Google Grants Changes 2018: New Opportunities, New Challenges
Google has made important changes in its AdWords grant program, but up to $10,000 per month is still available in credit for search advertising on the Google network.
The new policy went into effect on January 1, 2018. Overall, your nonprofit now has an opportunity to generate far better results with the grant. At the same time, Google also requires that solid performance – or risk losing the grant.
There are two really big changes:
No Bid Cap
Minimum Click-Through-Rate of 5%
What Results Can You Expect from a Google Grant?
Google’s ad grants program, which helps nonprofit use AdWords, currently works with more than 35,000 organizations. Working with our clients, iMission has used the grants program to achieve impressive results including:
increase in web traffic for an environmental organization (over 50,000 new page visitor over the course of a year).
increase in these number of visitors who entered their name and emails, thus becoming advocate or donor prospects.
Getting Success with the New Google Grant Rules
In practice, the changes mean that every nonprofit will need to be much focused around how they use their grant.
Take for example an urban community health center. Rather than just advertising the clinic in general terms, you might need to focus on advertising specific services like diabetes management. To achieve the 5% threshold, you might also need to focus on a narrower geography and perhaps also to people with low to moderate incomes.
In turn, you advertisement would align with the audience. It might read something like “Diabetes Management: We are a leader. No one denied service because of an inability to pay.”
And what’s really important is that your ad link goes to a web page created just for this audience (which is probably not your home page).
This health center would then repeat this process for other conditions, like heart disease, asthma, pregnancy, and so forth.
Is a Google Grant Right for Your Nonprofit?
As a practical matter, a version of the process laid out here is something that anybody — for-profit or nonprofit – should be using for search engine marketing. What’s now different is that Google is requiring you to be successful. That’s what the 5% CTR threshold is all about. At the same time, they’ve given nonprofit greater freedom to compete by eliminating the keyword bid maximum.
What Google is doing is a lot like what’s happening throughout the grantmaking community. They are insisting on partnership that incorporate outcomes measurement.
Is a Google Grant right for your nonprofit? It likely is, so long as you are ready to devote the time and resources to search engine marketing.
We can help.