Tips for success with Google Ad Grants

Learn more about Ad Grants 

Top tips

1. Structure your account

When someone searches on 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 so you can offer ads that are very relevant to their search. For example, ad groups within a campaign called "Volunteer" might include:

  1. Volunteer with babies
  2. Volunteer with kids
  3. Volunteer in education
  4. Volunteer for literacy
  5. 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:

  1. -chicago
  2. -berenstain
  3. -bad news
  4. -teddy 
  5. -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.

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