Understanding Quality vs. Quantity
Churches using the Google Ad Grant may assume the main goal of the grant is more clicks to the website or to spend the most money possible. However, all clicks are not created equal. Effectively managing a Google Ad Grant is a lot like baking a cake. An experienced baker must balance every ingredient in order to bake the most delicious cake possible.
It’s the same with effective Google Ad Grant management. An experienced Google Ad Grant manager will take into account a church’s strategic goals while balancing things like location, bid strategy, keyword usage, campaign structures, and click-through rate. In order to better understand the importance of balancing these various ad grant ingredients, it’s important to first clarify the goal of the Google Ad Grant.
What is the Goal of the Google Ad Grant?
The goal is to reach a specific audience, and bring high-quality desired individuals to your website while giving your website an opportunity to turn visitors into meaningful church activity. Meaningful church activity can be many things including watching online, filling out a form, attending an event or attending a church service. The Google Ad Grant plays an important role in the funnel that moves a person searching online toward interacting with your church in a meaningful way. When a person takes a desired action through your website, this is called a conversion. Churches should hope to create as many conversions as possible through effective use of their Google Grant and website.
Balancing Google Ad Grant Quality vs. Quantity
Not all ad traffic is good traffic. An effective Google Ad Grant manager must carefully consider ways to connect with and convert the highest quality traffic possible. The following sections will explore the various choices an individual managing a Google Ad Grant must balance.
More Clicks vs. Quality Clicks
The Google Ad Grant conversion funnel is only as effective as the quality of traffic going into the funnel. For example, a church may generate traffic to its website by running ads for “dog grooming” using the Google Ad Grant. However, people looking to get their dog groomed will probably not find your church website very helpful. They will most likely leave without doing anything on your site. More traffic does not always equate to good traffic. This is why an effective Google Ad Grant manager must carefully consider ways to connect with and convert the highest quality traffic possible.
Effective ads should focus on keywords and topics for people who may be interested in your church or a ministry of your church. Google is looking to offer its users the most relevant information possible. When Google shows your church’s ad to a user, it hopes the user will find your website helpful and relevant to their search. If the user has a bad experience Google will eventually stop showing your ads.
Max-Conversions vs. Max-Clicks
When discussing click quality, the topic of bid strategy is also important to explore. Your church will need to balance bid strategies among each of your Google Grant campaigns. We recommend selecting maximize clicks or maximize conversions.
When choosing maximize clicks as your bid strategy, your advertising bids will be capped off at $2.00 per click. This means your ads will show for lower-cost keywords and may generate lower-quality traffic overall. On the positive side, this strategy will typically generate the most possible clicks for your spending.
On the other hand, as people click on your church’s ads, Google is able to pinpoint the type of people most likely to click on your ads and do something on your website. Changing your bid strategy to maximize conversions will focus your ads on people most likely to engage with your website. One big benefit of this strategy is that Google doesn’t cap your bid at all. This means you can spend more of Google’s money each month! However, this bid strategy does tend to earn fewer (but higher quality) clicks. Expert Google Ad Grant managers will balance these bid strategies within their church campaigns.
General Keywords vs. Specific Keywords
Using the Google Grant, nonprofits can show ads to no more than 10% of all web traffic for any keyword. Also, ads must generate enough traffic for Google to allow them to continue to be shown. Therefore, the Google Grant works best when casting a wide net to capture traffic for the most commonly used keywords. The following image shows a Google Grant campaign capped at showing ads to 10% of people searching for the keywords being used in the campaign.
Therefore, the Google Grant works best when it’s used as a wide net to capture traffic for the most commonly used search terms (keywords). If a church was too specific with their keywords by using terms like, “church”, there may be too much competition and your ad may never show. Also, if your keywords were too specific with something like, “Bible-believing Charismatic Christian Church in Atlanta, Georgia”, there may not be enough traffic for that ad to work within the Google Grant.
An effective Ad Grant manager will identify the most popular keywords generating clicks for their church or ministry and run ads for those keywords. You can explore and compare keyword popularity through Google Trends.
