3 Tips for Google Ad Grant success

Make the most of your $10,000 free monthly ad credits.

Google Ad Grants is a program offered by Google that provides non-profit organizations with free advertising on Google search results, offering up to $10,000 in free ad credits each month. Since in Google you pay per click, that’s thousands of users visiting your site.

Here are our top 3 things to focus on to get the best return on your ad credits.

1. Show ads on a wide range of relevant searches

Simply, the more relevant searches you show ads on, the more people you will get clicking through to your site!

One way to increase the number of auctions you enter is to have a wide range of relevant keywords. Here are some methods we recommend for helping you choose the right keywords:

  • Look through your website & think of relevant searches
  • Keyword planner - a Google tool which gives you ideas based on input phrases or a URL
  • Ask generative AI like ChatGPT for ideas
  • Google Search Console a Google platform where you can see what people are searching when your organic search result shows
  • Look through your search term reports in Google Ads, which show you what people are currently searching to trigger your ads to show

Another way to match with more searches & increase your reach is to broaden the match types of your existing keywords. If you have a narrow match type, your keywords will only match with search terms that are very similar to your keyword. By choosing a broader match type, you allow Google to match more search terms to your keyword. 

Going a step further, we can move away from keywords completely! With Dynamic Search Ads (DSAs), you choose a landing page instead of keywords, & Google decides which search terms to match to based on the content on the landing page, similar to organic search. This not only increases your reach in itself, but also gives you ideas for new keywords to add.

Read our guide on expanding the reach of your search campaigns to delve deeper into these ideas.

2. Maximise your Quality Score

Unlike a normal auction, the Google search auction isn’t necessarily won by the advertiser willing to pay the most. Google wants the user to see useful & relevant ads, so the winner depends on both the monetary bid, & “Quality Score”, which is a measure of the quality of the user experience.

Quality Score is made of 3 components:

  • Ad relevance: How relevant is your ad to the keyword and search term?
  • Landing page expectancy: How good / relevant is your landing page? What’s the site speed like? Are there lots of navigation options?
  • Expected click-through rate: How likely is someone to click on your ad vs other advertisers’ ads?

Having a high score across these 3 factors will lead to you winning more auctions, & getting more clicks for your credits.

Read our article on improving your quality score for tips on how to do this.

3. Bid the right amount in each auction

We want to bid high enough to win auctions where users are likely to perform our desired action e.g. donate. Initially, that will be about trying to get Google to bid as much as possible, but if you start hitting the $10,000 per month, it will also be about bidding more aggressively on the more promising searches.

For example, if you’re a mental health charity that mainly works in London, but has done a few projects in Wales, the search for “mental health charity london” is a more useful search for you  than “mental health charity wales”. You would want to bid higher on the “mental health charity london” keyword, since showing an ad on this search is more valuable to you.

It’s possible to manually set each keyword a bid of up to $2. However, if you use an automated bidding strategy, you can exceed the $2 bid, giving you a better chance of winning auctions.

Automated/smart bidding strategies allow you to tell Google Ads your goal (e.g. generate donations, article reads, newsletter signups), & it will take this into account when deciding how much to bid in each auction. 

These strategies use machine learning AI to make real-time decisions with a wealth of data on the user & auction. They use data that aren't accessible to us as advertisers, & make decisions faster than we could, meaning they outperform any manual bid setting we could do.

As a result, using an automated bid strategy allows you to win more auctions, & spend your credits more effectively.

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If you’re looking for a paid media agency to supercharge your Google Ad Grant, get in touch!

3 Tips for Google Ad Grant success

Oxford educated, Gwenno’s expertise now spans Paid Search, Social & Display, working on a mix of ecommerce, charity, event, education & B2B clients. In addition to tackling creative strategy, she is also the agency's tracking expert and oversees data & reporting projects.