Digital Marketer Growth Hack With Google Ad Grants
Step-By-Step Approach For Newbie Digital Marketers and Boutique Agencies: Leverage Non-profit Organizations and Google Ad Grants to Gain More Experience and Achieve Official Google Partner Status in 3 Months.
What you are about to learn is probably one of the most underestimated growth hacks for digital marketers when it comes to gaining experience with PPC – while at the same time adding the shiny Google Partner badge to your website. Meet Google Ad Grants!
Who this article is for:
- If you are a PPC marketing newbie looking for your first client(s)
- If you are a digital marketer looking for an easy way to increase your existing client portfolio
- If you are interested in a career change towards digital marketing but don’t know where to start
- If you are a PPC Marketer or a boutique agency looking for an easy way to obtain the official Google Partner badge and associated benefits
- Marketing grads in colleges and universities looking to give their curriculum a serious boost
Google Ad Grants are the nonprofit extension of Google Ads offering approved charities and non-profits organizations (NPOs) with up to $10,000 monthly on in-kind Ads advertising. Using these grants, NPOs and charitable organizations can promote their mission and initiatives on Google.com using text ads.
Now, let’s get into details about why Google Ad Grants are an incredible growth hack for any digital marketer wanting to gain an almost unfair advantage:
In the Google Ad Grants program, Google offers free (yes, FREE!) $10,000 monthly grants for NPOs advertising on Google.com. NPOs still need to manage ad campaigns for them to work of course – and that’s where you come in.
Offering a monthly management plan for 3 to 6 months at (for example) a discounted rate may very well put you in the driver seat of your first Google Ads management contract, leading to official Google Partner status down the road. Now, how cool is that?
So why would you target NPOs to do that?
Reason 1: Easier to Deal With
People working at charitable organizations and NPOs are highly motivated by a cause and, generally speaking, nice people to work with (read: “easy client”).
Reason 2: Beginner Errors are Likely More Easily Forgiven
If you are a newly certified Google Ads specialist, you are more likely to make errors. Don’t worry if your first client is a charitable organization. Since the client won’t be spending his money to cover the ad budget (it’s Google’s money), they’ll more easily forgive the errors. It’s not as bad as if you invest 10K for a business that relies on leads and sales to survive.
Reason 3: You’ll be Working for a Good Cause
Working for a charitable organization or NPO is like being the part of that organization. You get the opportunity to contribute towards a good cause. So, you will help make the world a better place.
Reason 4: Quick Positive Results
Unlike companies that offer goods or services, NPOs have usually very limited funds to promote their programs. Also, they want to spend most of their budget on the cause rather than on marketing. This is where Google Ad Grants comes in. It’s the best way to reach a broader targeted audience and raise donations without investing heavily into ad campaings .
Google Ad Grants Policies
Take Advantage of “Maximize Conversions” Bidding Strategies
With “Maximize Conversions” bidding strategies, Google uses machine learning to automatically determine the bid that is required to maximize the number of conversions. This helps NPOs increase conversions rapidly and pursue ROI goals further down the road with more advanced CPA (cost per acquisition) strategies.
5%+ CTR Floor
Since March 2018, you need to maintain a 5% click-through rate (CTR) for at least two consecutive month. If your Google Ad Grants account falls below Google’s minimum CTR, it will be suspended.
While you can request Google to reinstate your account, however, this can be a painful process.
Optimize Account Structure
The best way to maintain a minimum of 5% CTR is to structure your account correctly.
- Use geo-targeting to target only relevant audience.
- Should have at least two active ad groups, containing relevant keywords and two active text ads per ad group.
- Must have at least two sitelink extensions to ensure that searchers land onto the most relevant pages on your website.
Every ad and keyword in the account should reflect the primary mission of the organization. Branded, single, generic, broad keywords are not permitted.
Use keywords in the ad copy and make your landing pages functional, fast-to-load and relevant. Also, to continue receiving your Google Ad Grants, the purpose of your NPO client should be exclusively charitable. Failing to comply with any of these policies will cause an automatic suspension of your account.
Guide to Successful Campaign Creation with Google Ad Grants
#Structure Your Account
A more relevant ad stands out more in Google search results. To achieve this, choose the relevant keywords and group them into themed ad groups to show ads related to those keywords. You can also separate ad groups into campaigns to allocate your grants to the most important topics.
For example, if the client organization distributes clothes, you don’t want to run only one campaign for “clothes”. Instead, it should look like: Clothes for Girls, Clothes for Boys, Clothes for Seniors, Donate, etc.
And, your ad groups should reflect searchers’ browsing habit on Google so you can provide ads highly relevant to their search.
For example, ad groups with a campaign “Donate” might include:
- Donate for babies
- Donate clothes
- Donate old clothes for seniors
#Create Effective Ads
Weave your keywords in 3-4 compelling ads and prioritize the best performing ad copies. Use short, non-repetitive sentences, avoid uncommon abbreviations and acronyms and include unique aspects of the NPO within keywords and ad copies.
#Use Ad Extensions for More Conversion Opportunities
Using ad extensions in your campaigns provide additional information to a prospect, thus increasing the conversion rates. You can use ad extension with your text ads and include options such as additional text, contact number, website URL, snippets and much more.
#Make Your Campaign Landing Pages Relevant to Ad Copy
Relevance is one of Google’s major criteria for assigning a quality score to ad sets. So, make sure your landing pages, keywords and ad copies relate to each other. You can do so by:
- Use keywords in your landing page content.
- Creating and testing multiple landing pages to identify the best one.
- Using fresh and unique content on your landing page.
- Make sure your landing pages are mobile-friendly.
- Having a clear CTA (Call To Action) on your landing page that is consistent with your ad copy.
