Keywords for Google Ad Grants

Keywords are the cornerstone of a Google Ad Grants campaign. It’s what decides which users will see your ads.

You have to put yourself in the place of the people you want to reach (your target audience) and think broadly about what

Google Ads campaigns are divided into ad groups. Each ad group groups a topic (some keywords and some ads related to those words).

It is recommended to create “small” ad groups, with few keywords they may be searching for in Google. Not only when they directly seek to connect with organizations like yours, but also other related terms that may lead them to your website.

For example, apart from the obvious keywords (“nonprofit”,”donations”,”volunteering”) we can advertise to:

  • Informative keywords: ”what is X”,”information about X”…
  • Keywords that indicate a willingness to help such as ”how to help X”,”fight against X”,”save X”…
  • Keywords to promote local events: ”events in X”,”5K race in X”…
  • Keywords to promote products or services: ”charity gifts”,”fair trade”,”X shirts”,”X classes”…

With creativity, you can find searches that allow you to reach thousands of potential collaborators.

There are some restrictions, you can’t use certain keywords (specific Google Ad Grants restrictions and general Google Ads restrictions ). We summarize here the main requirements of Google Ad Grants:

  • You have to focus on your organization’s mission and use keywords that are relevant to your programs. You can advertise paid products or services, but they have to be connected to the organization’s mission.
  • Each keyword must be composed of 2 or more terms/words (with some exceptions).
  • They cannot be too generic keywords (although accounts are not usually deactivated for using generic keywords, those keywords are just disapproved individually).
  • All activated keywords must have a Quality Score of 3 or more (you can configure a rule that automatically deactivates keywords that don’t meet the required Quality Score)

6.1. Sources for keyword ideas

  • Google Keyword Planner (can give you recommendations based on the content of your website or based on keywords you provide).
  • Google Analytics (you can look at the pages that get the most conversions and send your ads to those pages)
  • Google Search Console (you can see what is working well with organic visibility -SEO- and discover interesting keywords for Google Ad Grants campaigns)
  • SEO/SEM tools such as Ahrefs, Moz, Ubbersuggest…
  • Tools to spy on the keywords used by your competitors (SEMrush, iSpionage, Spyfu…)
  • Internal resources (check your website and blog, ask workers and volunteers for ideas, etc.)

6.2. Tips for choosing keywords

  • Shorter and more generic keywords have higher search volume (e.g.,”nonprofit”). But they can also give more problems: they can be rejected by Google, lower the average CTR below 5%, waste budget and not bring conversions, not achieve the minimum Quality Score required for Google Ad Grants…).
  • “Long-tail” keywords bring higher conversion-rate and CTR (“long-tail” keywords are longer phrases that refer to very specific things, such as, for example, ”donation environmental nonprofit New York”). But they usually have low search volume, so if you only use very long-tail keywords, you will not use a lot of your Google Ad Grants budget and probably miss conversion opportunities.
  • Therefore, you should try to find a a balance. You can try more generic keywords if you need more traffic and limit these types of keywords when you are close to spending your entire budget or when the average CTR of the account falls below 5% (if you it’s 2 months below 5%, Google will deactivate your account).
Generic wordsLong-tail words
Higher search volumeLower search volume
More potential visitorsFewer visitors
Lower CTRHigher CTR
Risk for Quality ScoreBetter Quality Score
More difficult for direct conversionsEasier conversions

Return to the Google Ad Grants course