A Journey for a Domestic Violence Victim

This has to be one of the most powerful stories we have captured since we started working with Safe Harbor. Each year, we have pushed the boundaries, getting to a place where real, raw emotion translated into such palatable words. Jenita is such an inspiring woman, with an amazing ability to share emotion in a way that we could truly see into her soul.

It only took her only two times to read the script she wrote, staring into a teleprompter literally three feet away. She was nervous about “letting loose”, sharing the graphics words that truly showcased her inner struggles and path. I am so glad she found the space to let loose; and truly share her heart.

Telling stories is more than just creating something for the consumer to feel the depth of the story; it is also knowing when to step back and letting the story be told without stepping in the way.

I am thankful for Jenita’s strength. If this message upsets you or offends you; then maybe Jenita’s story truly achieved it’s goal…to make you think and see the inner soul of a survivor. We should be so honored to know that she is willing to expose and share her inner being to us!

How can we be champions for women like Jenita right here in Anderson County, South Carolina?

Executive Producer: Bobby Rettew / Chief Storyteller at Gray Digital Group
Producer/Editor: Mark Berry at Gray Digital Group
Client: Safe Harbor

Email Marketing 101

What is email marketing?

Email Marketing Strategy San Antonio | Gray Digital Group
Email marketing uses your company’s email list to generate new leads and business for your company. Email marketing can be used for branding purposes or lead generation depending on the campaign being run and your current goals. This is a great way to keep in touch with your current and potential customers.

Email Marketing Strategy:

The strategy for your email marketing campaigns depend on your current needs and goals. Our team will work with you on defining these goals and create a complete email marketing strategy based around them. All aspects of these campaigns will be driven by the various goals associated with the campaign.

Email Template Design:

As a part of your email marketing campaign you will inevitably need email templates. Our team will create templates directly associated with your marketing goals or work off of current templates you may have in an effort to optimize them for the campaign. These templates will be tweaked and tested against one another, in a practice called A/B testing, to increase the campaigns performance.

Email Campaign Analytics and Optimization:

Looking at the campaigns’ analytics will allow us to see campaign performance. This will include email engagement rates, on-site metrics, and overall goal metrics tied back to the original campaign goals. Once we understand these metrics, we are able to further optimize the campaign to increase them and a campaign’s overall success.

Email Campaign Reporting:

Each email marketing campaign will include monthly reporting as with all of our digital marketing services. This report will be in an easy to understand format that includes overall campaign performance, campaign goal performance, future optimizations as well as a full commentary of the campaign’s performance from the previous month by one of our email marketing experts.

Nonprofit Paid Search

Nonprofit Paid Search
Crucial Digital Marketing for Nonprofits

How Paid Search Helps Your Nonprofit

Most nonprofits limit their digital marketing strategy to just their website. Now a great website can help engage donors and showcase your cause, but without doing more, you’re only reaching the people who already know about your cause. Running multiple digital campaigns allows each effort to enhance the other, creating a more successful digital marketing strategy.

Increasing your donors and volunteers means increasing awareness of your cause by spreading your mission or vision. Paid search is a great way to do this using digital marketing.


Google Grants: Nonprofit PPC Made Affordable

Concerned about the cost of paid search ads to benefit your nonprofit? The Google Grant is the answer to your dilemma.

What Is Google Grants and How Does it Work?

What is it?

Google Grants allow eligible nonprofits $10,000/month of ad spend to share their cause on Google’s search engine. That means that every month your nonprofit could use up to $10,000 worth of FREE Google ads.

How does it work?

Once Google approves your nonprofit, it allows your nonprofit Adwords account to spend up to $10,000 each month, at a max Cost-Per-Click (CPC) of $2.00. Once you hit $10,000 in ad spend, your ads automatically stop showing for the month. Then, ads automatically start running again at the beginning of the next cycle, so there’s no worrying about extra charges once you pass your $10,000 spend cap.

