Making full use of a free Google Grant AdWords account is hard for those charities who do not have a dedicated AdWords specialist. What is needed is an easy way to get good Click rates and make use of the full free daily budget of £220/$330. The AdWords Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) capability is ideal for charities or NFP`s that want the visitors that AdWords can bring but do not have the time to make it happen.
DSA allows Google to automatically pick pages from your site in response to standard search queries but you do not have to enter any Keywords or change anything as you add new site content. The Google system makes all the decisions relating to the headline in the ad and which pages to show. DSA is also very useful for those charities that have a very wide range of appropriate Keywords. I have seen a significant increase in Click Through Rates (CTR) for whole sites and sections of sites when DSA is used.
As Google can only work with pages that it has indexed the first thing to do is to put the URL of your site into the AdWords Keyword Tool >Keyword Planner.
As you can see from the image above Google AdWords sees this particular site as being divided into 8 AdGroups. Note that the AdGroups and the Monthly figures that show can be very misleading as AdWords shows only search data for those searches with revenue potential. Naturally this will exclude huge numbers of visits that are made to charity sites as they usually have no commercial potential translated. Once you see this AdWords data for your site there is a good chance that DSA will work for the site. Note that Google suggests that a site using DSA should have ` a few hundred pages` but my view is that if you get results from the AdWords `test` you should be ok for DSA.
Next you should create a new `Campaign` for `Search Network Only`and then choose the radio button `Dynamic search Ads`. Enter your default bid ( say $2.00 ) and the budget you want to allocate to the Campaign. Further down the page you will see an option `Ad Extensions` with a check box `Use my website content to target my ads`. Now you can create an AdGroup. When writing the ad text make sure that it is reasonably generic so that it makes sense for any combination of Keywords. Now you will see a new Tab `Auto Targets` and a green button `+ Dynamic ad target`.
This allows you to set up the method of ad targeting. The simplest thing to do is to check the Radio Button `Add all web pages` which allows the system to use any page from your site. Alternatively you can select `Add a group of web pages` and from the drop down menu select the method that will be used to select pages. You could, of course, create a number of AdGroups each covering a different area or section of the site.
Now the set up is complete. Within days, even hours you will see data appearing. To ensure that there are no big mistakes you should go the the `Auto Targets` tab and select the `All` from the `See Search Terms` drop down menu. Here you will see full details of the Keywords used, the URL`s used, CTR`s etc. If you see that you are showing pages for Search Queries that you are not happy with simply put those terms in as Negatives. More info on DSA.
You can improve performance even further by making use of two nifty feature. First with Location Targeting you can show your ads only in specific areas or regions. The `Locations` tab in `Campaign Settings` allows you to show your ads in very specific areas eg specific Towns, Cities, Counties,etc. I have found this feature to be pretty accurate. Finally as you will be getting good CTR`s you will probably be eligible to show Sitelinks. You can easily set these up, using the Ad Extensions tab, for each AdGroup or a whole Campaign. Using these will further enhance your AdGroups performance.
What kind of performance should you expect ? Of course it depends on your site, the competitiveness of your pages and lots of other things. My experience is that CTR`s of charity sites are around 5/8% with even higher figures possible for specialist areas. With a monthly ( free) spend of £6,600 ( $10k) and with a cpc of £0.66 that means up to 10,000 extra visitors per month – well worth the set up effort.
Do you have an under-performing ( or not at all performing….) Google Grant account ?