It’s holiday season so for those of you unaware of this amazing opportunity we thought we’d fill you in on the details – a present from us to you!
The scheme offers in-kind AdWords spend to selected charities of up to $10,000 (£6,500) a month. If the charities can spend this amount consistently they can then apply for a grant extension up to a value of $40,000 (£26,000) per month.
Google publicly states that they are currently helping only around 4,000 charities worldwide. This is a tiny number compared to the 180,000 registered charities in the UK alone. It is quite apparent that the others simply don’t know about the programme, or only partially better, don’t have the resources to apply and manage the grant. Google don’t heavily promote the scheme – perhaps so as not to exhaust the resources available. The scheme is currently managed by a group of Google volunteers and there have been no advertising campaigns or initiatives that we’ve seen to actively promote the scheme. Who’d blame them – why give advertising away for free when people are already paying for it!
They don’t give grants away willy nilly. You’ll need to be a registered charity (see the Charities Commission website to check) and, obviously, you need to have a website – and you mustn’t have any revenue generating ads. You’ll need to be competent at AdWords management to a certain degree – or have a great grant adwords management company that is, acting on your behalf. Part of the application process involves setting up an AdWords account whilst adhering to a strict set of detailed guidelines. The account will then be reviewed by a Google Volunteer – which can sometimes take up to 6 weeks – I guess there aren’t many volunteers! Having said that, we have had applications for our clients approved in less than 48 hours so it depends on who’s working when and the quality of your application. We have noticed that recently the approval time has greatly improved…
There are a couple of restrictions, however, you can only advertise on their search platforms (no display advertising and no search partners) and there is a maximum CPC of $1.00 across the entire account – not ideal if you’re competing for high cost keywords. However, if you find someone experienced to manage and optimise your grant account your charity can still benefit from at least 90% of the keywords you would ideally be advertising on. Remember, break your account down into multiple campaigns and ad-groups focusing on long tail keywords appropriate to your charity. Keep ads relevant to ad-group and try to include keywords in the headline and description. It is also very important to make sure the destination url is very relevant to the keywords/ad group, thus helping keep Quality Score high and your bids below that $1 mark!
Most of the time the Grants are a great tool – they can be used to reduce costs and increase your reach for free. We find that for the larger charity accounts that we manage it is worthwhile complimenting the grant account with a smaller paid account for those high cost keywords that you simply can’t get near with a $1 CPC.
We at Passion Digital specialise in online marketing for NFPs and charities and are currently managing a large number of Google Grant accounts for our clients and have a 100% success rate in applying for a grant. Get in touch before the 31st January 2012 and we’ll do the whole application for you for free!
Please contact us directly for some google grant case studies and charity testimonials.
For a little taster look at the results we achieved for a few of our charities:
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