Everyone who’s started an e-commerce business or launched a Google AdWords account is probably familiar with those vouchers for $100 in free ads Google sends addressed to the Head of Marketing.
It’s so easy to get started … and just as easy to lose money!
Google has launched an initiative to provide free advertising for a different purpose – one that could do a world of good. It’s called Google Ad Grants.
Under this program, registered nonprofits and the PPC agencies who serve them can qualify for substantial free advertising: $10,000 monthly for most organizations.
A small fraction of high-performing grantees are eligible for up to $40,000 through a related program, Grantspro, which requires an established record of success with a budget of at least $9,900. Since Grantspro is very exclusive, Ad Grants is the place to start.
There are some important limitations to know about:
Only Text-Based Ads Can Use Google Ad Grants
On the Google platform, text-based ads are traditional and effective. However, you won’t be able to take advantage of features like display or video ads. This makes it essential that landing pages and their text ads work together effectively.
Ad Grants Advertising Appears Only on Search Results Pages
Grant-supported advertising isn’t eligible to appear on the Google Display Network (GDN), which includes a variety of news sites, YouTube, and other hot digital properties. Luckily, there are other ways to leverage YouTube without using AdWords directly.
All Campaigns Must be Keyword Targeted
Considering the other restrictions of grant-supported ads, this one only makes sense. You just can’t use text-based ads effectively on Google’s search network unless they’re precisely targeted by keyword.
Maximum Cost Per Click is Just $2.00
Depending on your focus, $2.00 can go a long way in the AdWords world. Nonetheless, this prevents grant-supported ads from breaking into competitive or commercial keywords. That stops them from competing with private entities that have much larger budgets.
No AdSense Advertising
Nonprofits using AdSense advertising to bolster their budget aren’t eligible for Ad Grants. That said, monthly AdSense revenue might be just a tiny fraction of the $10,000 Ad Grants budget. For many qualifying organizations, it makes sense to shelf AdSense.
No IP Address Filtering
Address filtering is a common technique to help PPC agencies keep site visits from themselves and their clients out of analytics reports, but it’s not allowed by Ad Grants. This will usually have only a very small effect on analytics reports.
With Ad Grants, leading-edge digital advertising is within reach for nonprofits. For businesses, this may be a great opportunity to open new avenues of growth while making a difference.