As people search online, we estimate less than 20% of church-specific traffic comes from church-specific terms. These are terms like “Christian church” or “evangelical church”. The other 80% of searches are people looking for help and support with things the local church can expertly provide.
Many churches fall into the trap of focusing their Google Grant campaigns on only church-related terms. By doing this they miss 80% of potential search traffic by local people searching for support for real issues. When setting up your Google Grant campaigns, make sure to consider the various church ministries you provide. Google Grant ads can also be built around sermons and blog topics. The added benefit of campaign diversity is that the more keywords you use in your ads, the greater the chance your ads will show to a larger and more diverse audience.
Larger Geographic Area vs. Smaller Geographic area
Choosing the geographic area where your ads will be shown is a very important choice. Choosing too small of an area may mean there’s not enough traffic to generate meaningful ad clicks. However, setting too large of a geographic area may lead to ad clicks from people not interested in engaging your church.
The geographic area your church sets should reflect the goal of your church’s ads. If you’re looking for a local person to attend your church physically, then setting a geographic target of around 30-50 miles would work well. Before you set too small of an area for local traffic, remember some people work over an hour from their home and search online during the day.
Your church may have ministries that could connect with people all over the country. For example, in today’s world people can watch church online from anywhere. So, if your church is using the Google Grant to run ads for online church, consider a large geographic target. You may offer resources that could help with marriage or other felt needs. This sort of ad could also be shown to people over a large geographic area. The goal of your church’s Google Grant ads should help determine your geographic target.
A click-through rate looks at the number of people shown your church’s ads and calculates what percentage of those people actually clicked on the ads. In general, the higher the click-through rate, the more effective the ad. Click-through rates matter because they offer a good indication of how your ad campaign is doing overall. You may work to show church ads to everyone in your area, but if no one is clicking on those ads, then your campaign isn’t going very well.
The following image shows average click-through rates across industries. Overall, the average Google Search click-through rate is 4.62%. Whether you are managing your Google Grant account yourself or paying a company to manage it for you, make sure you check out the click-through rate of your campaigns.
The final, and arguably one of the most important pieces of your Google Ad Grant funnel is conversions. The term “conversions” refers to people doing things on your website that you want them to do and are measuring. Your church may run an effective ad campaign that generates a good amount of quality new traffic to your site, but if those people leave your site as soon as they get there, then there’s a problem.
Your church website is an essential partner to your ad campaign. Does your church website effectively welcome new visitors and easily move them toward watching online or attending in person? When a person clicks on an ad, are they taken to a page that offers relevant content while moving them to watch or attend for the first time?
It’s important to set up conversions in Google Analytics in order to help Google better understand the effectiveness of your ad campaign. Conversions also help you see what people are doing on your website after they click on an ad. It’s very helpful to know how many new visitors are clicking watch or plan a visit.
Tweaking websites to better convert traffic is an art and a science. It’s also a deep well offering an infinite amount of potential tweaks. If your church is considering setting up the Google Ad Grant, it would be worthwhile to check with a professional at Missional Marketing to make sure your website is effective and ready to receive traffic.
Google Makes the Rules
Every day billions of searches take place online across the world. A complex Google algorithm ranks relevant search results. A Google Ad Grant manager must keep up to date with changes in order to make sure your church’s ads don’t fall behind, and unfortunately, Google is always changing the rules.
The great news is that thousands of people are searching for spiritual help in your community and across the country. Those churches willing to invest in reaching people online will connect with more new people than ever before.
Online Outreach in a New World
Online outreach is an essential piece of evangelism in the 21st Century. Google has become one of the church’s greatest evangelism allies because of the Google Ad Grant. In fact, expert Google Ad Grant managers can help your church receive around $100,000 per year in Ad Grant donations from Google. In many ways, this can make Google one of the largest contributors to your church’s mission each year.
Learn More about the Google Grant
The experts at Missional Marketing are ready to help your church figure out if the Google Grant is right for you. We’ve helped hundreds of churches spend Google’s money to reach millions of people across the world. We want to help your church reach more people than you ever thought possible.