How to Create a Google Ad Grants Strategy That Makes Sense
When it comes to marketing, nonprofits constantly have to balance broad outreach with limited resources. It’s essential to find ways to reduce or offset your organization’s marketing budget while still effectively promoting your mission. One way to accomplish this is by leveraging Google Ad Grants.
The Google Ad Grants program makes paid ads more accessible to nonprofits by providing eligible organizations with $10,000 worth of advertising credits per month. More than 65,000 nonprofits around the world participate in the program, and Google donated $1.8 billion in search ads in 2022 alone.
To make the most of your organization’s Google Ad Grant, you’ll need to take a strategic approach. In this guide, I’ll discuss four focus areas of your Google Ad Grants strategy — keywords, account structure, ad copy and landing page choice — to help you spend your monthly advertising credit wisely and comply with program policies.
Keywords are the terms or phrases that trigger your ads to be displayed when someone enters them into Google’s search bar. They’re important to your strategy because they ensure your ads reach audiences who would be interested in clicking through to your website.
Here are some tips for choosing the right keywords for your nonprofit’s Google Ads campaign:
- Use keyword research tools. These include both Google Keyword Planner and third-party platforms that can discover which keywords users are searching and are related to your organization’s mission as well.
- Don’t use overly generic or single-word keywords. The exception is if they’re on Google’s approved list of exceptions for Ad Grant-eligible organizations.
- Check your keywords’ Quality Scores. Factors like ad relevance and click-through rate determine these scores. Ensure they’re ranked three or higher on a scale of one to 10.
Additionally, designate negative keywords to ensure your ads don’t appear for irrelevant search terms. This way, you can focus your Ad Grant budget on keywords that will drive traffic to your website and inspire visitors to take action.
2. Account Structure
To ensure your nonprofit’s most relevant ads appear for the correct keywords, make sure your Google Ad Grants account is set up properly. According to the program policies, the correct structure looks like this:
- Run five to seven campaigns (targeting broad goals, like “fundraising” or “volunteering”) at a time.
- Have at least two ad groups (sets of individual ads that can match up with a designated keyword list) per campaign.
- Have at least two ads per ad group.
This setup not only follows the Google Ad Grants rules — it also allows your nonprofit to test different variations of your ads and target keywords to see which combinations get the most clicks. Plus, running multiple campaigns means that your nonprofit can use its $10,000 per month to achieve a variety of goals.
3. Ad Copy
Each search ad your nonprofit creates will consist of two main parts:
- A headline (the clickable title that gets the audience’s attention).
- A description (the two to three lines of text underneath headline that tells the reader why they should click through to your website).
Both of these aspects should be clear and concise, and users should immediately know what action you want them to take to support your mission.
Google’s responsive search ads feature automatically tests different headline and description variations to find the most clickable combinations, so include responsive ads in each ad group to make this testing possible. Additionally, make sure your ad text coordinates with the landing page you’ve chosen for each ad to help turn clicks into conversions.
4. Landing Pages
You can promote nearly any high-quality page on your nonprofit’s website with the Google Ad Grant. However, some landing pages will have more strategic value than others. Here are some tips to help you choose the right landing pages.
- Don’t use your homepage as a landing page. Audiences are more likely to take action if they land on a page about a specific initiative.
- Determine keyword search intent. In some cases, users need to learn more about a topic before taking action, so using a piece of educational content as a landing page would be more beneficial than a registration form.
- Always include a call to action. Even if your landing page is educational, it should have a button that takes interested users to another page where they can get involved.
The Google Ad Grant policies require that you set up conversion tracking through Google Analytics and get at least one user to take action per month. A solid landing-page strategy will help you maintain compliance and make the Ad Grant worth your nonprofit’s time.
These tips provide a good starting point for your nonprofit’s Google Ad Grants strategy, but remember that every organization is unique. Some trial and error is normal as you launch your ads.
The preceding blog was provided by an individual unaffiliated with NonProfit PRO. The views expressed within do not directly reflect the thoughts or opinions of NonProfit PRO.
As business lead at Getting Attention, Jessica King helps nonprofits acquire and manage the Google Ad Grant to expand their impact. Prior to her work at Getting Attention, Jessica worked in nonprofit and higher education organizations focusing on communication and digital marketing and, most recently, in search engine optimization in the mission-driven sector. Jessica holds a master’s degree in communication from Virginia Tech. In her free time, you can find her reading, building furniture and hanging out with her cats, Benny and Olive.