one url google grants

3 Tips to Adapt to Google Grants One URL Policy

It’s July 1st. Google Grant recipients know what that means – Google’s one URL policy is now in effect.

Nonprofits still have a brief grace period to remove any ads that use different URL destinations from the website addresses that they originally registered with. After that, nonprofits that fail to comply with this policy risk losing their grantee status. Here are three tips to help your organization keep website traffic up and maintain the flow of new donors and supporters strong.

Merge Smaller Websites Into One Super Site

Some nonprofits use smaller websites or “microsites” to promote unique events or initiatives. In most cases, you can combine these microsites with your main website. For example, if you had a separate website to promote your fall gala, you could easily create a page on your main website with information about the gala pulled from the microsite. Once you have a new page, use a 301 redirect to direct users from the old microsite to this new page. This will ensure that links are not broken, website traffic is not lost and search engine PageRank score is not impacted.

Some other benefits of this strategy:

– Builds authority for your main website.

– Reduces duplicate content by having information on one central site instead of several smaller websites.

– Increases chances visitors will stick around on your website and discover new information like volunteering opportunities.

Of course, there are valid arguments for keeping multiple websites. Some organizations have websites focused on completely different programs or have secondary sites to collect donations if their main domain cannot accept credit card information, so they need to create microsites. And some nonprofits opt for the microsite strategy for SEO reasons. If your group is going for microsites for these or any other reasons, then try the second strategy below.

Create Landing Pages With Links to Microsites

I used to work for a nonprofit called Metropolitan Ministries of Tampa Bay. To fight homelessness, we started a lunch cafe that provided culinary training to the poor, which also provided a secondary source of income for the organization. We worked with a design firm to create a fun, modern website for this program. However, Google’s policy prevented us from using our Google Grant to advertise this second website since it was deemed too different from the organization’s core mission. What did we do? We worked around this rule by creating a landing page on the main website with a lot of  links to the cafe’s website. Then we promoted this landing page through Google Grant ads.

landing page links
Metropolitan Ministries uses a landing page and plenty of links to get people from their Google Grants ads to their new microsite.

You can do the same thing for your organization. Create a landing page to use with your Google ads, then provide links on that page to the microsites you want to promote. While this approach is not ideal from client usability or search engine optimization standpoints, it will work. You can track success through Google Analytics or Adwords Conversion.

Remember Subdomains Don’t Count

Google’s one URL policy does not apply to subdomains or subfolders within your website. This means your nonprofit can still promote different sections of your website. Subdomain and subfolder URLs look different depending on how your website is set up. What is important is that your main URL is somewhere in the website address. Below are examples of web pages of nonprofits that have different subdomain structures that are part of their respective domains.

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