Habitat and the Google Grant

Nonprofits Advertise on Google for Free
The Google Ads Grant Program offers nonprofits the ability to advertise on Google at no cost. (And by no cost, we mean $10,000 a month in free ad spend.) To be eligible for the program, an organization must be a 501(C)(3) and have a functioning website that outlines the mission of the nonprofit.

$10,000 a month in free ad spend – sounds great, right? Yes, it is great, but spending that amount while meeting Google’s requirements and driving quality traffic is not as easy as it sounds

As with all accounts, the goal is to drive quality, highly relevant traffic to the organization’s website. In an effort to ensure that Google Grant accounts are producing high-quality traffic, the following requirements were set in place in early 2018.

  • Average click-through rate of 5% or higher.
  • No keywords with a quality score of 1 or 2.
  • No single word keywords or overly generic multi-word keywords.
  • No bidding on competitor names.
  • Each ad group must have 2 active ads and there must be at least 2 ad groups per campaign.
  • The account must have 2 sitelink extensions.
  • Each campaign must use geo-targeting.

In addition, Google has lifted the $2 bid cap, if the campaigns are using a bid option called ‘Maximize Conversions.’

How to Meet Requirements
While all these changes are meant to ensure increased performance, here are our thoughts on how you can meet these requirements and run a successful campaign.

  • Log into your account frequently. Review CTR, quality scores, and keyword list.
  • What keywords are performing well? Constantly think how you can expand around these keywords and drive as much traffic as possible.
  • Create a Dynamic Search campaign to catch any traffic that is not matching on your current keyword list. Review the search query report and expand your campaign based on this data.
  • Test new ad text and remember to make sure your ads reflect the mission of your nonprofit.
  • Review the estimated bids for your keywords. Create campaigns set to manual bidding for keywords that are less competitive and won’t be held back with a $2 bid.
  • Review your conversions. Are your current conversions giving enough data to Google to make conversion based bidding work? Can you create micro-conversions to increase conversion rates?

Building a successful campaign doesn’t happen overnight, but consistent effort and close attention to the requirements will help you build a solid stream of free traffic.

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