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In our previous series of blog posts, we reviewed the Google Grants Program, described the account setup, and looked at additional program opportunities.  This blog post is focused on the Google Grants AdWords account management. We will review some tips and strategies.

Yes, the AdWords Google Grants account is very similar to a regular AdWords account. Yes, it is possible to use usual AdWords account management techniques. But a Google Grants account has some limitations – that is why we need a slightly adjusted strategy.

Bid management

There are 4 limitations we have to keep in mind:

  1. We can advertise within Google Search only (no search partners, no Google Display Network). This means we have to deal with a somewhat limited search volume.
  2. Maximum allowed bid is $1.00
  3. The program provides monthly budget of $10,000 (or $40,000 for Grantpro accounts). But in reality, we have a set of daily budgets of approximately $330/day (or $1,315/day for Grantspro accounts). Any unused daily budget will not be rolled over to the next day and will be lost.
  4. The automatic bidding feature and Conversion Optimizer are not available. This means we have to adjust all the bids manually.

If the account did not reach its budget limits, it makes sense to put the maximum allowed bids of $1.00.

Upon reaching the daily budget limits, it makes sense to do following:

  • Split available budget between campaigns based on their importance and historical performance.
  • Start decreasing the bids to maximize the traffic volume and, as a result, increase conversions. It is important to keep the account in a balance between utilizing available budget and getting maximum results.

Since only manual bidding is allowed, it could be very time consuming process to update the bids. We would highly recommend using the Google AdWords Editor to save time.

Please keep in mind that search volume could fluctuate during the week. It makes sense to review the ‘Day of the week’ performance report.

Then, based on report results, use the Ad Scheduling feature to schedule the bid adjustments.

Click-Through-Rate (CTR) Increase

CTR optimization is crucial for Google Grants accounts for 2 reasons:

1.    CTR plays an important role in the Quality Score algorithm. Increased CTR could lead to improved Quality Score and, as result, to lower cost-per-click. It is extremely important because we have to use maximum allowed cost-per-click of $1.00.

2.    We have to deal with limited search volume within Google Search Network (no search partners, no Google Display Network). This means we get a limited number of ad impressions and have to maximize the traffic volume/conversions by increasing CTR.

There are different ways to improve CTR. Let’s review some of them:

Ad copy A/B split testing

With continued A/B ad testing, we suggest running at least 2 versions of ad copy against each other to test which resonates with your search audience. Once it is determined which of the two ads has a higher performance, we recommend pausing the lower performing ad and creating a new ad to continue the test.

Providing negative keyword research and setup

  • Review Search Query report to find search queries not relevant to your offering. Look for words that got impressions and clicks but are irrelevant to your organization
  • Using the Google Keyword tool to find words that may be used as negatives
  • Review the keyword suggestions on the Opportunities tab and add the keywords that don’t make sense as negatives

Adjusting keyword match type

You can improve the search traffic volume and eliminate unnecessary ad impressions by using phrase and exact match keywords.

Also consider using the Broad Match Modifier