Understanding Google Ad Grants for Irish Charities

23 Aug 2018

Google Ad Grants is a scheme run by Google that can be of great benefit to charities and nonprofits who would like to run Google Ads.

What are Google Ads?

If you’re trying to drive traffic to your website, there are lots of steps you can take to help your site show up in Google’s search results. Besides the search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques available to improve the organic ranking of your site in Google, it’s advantageous to use Google Ads, which is an example of pay-per-click marketing. By buying paid ad space on Google Search, your website will then show up above the organic, unpaid search results. We’ve discussed some of the key elements of successful Google ads previously. 

What are Google Ad Grants?

Google Ad Grants help nonprofits reach a wider audience with their message. Part of the Google for Nonprofits program, Ad Grants offers free advertising to eligible registered charities and nonprofits. It amounts to up to $10,000 available in free Google ad clicks per month for your organisation. With this free boost from Google advertising, you can raise awareness of your organisation and hopefully increase donations for your cause.

Why should charities and nonprofits use Google Ads?

If you are a charity or nonprofit, this is a fantastic opportunity to avail of. The potential for promoting your cause is far-reaching, and Google ads could have a powerful impact on your ability to reach your digital marketing objectives.

For the best chance at success, craft compelling ads and choose the right keywords to bid on. Make use of ad extensions to increase the relevance of the ads to those who view them. These extensions include phone numbers, sitelinks and callouts which add to the richness of your ads with extra information about your organisation. It’s also crucial that once users click through to your website, the landing page they arrive on has a frictionless interface to facilitate people finding out more about your organisation and indeed making donations with ease.

As with regular Google Search ads, you can gain insights into the performance of your ads via both Google Ads and Google Analytics, it’s advisable to link your Analytics to your Google Ad Grant. It’s possible to track what visitors do on your site having clicked on an ad; that way you can see which are the best performing keywords

The capability for detailed tracking and reporting on the success of Google Search ads enables you to continually monitor the impact of the ads. It’s so important that future marketing decisions are informed by actual evidence from past activity, and so reporting on your metrics is key in making sure that you are getting the most out of your Google Ad Grants. By tweaking and optimising your ads based on these reports, you can continue to hone your ads for the best results.

Anything else I should know?

Google Ad Grants offers a fantastic $10,000 in free Google ads. However this is only available for Google Search and not Google Display or YouTube Video ads.

Previously, Google Ad Grants had also set a cap on the cost-per-click (CPC) value of the keywords targeted in the ads, with a max of $2. This decision impacted the ads by not having them show up for higher value keywords. As of 1st January 2018, this CPC cap has been removed and a number of new rules have been introduced. Among other things, the rules require that:

  • Your organization operate ‘exclusively for charitable purposes’.
  • Geo-targeting must be used to ensure that your ads appear in the right locations.
  • Certain new keywords are now forbidden from use in your ads - this crackdown impacts use of single word keywords, with some exceptions, unless they are your own branded keywords. You also must avoid generic keywords which Google have explained with examples like ‘today’s news’ and ‘things to do’.

Additionally, to maintain your eligibility for Ad Grants, you must achieve a 5% CTR (click-through rate) on your ads each month.

Do I qualify for Google Ad Grants?

To qualify for Google Ad Grants, you need to meet the following criteria:

  • Be registered with Google for Nonprofits
  • Be a registered charity
  • Agree to Google’s requirements regarding non-discrimination and use of donations

You also need to ensure that your website meets certain criteria. For example, you must:

  • Own the website to which the ad leads. The only exceptions to this are some third-party donation websites if approved by Google.
  • Make your mission very clear and unambiguous on your website.
  • Have a current, updated website with a significant amount of content.
  • Maintain a quality standard for your website with no broken links.

Certain types of organisations do not qualify, such as governmental organisations, hospitals, and academic or educational institutions, among others.

If you do meet the criteria and qualify for Google Ad Grants, you will also need to follow Google Ads and Ad Grants policies to maintain your eligibility status and to continue to avail of the program.

How can I get set up with Google Ad Grants?

If your organisation is non-profit and you’d like to apply for a Google Ad Grant, get in touch with our team who can advise on all the requirements and get you ready to rock.

Here at Together Digital, we offer a range of digital marketing services. Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.

Sue Neary

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