Tips for success with Google Ad Grants
Learn more about Ad Grants
Watch a video overview about Ad Grants
Ask us questions on the Ad Grants Community Forum
Watch videos and receive invitations to educational live streams by subscribing to the Ad Grants YouTube Channel
Receive personalized tips and invitations to events with Ad Grants team members by opting into Customized Performance & Suggestions and Special Offers emails.
Learn how your nonprofit can be matched with an account volunteer through partner universities with Ad Grants’ Online Challenge Program.
- If you’d like to work with a professional, review our current recommendations in the Ad Grants Certified Professionals Community Directory.
- Check out top FAQs.
1. Structure your account
When someone searches on Google.com and scans the results, your ad can stand out more if it’s more relevant to what they were looking for. To do this, you select keywords you’d like to show an ad for and cluster them into themed ad groups so you can show ads related to those keywords. You can also separate your ad groups into campaigns to allocate your budget to the topics that are most important to you.
Let’s say your organization gives free books to kids. You probably don’t want to run only one campaign about “Books.“ Instead, your campaigns might look like this:
- Campaign: Books for Babies
- Campaign: Books for Preschoolers
- Campaign: Books for Teens
- Campaign: Volunteer
- Campaign: Donate
Then, your ad groups would reflect how a person might search on Google.com so you can offer ads that are very relevant to their search. For example, ad groups within a campaign called "Volunteer" might include:
- Volunteer with babies
- Volunteer with kids
- Volunteer in education
- Volunteer for literacy
- Volunteer to teach kids to read
2. Create effective ads
Write 3-5 compelling ads per ad group that are relevant to the keywords in that ad group. The ads will rotate and prioritize the ads that are performing better than others in the ad group.
Short, non-repetitive sentences work best. Avoid uncommon acronyms and abbreviations. Identify the unique aspects of your organization and service, such as "Check our free book database to find books your preschooler will love" or "Volunteer to read to kids in your community today."
|Keywords for sample ad #1:
Volunteer to help kids read
Volunteers to teach reading
Volunteer to teach kids
Volunteering opportunities reading to kids
Teach underprivileged kids
| Sample ad copy #1:
Teach kids how to read
Volunteers needed now.
Online training available.
Ad extensions add useful links below the ad that help your message get noticed. Learn about the various ad extensions and how to use them.
3. Choose the right keywords
Ask yourself which keywords – word combinations and phrases – you would type into the Google search box to find your organization's programs and services. Then, use the Keyword Planner to find related keywords and group them together in ad groups if you’d want to show the same ad for them.
If you add a keyword without any formatting, the Google Ads program keyword default is broad match. For example, if your keyword were breast cancer, your ad would show when a Google search includes the keyword breast cancer, regardless of other search terms used or the order in which a user typed them. Your ads will also automatically show for expanded matches, including plurals and relevant variations like:
- breast cancer information
- cancer of the breast in men
- support groups breast cancer
- breast cancer symptoms
- self breast exam to detect cancer
All of the queries above are related to breast cancer and are relevant. We recommend including enough keywords to ensure your Ad Grants ads are reaching people who are searching in a variety of ways. This Account Review dashboard checks for at least 50 keywords per account. However, the broad match default doesn't work well for general keywords that may be included in searches unrelated to your organization. Let’s say your organization is devoted to saving endangered bears. Here are search queries that might display an ad targeted to the broad match keyword bears:
- chicago bears
- berenstain bears video
- collectible teddy bears
- bad news bears dvd
None of the searches listed above are relevant to the organization, yet they all include the keyword bear. Keywords such as protect bears and endangered bears would be a better option. In these cases, you could use negative keywords. You can specify keywords as negatives by preceding an unwanted keyword with a hyphen. We recommend using negative keywords liberally and on an ongoing basis, to ensure your ads remain highly relevant and effective at directing users to your organization. This Account Review dashboard checks for at least 5 negative keywords per account. For example, if our endangered bear organization wanted to use the keyword bear, the following negative keywords should be listed to avoid showing on unrelated queries:
- -bad news
- -kids songs
4. Track actions people take after clicking on your ads
In addition to Google Ads showing how many people clicked on your ads, Google Ads or Google Analytics can track what customers do once they’ve arrived at your site.
For example, let’s say some of your keywords lead to people browsing your website while others lead to people signing up for your newsletter or making a donation. Knowing this would help you determine what types of keywords and ads to set up for future fundraising campaigns.
Use this conversion tracking guide to learn more.
5. Automatically set bids
Automating your bids with Google Ads can save you time managing your account. Maximize conversions, which is a Smart Bidding strategy, automatically sets bids to help get the most conversions for your campaign while spending your budget. Maximize conversions bidding strategy will identify which keywords are more likely to result in a desired action and will then bid more for those and less for others. In Ad Grants, using Maximize conversions, Target CPA, or Target ROAS bidding strategies allows the system to bid over the program-level $2.00 USD max bid if your account’s performance merits.
You can turn on Maximize conversions on the Settings tab of your campaigns.