Google’s Ad Grants Program is undergoing some big changes in 2018 that may have a significant impact on non-profit organizations. While many organizations may find these new rules hard to cope with, Google implemented the changes to prioritize quality for all Google Ad Grants users. With more than 35,000 non-profits using the program, there are bound to be concerns about all these changes. Rank Fuse Digital Marketing is here to help you better understand all the changes this program will undergo starting in 2018.
Changes to Google Ad Grants Program
One of the biggest changes to the Ad Grants Program is there will no longer be a cap on the cost-per-clicks. Instead of having a $2 CPC cap, Google will now allow non-profit organizations to be more competitive when bidding on keywords. In the past, it was difficult for many grantees to spend all $10,000 they received from Google each month with the $2 bid cap.
This policy change will also let non-profits select the “Maximize Conversion Bidding” feature, which allows bids to fluctuate in order to improve conversion metrics. As more conversions and data come through, Google will be able to better adapt bids to improve performance.
Now, Google will also require click-through rates to stay above five percent. In the past, CTRs were only required to be at one percent. If CTRs fall below five percent for more than two consecutive months, the Google Ad Grants account could be deactivated. For many organizations, this may mean working on a new ad strategy. Other organizations may not be able to keep up and could have their accounts canceled.
Under the new rules, keywords must have quality scores of 3 or higher, which will prevent the use of single keyword terms or generic keywords. Keywords must also reflect your organization’s primary mission, as well as be relevant to your group’s programs and services. Any keywords that promote hatred, violence, intolerance, or discrimination are forbidden. Lastly, non-profits can’t purchase branded keywords that they don’t own anymore, which prohibits running competitor campaigns.
Google will also require each AdWords campaign to include at least two ad groups, and at least two ads must be running at all times. Each AdWords account is also required to have at least two sitelink extensions. Geotargeting must also be active in the AdWords account.
Part of the changes to the program in 2018 includes a mandatory survey for all Ad Grants recipients. This annual survey will help Google learn how it can help non-profit organizations in the program.
To be eligible for Google Ad Grants, organizations must be organized and operated for only charitable purposes. If your non-profit charges for any services, you must disclose how your funds are being used. This may mean that your organization needs to create an annual report that you disclose to the public.
How to Keep Your Google Ad Grants Program Account in Compliance
With such a high risk of non-profits losing their grants, Rank Fuse Digital Marketing has a few tips for how you can keep your account in compliance with the new rules put in place by Google.
If your CTRs aren’t high enough, you may be able to increase them by getting rid of low-quality keywords and instead focusing on long-tail keywords with high quality scores. You may also consider removing keywords that are targeting your competitors or ones that have low quality scores.
Restructuring your AdWords account may be necessary to comply with Google’s new rules. It is a good idea to go through your account and make sure that geotargeting is set up and that at least two sitelink extensions are in use on your account.
More monitoring of your AdWords account may be required to make sure that you are staying within the constraints that Google has placed on grantees. For some organizations, this will be extremely difficult, as time and resources are better spent elsewhere.
In the end, Google made these changes with the goal of helping non-profits better spend their campaign budgets, but that doesn’t mean the new rules won’t be tricky for some. For organizations that don’t have the ability or capacity to create AdWords campaigns that will comply with these new rules, consider finding a marketing company that specializes in creating AdWords campaigns. Rank Fuse can help your non-profit organization create high-quality campaigns that Google won’t reject. To get started, call Rank Fuse today at 913-703-7265.