Changes to Know: Google Ad Grants

google ad grants
Google Ad Grants are a saving grace for nonprofits. Even with the affordability of digital marketing, many organizations aren’t able to spend lavishly on online advertising. Google understands this – and the importance these groups have in their betterment of our communities – and created Ad Grants, a form of AdWords designed specifically for nonprofits! Understanding how to work this charitable program is important, and recent changes may confuse people who are currently taking advantage of Ad Grants. We discuss these changes below.


Click-Through-Rate, or CTR, has been getting the most press amongst the recent changes. CTR measures how often an advertisement is clicked compared to the number of impressions it creates. The old minimum CTR for nonprofits to keep their Ad Grants account active was 1%. While this looks like a small percentage, most accounts averaged between 1.5-4% with their CTR. Even more revealing is the average CTR percentage across all industries, which is at 1.91!
If the 1%  felt like a handful to your non-profit, Google has some news that might make you nervous. The 1% requirement is shooting up to 5%. We understand that this very large jump may seem like too big of a hurdle to jump, but everyone’s favorite search engine made some other changes that will help you adjust.

Other Changes

Google attempts to make it clear that while raising the required CTR, they are also providing nonprofits an easier path to success. There will be multiple changes that affect how advertisements will be displayed, but the end goal is more clicks for everyone. One major change is a required keyword quality score of 3 or higher. While this will make choosing keywords more difficult and expensive, it will bring in a higher CTR for your organization.
A few decisions could be less popular. These include the new inability to use branded keywords, as well as the removal of single-word keywords. While these changes seem to negatively impact nonprofits, they also encourage these groups to select higher quality keywords that will result in a higher percentage. Other additions include the requirement of geotargeting and two active sitelink extensions, as well as having at least two ad groups with two or more advertisements running in each.

Uptick Is Ready to Help!

We have years of experience helping nonprofits achieve the highest results with their Google Ad Grants. In fact, our annual Magic City Makeover challenge was designed specifically to help organizations in the greater Birmingham area that are making a positive impact! But you don’t have to be in the Magic City to benefit from our expertise. Contact us today to learn how we can change the way you look at digital marketing.

About Uptick

Uptick Marketing is a digital marketing agency based in Birmingham, AL. We provide a variety of digital marketing services (30+ services à la carte) to our clients, including search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, digital advertising, graphic design, video production, and more. We work with business owners, marketing directors, and other key stakeholders every day—and we believe in results-driven strategies that work to grow your business.

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