Maximizing Ad Grant Performance by Enhancing Conversion Tracking

Overview

AFS-USA is a nonprofit that empowers people to become globally engaged citizens by delivering meaningful study abroad and host family experiences.

Although the organization’s Google Ad Grant account was already set up and in operating condition when we first began our work with AFS-USA in July 2022, their goal was to maximize the benefits of the Ad Grant and, ultimately, build brand awareness and expand enrollment in their intercultural programs.

Client

The Outcome

The Ad Grant work Media Cause did with AFS-USA helped connect 49,924 people (a 17% increase compared to the prior six months) interested in study abroad offerings, host family experiences, and other resources with more information about AFS-USA’s intercultural programs and opportunities.

$1.08

85

4.4%

AFS-USA’s score on the Ad Grant Health Report, a 24 point increase since our work began

amount cost per click dropped by YoY

increase in clicks

The Challenge

AFS-USA partnered with Media Cause to maximize the benefits of their Google Ad Grant and in turn, raise awareness of their brand and program offerings.

 

We initially analyzed past performance by compiling an Ad Grant Health Report, which evaluated the “health” of their grant and identified methods of improving the account. They scored 61 out of 100, which helped us uncover several areas of opportunity. 

 

When reviewing the prior six months of performance, AFS’s key performance indicators (KPIs)—specifically for average cost per click (CPC), click-through rate (CTR), and optimization score—were well below the averages we typically see with our clients.

The Strategy

After completing the Google Ad Grant Health Report, we were able to provide recommendations for improvement. For our key priorities, we focused on two main areas: fully optimizing the Ad Grant account (narrowing in on relevant keywords and reviewing and strengthening current ad copy language) and assessing the current conversion tracking setup.

 

To evaluate the performance of the AFS Ad Grant and measure the most important actions people are taking on their website, we created and set up the following conversions:

  • Homepage website visits 
  • Study Abroad Host Family sign ups 
  • Host Family Interest Form completions 
  • Study Abroad Application Page submissions 
  • Volunteer sign ups 
  • Donation completions 
  • Educator Newsletter sign ups 
  • Study Abroad Mailing List sign ups

Working with Media Cause has been a fantastic experience. They go above and beyond when it comes to meeting our organization’s needs and aligning with priorities. From communication to ad creation, they do it all and do it all well! It’s a pleasure working with the Media Cause team, and I’d recommend them to everyone.

The Implementation

We added more calls-to-actions to ad copy (headlines and descriptions) and improved the quality of Responsive Search Ads to help increase click-through rates and conversions.

By increasing campaign budgets and changing bidding strategies to maximize conversions, AFS-USA is better positioned to compete with other ads in-market, leading to more conversions.

AFS-USA had a long-standing low conversion rate in the 6 months before our work. We worked on improving the tracking around this metric as the first step toward increasing conversions.