Ad Grants Account Review Dashboard Overview

 

Visit the Ad Grants Account Review Dashboard to understand your current Ad Grants account status with program policies and best practice adoption. Review your status regularly and use the linked resources provided to take action (see short video for instructions).


Overview

 

The Ad Grants Account Review Dashboard provides transparency and guidance on how to successfully run a high quality Ad Grants account. See short video for instructions.

How to use this tool:

Review the boxes that have a red X symbol. Click the links in titles to learn how to comply with policies and adopt best practices. Review this dashboard regularly for real-time status (refreshes every 48 hours).

What are the differences between compliance policies and best practices?

Policies are minimum requirements to comply with Ad Grants policy and avoid account disruption. Best practices are recommendations, based on top performing nonprofits, to get more out of your Ad Grants account (for example, driving more donations, newsletter or volunteer sign ups, and reaching more people in need).

Why does this dashboard matter to my nonprofit?

To avoid account deactivation, your account must comply with all policies. To get more out of your Ad Grants account, adopt best practices.

Resources:

Summary section

This section is a summary of your current overall Ad Grants account status. Review the fields corresponding to the Ad Grants Account Review dashboard, and click on the guidance links to take action.

 
  • Account policy compliance:
    • Whether your account is compliant or non-compliant with Ad Grants program policies. If not-compliant, review the Compliance Policies section below for details on how to comply
  • Account best practices adoption:
    • The barometer shows whether your account has a low, mid, or high level of best practices adopted. We encourage you to adopt best practices to get more out of your Ad Grants account
  • Account quality above average:
    • Account quality above average shows whether your account is highly relevant to users who are searching (compared amongst all nonprofits in the Ad Grants program). To improve your overall account quality, ensure your keywords are relevant to your nonprofit. Refer to this page, see “Keyword” sections
  • Approved domains:
    • These domains are approved for use in your Ad Grants account per website policy.
  • Your website is secure (HTTPS):

Compliance Policies section

Review the fields corresponding to the Ad Grants Account Review dashboard, and click on the links in the titles of each field to take action.

 
  • Conversions
    • Refer to this page, see “Tracking Conversions” section
  • Bidding
    • Refer to this page, see “Bidding” section
  • Click-through-rate (CTR)
    • Refer to this page, see “Must maintain a 5% click-through rate (CTR) each month” section
  • Account structure
    • Refer to this page, see “Account Structure” sections (“Must have at least 2 ads per ad group” and “Must have at least 2 ad groups per campaign”)
  • Location settings
    • Refer to this page, see “Proper location settings” section
    • Non-compliant locations will be listed if applicable
  • Ad extensions
    • Refer to this page, see “Must have at least 2 sitelink ad extensions” section
  • Survey submitted
    • Refer to this page, see “Must respond to program survey” section
  • Does not have single or generic keywords
    • Refer to this page, see “No single-word keywords permitted“ and “No overly generic keywords permitted” sections
    • Non-compliant keywords will be listed if applicable
  • Does not have keywords with quality score of 1 or 2
    • Refer to this page, see “No keywords with a quality score of 1 or 2 permitted” section
    • Non-compliant keywords will be listed if applicable

Best Practices section

Best practices are based on behaviors observed from top performing nonprofits. Best practices are recommendations beyond the minimum required policies for Ad Grants program compliance. Review the fields corresponding to the Ad Grants Account Review dashboard, and click on the guidance links to take action.

 

