Complying with Google’s guidelines will help you maintain a healthy Ad Grant account. Here’s what any nonprofit needs to know about Google Grant compliance.
Google Grants have transformed the nonprofit marketing landscape. By meeting eligibility requirements, you can receive $10,000 every month to promote your cause through Google Ads. However, nonprofits must follow certain requirements to remain eligible.
Nonprofit fundraising professionals are likely familiar with the process of seeking grants and following compliance standards. Grantmaking organizations create standards to award money to nonprofits that will spend it in line with the program’s goals. Google Grants are no exception!
To keep your Google Grant account compliant, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the program’s rules, starting with why they were created.
Why Does Google Implement Compliance Requirements?
Every grantmaking organization, including Google, strives to fund responsible organizations and advance worthwhile missions. That’s why they require nonprofits to undergo an intricate vetting process and meet ongoing requirements.
For the Google Grants program, the primary purpose of compliance regulations is for nonprofits to create meaningful conversions, not just maximize ad spend.
When the program first launched, there weren’t many compliance rules. Instead of concentrating on connecting with likely prospects, nonprofits focused on spending as much as possible to increase search visibility. This led to nonprofits:
- Advertising any content on their website, including pages that people wouldn’t find useful.
- Targeting keywords that didn’t align with the searcher’s intent and brought unqualified prospects.
This decreased the program’s value and led to users encountering content they weren’t searching for. To counteract this, Google’s team created a list of compliance rules, requiring nonprofits to create meaningful ads for mission-centric topics.
A Rundown of Google’s Compliance Rules
To comply with Google’s regulations, you need to understand them. Getting Attention’s Google Grants eligibility guide explores them in-depth, but for now, here’s an overview of the program’s rules:
- No single-word or generic keywords are permitted.
- Keywords must have a quality score of at least three.
- Maintain a 5% click-through rate.
- Have at least one conversion each month.
- Include at least two ads per ad group and two ad groups per campaign. The official guidelines have indicated two ads per group in the past; however, Google has recently moved to RSAs and indicated that each ad group must have at least one RSA. This may replace the need for two ads in the future, but Google’s official guidelines haven’t changed.
- Include at least two sitelink ad extensions (which link to additional landing pages within your ad).
- Respond to the annual program survey.
Complying with these rules will also optimize your campaigns. For example, choosing high-quality keywords will display your ads to qualified prospects, while sitelink extensions will provide users with alternative ways to engage with your cause.
Tips for Complying with the Google Grant Rules
While it’s one thing to understand the program’s rules, it’s another thing to put them into practice. Let’s walk through ways to develop a healthy Google Grant account.
1. Set Meaningful Conversion Goals.
As mentioned above, Google requires nonprofits to have at least one conversion per month. A conversion is when a user completes an action that’s valuable to your nonprofit.
While Google gives you free rein over your conversion goals, common ones include:
- Online donations
- Volunteer registrations
- Event sign-ups
- Newsletter sign-ups
The idea behind conversion goals is to ensure each ad serves a role in advancing your mission. So think about what will push your cause forward.
For instance, an animal shelter might view adoption inquiry form submissions as meaningful. On the other hand, a community organization might track newsletter subscriptions. Also, remember different ad groups can track different conversions, so you’re not tied to one specific goal for the entire account.
2. Choose Valuable Keywords.
Another essential component of a healthy Google Grant account is keywords. Keywords should be relevant to your cause and connect you with people searching for content in line with what you’re promoting.
To comply with Google’s keyword standards, here’s what we recommend:
- Leverage keyword research tools. As part of the program, you can access Google Keyword Planner. Brainstorm what prospects might search to find your organization. Put these terms into Keyword Planner to view estimated search traffic, how much you should bid, and keyword suggestions.
- Check your keyword quality regularly. Google assigns a Quality Score to each keyword. A higher score means the ad and landing page are relevant to users searching that term. Regularly review your account and pause any underperforming keywords (i.e. those with a score below three).
- Center each ad group around similar keywords. Focus each group on a specific theme and related keywords. For a wildlife sanctuary, one ad group might focus on generating volunteer registrations and include terms like “wildlife rescue volunteer opportunities” and “animal sanctuary volunteering.” Then, another ad group might focus on driving donations and target terms like “donate to wildlife rescue” and “animal sanctuary donations.”
Keyword research is critical for Google Grant compliance. Failure to choose relevant keywords can result in account suspension, so consistently revisit your performance.
3. Assign a Knowledgeable Google Grants Manager
Consider designating a specific person to manage your account, respond to performance data, and follow Google’s compliance standards. In addition to building relationships with monthly donors, that individual can reach new audiences as they refine your campaigns.
However, many organizations don’t have the staff capacity to devote an internal team member’s time. Instead, they outsource the work to a Google Grants agency. Typically, a professional will manage the following areas related to compliance:
- Keyword research. Backed by search engine marketing knowledge, an agency can pick keywords that meet Google’s quality standards.
- Landing page optimization. Optimized landing pages will drive more campaign conversions. An agency will help pick and create promotable landing pages.
- Valid conversion tracking. A professional agency will have experience with Google Analytics and can pick the right conversion goals for your nonprofit.
A professional’s expertise extends beyond basic Google Grant rules. They may also create ad copy and choose meaningful conversions.
Whether you assign someone internally or outsource the work, assigning a grant manager lays a foundation for maintaining Google Grant compliance.
Google Grants empower nonprofits to share their stories online. Don’t waste this opportunity by not following compliance guidelines. Using the guidance we shared, you can start improving your strategies and getting more out of your grant every month.
Getting Attention contributed to the content of this post.