The Perks of Google Grants for Nonprofits

Large Network of Users

More than 60% of all online searches happen on Google, making it the most popular search engine online. Google’s large user network can help you quickly spread your cause, and with a maximum CPC of $2.00/click, your site could receive up to 5,000 more visitors each month, for FREE.

Reach Your Target Audience

Another benefit of Google is its diverse audience. You can set target demographics, locations, and keywords to pinpoint the users who could be interested in your cause.

Increase Online Visibility

If your nonprofit is new or not showing up for keywords related to your cause, Google Grants can help you show up at the top of those keyword search results. Placing at the top of a Google search helps give your cause awareness while your site increases its organic rankings. Even if your nonprofit ranks well in organic search results now, search ads let you show up more than once on a page and increase the chances of a visitor clicking through to your site.

Google Grants Nonprofit Qualifications

Qualify for Google Grants

Google accepts applications from nonprofits that meet the following criteria:

  • Valid 501(c) nonprofit
  • Have a website with enough good content
  • Headquartered in the United States or eligible country
Maintain Your Google Grant

If your application is successful, you must do the following to keep the Grant:

  • Link ads to only one website
  • Do not link to a page where a majority of content hyperlinks to other websites
  • Log into Adwords at least once a month
  • Update your ads at least every 90 days
  • Only promote products, services, and events where 100% of proceeds go directly towards supporting your program


Apply for Google Grants

One of the biggest hurdles to winning a Google Grant is the application. The application includes writing a section of how you will use the grant and creating Google Ad examples for your nonprofit. It can take anywhere from 4 to 6 hours to complete, and not all applicants are accepted. Repeatedly rejected applicants must wait months before re-applying.


Manage Your Google Grant

Managing a Google Grant on your own is possible, but requires a lot of work to really benefit your nonprofit.

Google Grants Hurdles

Some common hurdles to Google Grant management are:

  1. Difficult Entry: Applying for and maintaining the grant is time-consuming.
  2. Use it or Lose it:
    If your account doesn’t spend the full amount allocated each month the remaining balance doesn’t rollover. A great strategy is important to make most out of your grant.
  3. Cap on Click Spend:
    Google sets a max CPC of $2.00 and shows Google Grant ads after paying advertisers. Creating compelling, optimized, and targeted ads is crucial to seeing a high impact from your paid search efforts.
  4. High Standards: You must keep improving your ads and maintain at least a 1% click-through-rate to continue receiving the grant.


Google Ad Grants Management

Gray Digital Group specializes in non-profit Google Grant management. We help nonprofit clients manage Google Grants from start to finish – from applying to receive their Google Grant, to setting up and optimizing the campaign for the long-term.


Nonprofit PPC Management Includes:

  • Determining if you are eligible for the grant
  • Applying for the Google Grant
  • Creating example ads for the application
  • Enrolling your nonprofit in Google Ads Grants
  • Creating and setting up your account
  • Keyword research
  • Optimizing your account structure
  • Optimizing target keywords
  • Optimizing bid strategy
  • Creating and optimizing ads
  • Setting up conversion tracking
  • Setting up ad extensions
  • Connecting Google Analytics
  • Setting up event tracking
  • Creating landing pages for your site
Ongoing Management
  • Campaign monitoring
  • A/B testing
  • Improving or changing ad copy
  • Adjusting bidding
  • Reviewing analytics
  • Monthly Reporting
  • Monthly Recommendations

Google Grant Management

If you would like to learn more about paid search for your nonprofit contact us today!

Schedule Google Grants Consultation

Content Management Systems

Content Management Systems (CMS)

We get it. You need to be able to make updates to your website without the help of an entire team of technology experts. The key to digital success is your ability to make regular content updates and add rich media, such as photos and videos. Implementing these steps will keep your site interesting and engaging.

We deliver a variety of content management tools that make it as easy as possible to update sites, integrate social media activities and handle videos and pictures.

