Are you a charity? Do all your friends benefit from search ads building awareness and driving donations? No marketing budget for an AdWords account? Never fear! Google Ad Grants are here (and you should get one).

The Google Ad Grants scheme provides charities and non-profits with $10,000 (regardless of geographic location) per month of free AdWords search ads – which translates into a $329/day budget. Just point your browser here, and sign yourself up. While there are a number of limitations compared to a paid-for account, free ads are not to be sniffed at!

It may seem obvious, but using the grant for commercial advertising is a big no-no. For example, you can advertise the sale of greetings cards and merchandise, so long as 100% of the profits go to supporting your charity. The copy and keywords must reflect the charity’s mission and purpose, while the ads themselves can’t promote the sale of for-profit products.With a $2.00 maximum bid, and grants ads always appearing below paid ones, it can sometimes be difficult to spend the entire daily budget. However, we’ve got a couple tips and tricks you can use to help you make the most of your shiny new grant:
  • DO start your account with broad match and broad match modified keywords. This allows you to quickly get some visitors to your site, and see whether there is enough traffic to spend your budget.
  • DO use long-tailed keywords. It can be hard to compete when the first page bid is above $2.00. Once you’ve seen the sorts of search terms that people are using to see your ads (using a search query report), include longer-tailed keywords to target those niche terms.
  • DO implement conversion tracking. Tracking worthwhile actions such as newsletter sign ups, info pack downloads, and donations to measure the level of engagement your Google Ads Grant account is delivering.
  • DON’T focus on CPA and go overkill with negative keywords. A searcher wanting information rather than looking to donate can still be a worthwhile click – proving that information is likely part of your non-profit’s purpose!
  • DO make sure you take advantage of all the ad extensions on offer. While they are less likely to show, when they do show, ad extensions will help boost your click through rate.
  • DO spend your budget. Unlike a normal account, you really want to push the spend of your ad grant in order to qualify for Grantspro – by showing Google that you follow best practices while spending all of the $10,000 budget, you could be eligible for the extended Grantspro budget of $40,000 per month!
As a Google Not-for-Profits Featured Provider, our aim is that each of our expert PPC optimisers should manage a Google Ad Grant account for at least one charity. This work will be provided absolutely free of charge and is intended to help maximise the value of the Grants programme. It also means we get to work for great causes we really care about. If you’re running a non-AdWords Grant account for your charity in parallel, we’ll manage this for half of our usual fees.If you’re thinking of starting up a Google Ad Grant but don’t know your ad groups from your ad extensions, or are currently running one but can’t see how to get the most out of it, get in touch or give us a call on 01225 58 38 38 and we’ll be more than happy to chat your ear off all things AdWords Grants!