Charity begins at Google, generous paid search grants.

Google Grants

So you’re running a charity and thinking of dipping your toes into a bit of paid advertising? Then your first stop should the the universal centre of search. Why? Because the kindly people over at Google are in the very good habit of dishing out some lovely free advertising grants.

This is where you need to be, getting your name out there. And you want to be shouting about it, promoting everything you have. Blog posts, research, case studies, getting people at the top of the funnel. Pushing out the content, driving them in and getting them interested. After all, your good work should be recognised shouldn’t it?

What you need to get the grant!

  • First off you need to be a registered charity, this is a must, check out Google’s eligibility guidelines to find out what you need.
  • Apply to Google for Non Profits.
  • Acknowledge & Agree to Google’s required certifications in regards to nondiscrimination and donation use.
  • Have a live website with substantial content.

Drive as much traffic as possible to the site

So once you’ve managed to tick off all of these now it’s time to start driving traffic to the site. As much as you can. This is the top level of the funnel you are looking at, so be broad, get the awareness up and make them flow in.

There are a few simple rules you need to follow. So don’t be naughty and start trying to sneakily promote anything else through this account!

  • Link your ads to one (only one) website, the one that you got approved during the application.
  • Actively manage your account, don’t just set it up and leave it to run. This is obviously in your interest too so make sure you are making the most of this, you need at least 1 change every 90 days (that’s not too much to ask now is it).
  • Don’t run ads that promote financial products, and don’t request property or cars as donations.
  • You can’t run Adsense ads on your website.

What are the downsides?

Well as this truly is a free lunch you can’t complain too much. However it’s not an all you can eat buffet, more of a set menu, and you’re a vegetarian so you only get 1 choice, there are restrictions on this gift.

  1. You can’t bid more than £1 per click on keywords.
  2. You can only use text ads for search, no using display to scatter the brand I’m afraid.
  3. No DSA campaigns, you have to build them all yourself.

Apart from that, go to town on it. This is one area where spending more is better. Hold on though, before you just go away and start throwing together any old ads there is something you need to bear in mind. That £1 max per click on it’s own is not going to get you a whole lot of traffic. Most keywords you will be thinking of competing with will have a much higher cost per click than that, what you need to do is find a whole lotta love for long tail. So you’ll be needing a lot of campaigns set up. Go granular, hit them with some blog posts, research, information. Anything that can get you significant traffic that’s under £1.

It’s all about the QS

Now the next part, the ad copy. You will be able to gain an edge over your competitors here. As we all know by now your Quality Score is important, but here it is vital. If you get a high quality score on your ad copy you will be able to show higher in search, due to the savings Google will attribute to your ads. For example a £1 bid on keywords which have a Quality Score of 10 will be worth £1.30. This opens you up to a whole new audience. And might even make you show in some high competition terms.

So although we always bang on about the importance of the Quality Score, it takes on a whole new mantle here. On some terms you simply won’t show unless you put in the leg work. So keep testing, improving, rinsing and repeating. Get the name out there and get some donations and registrations for your good cause.

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