to reach and educate a new audience on their topic.


If you’ve had success with an atypical keyword, leave a comment on our video or tweet us @WholeWhale.