Major Changes to Google Ad Grants Starting January 2018: What Your Nonprofit Needs to Know

 In Digital Advertising

Last week, Google made some major changes to how their ad grant program works. These alterations are designed to “add clarity and raise standards of quality for Google’s free advertising grants,” which, though great for searchers, might very well leave unprepared ad grant accounts posed for suspension if not optimized within the next few months.

Here is everything you need to know to ensure that your nonprofit ad grand account can maintain the qualifications necessary to stay active.

$2 Bill Limit Has Been Lifted

The $2 bill limit has made it hard to be competitive is many markets but that will no longer be an issue however now you will need to build campaigns that lean on a bid optimization strategy called Maximize Conversions. With Maximize Conversions, Google will automatically sets bids for you to maximize the potential for improved conversion volume. It uses machine learning to automatically adjust your bids to ensure competitiveness. This will now require ad grant accounts to setup and track meaningful conversions. This will require some more in-depth knowledge and integrations with your website using tools such as Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager. You will no longer be able to stay with in the Adwords product anymore.

5%+ CTR or Higher

This could be hardest requirement to maintain. This means that keywords, ad copy, geo targeting, and ad extensions must line up with your business goals. No more adding endless lists of keywords with generic ad copy pointing to the home page of your website. You will want to bid on only keywords that line up and match with your ad copy and landing page to achieve and maintain a steady 5% or higher click through rate.

Proper Account Structure

In order to maintain the new standard 5% CTR across your accounts is to ensure that those accounts are structured correctly.

Your account must make use of geo-targeting, meaning your ads will only serve to searchers in locations that are relevant to you. If you work with families in Boston, there’s no sense serving ads to searchers in Nebraska.

Each campaign in your AdWords account must feature at least two active ad groups, which must contain related keywords and two active text ads.

Finally, your account must feature at least two sitelink extensions. While they can be implemented at the account level, to ensure that searchers are directed to the most relevant pages on your website, you should make every effort to implement sitelinks at the campaign or even ad group level. And while we’re on the subject (though they aren’t requirement), why not leverage every ad extension at your disposal?! You can use structured snippets to articulate your NPO’s services, callout extensions to share your unique value propositions, and call extensions to get in touch with people who need help now.

Final Thoughts

Here are few key things to do first so reduce the risk of account suspension.

  • Identify the campaigns that are pulling you down
    • pause poor performing campaigns
  • For the campaigns that are pulling you up.
    • Pause poor performing keywords
    • Change match types (bulk)
    • Add ad extensions

You can also self study. Google provides all the materials you need to learn how to use there products and use them well.

If for some reason stipulations feel insurmountable you may want to work with someone who knows what they’re doing on the Google Partner Network: https://www.google.com/partners/#a_home

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