5 Ways to keep your Google Ad Grants account in shape

Posted on 14/11/2018 by Team Hallam

A Google Ad Grants Account is a fantastic way for Non-profit Organisations to engage in online advertising on the Google Search Network. Providing up to $10,000 per month in advertising budget, an organisation can work to drive donations, recruit volunteers, share information and much more.

Google Ad Grants

In return, Google Ad Grants Accounts must implement best practices and achieve a set level of performance. Failure to do so can result in ads being paused and accounts being suspended.

However, the nature of grants accounts means they are typically managed by an in-house marketer, who has little or no experience with Google Ads. This can make it difficult for them to maintain a high-quality account and leave them at risk of losing their free advertising eligibility.

So here are 5 easy ways to make sure your Google Ad Grants Account is in shape.

5 Google Ad Grants tips and advice

Click Through Rate

Google requires that an Ad Grant accounts must achieve a Click Through Rate (CTR) of at least 5% every month. In short, this means that out of 100 times that your ad is viewed, it must be clicked on at least 5 times.

In the long term, the best way to manage this is to ensure that your ad copy is relevant and drives further engagement, which will be discussed further on. However, in the short term, you can tackle the poor performing content quickly to have your account re-enabled and ads running again.

Filtering your campaigns by CTR will show you which campaigns are achieving the 5% minimum, and which are not. From here, you can pause the campaigns which are achieving less than 5% CTR, or continue to break the criteria down further by filtering by ad-group CTR.

Screenshot of click through rate filtering in Google Ads
Filter CTR from high to low to see what falls below the 5% benchmark.


Pausing these campaigns/ad-groups will improve your accounts average CTR so that it can meet Google’s requirements and gives you time to improve them whilst your other ads continue to run.

Stay active

It is important that you stay active and regularly log in to your account. Google Ads frequently adds notifications and updates to its platform, which can be easily found in your accounts top navigation bar.

Screenshot of the notification tab in Google Ads
Your account notifications will be displayed in this tab.


f significant importance is the notification of any disapproved ads, which relates to issues including missing destinations, misleading content or ad copy problems and more.  This signposts you to any ads which need amending. A disapproved ad is not eligible to run, and too many disapproved ads in one account can lead to it being suspended.

It is also important to manage your account regularly to ensure that your content is up to date. Ad copy regarding events, services or products can become outdated or even obsolete, so audit your account regularly to keep it current.

Call to action

It is best practice to include at least one ‘Call to Action’ (CTA) in your ad copy, as it provokes an action from your audience. They change an ad from being a passive result to something someone can engage in, which in turn can help to improve your accounts CTR.

When it comes to selecting a CTA for your ad, consider what it is you need the individual to do to bring you ‘value’. Do you want them to ‘Download a Help Sheet’, ‘Speak to an Advisor’ or ‘Book an Appointment?’.  Experiment with different CTAs in each of your ad variations to see which one works best for you.

If you would like to take your CTA one step further, think about the action and result. For example: ‘Speak to an Advisor About Solving Your Case’, ‘Read More About How to Reduce Your Debt’ or ‘Book Your Free Consultation Now’. These CTAs encourage an action by telling the audience what they will be able to gain from visiting your site.

Match types

Keyword match types can be a bit of a headache, but it’s vital to get them right to bring in relevant traffic. The type of match term you assign to a keyword will determine what audience it is eligible to show for, and the quality of their intent. Our guide to AdWord Keyword Match Types explains in more detail what each variation means.

Match Type Symbol Search Term Criteria
Phrase “example” Keywords must appear in a phrase or phrase variation.
Exact [example] Must be the exact term or a very close variation of the term.
Broad example Any query which includes the keyword or a close synonym.
Modified Broad Match +example It is mandatory that the keyword appears in a search query.

To view your keyword match types, select the ‘Keywords’ tab in your accounts side menu and filter the keyword status to ‘Enabled’. If your results are missing the ‘Match Type’ column then you can add it to your set by selecting ‘Match Types’ in the ‘Attributes’ menu.

Screenshot of keyword match types in Google Ads
How each different match type looks in Google Ads.


One of the most important elements to be aware of is ‘Broad Match’. Google automatically sets keyword match types to Broad, so keep an eye out for these in your account. It is not recommended to use ‘Broad’ as a match type, due to them being eligible for anything even remotely related to a keyword. For example, a broad match for ‘Play’ could result in an ad appearing for the query ‘Play School’. If you only take one action when it comes to keywords management then make sure it’s to amend any Broad Matches.

Only last month Google announced changes to its Exact Match criteria, so there is no time like the present to brush up on your keyword knowledge!

Negative keywords

When it comes to improving the relevancy of traffic, negative keywords are your best friends. Once a word is added into your Negative Keyword List it prevents your ads from showing for any search terms including that keyword. So, by adding related but irrelevant terms, you can ensure the intent of your traffic is of better quality.

Negative keywords in PPC meme

The best place to start when building a negative keyword list is by looking through your search terms. You can find a list of the search terms which have led to your ads being shown, by opening the ‘Search Terms’ section under the ‘Keywords’ tab. Select a relevant date range for your account and download the results as an Excel file.

When looking for irrelevant search terms which would be suitable for your Negative Keyword List, consider the following:

  • Does my site satisfy the need of the query? If someone is looking for ‘Dancing Shoes Lyrics’ and you sell dancing shoes, you will not be able to meet the needs of someone looking for song lyrics.
  • Are they searching for something closely related but not exact to what you provide? For example, do you only sell women’s shoes but have received searches for men’s shoes. If so, gender-specific terms will help to improve your traffics relevancy.
  • Is the term explicit? Unfortunately, the world wide web generates a large array of explicit content. Adding explicit terms to your negative keyword will stop your ads showing for inappropriate search terms.
  • Are the keywords unsuitable for your product or service? Terms including ‘Cheap’, ‘Second-Hand’ and ‘Free’ frequently appear in search term reports, despite being irrelevant to an advertiser. An individual looking for a free service is useless to you if you only provide hourly paid consultations.

Once you have your list, go to ‘Negative Keyword List’ under the ‘Shared Library’ tab in the ‘Tools’ menu at the top of your accounts page. Here you can create and name your negative keyword list and assign it to the relevant campaigns.

Remember, once implementing a Negative Keyword List your traffic volumes may decrease. However, the importance is that the traffic will be more relevant, and therefore more likely to convert. For more information, take a read of ‘Search Campaign Keywords – Quality or Quantity?’


Maintaining your Google Ad Grants Account is not only a requirement but also essential for ensuring you are getting the most out of your account. Google wants your ads to perform well and its best practices are proven strategies to help you do so.

Keep improving your account using these 5 easy steps and see how your campaign performance improves! If you need any help, contact us now.

If you need help with your paid search don't hesitate to contact us.

Enjoy this article?

Subscribe for weekly insights

5 Ways to keep your Google Ad Grants account in shape

Let’s thrive together

Get in touch to take the first step.

Contact us