  • Conversions:
  • Bidding:
    • See this page for details on conversion based bidding. See sections “Use your conversion data to inform smart bidding” and “Set your bid strategy to Maximize Conversions or Maximize Conversion Values”
  • Has enough keywords per account: 
    • Refer to this page, see “Choose the right keywords” section
  • Has enough negative keywords per account: 
    • Refer to this page, see “Choose the right keywords” section
  • Tracking different values:
    • Refer to the “Set conversion values” section on this page for guidance on how to properly set up conversion tracking for monetary transactions and values
  • Attribution model:
    • Consider using an attribution model other than last click. Refer to this page, see “Determine which attribution model you’ll use” section
  • Extended attribution window:
    • Extending your conversion window for actions that have a longer consideration cycle, such as donations, is recommended. Refer to this page, see “Determine your conversion window” section.
For example, if your average monthly large donation usually takes 2.5 months to consider (time between first email interaction, newsletter follow ups, and then donation transaction), extending your conversion window from the default setting of 30 days to 90 days will help you capture that large donation in your conversion tracking and reporting. Conversions such as this large donation will also inform your smart bidding strategies (automated conversion based bidding strategies). Refer to this page, see “Use your conversion data to inform smart bidding” section.

 

To learn more about cost per action (CPA), see below.

  • Has a good cost per action (CPA) 
    • See here for cost per action (CPA) definition and examples. Reviewing and evaluating your cost per action (CPA) is important to understand how well you are reaching users in need with the Ad Grants budget. Generally, a lower CPA will enable you to get more out of your Ad Grants account, since your budget will go further. 

 

  • How to evaluate your CPA:
    • Calculate your CPA(s) for your website action(s).
    • Spend time reviewing your CPAs if they seem higher or lower than you expect.

 

For example:

  • If your average donor gives $300 and your CPA is $200, your CPA is still providing you a positive return on your Ad Grants investment
  • If your upcoming event ticket costs $700 and your CPA is $350, your CPA is still providing a positive return on your Ad Grants investment
  • If you sell $20 tshirts to fundraise on your website and your CPA is $100, you can reduce your CPA to improve your return on investment
  • The reason why a lower CPA will enable you to get more out of your Ad Grants account is because your budget will go further. For example, for the same $10,000 Ad Grants monthly budget, a $200 CPA may deliver up to 50 conversions that month, while a $25 CPA could deliver up to 400 conversions. 

There are several ways you can improve your CPA by improving your conversion rate. See here for additional details. Consider the recommendations below: 

  • Review whether your website actions are set up to track conversions accurately
  • Ensure your ads are compelling and highly relevant to your keywords and intended audience
  • Ensure your account has chosen the right keywords and has enough relevant keywords and negative keywords to maintain high account quality. Pause or delete irrelevant keywords to improve ads relevance
  • Ensure your landing pages are highly relevant to your ads, and tailored accordingly. Your landing page should allow a user to easily complete the action highlighted in your ad (such as signing up to volunteer, giving a donation, or downloading an informational packet)
  • If possible, use A/B testing to test variations of your landing pages to identify the right layout and content to best serve your users
  • Review your website actions and determine whether they are the proper actions to be tracking
    • For example, are you tracking the final page of donation completion, or only the initial page?
    • For example, are you tracking a volunteer signup or a website view?
    • See this section on “Select the appropriate conversion category” for additional examples to consider tracking on your website
 

[Recommendation] Consider also reviewing your Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)

In the same examples above, if you are tracking monetary values for your conversions, you can consider also reviewing your ROAS (return on ad spend). Return on ad spend is calculated by dividing your total conversion values delivered by total ad cost. A ROAS of 1 (such as $100 in value / $100 in ad cost) indicates your ads are earning as much as you spend. Higher ROAS indicates a positive return on investment.

For example:

  • If your average donor gives a donation of $300, but your CPA is $200, you have spent $200 in ads but returned a value of $300. Your CPA may be high, but your ROAS is positive ($300 / $200 = 1.5) and may be worthwhile for your nonprofit
  • Similarly, if your upcoming event ticket costs $700, but your CPA is $350, you have spent $350 in ads but returned $700. Your CPA of $350 is still providing a positive return on your Ad Grants investment ($700 / 350 = 2) and may be worthwhile for your nonprofit
  • Conversely, if you sell $20 tshirts to fundraise on your website, and your CPA is $100, you are spending $100 in ads for every $20 raised per tshirt. Your ROAS is low ($20 / $100 = 0.2) and there is room to improve
  • See here for additional examples and if you are interested in using Target ROAS bidding for your Ad Grants campaigns
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