Content Management Systems | Gray Digital Group

E-commerce SEO

E-Commerce Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization is crucial for online merchants. E-commerce sites depend heavily, or solely, upon search engine results to help consumers find their products. Without search engine optimization an E-commerce site won’t reach their target consumer and will lose out on sales. E-commerce SEO allows product descriptions, prices, and images to show up in search results, helping ready-to-buy consumers see that you have what they want.

E-commerce SEO Package

  • SEO onsite audit report
  • SEO off site audit report
  • Keyword research report
  • Onsite Optimization report

Setup Includes:

  • Robots.txt file setup
  • Schema markup
  • Sitemap implementation
  • Google Webmaster setup
  • Google Analytics implementation
  • Set up goals in Google Analytics
  • Bing Webmaster setup
  • Optimize website for social sharing
  • Optimize Google Maps
  • Optimize Bing Maps
  • Optimize website code
  • Content strategy
  • Setup rank tracking
  • Optimize mobile speed
  • Optimize site speed
  • Create review strategy
  • Implement canonicalization (if needed)

Ongoing Ecommerce SEO Includes:

  • Optimize products (monthly): 10-15
  • Fixing any 404 errors
  • Correcting any broken links
  • Correcting any crawl errors
  • Optimize product images
  • Product markup
  • Rich snippet optimization
  • Structure content including H1,H2,H3
  • Create optimized descriptions
  • Optimizing internal linking structure
  • Meta title optimization
  • Meta description optimization
  • Optimize videos (if applicable)
  • Monitor backlinks
  • Optimize website code
  • Optimize mobile speed
  • Optimize site speed

Monthly Report Includes:

  • SEO report
  • Analytics report
  • Keyword rankings report

Cost Effective Marketing for E-commerce Sites

E-commerce SEO is cost-effective for online businesses because it offers long-term value. Instead of paying for ads, the site consistently ranks for target keywords, increasing its traffic for free.

Amazon Optimization

Some online businesses sell products solely through Amazon. Sound like your business model? Then you already understand how important product optimization is to your products’ visibility. We can help put together strategies to optimize all your products on Amazon. Think of Amazon as just another search engine; it uses it’s own algorithms to rank products for consumer searches. Our digital team takes this into consideration when optimizing Amazon products and pages. Contact one of our specialists to get more information on Amazon Optimization.

Call Tracking

How Can Call Tracking Help Your Business?

Call tracking helps your business track the success of any digital campaign and separate what’s working from what isn’t:

Tracking campaigns:

Call tracking takes the guesswork out of which campaign is generating leads for your business. Each campaign uses a unique phone number enabling you to keep track of how many leads come from each online campaign. Campaigns are not limited to PPC or SEO. You can also track social media and email marketing campaigns.

Categorize calls:

Someone calls your business from one of the campaigns. Great, but how do you know if it is a good lead? With call tracking, you are able to listen to each conversation and hear if they are a new lead or a returning customer who found your number online. If you have multiple locations you can track which locations receive the most or least calls and then allocate spending accordingly.

Customer service:

With so many options on services and products, customer service is becoming an increasingly important factor to separate your business from the thousands of others. Call tracking helps you monitor customer service from your employees. Listening to how employees interact with customers will help your business identify common customer service problems.

Audience insights:

You can improve your business by listening to calls and creating audience insights. You can understand which zip codes generate the most qualified leads and emphasize this area in your offline campaigns or listen to the most common questions people ask about your product or service and write a blog on the subject.

Improve Campaigns:

Ever wonder which keywords convert users to leads? With call tracking we can track each keyword, whether you are running a PPC or SEO campaign, to understand which keywords yield ready-to-buy customers. Most businesses feel they know which keywords they want to emphasize, but aren’t sure which ones qualify leads. Call tracking shows you that, plus the time of day and days of the week people call your business so you can coordinate your paid campaigns around these times.

