Create & Optimize Ad Grants Campaigns

Learn how to launch your first campaign.

2003 marked the year when Google launched the Google Ad Grants program for nonprofits across the USA. An advertising credit of up to $10,000 per month, or $329 per day, was available to those who met the requirements. Although this credit can be used solely for search campaigns within Google search results, the grant is not limited by time nor by the total amount of funds to be used within these campaigns which did sound like a great opportunity, right?

Does your nonprofit consist of more than one entity? After application, Google can cover each and every one of them with the full amount of the grant. When it comes to the ad format, users within this Google Ads environment can define which keywords they wish their ad to appear on i.e., they can create different advertising texts for different keywords and also set the final destination of the visitor by defining the URL.

Donations, volunteering, and brand awareness are only a handful of areas where Ad Grants can give you a helping hand. If, however, you thought to use it for different purposes such as retargeting or competitor’s brands, we’re sad to inform you it won’t be possible.

As they say quid for pro, Google Ad Grants too cannot do without certain rules to be followed first. Google audits the accounts that are active in the Google Ad Grants program on a monthly basis and checks them against a number of guidelines. Every month, your account must consistently adhere to these guidelines; otherwise, you will be alerted of a violation and given until the end of the month to fix the issue. Unless the correction occurs, your account may be deactivated the following month. The account can be, of course, reactivated after deactivation.

Wondering what might be the cause of your account deactivation? These are the 5 most common reasons:

  • The minimum click-through rate must reach at least 5% on a monthly basis
  • Your account contains too broad or single keywords
  • The structure of the account is not developed – lack of multiple ad groups each containing multiple ads
  • Conversion tracking is not set up

If you want to dive into this program and looking for a way to apply, please follow these steps.

Given you’re way past this process and trying to figure out how to set up your first campaign, we’re here to assist you, so let’s get into this, shall we?

 

Campaign setup guide

 

Google consistently updates the design of Google Ads and gradually introduces it to accounts. Therefore, it’s possible that it might look different in your account, but the rules and logic of creation remain the same.

1. Create a new campaign

By simply clicking the “New campaign” button and selecting the target, you can create a new campaign. We recommend going with the final option, “Create a campaign without a goal’s guidance,” unless you have a specific goal in mind.

campaign objective selection

 

2. Select a campaign type

Subsequently, you can see a variety of alternatives for campaigns. Despite getting to see every option, just like in a commercial account, we can only select the first option, which is a search campaign. The only allowed campaign type within Google Ad Grants.

campaign type selection

 

3. Name your campaign and uncheck the boxes of the search network options

Next, the system requires you enter the name of your campaign. However you want to name it, it should capture the essence of the campaign. The following step contains 2 search network options where you need to uncheck both boxes. First, since grant accounts are unable to access the content network and second because it’s not possible to include partner websites. If you wish to set the start and end date of your campaign, create dynamic campaigns or define your own time schedule click the dropdown button below for additional settings.

networks

 

4. Set up your targeting and language

Next, we move on to the section of targeting. One of the conditions of Google Ad Grants is that we cannot target all countries and territories and therefore you must select only those, where your organization currently operates. Explore the more detailed targeting options as well as the option of excluding a certain type of audience. We however recommend keeping the default settings. By now you’ve probably reached language settings. Within this section, you may opt for more than one language.

targeting options

 

5. Define your budget and bidding strategy

The following step requires you to define your audience, since Google Ad Grants accounts do not support retargeting you can go ahead and skip this step. Next, you’ll be given a chance to set your budget. Although there’s $329 available for each day, as they say, do not put all your eggs into one basket. We assume you’ll want to launch more than one campaign and distribute the budget accordingly. Any necessary changes to the budget can be made afterwards.

Once you’re finished with the last step, you may go ahead and define your bidding strategy. Our tip is to select the “Maximize conversions” or “Target CPA” automatic bidding strategies. In practice, this implies that we will let the Google algorithm determine our price offerings rather than setting them ourselves.

bidding strategies

If you wish to play with some advanced settings, you can enter conversion actions or choose whether or not you want Google to automatically display the best-performing ads. Again we recommend sticking to the default settings.

6. Set up ad extensions

Finally, it comes down to the last step of this part and it’s the ad extensions. Within your Google Ad Grants account, you need to create two sitelink extensions. Do you have a phone number that you also want to display? Create a “Call extension” and then hit the “Save and continue” button if you’re ready to move on to the next part.

7. Create your first ad group

Don’t worry you’re almost done with your first campaign. You’re about to set up your first ad group. Enter a name, then set the price offer which can be a maximum of $2 with a manual pricing strategy. Now select the keywords for which you want your ads to appear. Since we already entered our URL in the previous step, Google will provide keyword recommendations so there’s no need to start from scratch. Making keyword lists in advance and simply importing them here is another smart move to consider here.

ad group settings

The rule states you must have at least 2 ad groups per campaign. Since you have just created one, it is necessary to create another one by clicking “New ad group”. Again hit “Save and continue”.

8. Copywriting

And now to the writing of the actual ads. These are the strings of words that show up in Google search results. There are 6 headlines and 4 descriptions in the responsive search ad. Google displays a direct preview of the ad as you type in the text. 30 characters per headline and 90 per description is the allowed limit. We recommend creating these ads ahead of time, then simply importing them. The more closely you stick to the character limit, the better. Subsequently, you need to define the final URL, hit the “Save and continue” button and you’re all DONE!

If you managed to get all the way here….CONGRATULATIONS! We know it truly takes time to embellish those campaigns and get everything just the way to bring the desired results, sometimes however it does need a hand of a professional. Wish to bring your campaigns to another level, and increase traffic to your website together with the conversions? Contact our team!

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