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Google AdWords

Google Bans Tech Repair Businesses from Adwords

By | Google AdWords, Pay Per Click Marketing, Search Engine Marketing

Search engine juggernaut Google has announced that it will heavily restrict all advertising on its platforms done by third-party tech support and repair businesses (such as smartphone repair, laptop repair and so on). It has taken this step in a bid to thwart the rise of fraudulent and ‘harmful’ companies that are using Google platforms to place their advertisements.

google bans computer and tech repair on adwordsWhat’s more, this heavy restriction will be followed by a roll-out of a verification process for companies in the tech support sector to filter legitimate businesses from the scams.

David Graff, Google’s director of global policy said in a post on the Google Ads blog that the company is currently pushing back against fraudulent companies, which has resulted in these extreme measures. The company reportedly also takes down 100 ‘bad ads’ per second.

According to Graff, the company has also worked with law enforcement and government agencies to address abuse in this area. However, because the actual fraudulent activity takes place off the Google platform, it becomes increasingly hard to separate the legitimate businesses from the bad ones.

Graff admits that measures won’t result in the complete elimination of ‘bad actors’, but the company will keep doing all it can to keep its advertising platform safe for everyone.

This new policy is already having drastic repercussions for third-party tech support providers, as even legitimate businesses are being restricted from advertising. Since this is an industry-specific ban, even working with an Adwords agency won’t help your case, regardless of how well-optimised your campaigns are!

Of course, for legitimate businesses, this new policy means that they must go through a verification process to place ads on the Google platform. However, this could actually be good news for legitimate businesses as there will be less players in the space than before, making pay-per-click costs cheaper and the competition less severe.

Google’s Ad Grant for Nonprofit Organisations: Everything You Need to Know

By | Google Ad Grants, Google AdWords, Pay Per Click Marketing

Nonprofit organizations often work with tight budgets, as most of their funds come through donations. A challenge for such a nonprofit is going to be its marketing: how can it reach the most amount of people while still spending the majority of its budget on performing the actual charity work? Well, technology is here to help and this time it’s from internet search giant Google. Google’s Ad Grant program helps nonprofit organization use its AdWords digital advertising platform to increase the exposure of their website.

What is Google Ad Grants?

Think of Google Ad Grants as the nonprofit version of Google AdWords. And it’s not some stripped-down version ogoogle adwords for nonprofits, google for nonprofits australia, google grant managementf the platform either – you retain all of the functionality of regular AdWords. Google gives nonprofit organizations a budget of $10,000 per month to advertise on the AdWords platform. This works out to about $329 USD per day.

So if you’re running a nonprofit organization and are looking to increase the reach of your noble cause, the Google Ad Grants program seems like a pretty straight-forward choice, right?

Not quite, as Google has stringent procedures through which it vets organizations to be eligible for its free advertising program. Of course, these strict guidelines are in place so no one abuses the system but it also places a significant barrier to charities that don’t have full-fledged digital marketing departments.

Google Ad Grants Eligibility Criteria

If you work at a non-profit and the Google AdWords for nonprofits program sounds enticing, then you must be aware of the eligibility criteria that comes along with it.

To be eligible for Google Ad Grants an organization must:

  • Hold a current and valid charity status in one of the approved countries: For example in the US, you must have a current 501(c)(3) status. In Australia, you must be registered with your local TechSoup partner (Connecting Up) and be validated as a nonprofit organization.
  • Not one of the of the following:
    • Government entity or organization
    • Hospital or healthcare organization
    • School, childcare centre, academic institution or university. Please note that philanthropic arms of education institutions are still eligible.
  • Acknowledge and agree to Google Grant’s required certifications: These certifications outline the methods used to receive donations and the way in which these donations will be used afterwards.
  • Have a functioning website that provides adequate detail: The website should be fully functional and ideally should have some sort of a mechanism to receive donations. It should also provide adequate information about your charity and its purpose.
  • For Australian nonprofits, the requirements are:
    • Organisations must be registered with ConnectingUp, TechSoup Global’s regional arm.
    • Organisations must be a non-government, non-profit entity that is income tax exempt (ITE) as defined by Australian Charities and Non-Profits Commission (ACNC) and/or Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

How to Maintain Google Ad Grant Eligibility

Getting a Google Ad Grant can be quite challenging, especially for charities and nonprofits that don’t have experienced digital marketing resources in-house. However, getting a Google Ad Grant is only part of the challenge, as you have to actively ensure that your eligibility is maintained by way of following strict guidelines set by Google.

