Volunteer Toronto is Canada’s largest volunteer centre with over 40 years of experience connecting volunteers to the organizations that need them. They empower local volunteers to find opportunities that make a positive difference in their community. Through in-person and online training, they also educate and help non-profit organizations and community groups run successful volunteer programs.
Volunteer Toronto’s main goal was to acquire leads for their volunteer programs through Google Ads. While their organic search ranking was healthy, Volunteer Toronto was looking to connect a higher number of volunteers to organizations that need them by ranking even higher on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs).
Volunteer Toronto traditionally saw a spike in volunteer interest during the peak of the holiday season in December. However, most holiday volunteer positions are filled long before then. They wanted to find a way to tap into that giving season sentiment to engage individuals in the future.
We started with advanced keyword research. Our objective was to identify terms and phrases that users were already searching for and use them to build out a list of relevant keywords. Since acquiring more volunteers was Volunteer Toronto’s main goal, we focused on search terms that expressed a general interest in volunteering. To target the seasonal spike in interest, we also identified terms related to holiday and Christmas volunteering, as well as holiday activities more broadly.
Our next objective was to build an effective campaign that would not only generate impressions, but direct our target audience to volunteer opportunities. We first organized our target keywords into niche ad groups so that our campaign was set up to deliver the best ad in its repertoire based on each user’s search. To increase the chance that the most relevant users would click Volunteer Toronto’s ads, we set geo-targeting to Ontario and chose one of Google’s automated machine learning strategies for the campaign’s bidding model.
We then created ads with strategic headlines and strong calls-to-action. Our strategy was to pepper the campaign’s targeted keywords into the headlines, descriptions, and URL paths of the ad variations, with the goal of boosting Volunteer Toronto’s SERP rank for queries containing the targeted keywords.
The final step was to design a landing page for those specifically interested in volunteering during the holiday season. Our landing page addressed the common issue that most positions are filled by December by adding clear alternative calls-to-action, including an email sign-up form so that users could get involved in the future.
View the landing page we created here: Holiday Volunteering
Volunteer Toronto’s pages have been viewed over 400,000 times
Since teaming up with ConnectAd in 2017, Volunteer Toronto’s pages have been viewed over 400,000 times. Over the one-month period when we ran this campaign, our ads generated 476 email sign-ups. That’s a 5.82% conversion rate—over three percentage points higher than the average.
Beyond sign-ups, the page also had a 51.6% conversion rate in terms of interacting with some calls-to-action, which included click-through to a third-party donation page.
With a specialized Google Ads strategy, Volunteer Toronto was able to extend the reach of their digital advocacy.