Google Ads Optimization Checklist for Nonprofits

So you’ve got the Google Ad Grant for nonprofits and now have access to $10,000 per month worth of Google Ads to send traffic to your site. Amazing! But the work doesn’t stop once your account is approved. In order to really get the most out of the grant (and to ensure that you are compliant with current Google Ad Grant policies) you need to make a practice of continually optimizing your ads at the campaign, ad set, and individual ad level. Sound overwhelming? No worries. We’ve created a Google Ads optimization checklist for nonprofits to maintain the grant and drive meaningful conversions from ad traffic.

 

Google Ads optimization checklist for nonprofits

Our Google Ads optimization checklist for nonprofits is divided into 2 parts:

Google Ads account audit

Use this part of the checklist the first time you go into an account, or the first time you’ve gone in in a while. This will ensure that your account is set up for success. We then recommend conducting an audit every 6 months to see the full 360 of your account and ensure that it is still structurally sound. Regular audits are particularly important if you have multiple people managing or contributing to your Ad Grant account.

Ongoing Google Ads maintenance and optimization

After you run an audit of your Google Ads account, refer to this part of the checklist on a monthly basis to make sure you’re in peak performance and maximizing conversions. It should take about 2 hours to go through the account and make updates, though this will also depend on how many campaigns you have.

 

Google Ads Optimization Checklist (Every Month)

Account distribution

  1. In Google Ads, under Reports, look at Final URL by Cost. If one page is receiving too much of the Ad Grant, decrease the daily budgets for that page’s campaigns.
  2. In Google Analytics, under Acquisition, look at All Traffic. Which pages convert at the highest rates? Send Google Ads traffic there (depending on your goals).

Keywords

  1. Create an automated rule to pause any keywords with quality score less than or equal to 2. During regular account maintenance, remove any low q-score keywords paused by this rule.
  2. Pause or remove any irrelevant keywords that are overspending. Replace paused keywords with new ones
  3. Pause, decrease bids for, or remove any keywords that have lots of cost or clicks, but no conversions. Replace paused keywords with new ones
  4. Pause, decrease bids for, or remove keywords with consistently low click-through-rate (CTR). Replace paused keywords with new ones
  5. In Google Ads, look at Search Terms and add relevant or high-performers (high CTRs or conversions) as keywords
  6. In Google Analytics, under Acquisition →  Google Ads, look at Keywords and sort by conversion rate. Change the view to Weighted Sort to see the keywords that are performing best both in terms of traffic and conversion rate combined. Build out more of these.

Ad Copy

  1. Look at A/B tests. Which ad in each ad group has the higher conversion rate? What was different about that iteration?
  2. Pause or edit the ad with the lower click-through-rate and create a new test

 

Google Ads Audit Checklist (Every 6 Months)

  1. Must have at least 2 ad groups per campaign
  2. Must have at least 2 ads per ad group
  3. Must have at least 2 sitelink ad extensions
  4. Must have keywords in each ad group, ideally 15 or more
  5. Remove any keywords with quality score of 2 or lower
  6. Set up an automated rule that pauses low q-score words daily
  7. Remove any branded keywords not owned by your organization
  8. Remove any single-word keywords (excluding branded words, medical conditions, and other exception keywords)
  9. All ads must send to your Ad Grant-approved domain
  10. Location targeting must only be in regions where your organization works or fundraises

 

You could bookmark this page…  or you could also download our checklist cheat sheet to keep on your desktop, print for your office, and share with coworkers. Plus, when you sign up below we will send you our latest resources on the Google Ad Grant. Double-win!