  • All of the ads in your account must link to the nonprofit URL as specified in your Google Ad Grant application.
  • You must be actively engaged in your Google Ad Grant campaign, logging in at least once a month. Failing to comply with this rule will result in your account being paused without notification.
  • The ads you put to use must reflect the purpose of your mission effectively. You can also sell products as long as you ensure that 100% of the proceeds will go on to supporting your nonprofit organization.
  • Your ads cannot lead to a landing page on your site whose prime purpose is to send visitors to other sites.
  • Your ads cannot offer financial products such as credit cards or mortgages. Donations should be in the form of money, and not goods such as cars, boats or property.
  • Your website is not allowed to participate in Google AdSense or affiliate advertising links (such as Amazon Affiliates).

Violation of any of the above-stated guidelines will result in your removal from the Google Ad Grant program. These guidelines can be changed at any time so always stay up to date.

Restrictions on Google Ad Grant Advertisements

Along with the eligibility criteria and member guidelines, you’ll also need to set of rules for your Ad Grant ad campaigns:

  • Previously, Google had a maximum cost-per-click (CPC) limit of $2 USD, but that has been lifted as long as you use their ‘Maximize Conversions’ bid strategy. Under this strategy, Google will automatically measure the ideal bid for you using machine learning, leading to optimized campaigns. In the past, Google Ad Grant members had to set bids really low due to the limit of $2 USD, which resulted in lesser clicks.
  • Daily budget is set at $329 ($10,000 USD per month).
  • Your ads will only appear on Google.com – you cannot use Search Partners.

The real challenge with Google Ad Grants is that you’ll oftentimes find it hard to spend the $10,000 USD monthly limit because of the ad and keyword restrictions. What’s more, Google has a policy where if you don’t have a CTR (click-through rate) of at least 5%, your Ad Grant will be paused.

Because of all the factors involved in managing a Google Ad Grant , it can be complex for nonprofits to manage it. Getting a Google Ad Grant is hard enough, but maintaining it is the real challenge. That is why it’s imperative that nonprofits employ skilled Adwords Managers. Ideally, Google Adwords specialists who understand the Ad Grant comprehensively to effectively utilize it. Sure, a good Adwords consultant will come at a cost but then the organization is also getting $10,000 in free ad money.

Of course, if the ads are being run successfully, then the Google Grant management cost will be completely negated.

A.P. Web Solutions works with several Australian Nonprofit organisations to help them set up and manage Google Ad grants. Here’s a screenshot of an NFP’s Google Analytics within a month of engaging our services:

GET THE SAME RESULTS FOR YOUR NONPROFIT ORGANISATION!

 

SEO vs. PPC: Which is Better?

By | Google AdWords, Internet Marketing Service, Pay Per Click Marketing

Every business needs traffic to survive. Whether you’re a brick and mortar business or an online E-commerce business, traffic is the lifeblood of a website and unless your plan for the website is to simply serve as a brochure for people who already know about your business, you’re going to need a consistent flow of incoming traffic to get new leads.

The question is, what kind of traffic is most suitable (and affordable) for your business? Without knowing which one you should invest your time and energy towards, you’re going to be spinning in circles.

SEO vs. PPCLet’s look at your options:

  1. Organic Traffic
    – Search Engine Optimization
    – Content Marketing
  2. Paid Traffic
    Google AdWords
    – Social Media Advertising (Facebook Ads, LinkedIn ads etc)

Organic Traffic – SEO

Advantages

  • Long-term & Sustainable. Once you’re ranked, you don’t pay for every Click.
  • Builds on itself. In other words, the more you rank, the more you’re going to rank (think compound interest)
  • Works well in conjunction with Content Marketing. As your website gains more authority with more links, Google starts trusting it more. And when Google trusts your website, the blog articles you publish have better chances of getting ranked for their respective keywords, thus generating even more traffic.

