Three Things to Consider Before Building a Google Ad Grants Strategy

King_google ads strategy September 15, 2023 By: Jessica King

The Google Ad Grants program can help associations increase their online presence. Keep in mind these important considerations that’ll set you up for success with the program.

Unlocking the potential of your association's outreach efforts while maximizing your budget is a constant pursuit. If you're seeking innovative ways to elevate your association’s visibility, the Google Ad Grants program could be the game-changer you've been waiting for.

Designed for charitable organizations, the Google Ad Grants program enables marketers to promote their website’s content within Google Search results—free of charge. The goal is to generate more site traffic, funds, and engagement without blowing your marketing budget. 

As a program participant, an association would receive a $10,000 monthly stipend to offset costs associated with marketing their events, membership perks, and other engagement opportunities—making it a good addition to their current multichannel marketing strategy.

While the Google Ad Grant sounds like an opportunity to not pass up, aligning its potential with marketing goals is vital. This article will explore three key considerations to help determine if the program is a good fit and subsequently maximize the impact of every dollar spent.

What Content Can You Promote?

From boosting memberships to increasing event attendance, the program can align with different marketing goals. Associations can promote a wide range of content via the Google Ad Grant, such as:

  • Membership benefits. Showcase the benefits of joining your association, including networking opportunities and exclusive events.
  • Events. Advertise your association’s conferences, webinars, and training sessions that provide valuable insights and knowledge to members.
  • Certification programs. Highlight your certification programs, emphasizing their value in enhancing members' professional portfolios.
  • Reports and thought leadership. Position your association website as a knowledge hub by sharing industry reports, white papers, or thought leadership pieces.
  • Job openings. While the primary focus of the Google Ad Grants program is to promote initiatives, you can also attract potential job candidates by advertising open staff positions.

Elements of a Strong Campaign

After determining what goals to pursue, you’ll develop ads that will catch users' attention and inspire them to “convert,” whether that means becoming a member, registering for an event, or taking another meaningful action.

No matter what you’re aiming to achieve, every strong Google Ad campaign is made up of three components:

  • Relevant keywords. These are the specific words your target audience will search to find your association’s events, accreditation opportunities, and resources. Brainstorm a list of potential “keywords.” Then, plug them into a trusted keyword research tool to find which ones people use.
  • Compelling ad copy. This is the text that appears in your ads. It should be concise, impactful, and directly relevant to the user's search. To encourage ad clicks, communicate the value of your association’s offerings, align the copy with the user’s search intent, and include a call to action.
  • Engaging landing pages. A landing page is where users are directed on your association’s website after clicking your ad. Send them to a relevant page designed to encourage them to complete the intended action. Ensure your page features valuable, well-organized content that reflects your association’s credibility.

It doesn’t matter if you’re marketing membership opportunities or sharing industry news. Each of your ads needs these elements to inspire action.

Navigate the Program’s Compliance Policies

While the Google Ad Grant can be transformative, you’ll need to follow a series of guidelines to stay eligible. Following the program’s rules will steer you toward running higher-quality ads.

Getting Attention’s Google Ad Grant rules guide breaks down the regulations into these categories:

  • Keywords. No single-word or overly generic keywords. Your keywords should be specific enough to indicate what a searcher is seeking.
  • Ad engagement. Maintain a 5% click-through rate each month. Also, set up valid conversion tracking and generate at least one meaningful monthly conversion.
  • Account structure. Each account is composed of multiple campaigns, ad groups, and ads. You’ll need at least two ad groups per campaign, two ads per ad group, and two sitelink ad extensions, which append additional landing pages to your ads.
  • Annual survey. Complete an annual survey to share feedback and how your association uses the Google Ad Grant.

The good news is that the program’s coordinators will let you know if you’re not following these rules. If you ever need help getting your account back in line, you can always turn to a Google Ad Grant consultant for help too.

Jessica King

Jessica King is business lead at Getting Attention, where she helps nonprofits acquire and manage the Google Ad Grant.