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The Google Grant gives any 501(c)(3) non-profit up to $10,000 per month in FREE Google Ads. That typically is about 4,000 – 9,000 clicks to your non-profit’s website per month.

After running several of these Google Grants accounts I would love to share my experience. I also would like to help more non-profits take advantage of this grant to help grow their organization. Note this grant is not easy to run due to the extremely strict guidelines but I have learned some great tricks to help keep it running strong.


Basic Rules


The first thing to note about Google Grants accounts is that they can get shut down VERY easily. That means Google does not allow you to run any ads at all until you get the account to follow all of its many guidelines. You have to submit a form and wait sometimes days before the ads can be back live. Google also, caps your daily spend at around $330 per day so when you are disapproved you are not able to make up the spend for that month.


Keyword Rules


Rule #1: No single keywords. Any keywords that are just one word are banned from being run with the Google Grant. The way that I learned to make sure you don’t have any is to create a filtered rule for keywords that do not contain a space or ” “. By having that filter readily available I can always find single keywords in case one was accidentally added.

Rule #2: No keywords with a quality score of 1 or 2. Since Google wants to make sure they are still serving ads of value any keywords with low quality can get your account suspended. The way around this is another filtered rule. In all of my Google Grant accounts, I set up a filtered rule for all keywords with a quality score of 1 or 2. Again by having this rule I can easily find my low-quality score keywords and quickly remove them. Note, these keywords come up frequently so I would recommend checking for low-quality keywords every single day.


CTR Rule


Rule #3: Overall monthly CTR of over 5%. This rule relates to making sure the keywords and ads provide value to the search engine. While I wouldn’t recommend automatically pausing any keyword or ad with a CTR below 5%, I would recommend looking at the keywords and ads with the highest amount of impressions and pausing those with at least 50 impressions and a CTR below 2%.

I would look at the general CTR of the entire account over the past 30 days and make a decision for keywords and ads on what to pause. If your account is above 7% for the month I would not worry. However, if you are between 5-6% or even 6-7% I would take a hard look at the keywords you are bidding on and the ad copy you have written and consider what the low performers are and remove them. It is better to spend a little less than the $10k and not be suspended.

A trick to increase CTR and increase clicks, in general, is to use dynamic insertion ads. That is where you let the keyword a user is searching for be dynamically inserted into the ad copy. In other words, whatever term a user is searching for automatically becomes the headline of the ad thus making it very relevant to the user.  I have at least one of the ads per ad group and have the first headline have this feature.


CPC Rule


Rule #4: Average CPC of your keywords has to be below $2. This means that if the bid for the keyword would be above $2 you cannot show for it. The best trick to overcome this rule is to have a ton of keywords. How many keywords am I talking about, the more the merrier? I recommend at least 500 but if you have 1,000 or even 5,000 that’s okay. You can always pause keywords and with low quality score and low CTR keywords, you will always be removing keywords so you can really never have too many in your account.

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