What’s Included in Monthly Call Tracking

Call Tracking

  • Monthly report
  • Setup of campaign (up to 4 locations)
  • Connect Google Analytics
  • Connect Adwords
  • Weekly listening to calls
  • Weekly calls to leads ratio
    • Monthly insights for improvements
    • Weekly adjustment if needed
    • 320 minutes monitored per month

More Info

Call Tracking for Healthcare

Call tracking is critical to creating a successful digital campaign in the healthcare industry. It is one of the largest industries where the majority of leads call to book an appointment or ask questions rather than filling out an online form. Without tracking calls, it’s much more difficult to know if your business’ online efforts are successful.

Tracking multiple locations:

Most hospitals or doctors offices have multiple locations. Call tracking helps understand which locations receive leads.

High competition:

The healthcare industry is unique in that most people follow a different hierarchy when choosing a doctor or facility. First, they check which doctors are in network, then by location, and lastly by customer service and reviews. Two of those three factors are already set in stone but customer service is always a determining factor as to which doctor or facility the patient will choose. With call tracking you are able to improve your customer service and increase the number of returning patients.

HIPPA Compliant:

Since most patients give private information about themselves to the healthcare industry, it can be a struggle to gain insights about your patients while abiding by HIPPA and HITECH. We maintain and comply with all regulations to ensure all patient information stays confidential.

PPC Management

SEM Management

Search Engine Marketing San Antonio | Gray Digital Group

Search Engine Marketing Management

SEM or “Search Engine Marketing,” is the process of purchasing ads online to increase the leads to your website. It sounds simple, but there’s a lot more to it than you may think. The costs of these ads relate to specific search data, like keywords. Once you get started, the ads in your campaign will show based on how well our research, strategy, and ad writing tie into what’s your target audience is looking for online.

Why make Paid Search part of your digital marketing strategy?

Paid Search has many advantages for any business:

  • Rank top in the search engines: Paid search helps gains exposure for a business by positioning the business website at the top of search engines and on relevant websites. This helps generate fast leads for a business.
  • Track success instantly: Paid search campaigns let us track your progress right away. There’s no second-guessing. If an ad isn’t performing we instantly re-strategize for better results.
  • Target your ideal customer: The best part about paid search is reaching exactly who you want, exactly where you want. We are able control who views an ad, down to the very keywords they search and the zip code they’re in. With control over target location, demographics, and search terms you can increase the percentage of conversions for a website.
  • You only pay for potential leads: Paid search is a great way to gain exposure for a site without wasting any money. With pay-per-click you do just that, only pay for each click on an ad. With a well-structured campaign, all the clicks you get will be from your ideal customer looking for your service or item.
  • Increase conversions: Our SEM management includes landing page design for your paid search campaign. Landing pages give you the flexibility to create a custom message for your campaign’s users and ultimately drive qualified leads.
  • PPC enhances SEO efforts: If you are just starting an SEO campaign we advise you to couple it with a paid search campaign. While one part of your business is working to reach the top of search engines for keywords, another part will be focused on getting you guaranteed exposure through paid search.

Paid Search Process

PPC Client Onboarding

The onboarding process allows us to better understand the client’s overall goals for their campaign including keywords, locations, demographics, goals, competitors, budget, and any other information we may need to begin the campaign.

PPC Research & Set Up

We focus on 5 objectives before kicking off your paid search campaign:

  • Demographic research: We discover your target audience by looking at the buyer personas along with any other demographics who have an interest in your business. If you haven’t started collecting digital data yet, we set out to change that using secondary target audience research, location-based research, campaign goal review, and an analysis of your current clientele.
  • Define clear measurements: We begin your paid search campaign by defining how and what we will measure. Each factor we analyze must correlate to a different goal.
  • Keyword strategy: Our SEM strategy team will conduct research on the keywords and phrases that will work best for your campaign. The final list will determine, not only the keywords we bid, but also your impressions and keyword competition.
  • Competitor research: Our team runs a competitor analysis on 1 to 3 competitors to discover your best keyword, landing page and ad copy strategy.
  • Account strategy: With all the research analyzed and all the pieces in place, our team will nail down the best campaign structure and set up to get your business its best results.

Paid Search Campaign Setup

Once we have a campaign strategy, we setup reporting for the future, organize paid search on all platforms, and ensure all analytics link to Adwords for capturing and ongoing analysis.

