So you have successfully applied and have your Google Ad Grants – what could go wrong with $10,000 of free in-kind advertising on the world’s leading search platform? Learn what you need to know for effective Google Ad Grant Management.
As a Google Certified team with many years of Google Ad Grant Management experience, here are our top 10 things to keep in mind when managing your Google Ad Grants.
1. Know Your Google Ad Grant Policies
Firstly, there are a number of specific rules for running Ads to ensure searchers are still having a great experience. What does this mean for you as an advertiser? Google requires Grant accounts to abide by the rules listed here. For example, you must maintain a CTR of at least 5% for the account overall by creating highly relevant, quality ads, and not use single-word keywords, or those with a low quality score.
2. Know Your Google Ads Policies
Google Ad Grant Management also requires knowledge of Google’s wider ad policies which change regularly. While Google allows for a great deal of freedom with advertising, they have policies restricting or suppressing ads for ticket selling and reselling, technology repair, addiction treatment centers, and content regarding drugs, gun violence and other sensitive subject matter. Grant users are not exempt from this wider set of guidelines. You can read up on Google Ads Policies here.
3. Put Yourself In The Searcher’s Perspective
If you want to find monthly donors, what might your keyword be? Put yourself in the searcher’s perspective, how often do you search for “organization to donate money to”?
Searchers are more likely to look for information about the cause area they are passionate about. When planning for campaigns or keywords, think about what people might be typing in their search bar. Even better, do some keyword research using tools like the Google Ads Keyword Planner.
4. Make A Holistic Marketing Strategy
Google Ads may not always be a good match. It works especially well for advocacy and awareness campaigns. For example, it can work for issues about animal welfare or attractions in a tourist hotspot. On the other hand, for fundraising campaigns or getting the word out about a very local charity event, Google Ads can be hit and miss. Remember at the end of the day, Google Ads depend on search traffic.
Get the most out of the Google Grant program by integrating it strategically into your marketing ecosystem. Why not use your Google ads to build brand awareness, then remarket your upcoming event to all those new website visitors through paid display social media? Or set up a lead generation landing page to collect emails for your newsletter?
5. Make The Most Of Smart Bidding
Google Grant keyword bids are capped at $2. That is, unless you use a smart bidding option like Maximize Conversions, Target CPA, or Target ROAS. Without smart bidding, your options for keywords will be limited. You will not be able to compete once the bid surpasses $2. To set up smart bidding, you need to be tracking meaningful conversions and setting goals within your account.
6. Don’t Set It and Forget It
With a Google Grant account, it can be tempting to set it and forget it. With so many other competing priorities it may simply fall to the bottom of your list. But, in neglecting to check into your account, not only might you be missing key trends, search term suggestions and optimizations, you are running the risk of falling out of compliance and being suspended. Once your account is suspended, all of your ads will be prevented from running.
When you set up your new Google Ads account, plan to be spending 4-10 hours a month managing, updating and optimizing. Consider hiring a Google Ad Grant management team if you do not have the capacity to maintain your account.
7. Don’t Underspend The Grant
Some Google Ad Grants are not being used to their full potential. Some are under the impression that they must highly limit their keywords, and run only a limited number of campaigns to stay within the grant budget. In fact, many organizations, particularly those serving a niche or a local audience, struggle to spend the entirety of the grant. Therefore, make sure you strike a balance between casting the net wide and keeping an eye on the budget. The strategy for a Google Ad Grant account should differ to a paid ad account. You can generally experiment, be highly creative and put in as many relevant keywords as you can think of as long as you abide by other Google Ad policies.
8. Don’t Go Too Broad
However, going too far the other way is another common mistake. Above all, your keywords must be highly relevant. For example, it would not be wise to add all the suggested “water” related keywords to your campaign to raise awareness and donations for the global water crisis. An ad about the water crisis is not likely to interest a person searching for a “water bottle”. A poor ad experience will bring down your click-through rate which could result in an account suspension.
9. Have A Good Website & Landing Pages
Your Google Ads are only as good as the destination, so if your website is not user-friendly, your campaigns will not perform well, no matter how great your Google Ad Grant Management. Find out what makes your website highly compatible with Google Ads in our two part blog post “How Your Website Relates To Google Grants“. Take it a step further, by understanding the difference between a website page and a highly optimized landing page to maximize conversions.
10. Know Your Resources
Reach out when you need assistance. There is an abundance of resources out there, on our blog and elsewhere.
If you’re facing a more specific issue with your Google Ad Grants account, someone else may have experienced it too. Check out the Google Ads Help Community or reach out to Google’s Support Team. They’re available at any time of day through phone, email or chat.
These are the top 10 tips that for Google Ad Grants management. Make sure you’re using your Google Ad Grants to its fullest potential. If your account needs a little more TLC, contact firstname.lastname@example.org we’re always happy to chat.