Disadvantages

  • Requires patience. It can take 4-6 months to start getting results from SEO, if not more.
  • Requires upfront investment.
  • Difficult to find an SEO agency that can actually rank websites and stay up to date with Google’s changing algorithms.

Suitability Criteria

SEO is not suitable for all businesses! Most SEO companies won’t tell you this and if you ask, “Will it work for me if I do (insert literally any profession here)?” the answer is always invariably “Yes”.
In reality, however, there are certain criteria that can indicate whether an SEO campaign is going to be an ROI positive investment for you. So if you’re not sure if you should be investing in SEO, ask yourself:

  • Is there a sizeable audience looking for your services online? In other words, do your main keywords have decent search volumes?
  • Is the first page littered with extremely large websites? If yes, do you have the budget to go after those keywords?
  • Are you financially in a position to invest potentially several thousands of dollars for months before you see an ROI?

If you’re not sure where your website stands in terms of SEO right now, use our free SEO audit tool to get an instant website analysis and comprehensive checklist delivered to your inbox!

Paid Traffic – PPC

Advantages

  • Instant results. If you set up your Ads properly and they are well optimized, you can start getting clicks (and hopefully, calls) within days!
  • You “pay per click” which means you don’t pay unless someone has clicked over to your website.
  • Google Ads can provide highly targeted traffic if they are set up properly.
  • Multiple platforms at your disposal. While SEO brings you targeted traffic from search engines like Google and Bing, paid traffic allows you to get your business visible on Facebook, LinkedIn & other social media websites that would otherwise have very little organic reach.

Disadvantages

  • Bucket with a hole. The minute you stop paying Google, your traffic ceases.
  • Unlike SEO, your Clicks from today don’t help you build a reputation or “trust” with Google that could help you tomorrow.
  • Bidding system. Google AdWords’ pricing works on a bidding system, which means if you’re in a competitive industry, your “cost per click” might keep increasing as your competitors bid higher than your bids. Your cost per click would also vary depending on your PPC management skills.
  • Pattern Interrupt Marketing: If you’re advertising on social media websites, realize that people aren’t there to shop for products or services. However, if your Ad is good enough to engage them and your product gets their attention, it could work, especially if it is an impulse purchase.
    Service-based businesses or consultants are at a large disadvantage with this approach. In other words, if the purchase of your product or service requires more than a couple of minutes of thought to reach a decision, social media Ads may not be ideal for your business.

Suitability Criteria

PPC can be a valuable lead-generating asset for a business IF you understand what you’re getting yourself into. Here’s what you need to know before investing in paid traffic:

  • You’re never going to stop paying for clicks.
  • The amount you pay for every click will vary depending on how much your competitors are bidding and how well your Ads are performing.
  • You will need to hire a PPC expert to set up and manage your Ad campaigns. AdWords Express was Google’s attempt at streamlining the process but all it really does is burn through your budget by showing your Ads to people way outside your target demographic.
  • Making PPC work for you is not as simple as setting up the Ad campaigns. It involves a lot of tweaking and split testing.

Conclusion

Organic and paid traffic both have their place. SEO and PPC can, in fact, work very well together. Technically, you can occupy a top organic spot AND an Ad spot, thus having more of the real estate on the first page and capturing more traffic.

Additionally, there are some keywords that may just not be worth going after organically but can get you Paid clicks and some additional traffic. These are keywords that may not have huge search volume (number of people searching that keyword per month) but for whatever reason, they are difficult to rank for due to the websites on the first page. In this case, considering the balance of difficulty and search volume, PPC becomes a great alternative.

So while one is not better than the other, if you only have the budget to invest in one, it depends on how fast you want the results. If you need results and sales yesterday (and you have the budget), PPC is the way to go. If you want to build a long-term stream of traffic that can build your business’ reputation and trust online, SEO is for you.

 

A.P. Web Solutions provides Adwords management services for local businesses to generate leads and phone calls through Google.

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