Setup Includes:

  • Set up campaigns
  • Optimize types of ads utilized
  • Set up target locations
  • Optimize devices
  • Optimize ad schedule
  • Set Up ad groups
  • Create & implement ad copy
  • Create landing page(s)
  • Design display ads
  • Optimize keyword lists
  • Set up bid strategy
  • Set up ad extensions
  • Connect Google Analytics to Adwords
  • Setup SEM platform dashboards
  • Setup call tracking (highly recommended)

Ad Design & Copy

Depending on the type of paid search campaign best suites the business goals, the client will receive optimized copy from our in house SEM & SEO specialist along with optimized ad designs from our in-house production team. These two campaign components are extremely important to the success of any paid search campaign. With a small amount of space and characters for each ad, it is crucial to make the most of each character and display space. All ad copy and designs are included in our monthly management from experts in SEM campaigns and award-winning creative production team.

Ongoing Management

After we set up the campaign we continually manage and monitor it to maximize potential leads.

Ongoing Management Includes:

  • Campaign monitoring
  • Viewing analytics
  • A & B testing
  • Change or approve ad copy
  • Create new display ads
  • Adjust biddings
  • Adjust geo-targeting (if needed)
  • Fix errors
  • Monthly recommendations

More Info

Monthly Reporting

Each month we send you a campaign report to help you track success, and gain insight into our future recommendations for the campaign.

Monthly PPC Report Includes:

  • Impressions
  • Clicks
  • Cost
  • CTR statistics
  • Top performing keywords
  • Top performing ads
  • Conversions
  • Recommendations

Types of Paid Ads

Paid ads come in many shapes and character limits. Some of the most common digital ads are:

Search Campaign

A Search Campaign ad is just another name for a PPC (Pay-per-Click) campaign ad. These ads allow you to target specific audiences based on their keyword searches and are usually built specifically for lead generation. Search Campaign ads usually show at the top or on the side of a search results page.

Display Campaign

A display campaign uses banner ads to target users by website content. If you know your users are sports fans, you can choose to target them on specific websites, like ESPN, or all sports websites within the search engines network.

Unlike the search campaigns, these campaigns are less focused on lead generation and more focused on increasing brand recognition and brand awareness.

Retargeting Campaign

Retargeting campaigns use banner ads to specifically target users who have already visited your website. When retargeting users you can choose to retarget all users or only users who have viewed a specific page or section of your site. This gives you the ability to serve up a very specific message to your visitors. This is also a great way to reach back out to users who you know are interested in your products or services.

Email Newsletter Campaign

Email newsletter campaigns allow you to keep interested prospects up to date with your company activities. Email newsletters are famous for promotions for already loyal members. This keeps your company top of mind for everyone on your newsletter list while also giving you the opportunity to grow your social channels.

YouTube Campaign

YouTube campaigns show video ads before and during YouTube videos. You can target a specific audience by demographics, topics, interests, placements, remarketing lists and keywords. These targeting techniques give you the ability to break down your target market and reach out to them with the specific message of your choice.

Facebook Ads

Facebook Advertising allows brands to develop and distribute highly focused ad messaging based on target audience. These ads are measured by various metrics, including but not limited to boosted page post engagement, video views and website clicks.

PPC Management for Nonprofits

Google Ad Grants Management

Gray Digital Group specializes in non-profit Google Grant management. We help all of our nonprofit clients through the Google Grant process, from applying for the grants to setting up and optimizing the resulting campaign. Receiving Google Grants can help your nonprofit increase donations, volunteers, and the overall awareness of your mission.

Responsive Web Design and Development

You most likely don’t have time to sit at a desktop computer all day, surfing the Internet and hanging out on all of your favorite social media sites. Chances are, neither do your consumers. They’re on their phones, tablets, and laptops. Now more than ever, websites must be responsive and maintain functionality regardless of what device someone is using to view it. Gray Digital Group’s designs are implemented with this in mind:

We want the user experience to be intuitive and informative, from desktop to smart phone.

