Google Grants is a resource used by over 35,000 non-profits who depend on the grants offered to raise money, bring in volunteers, and spread the message across the internet.
As of the beginning of 2018, the way that Google Grants works has changed. Previously, there were no limitations to charities using this resource, and the only way that an account would be removed was if it breached the Adwords ToS. Now, Google is adding restrictions to Google Grants accounts that may result in many accounts being closed down.
These changes create goals for accounts to ensure they are performing well. If an account doesn’t achieve a CTR of over 5% on their keywords and phrases for two months, the account will be closed. This isn’t an unreasonable goal, but may results in many closures as charities without experience try to raise their CTR by the end of February.
There are also limitations on the kinds of keywords available to nonprofits. Broad or single-term keywords are no longer allowed, with a small list of exceptions. Keywords must now have a quality score of 3 or more, and use geotargeting to ensure a more qualified audience.
What’s more, campaigns must have a minimum of two ad groups, with at least two ads running at a time. It’s also mandatory to have sitelink extensions active. It seems that Google is trying to make sure that all Adwords accounts are run in a way that brings successful results, and will remove ones that don’t return these.
It’s not all bad news, however. To counteract the effects of these changes, Google has lifted the $2 bid cap, which used to make it difficult to spend the full $10,000 of grant each month. This will enable charities to have access to some keywords that were entirely out of reach before.
As these changes were made on January 1st, with only 17 days of notice, many charities are beginning the year at a disadvantage. They’re now working with keywords that are no longer profitable and a decreasing CTR as a result, with the new consequences of this on the horizon.
With knowledge of Google AdWords, these changes should be nothing to worry about. However, it’s important to understand and adapt to these changes to avoid an account closure.
For help with your Google Grants account, contact us today. We’ll perform a full healthcheck free of charge, to make sure that your account will stay profitable and effective in the months to come.