Ad Grants Policy Compliance Guide

We launched updated Ad Grants policies in January 2018 to provide more guidance on running a high quality account. Follow these recommendations to comply.

The instructions below are based on the new Google Ads experience. Check what Google Ads experience you’re using.

No single-word keywords permitted

Under Ad Grants' Mission based policy, single keywords aren’t permitted. Your own brand keywords, approved medical conditions and some other cases are deemed an exception to this policy. To pause single keywords you can use a filter.

Filter for single keywords and pause them: 

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. From the page menu, click Campaigns. On the filter bar above the statistics table, select Campaign status and All enabled.
  3. From the page menu, click Ad groups. On the filter bar above the statistics table, select Ad group status and All enabled.
  4. From the page menu, click Keywords. On the filter bar above the statistics table, select Keyword status and All enabled.
  5. Click the filter button Filter above the statistics table. Choose Keyword text from the list of options and does not contain. In the text box enter a space by pressing the spacebar once on your keyboard. Click Apply to see a list of single keywords. 
  6. Tick the select all tick box, click Edit and then Pause, unless it’s your brand term, an excepted medical term or a listed exception.

No overly generic keywords permitted

Ad Grants' Mission based policy requires overly generic keywords that don't indicate the intent of the person searching to be paused or removed, for example: 'free videos', 'eBooks' or 'today’s news'.

Your landing page experience is a good indication of whether your keyword is too generic. If a keyword has a landing page experience below average, this indicates that users weren't finding the content that they were looking for when they searched. Consider rewording these keywords or adding keywords found in the Search Term report that show a strong CTR. 

No keywords with a quality score of 1 or 2 permitted

Ad Grants' Mission based policy requires keywords with a quality score of 1 or 2 to be paused or removed. Check your quality score on a regular basis to pause non-permitted keywords. You can also set up an automated rule so that the system automatically pauses these keywords for you. 

How to check your keywords' quality score

The quality score can be found in a column in your Keywords tab. However, it may not be showing in your account as default. If you don’t see a Quality Score column in your keywords tab, you can add it:

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. To see data for a specific period, click the date range selector at the top corner of the page and select the time period that you'd like to analyse.

  3. Click Keywords in the page menu.

  4. Click the Columns icon Columns above the statistics table and select Modify columns from the drop-down.

  5. Select Quality Score in the modify columns menu. 

  6. Click Apply to add the column Quality Score to your Keywords table.  

   Quality scores marked as '—' are exempt from this policy and not monitored.

Pause keywords with quality scores of 1 or 2 with an automated rule 

You can set up an automated rule so that the system regularly pauses keywords with a quality score of 1 or 2 for you when the condition is met. 

  1. Click Keywords in the page menu to get to the keywords page, and click the 3-dot icon.
  2. Select Create an automated rule.
  3. For Type of rule select Pause keywords.
  4. For the Apply to keywords selection choose All enabled keywords.
  5. For the Condition selection choose Quality Score, then < and 3. Ensure that the tick box for Include keywords with quality scores of '—' is deselected. 
  6. For Frequency set Daily, time as 11.00 p.m. and using data from Same day.
  7. Choose if you wish to receive an email notification, enter a rule name and click Save Rule

Must maintain a 5% click-through rate (CTR) each month

Failing to meet 5% CTR for two consecutive months can result in temporary account deactivation.

To correct your CTR before your account is temporarily deactivated, or once your account is temporarily deactivated, follow these steps: 

  1. Set the date range to the past 7 days that your account was active. If your account was deactivated or campaigns were paused, set the date range to the last 7 days that your ads accrued impressions. 
  2. From the page menu on the left sidebar, click Campaigns. On the filter bar above the statistics table, select Campaign status and All enabled.
  3. From the page menu, click Ad groups. On the filter bar above the statistics table, select Ad group status and All enabled.
  4. From the page menu, click Keywords. On the filter bar above the statistics table, select Keyword status and All enabled
  5. Order by top impressions down by clicking the column header Impr. at the top of the statistics table. 
  6. Pause keywords with high impressions (see Impr. column) and low CTR (see CTR column) by clicking the tick box to the left of the keyword, click Edit and then Pause. This step will increase the average CTR of all enabled keywords. 
  7. Continue until the CTR metric for the total bar on the statistics table, called Total: filtered keywords, reads at least 5%.  
If your account has already been temporarily deactivated, after following the above steps, and correcting any other outstanding Ad Grants policy issues, fill in this form to request reactivation.
Take a look at our additional suggestions to improve CTR

Must have valid conversion tracking, if applicable

Ad Grants policy requires that accounts created since January 2018 and advertisers in the programme using Smart Bidding strategies must implement accurate conversion tracking.

Accurate conversion tracking means that you are reporting at least 1 conversion per month (see the Conversions column) and that if your conversion rate is high (see the Conv. Rate column), it's accurately setup and due to strong performance of a meaningful conversion. Your total number of clicks should not nearly equate to your total number of conversions. 

If you haven’t received at least 1 conversion last month, please try one of the following options:

If your conversion rate is high, please confirm that it's due to strong performance for a meaningful conversion. Top fixes include:

  • Consider changing your settings to suit the type of conversion and 'count one' instead of 'count every' conversion where appropriate (see counting options)
  • Consider tracking a ‘thank you’ page where possible using Google Ads conversion tracking or a Destination goal with Google Analytics.
  • If you don’t have a ‘thank you’ page to track on your site, try a Google Analytics Smart Goal
  • Increase the barrier to what counts as a conversion:
    • If using a Destination goal or conversion, ensure that the page you’re tracking isn’t a frequently visited, common page, but instead one that’s accessed after someone completes a meaningful action, i.e. a ‘thank you’ page.
    • If using a Duration goal, consider increasing the minimum amount of time spent on site.
    • If using a Pages/Screens per session goal, consider increasing the minimum amount number visited.

Optimisation tips and troubleshooting steps can be found in our Ad Grants Conversion Tracking guide

Must have at least 2 ads per ad group

Invest in building out your campaign structure with at least 2 ads per ad group, leading to relevant landing pages and set the ad rotation to Optimise. This setting optimises your ads for each individual auction using signals such as keyword, search term, device, location and more. 

Learn how to create ads

Must have at least 2 ad groups per campaign

Create at least 2 ad groups per campaign with a set of highly relevant and tightly knit keywords that align with the 2 associated ads and destination landing pages. Take a look at your Search Terms report to see what multiple word searches have gained a good CTR and add these.

Learn how to create ad groups

Must have at least 2 sitelink ad extensions

Sitelinks provide the person searching more opportunities to click directly from your ad to landing pages on your site. Consider what specific pages might be most valuable to people searching and add these as sitelinks, for example a campaign page for a fundraising campaign. 

Learn how to add sitelinks

Must respond to programme survey

All grantees must complete an annual programme survey. The survey has been sent to the login email addresses on each Ad Grants account earlier in the year. If you have submitted it but receive a notification that it still needs to be completed, then we haven't been able to successfully capture your submission based on the customer ID entered and please resubmit.

The survey link can be found here. Pay careful attention to entering your customer ID in the format of 10 digits 'XXXXXXXXXX' so that we can identify your submission.
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