Responsive Design & Development | Gray Digital Group

Gray Digital Group Recognized as One of San Antonio’s Top Local Agencies

This month Gray Digital Group was recognized by UpCity as a Top Local Agencies in San Antonio. As you may know, we at Gray have been providing high-quality digital marketing services to our clients since 2001, and so we are excited to celebrate this accomplishment!

UpCity helps scout out the best local agencies around that United States to provide small businesses with recommendations of only the most qualified and trusted agencies in their cities. Not all agencies qualify and must be nominated and vetted before making the list.

“We [Gray Digital Group] pride ourselves on giving only the best services and customer service to our client’s so it’s exciting for us to be apart of UpCity’s Top Local Agency list,” said Brad Gray, co-owner of Gray Digital Group. “Our goal is always to think of new and innovative ways to help add value to each client’s business. Each client is unique and has a different goal in mind for what success looks like so we emphasize customer service and customizing our services for each business. It seems like a no-brainer, but you don’t see that with all agencies. One size does not fit all when it comes to digital marketing and we understand that.”

We would like to thank all of our clients and staff for making this opportunity possible and hope to continue to provide our clients with high-quality digital marketing. Check out our profile on UpCity here for an overview of our services or contact us to find out how we can help accomplish your business’s digital marketing goals.

Strategy: Owned Media Before Earned & Paid #OwnedMediaRocks

Once again I sit through another meeting where a public relations professional’s performance is based on the number of print articles earned in the local newspaper. This has driven me to finally write this post.

Owned media can be a huge influencer for earned and paid. Let’s be honest, earned media is about relationships. Organizations can have the best stories, provide the best value for the community, and have the most topical items to influence media outlet’s bottom line…but without relationships this means nothing. ZILCH! That’s why you see organizations hire PR firms, mainly for their relationships leveraging their?sphere of influence.

Organizations that do not know how to tell their story (and tell it well) can have great relationships with earned media outlets, but do a horrible job of communicating their message. That is why I love the owned space. LOVE IT!

Investing in storytelling is not this hypothetical catch phrase that can make everyone feel warm and fuzzy, yet it is a practical, strategic approach that can influence ownership of messaging. It is an operational way of taking ownership of the stories that happen on an internal basis, funneled through digital properties as pitch mechanism, and influence media relationships to broaden the storytelling strategy. Plus…I think journalists are competitive and sometimes want to prove they can write better than the organization.

If you tell your story well, influence your community to engage with your story, people want to share. Creating a digital storytelling strategy as an internal focus can be executed very simply:

  1. Create blog
  2. Create a news area on the website
  3. Create a content plan
    – Create a content calendar
    – Capture and write an organization’s story through first person narratives via the blog
    – Capture and write third person news articles via the news section
  4. Write consistently (leverage content calendar)
  5. Share through social and digital outlets
  6. Leverage content as pitch narratives for earned media outlets.
    – Email blasts to media contacts
    – Have coffee/lunch/meetings with media contacts with story ideas from blog/news.
  7. Integrate paid promotion around content boosting performance (reach and funnel metrics)
  8. Track and report

This is the owned approach, putting a focus on telling your “own” story leveraging the organizations’ content for earned and paid media strategies. This allows organizations to focus on content on the tactical level (specialist, managers, directors) and the true function of PR, building long term relationships (director and vp level).

The best part of this approach is once the tactical strategy of content creation funneling through the organizations digital outlets…you can measure, refine, then scale.

Refining is the fun part! Measuring content that resonates with digital audiences then comparing the content narratives that support the communication/marketing focuses of the organization’s growth goals.

Now, I can hear you out there…”how do I get my internal team to focus on creation of quality content?” That is a whole other discussion, but it comes down to creating a commitment to this strategy, incorporating into individuals job functions/titles, and hiding them accountable. It also includes inspiring and recruiting the right people on your internal team that has a passion and voice for your organization, including outside the communications team.