Google recently made some big changes to their Ad Grants Program, an extension of their AdWords advertising platform that’s specifically designed for nonprofits. With over 35,000 nonprofits actively advertising through the Google Ad Grants Program, there is concern about these changes. What exactly has Google changed about their Ad Grants Program? Jubilant Digital is here to help you understand all of the new changes, how they’ll affect your nonprofit and how you can maintain your ad grant.
Changes to the Google Ad Grants Program
When your nonprofit is approved to start running ads in AdWords, you’re given a $10,000/month grant which is a significant amount of money! If you were previously advertising through AdWords, then you were familiar with how hard it was to spend the $10,000 due to Google’s $2 bid cap on the cost-per-clicks. Luckily, that bid cap is gone and Google has made it possible to be more competitive when bidding on keywords.
This change allows advertisers to select the “Maximize Conversions” bidding strategy, which allows bids to fluctuate, in return allowing keywords to be more competitive than they once were with the old $2 bid cap.
Your campaigns must now include the following:
- Geotargeting must be active
- Two sitelink ad extensions
- Two active ad groups
- These ad groups need to include two active text ads
- These ads groups need to include highly-relevant keywords
Google made these account changes to make your ads more successful. Honestly though, these new account requirements should have already been implemented by your campaign manager to get the best results.
5% CTR Rule
One of the more shocking changes to the Ad Grants Program is that Google now requires click-through rates to be at least 5% every month. If you fail to keep your CTR at 5% for two consecutive months, your Google Ad Grants account will be deactivated. Yes, you read that correctly. Don’t worry, though – if your account dips below a 5% CTR, Google will send you a notification so you can optimize your campaigns before your account is deactivated.
Google has also changed their keyword requirements for Google Ad Grant users; keywords must now have a quality score of at least 3 or higher. Keywords must also reflect your organization’s primary mission and be relevant to your group’s programs and services. The following is no longer permitted:
- Single-word keywords
- Very generic keywords
- Branded keywords that aren’t relevant to your brand
In order for Google to deem you eligible for Google Ad Grants, your organization must be operated and organized for only charitable purposes. You must also have and own the domains being used in your ads.
How to Maintain and Keep Your Google Ad Grants account in Compliance with Google’s Policies
While Google has made the changes above- some more challenging than others- it is possible to keep your account in compliance.
For the changes above that require you to restructure your campaigns (like geotargeting and the new keyword requirements), make sure you make these changes as soon as possible to ensure your ads are up and running.
Make sure you pay attention to the CTRs, bidding strategies and quality scores. This will of course require you to check on your campaigns more regularly which may prove difficult depending on time and resources.
Of course Google made these changes to better help nonprofits and improve ad performance, but that doesn’t mean these changes won’t be challenging or take some getting used to. If you have any questions on how you can best adapt to the changes above or need help creating high-quality campaigns that adhere to Google’s policies, call Jubilant Digital today at (913) 428-9508. We look forward to helping you get the most out of your Google Ad Grant.