Last week I wrote an article about Where To Find Google Grants Help which introduced a series of posts I’ll be writing to provide some guidance to those running Google Grant campaigns. This week’s topic is about the mentality of running a Google Grant account because it has to be treated differently from your regular AdWords campaign. Having the right mentality is important as it defines the strategy you use to maximize the Grant’s effectiveness.
How an AdWords campaign is different than a Google Grants campaign
Note, when I say an AdWords campaign I mean typical campaigns run for for-profit companies. Now apart from the obvious differences (no bids above $1.00, no display or content network etc…) there are three key ways running these accounts differ.
1. Goal
The graph below depicts a typical AdWords campaign versus a typical Google Grants campaign in terms of ad dollars spent per day on the y-axis and clicks generated per day on the x-axis.

 AdWords Vs. Google Grants
A for-profit running an AdWords campaign is investing their own money which impacts profitability. In order to justify that expense, they need to demonstrate a positive return-on-investment and must achieve that within a budget. Within the context of the graph, the goal of an AdWords campaign is then to generate as many clicks/day as possible while maintaining or reducing the $/day spent, represented by the red-shaded region.
On the other hand, a non-profit running a Google Grants campaign is not investing any money but is given up to $10,000 per month of ad credits. Since there is no expense to the non-profit and there are powerful incentives to hit that $10,000/month cap (i.e. GrantsPro which gives an additional $30,000/month spend), they need to spend as much as possible. In the context of the graph, the goal of a Google Grants campaign is then to generate as many clicks/day while increasing $/day, represented by the blue-shaded region.
In the simplest terms, both AdWords and Grants are generally trying to generate as much traffic as possible. The difference is that an AdWords campaign’s goal is to do that while spending less money whereas a Google Grants campaign’s goal is to do that while spending more money.
2. Focus
That simple differentiation of spending less vs. spending more is important because it changes the focus of what you’re trying to achieve in a campaign. An AdWords campaign trying to reduce its spend will be focusing on things like quality score, bid strategy, click-through-rates and more finely targeted impressions. A Google Grants campaign trying to increase its spend will be focusing on generating clicks.
3. Strategy
Understanding the goals and the focus of what you’re trying to do with your PPC ad dollars really defines the strategy of how your run the campaign. A for-profit AdWords campaign relies on an “optimization” strategy to help maximize its ROI by increasing traffic and reducing costs. A non-profit Google Grants campaign should rely on a “growth” strategy to help maximize its ad dollars spent by increasing traffic. Just knowing that is important because it affects the things you do (for ex. what your campaign settings are) and how you spend your time (for ex. emphasis on keyword generation).
I’ll be exploring some of those specific changes in-depth over the weeks to come so stay tuned.


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