The Google Ad Grant is $10,000 in free ad credits given to any nonprofit organization each month. It may seem too good to be true, but we see organizations get every dollar of that spend and drive thousands more people to their website every month.
But Google is ever-changing, and there is very little online about how to leverage the grant. Google provides users with some best practices, but they don’t give you good strategies to maximize your Google Ad Grant account.
We spent over 1.7 million in Google Ad Grant dollars for our clients last year, and we have discovered a few tips and tricks to get the most free advertising out of your grant and driving traffic to your website?
Looking for information on getting started with the Google Ad Grants program? Check if you’re eligible for Google Ad Grants, check out our guide to Google Ad Grants for churches, or explore how we use the Google Ad Grant for kingdom impact.
When to use Max Clicks vs Max Conversions
Google gives your Google Ads account account multiple options as far as “bidding strategies” (settings for how Google uses your free credits). They recommend Max Conversions as the best practice bid strategy. However, we’ve found two cases where Max Clicks better serves our clients.
(1) if an account has gone stagnant or declined without reason, Max Clicks will often give the account a jolt.
(2) when an account is first launching, Max Clicks gives most Grants a quicker lift than Max Conversions. Eventually, the account should be transitioned.
Massaging your conversion rates
Google requires that you maintain a 5% conversion rate to keep the Grant. However, most organizations don’t realize that you can set a conversion to be anything you want. This could be time on the page, clicks within landing pages, or any other action.
We’ve seen that account performance decreases when the conversions rate is too low or too high.
Keeping your account between 5-10% conversions will ensure best performance.
Transition to Max Conversions for optimal performance
Accounts shouldn’t stay on Max Clicks forever. This strategy will limit the CPC on your ads, keeping you out of valuable search results.
After the account has maintained a 5-10% conversion rate for 2+ weeks, it should be transitioned to Max Conversions.
At this point, your CPC will dramatically increase, but so will your visibility on the keywords you want the most. Max Conversions, when appropriately timed, allows you to compete for the right audience.
Good SEO = good Grant performance
All grants are not equal. Google will give the $10,000/month to any 501(c)3, but that doesn’t mean they treat all nonprofits equally.
Consistently, high quality, reputable websites receive better Google Ad Grant results than sites with poor SEO.
This is why we offer an affordable Grants + SEO package that makes both quick wins and long term growth affordable.
Mixing national and local ad groups
National authority drives local spend.
For many churches, they only care about local traffic. However, having strong national ads typically results in increased local search performance.
For our clients, we start with a mix of local and national ad groups, and refine the approach over time to prioritize more local spend.
Identifying high opportunity keywords
Good keyword research is the foundation of successful Google ad campaigns.
Before you create your ads strategy, do thorough keyword research , look for high volume keywords that average ~$2 CPC (using a keyword research tool like KW finder). With the Google Ad Grant, you will often find yourself unsuccessful if you are competing with organizations spending big dollars. Similarly, if you target low volume keywords, you won’t get in front of anyone. Finding terms with >5000 searches per month and around $2/click is where the Google Ad Grant shines.
Interested in using the Google Ad Grant for your church?
The Google Ad Grant can allow you to reach thousands more people this year. We know you have a lot on your plate, so we come alongside you to get you signed for Google for Nonprofits, meet the eligibility requirements, complete the grant application, and get high quality traffic to your website.
Interested in exploring partnering together? Book a free 30 minute call to see how the grant can fuel your ministries.