#Choose the right keywords
Ask which word combination or phrase you’d type into Google to find the services and programs offered by your client. Use keyword planner to find the relevant keywords and cluster them into ad groups.
Develop a Keyword Identification Strategy
There are three match types you can consider when creating your keyword list:
Broad Match (Default): Your ad appears for your keyword PLUS related searches, misspellings, synonyms and other keyword variations chosen by the Google Ads algorithm. This leaves space for interpretation that you would not necessarily approve of.
Your keyword: Alzheimer charity
Your ad appears for: Alzheimer charity, Alzheimer’s charity, mental illness charity, Alzheimer foundation, dementia foundation
Extended Broad Match: Your ad appears for your keyword PLUS close variants chosen by the Google AdWords algorithm. This leaves less space for interpretation.
Your keyword: Alzheimer charity
Your ad appears for: Alzheimer charity, Alzheimer’s charity, Alzheimer foundation, Alzheimer non-profit.
Phrase Match: With this match type, your ads show for keyword “phrases” that contain your root keyword.
Your keyword: Alzheimer charity
Your ad appears for: Alzheimer charity, Alzheimer charity San Francisco, nearest Alzheimer charity, Alzheimer charity donations
Exact Match: your ad will only show for the specified keyword, without any word preceding or following after your root keyword
Your keyword: Alzheimer charity
Your ad appears (only) for: Alzheimer charity
- Include Negative Keywords to Improve Conversion Rates
Add negative keywords to your Ads campaign to avoid appearing for unwanted keywords and save your client’s budget. You can use negative keywords at both campaign and ad group level.
# Target the Right Audience
Target your ads to the appropriate geographic locations and languages. Various options such as country, state, city, postal code or radius targeting will make your life easy
# Track Actions People Take After Clicking on Your Ads
Use Google Analytics to track what people do once they arrive at your site after clicking your ad. It will help you determine which ads and keywords are performing the best and can be used for future campaigns.
Install the Ads conversion tracking code on the client’s website or import goals from Google Analytics to track in Ads. Use the same email address for Ads and Google Analytics to link both.
# Automatically Set Bids
After you have reached the minimum recommended conversion volume of approximately 15 conversions per month for any given campaign, use “Maximize conversions” to set bids automatically. This smart bidding strategy identifies the best keywords for your campaigns and gets most conversions while spending the budget and saving you time.
Go to the “Setting” tab of your campaigns to turn on Maximize Conversions.
How to Find and Select a Charitable Organization You’d Like to Work With
The easiest way to find a charitable organization as your first client is to start with Google research. Enter any of following queries on Google search box to find charitable organizations in the desired location and with a specific mission.
- [city] or [state] + [type of charitable organization]
Example: California breast cancer society
Or: Chicago poverty alleviation
- [NPO] or [Charitable] in [city] or [state]
Example: non-profit in Ohio
- [Type of charitable organization] in [city] or [state]
Example: Environmental NPO in California
- [Charity] or [NPO] startups [city] or [state]
Example: Charity startups NY
Shortlist the Approved Charitable Organizations
Once you have a list of NPOs, analyze the list and find a few that you think will be interested in Google Ad Grants and qualify for the same. The organization must hold a valid charity status and should have a website that looks somewhat “professional”.
Google Ad Grants are not available for government entities, hospitals and medical groups, schools, childcare centers or universities.
How to Approach a Client
Send a warm, personalized email to shortlisted prospective clients. The email content should hold the readers’ attention and prove your authenticity (this is where your PPC University profile page and Achievements page come in!). Make them feel valued and explain how you could help them raise funds and achieve their mission.
What your email should contain:
⦁ The reason why you are reaching out to them. Inform the organization about the FREE funding opportunity for online promotion (Google Ad Grants).
⦁ Explain who you are and why they should choose you (add your LinkedIn profile to your message and add your PPC University badge to the Education section of your LinkedIn profile: LinkedIn features PPC University as an officially recognized educational organization!)
⦁ Provide a quick overview of Google Ad Grants and how it would benefit them.
⦁ Your proposal to help them get into the Google Ad Grants program, benefits of the program, and how you can help them maximize the use of Google Ad Grants.
Limits of Running a Google Ad Grants Account
Can be Used for Search Network Only
Don’t pitch Google Ad Grants to your potential clients with a robust remarketing or YouTube strategy. Google Ad Grants of $10,000/month can only be invested in SEARCH campaigns (no DISPLAY, No YOUTUBE, no SHOPPING campaigns!).
This means that as a budding Google Ads specialist, you will have the opportunity to apply and deepen the theoretical knowledge that you garnered in your FUNDAMENTALS and SEARCH exams. With a NPO as your client, you basically get 10k$/month to “play with” and learn.
The Google Search Network is the oldest and, arguably most advanced, ad network on the web, making taking care of a Google Grants account one of the most rewarding experiences for a budding Google Ads specialist. Not to mention how easy it is to fulfill almost all of the Google Partner requirements.
No AdSense Allowed
Google Ad Grants recipients are not allowed to display AdSense ads on their website or advertise affiliate advertising links when taking advantage of Google Grants.
No IP Address Filtering
You also cannot block out IPs in Google Ad Grants accounts.
Google Requirements for Ads Grants Account and Getting Ads Certified with PPC University
With your Google Ads certification in the pocket, you can apply your knowledge on a real-life project by campaigning for a charitable organization. It helps you acquire experience and more expertise in Google Ads.
From there, you’ll have the necessary foundations to take it a step further and search for business clients, if that’s what you want. But you could also establish yourself as a Google Ads specialist in the non-profit sector.
So, what are you waiting for? Enroll in the Google certification course of your choice today and approach charitable organizations to hone your skills in a matter of weeks.