5 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Google Ad Grant Account

Deon Kloppers, managing director at MCM Net, gives his top five tips for getting the most out of your Google Ads

Digital fundraising and marketing is one of the best ways for charities to obtain the vital support they require from valued donors. Google Ad Grants play a big part in this and, best of all, it’s free for qualifying charities.

Ad Grants provide charities free advertising on Google for the equivalent value of $10,000 (or £7,000) each month, to use on ads that get your causes in front of the right people at the right time.

As a digital agency that specialises in helping charities grow their brand online, we’ve seen how donations acquired through online channels (websites, search engines, social media), for example, can grow significantly when done properly. In this post we’ll run through some tips to make sure that you are getting the best return from this Google offering.

1. Don’t leave your Ad Grant to run unattended

One of the most important things is to continually review your campaign performance and make improvements as needed. Whether this is changing the text of your ads or identifying the Google searches most relevant to your charity, the landscape is always changing and your competitors will be too.

Being on top of your account’s performance lets you determine what is working and what isn’t, thereby ensuring that you are getting the best possible return from your ads. The minimum we’d recommend is that you check in on the account once a week.

2. Keep on top of key performance indicators

The Ad Grant can work wonders for your charity. The charities that benefit the most are the ones that have considered what they want to get out of running the ads. Once you’ve decided this, define the KPIs for the account and make sure these are moving in the right direction. If you want more donations, make sure you’re tracking Conversions. If you want more traffic, keep an eye on Clicks and CTR (click through rate).

We’d recommend that you include KPIs based on Google’s policies. At the start of 2018, Google introduced new terms and conditions for Ad Grants. More info on the policies can be found in point 5 of this post. Not adhering to these can result in your account being deactivated.

3. Protect your brand

Google Ad Grants can be a double-edged sword for brands. With so many varied searches being performed, what’s to stop your ad from appearing for something irrelevant or even damaging?

Negative keywords stop your ad from being shown when certain phrases or words are searched. By adding negative keywords to your account, campaigns or ad groups, you’re letting Google know when not to show your ad.

4. Write quality adverts

To get the most out of your Ad Grant, you’ll need to ensure that the adverts you’re creating are high quality and encourage people to take a desired action.

Aim to include keywords in the copy along with a strong call to action, whether it’s “Fundraise for us now” or “Donate online today”. Running multiple ads allows you to test which messaging works best. As a minimum, we recommend three ads running per ad group.

5. Adhere to policy

Finally, after going to the effort of setting up the account, defining your KPIs, creating negative keywords and creating enticing ads, it’ll be more than a little frustrating if your account ends up getting deactivated.

As mentioned already, Google has a set of policies in place for Ad Grants. Non-compliance with these can result in deactivation of your account. Policies include restrictions on using competitor keywords or single keywords outside some predefined exceptions, as well as ensuring that the account has a CTR of at least 5%. For more information on Ad Grants Terms and Conditions, click here.

Following on from our highly successful £5,000 grant, MCM Net is now offering ACEVO members an exclusive Ad Grant management service. To find out more, simply email charity@mcmnet.co.uk with the subject heading ‘Ad Grant Management’.

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