How Charities Can Get the Most Out of Their Search Agency

Lorna Gill Posted by Lorna Gill

large group of women doing race for life

Charities may get some help from Google when it comes to advertising their campaign, but that Google Grant is wasted if your PPC agency isn’t managing its budget effectively.

If you’re using a PPC agency to manage your sponsored search efforts, that doesn’t mean it’s time to sit back and watch as they make decisions on your behalf. You should still be casting your eye over what their activity, ensuring that they’re not doing anything that goes against your organisation’s best interests.

Charities have very specific needs because they exist in such a competitive and highly-regulated market. Take the cancer sector, for example: there are a few big charities (Cancer Research and Macmillan, for example) that are vying for consumer attention. Although they do offer grants to help your charity run the best campaigns, Google has certain rules you must adhere to.

What no one can take away from you, whatever cause your charity is supporting, is that you know your sector best. A PPC agency may know what you do and how you do it, but because they don’t sit inside your organisation, it’s harder for them to see the bigger picture.

Here are our top tips on how to effectively manage and boost the performance of your PPC management agency to get the best ROI you can possibly achieve.

Refining Your Keywords

Work with your agency to decide which keywords are the best to target, which perform best and which don’t. They should also look into which are most cost-effective to bid on while getting the most conversions. Using a sophisticated solution like Adthena is needed as it is the only that gives you a whole market view without keyword or competitor restrictions. Adthena will help determine in better detail what your competitors are targeting and which words are performing best than Google’s free AdWords tool does.

Head to head, Adthena data

Adthena’s competitive intelligence for search offers an overview of the entire market, including keywords that you may not initially have considered to be that important. Don’t let those prime targets slip through the gaps just because your agency hasn’t identified them.

Ad Copy

After you and your agency have identified new keywords to target and your agency has crafted engaging copy to go alongside the targets, they should also report upon which ad copy works and which doesn’t. Adthena can help on top of this to find new ad copy ideas which are successful for competitors so they do not need to painstakingly test new combinations.

Make sure you approve it before the ads go live. It’s key that the messaging is right on brand, as is making sure it’s more clickable than your competitors’.

As I said previously, you know your market better than anyone else – that means you know what your potential donors will be looking for before they actually click and donate to your cause.

Again, using competitive intelligence to monitor what your competitors are saying in their ad copy, how they are structuring deals, what display urls they are using and which landing pages they are linking through to should be part of your process before signing off any ad copy.

Only when you can see exactly how your ad copy compares to theirs and which competitor is creating the most clickable ad copy can you get a whole view of the market and make sure yours has every trick it needs to get more clicks.

Keeping Landing Pages in Check

It’s pretty likely that, although your agency will be responsible for identifying keywords, crafting copy, launching campaigns, and monitoring performance, they may not be looking after landing pages.

Therefore, make sure your agency is being completely transparent when it comes to the landing pages they’re targeting and ensure you are helping them by making sure the content on those pages expresses what’s in the ads.

There should be an ongoing conversation about landing pages including which ones are new, which should be used for which campaign alongside a regular landing page review between the charity and the agency about performance.

That way, you can always be sure that they have relevant, engaging content that mirrors the campaign promoted in your ad copy.

Tracking and Monitoring Brand Infringements

Is your PPC management agency tracking whether your brand is being infringed and what impact this is having on your share of clicks? If they aren’t, you’re not getting the most out of the partnership and it’s about time they need to start giving you more detailed feedback.

Brand infringement causes a loss of clicks because it leads potential sponsors to click on ads served by other charities, and it can also damage your reputation. Make sure your PPC agency is monitoring possible brand infringements so it can investigate any problems as soon as they happen.

Adthena’s competitive intelligence for search allows your agency to set up automated brand infringement reports. If the service detects any competitor using your brand to leverage their position, you can be alerted instantly and take action.

Adjusting Strategies for the Best Returns

It’s likely your PPC agency is already providing you with reports on a regular basis, as well as giving recommendations about how you should change your strategy to account for market conditions and what your competitors are doing.

However, you should make sure the information they are providing you with is relevant to your charity’s particular needs and they are tracking progress using the right tools.

Together, you should set clear KPIs so they can report on the right metrics, whether that’s an upcoming event or another focus for the charity at a particular time of the year. If your agency doesn’t know it needs to change focus at a certain time, it will not be able to provide you with valuable insights.

A strategy should never be static. Your marketing campaigns change on a regular basis, whether it’s because of seasonality (such as a Christmas campaign for a homeless charity, or a sponsored summer barbecue initiative), or for more specific events such as Race for Life or the Virgin London Marathon. Your sponsored search campaign should reflect those changes.

Using competitive intelligence for search means you can see how your campaign is faring and compare it to those of your competitors. What’s more, automated reporting can provide both you and your agency account manager with a report if anything demands your attention (such as brand infringement) instantly.

If you’re a small charity without an agency managing your campaigns, take a look at our top tips for small charities.

About the author

Lorna Gill
Lorna Gill
Lorna is responsible for acquisition marketing at Adthena, communicating their award-winning product and generating demand. She has developed her career in fast-paced, start-up environments, including two tech track 100 companies and is passionate about translating technical information into stories that excite and delight.