What is the Google Ad Grants program?
Google Ad Grants is part of Google For Non Profits, a program created by Google to help non profit organizations. As part of the program Google gives qualified non profits $10,000 per month ($329 per day) in Google Adwords ads. That means a non profit using the grant can display $329 worth of Adwords ads to drive visitors to its website each day. The maximum bid for a keyword or phrase is $2.
Do you need this Google Grant?
Will having an extra $10,000 a month in advertising help your non profit? Just about every non profit can benefit from some free advertising, but some will benefit more than others.
If you represent a cause that appeals to a relatively large audience that isn’t concentrated in a small, very local geographic area, then Google ads can drive visitors to your site who are interested in your cause but who otherwise might never have heard of your non profit. Once they’re on your website you’ve got the opportunity to educate about your cause, add them to your mailing list or even get an immediate donation.
The Google Ad Grant gives you the opportunity to get exposure for your organization that you would otherwise no be able to do without paying for it. Let’s face it, no one wants to spend donation dollars on advertising. With the Google Ads Grant, you don’t have to, at least on Google.
How do you qualify for the grant?
To qualify for the Google For Non Profit program you must be registered as a 501C3 with the IRS (or your country’s respective regulatory body) and have a website. You also need to register your non profit with techsoup.org and be located in the US or other eligible countries.
Setting up Adwords
Once you’re approved (which usually takes a day or 2) you’ll have to create an Adwords account and a campaign. Then you’ll need to choose your keywords and write your ads. Once your ads are approved they’ll start appearing for relevant keyword searches.
Your ads can only contain text (no images) and they’ll only show up on Google search result pages (not on Google’s Display Network). They’ll also show up below ads that are being paid for with real cash (not grants). Depending on your particular cause, there might or might not be paid ads. But even if there are, if you play it smart you’ll be able to spend your budget even with the paid competition.
The beauty of Adwords is that it gives you the opportunity to display your ad at the exact time that someone is searching for your particular keywords.You can easily blow your entire budget each day on getting irrelevant traffic with the wrong keywords. That’s why you want to make sure you choose the right keywords that are directly relevant to your non profit.
Just because your ad shows up at the top of the Google search results page doesn’t mean users will click on it and reach your website. Your ad copy needs to be engaging or interesting enough to convince users to click on it. Google helps figure out which of your ads is working best and shows that one more often. The higher your click thru rate the more Google will show your ad as opposed to your competitors for the valuable ad space.
Each ad received an Adwords Ad Rank which Google calculates based on your bid and your ad relevance. Google takes your Ad Rank into account when deciding which ad to display and in what position (at the tope of page 1 or down on page 3). While there isn’t much you can do about your bid (it’s set at $2), you can improve your Ad Rank by choosing relevant keywords, writing good ad copy and creating a relevant landing page.
We’ve been able to drive close to 9,000 visitors to our own nonprofit IsraelAM using our Google Ads Grant by choosing relevant keywords, writing good ad copy and creating a well designed landing page (which happens to now be our website homepage) with relevant content.
In the screenshot below you can see our ad for IsraelAM showing up in the number one position at the top of the Google search result page for the query “Israel new”, which returns over 200 million results.
Without our Adwords grant, there’s no way we’d be able to rank at the top of a Google search for Israel news, ahead of the many Israeli paper websites and other Israel related news sources.
Here’s another example:
Using your Google Ads Grant
According to the latest statistics, the overwhelming majority of participants in the Google Ads Grant program only end up using about $350 of their $10,000 monthly Adwords budget. One reason for this could be that they are in a highly competitive field with lots of paying customers, which would make it hard for their ads to display in good first or second page positions.
The more likely reasons why most program participants only use a tiny fraction of their monthly budgets is because they are not properly utilizing and optimizing their accounts, keywords or ads — most likely all of the above.
It’s not that they don’t care. It’s because they are busy running their organizations and simply don’t have the time or knowledge to effectively manage their Adwords grant. So they end up wasted an amazing opportunity to advertise for free.
Imagine getting a thousand new visitors to your website each month. Do you think that would help your organization to get new supporters or to simply spread its message and get exposure for its mission?
For just a few hundred dollars we can get you your Google Adwords Grant, set up a campaign, add target keywords, write effective ads and launch your free ads so that you take full advantage of Google’s free gift.
Just fill out the form below or contact us to get started today.