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Our Experience with Google Adwords Grant for Nonprofits

Monday, September 21, 2015

Nonprofit organizations, especially smaller organizations, often have employees who are asked to wear multiple hats. At Gateway to College, our two-person communications team oversees our website, social media, marketing, editing, design, press releases, and more. As an organization, we’ve developed a strong brand, and we believe we’re telling a compelling story about our impact on the world. We’ve generally developed strong practices in each of these areas we oversee, but we don't always have the deepest background in each. 


In August, we launched a new Gateway to College National Network website. Our website launch was the culmination of months of hard work in refining language and creating a style that supported the Gateway to College brand. As we began our work in visioning and designing the site last spring, we were confronted with terminology such as Traffic Generation, Keyword Research, and Conversation Optimization. We knew a bit about SEO and linking blogs and keywords to our site, but we didn’t have the strategic background that would truly help us increase our impact online.


As we were beginning to research more about online presence and tools such as Google for Nonprofits, we met John Randak and Okay Grow. Okay Grow had the exact expertise that we needed. Over the course of three or four months, as our new website was taking shape, we had periodic check-ins with John. Okay Grow worked with us in a host of areas: researching and refining keywords and phrases; applying for a Google Ads Grant (an application that was successful!); and building an ad campaign that complemented the keywords built into our website.


Our new website has only been live for less than two months. In that short period of time, we’ve seen unprecedented traffic. Our website, social media, GtCNN Blog and Google Ads blend seamlessly into each other and make our online presence quite dynamic. Digital marketing and website optimization isn’t always where a nonprofit organization chooses to place its resources. In our case, it was one of the best investments we’ve made as an organization.

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