Google Ads for Nonprofits: Keywords

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In every earlier Google Ads Tutorial, we have talked about “Keywords” but we hadn’t explained what exactly it is. Keywords are words or phrases which you can use to match adverts with search words. High-level keywords help you get to the suitable customers at the right time. 

As we talk about you can’t use single-word keywords or too generic words. Because only commercial can use single-words and start a competition with other companies at a higher price for it. Too generic words won’t be good for you because many people won’t click on your ad if it doesn’t match with their needs. If you focus on a more specific word you would get more clicks and with it come to the increase of conversion rate.

How do they work?

When people write words in the search box and their phrases/words fit into your keywords your advert is showing. So if you want to show your ads when people are looking for products similar to yours you should use similar words describing products. Try to depict products with the most matching words, because it influences your ad rate. The less generic words and more suitable for your product, the higher rate.

Remember that every month you get 10 thousand dollars to spend on your adverts. It is a lot until you create many keywords and adverts with low-level rate. Then you will have to pay for them more than normal. Every word has a quality score. It’s calculated on the predicted click-through rate, ad relevance, and landing page quality. Higher ad quality usually means lower costs and higher ad positions. The less quality score of advertising the higher price you pay for it. 

Depends on what your product/tool is, your advert can show in different places. For example, if you show an application you can show your ad in Google Play or if you offer a new program your ad can show under search box in browsers.

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How to add Keywords?

Do you know where you find them and how to add them? You can find keywords in a few ways.

You have to click on a left side of the Google Ads page on “Campaigns” then it will show up Campaigns, choose one and then choose the Adverts’ groups. On the next page, you will see all your words in the selected ad group. Click huge “+” to add keywords to the group, then you have to save it and that’s all.

On the left side of your Ads’ wall, you have a bookmark “Keywords”. When you click it you get a page with all keywords from all campaigns and ad groups. It easy to find what keywords have the highest CTR (remember that in the overall statistics you have to have CTR above 5%). As before to add keywords you have to click big “+” under the chart and above words.

On the main wall where you have widgets with all mini version of statistics, you have also the widget with the most popular keywords. When you click on “see all” you get through to the page with all keywords from all campaigns.

The status of keyword

As you know you have to follow the rules from Policy Guide which you find here. Each word has its status. It tells you on which step of approval is your ad and eventually how you can fix errors. There are 3 main groups of statuses: 

  • A status which you can control – removed or blocked campaign
  • A status because your advert is checking – clarify, approved
  • Other status which you can’t control – low search engine, low cost

If you click into each of state Google tells you what happens right now. If it needs to be redone it tells you what you should do or which things are bad. More information you can find here.

The status of your words can change immediately for some and others it can take time. So don’t worry if some of the keywords have a positive status and others are waiting for approval. If something happens and one of your words won’t be positively checked they send you an email with information and tips on how to repair it.

Leads and Tips 

  • Choose keywords carefully. Think about words and phrases which describe your product/tool or company. Choose from them the most accurate and matching words to your ad group, linking page and offered a product. Statistic says the most efficiency keywords have from 2 to 3 words. 
  • Create groups of similar keywords. Group the keywords by-products, purpose or other factors. It shows you the best words in a category and helps target the most popular things which people search for. 
  • A sufficient number of keywords. The majority choose from 5 to 20 keywords. When you start creating advert you can choose more and then see how they work and delete the words at the lowest estimate. 

The most popular mistakes in keywords

Bad keywords matches

In Google Ads, you have three categories of keywords. 

  • Broad Match – ads will show if your keywords match with searching word by people. If people mention only a few of your major words your ads will show regardless of a prospect. To enter a broad match don’t use any form of punctuation, just add keywords to your advert. Eventually, you can add a plus before every word like this +funny +socks
  • Phrase Match – your ad will show only when people search for your keywords. For example, your keyword phrase is funny socks and your ad will only appear when people write in browser funny socks. But it will be shown also where people type in funny socks for a birthday. If you want to enter a phrase match keyword use double quotation marks like this “funny socks”.
  • Exact Match – your ad will show only when people type indirectly your keywords. It won’t show with similar meanings or phrases with other words. For example, you still use funny socks as a keyword, and your advert won’t show when people type in funny socks for girls or best shop with funny socks. If you want to add an exact match words use the squared bracket for keywords like this [funny socks].
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The type of match has a big influence on clicks and conversions you will get from your ads. Broad match delivers more impressions (clicks) but it is not precise for your products or the ad. From the other hand, the phrase and exact match give you fewer clicks than a broad match but they build a higher conversion rate. The choice depends on what you need and highly popular is your product and how good is your ad. If you started with Ads I propose you to use broad match for generating traffic on your site. 

Not using negative keywords

Using negative keywords help you avoid keywords that aren’t good or similar to your products or tool. This helps you avoid low CTR rate or low clicks rate. Using negative keywords can increase your conversions and lower costs. Negative words can give you the most targeted visitors which increased conversion rate and at the end reduce costs. 

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Optimal Ad Position

Ad rank is a bid and ad quality. As a nonprofit, you can’t control bid but you can control ad quality and keywords. The score of your ad depends on the quality of keywords, landing site, click rate and targeted keywords. The more quality score the higher your ad will be showing and more people will click on it. High ad score also lower cost of adverts.


Choosing Keywords isn’t easy stuff but you have to learn it and practise if you want to see effects from ads. Keywords are the most important thing which conditions of success or failure. Choose them carefully and try different options. Look at statistics and analyze what gives you the clicks, conversions or sales and whatnot. Delete everything which doesn’t give you enough rate. This is endless work and learn but it brings satisfying results. So keep going and use our tutorials to increase the value of your site. Good luck 🙂 Visit our Facebook and keep in touch with us.

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