Google Ad Grants for Nonprofits: Part 2

By Ariel Bergman in Non-Profit on October 22nd, 2015

Google ad grants for nonprofit marketing

Since you’ve read our previous blog post, Google Ad Grants for Nonprofits: Part 1, you understand the benefits of Google Ad Grants. Maybe you’ve even started an account. So, now that you’re utilizing this incentive, are you aware of how to make the most of this in-kind donation of AdWords? Here are some insights you’ll want to consider as you’re monitoring and optimizing your account(s):

Start with your brand terms.

Using brand terms in your Google Grants account is your best shot at getting traction within a desirable position. Start the cost-per-click (CPC) at $2 — your maximum allowable bid. If you find that your keywords are getting sufficient traction, then go ahead and start inching back on the CPC.

If your brand terms are struggling to make the first page of search results and receive impressions, what should you do?

Consider launching these keywords in a non-Grant account at a higher CPC than $2. CPCs have been increasing in search year over year, so it may be that the $2 max bid is preventing your keywords from appearing. Yes, it’s true that going outside of the Grant account will no longer mean a “free” click. But if your keywords result in 30% more conversions than they did in the Grant account (assuming there’s some budget to cover this added expense), the ROI from a non-Grant account will likely make up the difference — and then some.

If your brand terms are getting good traction at a desirable position, what else should you do?

You may want to weigh whether or not bidding up on these terms simultaneously in a non-Grant account will result in even more impressions, clicks and conversions. Consider bidding lower than you do in the Grant account, so the free click version of a keyword serves an ad over the paid version. In a non-Grant account, you’ll benefit from the addition of Google’s search partners (, AOL, etc.). They’ll give your keywords greater reach, which could result in more impressions than are available when using just a Grant account.

Don’t forget about non-brand terms.

We find that non-brand terms receive little to no volume in a Grant account, because the $2 max bid is too low to result in appearing on the first page of search results. You can go ahead and launch your non-brand terms in your Grant account, but also consider launching your non-brand terms in a non-Grant account. This way, you can be ready to bid up on these terms in your non-Grant account should they receive little traction in your Grant account.

Although Google Grant is a great way to get your nonprofit started on its search marketing strategy, don’t let this option deter you from also opening a non-Grant account to further promote your mission and initiatives. Although the non-Grant click isn’t “free,” it may result in more impressions, clicks and conversions. And that would ultimately outweigh any costs.

Our nonprofit and SEM experts can help you reach donors who are already searching for you.

Contact us today!