This is the second installment of our two-part series on how your website can affect your Google Ad Grant. Read part one on website compliance here.
The Google Ad Grant Program gives eligible nonprofits $10,000 per month in free in-kind advertising to fund Google Search Ads. The quality of your ad campaigns is a huge part of maintaining a successful Grant account, but did you know that the quality of your website is just as important?
Here are just a few of the ways that design and user experience can affect Grant performance:
- Impressions: Google’s algorithm reviews your landing pages to determine how easy it will be for a user to find the information they’re looking for and whether the information is relevant to their search. If your landing pages are poorly configured, your ads are less likely to show.
- Bounce Rate: Poor user experiences can increase your bounce rate, or the rate that users visit a single page on your site and leave without interacting any further.
- Conversion Rate: Website quality can be the deciding factor in whether a user who clicks one of your ads will convert, or take a meaningful action on your site such as signing up for a newsletter, registering for an event, calling your hotline, or making a donation.
Read on to discover must-haves for a high-quality website that encourages users who’ve clicked on your ads to meaningfully engage with your organization’s online presence.
Well-designed navigation will help users find the information they’re looking for as quickly as possible and encourage them to stay longer.
- An Intuitive Navigation Bar: Use clear wording that links to every key element of your website in your navigation bar. We recommend supplementing a main navigation bar or menu with a navigation element in your footer.
- A Concise Menu: While it’s important that your navigation is thorough, you don’t want to overwhelm the user with too much choice. Limiting the number of items in your navigation bar to the essentials prevents users from going down a rabbit hole and getting lost.
- Limited Visual Friction: The easier it is to find information, the better the landing page experience. Avoid the use of excessive pop-ups or other features that could interfere with navigation on your site, and make sure the information you present on your landing pages is scannable and easy-to-read. (Consider using digestible bullet points to get your point across—it’s what we did with this very blog post!)
Highly Relevant Landing Pages
Google’s algorithm takes the relevance of your landing pages into account when deciding when to show your ads.
- Keywords: Add the keywords you’re bidding on to the landing pages you use in your ads. This will help improve your keyword quality scores and increase your chances of reaching a qualified audience that will be inspired to take action on your site.
- Unique Content: Google recommends that your landing pages contain helpful and highly unique content that will highlight the value and relevance of your organization.
A call-to-action is messaging that tells a user exactly what you want them to do on your site, and how to do it. When you’re clear about what you want users to do as a result of visiting your website, they’re more likely to take that action.
- Direct Language: Use concise, direct language in calls-to-action, such as “Contact Us” or “Register Now.”
- Prominent Style: Calls-to-action should stylistically stand out on the page so that they’re easier to locate. Consider adding prominent buttons or colors that contrast with the rest of the page’s content. Adding the same call-to-action at the beginning and end of your landing pages (or even thoughout the page, if the content is fairly long) can also increase conversion rates by giving users more than one opportunity to take that action.
Transparency is one of the main pillars of the Google Ad Grants program. Providing information about your mission and a concrete way for users to reach you is important in building trust—especially when your organization offers services to the public.
- A Clear Logo: You want users to know they’re in the right place as soon as they click an ad. Make sure your logo and brand name are clearly visible on all pages.
- An Informative Homepage: The Google Ad Grants program requires grantees to clearly state their mission on their website. Use your homepage to convey what your organization offers and why.
- Easy-To-Locate Contact Information: Your organization’s contact information should appear clearly in your website’s header or footer. If your website has a “Contact Us” form, make sure it’s easy to navigate to.
Transparent Requests: If your site requests personal information from users, explain why you’re asking and what you’ll do with it. Transparency builds trust that will encourage users to meaningfully engage with your organization.
A Great Mobile Experience
In 2019 over 50% of global internet traffic came from mobile devices—and this number is predicted to keep rising. Even if your website does not see a significant amount of mobile traffic right now, we highly recommend that you get ahead of the trend by optimizing your mobile experience as soon as possible.
- Responsive Design: Your website should use “responsive design,” or a layout that automatically adjusts to a user’s device. This will make your website grids, layouts, and images flexible to accommodate screen size and resolution.
- Minimalism: Mobile screens are much smaller than desktop, and the smaller the screen, the harder it can be for users to find what they need. A high-quality mobile site adapts to smaller screens by using clean pages with minimal blocks of text, bold calls-to-action, and a consistent menu on every page.
Images, Video, and Supplementary Material
Eye-catching media like photos, videos, or graphics are a great way to break up the text on your landing pages and draw users to your cause.
- Persuasive Content: Adding original photos or videos taken by your organization to your landing pages can be an effective way to foster empathy and encourage users to take action.
- Pagespeed: However, too much media, or very large images and long videos, can cause your pages to load slowly. This can create a poor user experience, lead to high bounce rates, and hurt your Google Ads performance. Test your page speeds and find recommendations for improving your visual content using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool.
The better the experience your website delivers, the more likely users are to meaningfully engage with it after clicking one of your Google Ads. Following these tips and best practices will help you get the most of your Google Ad Grant and grow your organization’s impact. If you’d like to learn more about nurturing the relationship between your website and Google Ads, get in touch for a free demo of our professional Google Ad Grants management service.