Cancer Society Google Ad Grant Case Study

Maximising Cancer Society NZ’s Google Ad Grant Performance

Cancer Society NZ came to Somar Digital to help maximise the return on their Google Ad Grant account. To do this we undertook a comprehensive SEM (Search Engine Marketing) Audit and identified ways in which Cancer Society NZ could get more out of the Google Ad Grant for not-for-profits.

Some key outcomes that the Cancer Society saw with their Google Ad account include enhanced visibility of their adsa dramatic jump in engagement which meant more people are clicking on their ads, and maximising the $10,000 Google Ad grant for greater impact.

Our services used in this project are


Initial Discovery Session

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Cancer Society is one of New Zealand’s most trusted charities and aims to reduce the incidence and impact of cancer in Aotearoa, NZ. Cancer Society uses Google Ads to help boost their online donations and increase their visibility. Before we undertook any work for Cancer Society we met with them for a discovery session to help understand their needs for their Google Ads account and the most significant pain points they were facing.

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SEM Audit

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Once we understood what Cancer Society wanted from their Google Ads we undertook a comprehensive SEM Audit. An SEM audit is a deep and thorough dive into your ad account to determine areas that could use further attention and work to improve performance. The scope of the audit is broad but includes analysis of key areas like overall account performance, campaign performance, ad group performance and keyword performance.

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SEM Audit Findings

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After completing the SEM Audit we found a number of areas where Cancer Society’s Google Ad account could be improved. These included a low optimisation score and campaign score, a lack of conversion tracking, and a poor return on ad spend. From this audit, we outlined a number of recommendations. These were focused on helping Cancer Society get more from their Google Ads account like fixing the optimisation score to 100%, improving quality scores, doing keyword research (finding better and more keywords to increase targeting), and utilising all available assets available for their Ads.

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Google Ad Grant for Charities

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The Google Ad Grant is a program offered by Google to support nonprofit organisations in their online advertising efforts. The Google Ad Grant for Nonprofits provides eligible organisations with up to US$10,000 per month in free advertising credits to help them promote their initiatives and reach a wider audience. When we work with a client like Cancer Society we aim to maximise the Google grant spend to help boost brand awareness as well as drive traffic to the website.

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SEM SLA monthly optimisation packages

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After completing the Audit and recommendations we went ahead and enacted a number of these changes which resulted in some drastic improvements to how the Cancer Society Google Ad account was performing. At Somar Digital we offer three different tiers to our SEM packages, which means that clients can get the best bang for their buck. We make sure that we are as transparent as possible and maximise the time we have with our clients.

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Since Somar Digital took over the management of Cancer Society's Google Ad grant account, there have been numerous improvements. Below are some highlights looking at the first 8 months with comparison year on year.

Increased Investment for Greater Impact

Cancer Society’s Google Ad account now maximises the Google Ad grant that is available to them. This means the account now spends the full US$10,000 that is available, a significant rise of 200.8% from previously. This has directly resulted in generating more traffic to the donation page as well as helping users find their local Cancer Society, accommodation for people travelling for cancer appointments and treatment, and the cancer hotline, which helps connect people with cancer support nurses.

Enhanced Visibility

There's been a 56% surge in impressions, with Cancer Society’s ads reaching an impressive 252.8K people, compared to 162.1K the previous year. That's nearly 100,000 additional users getting familiar with the Cancer Society brand.

Dramatic Jump in Engagement

Cancer Society’s ads are not only seen but clicked. We've driven an impressive 31,517 clicks, an upswing of 93.7% compared to the previous period's 16,217. This substantial increase shows how the Cancer Society NZ brand is compelling more people to explore and interact.

Superior Click-Through Rate (CTR)

The effectiveness of the ads has also improved, with CTR increasing to 12.5%. That's an increase of 24.2% from last year and significantly higher than the industry average of 4.41%, signifying a higher percentage of viewers who are not just seeing, but engaging with their ads.

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Somar has significantly increased the value we are getting from our Google Ads grant account. They’ve been able to achieve a lot within our restricted budget. I value their proactive approach and the effort put into explaining how we can improve our account.

Julia Frater, Cancer Society New Zealand