There are currently over 5.6 billion Google searches each day. That amounts to the average person making 3 or 4 searches daily. Google Advertising gives you the opportunity to reach this audience, but can often be costly, especially for non-profits with limited budgets. This is where the Google Ads Grant comes into play.
The Google Ad Grants Program is essentially free advertising – courtesy of Google. The program is designed to benefit non-profit organisations by providing up to $10,000 of Adwords for free each month.
For attractions with charity status, a Google Grant can be a powerful asset in their digital arsenal. Just imagine what you could do with $10,000 of free Google Advertising each month. That’s around £7,500 to boost awareness, increase website traffic and bring in additional visitors.
Who is eligible?
The eligibility requirements for the program are fairly simple, your organisation just needs to meet the following 3 criteria:
- Be based in an eligible country – Google works with nonprofits in over 50 countries, including the UK and Ireland. You can find the full list here.
- Be a charity – You need to hold a current and valid charity status (in the UK this means that you are registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales; and/or Registered with HM Revenue & Customs as a charity for tax relief.)
- Have a good website – If your website doesn’t provide enough information on what your non-profit is all about, you can be disqualified. Your website needs to fully functional and up to date with ‘substantial’ information.
While this is an extremely valuable opportunity, the process can ultimately prove to be too challenging for many in house teams. We speak to attractions who simply lack the capacity and knowledge in their teams to take full advantage of the Grant.
Peter Marriot, Paid Media Manager at Digital Visitor says: “To start with, the application process is long and complex. Then, once you’ve qualified for a Google Grant, the really tricky part is maintaining it – violations of Grant guidelines will mean removal from the program permanently. Away from the non-profit world many businesses employ entire teams to just manage their Google Ads accounts – so it is a big commitment to run one effectively. If you get kicked off the program there is unfortunately no way back and you’ll lose out on that $10k a month spend.
Spending the full Grant amount is also a challenge. Restrictions on CPC, daily budget and the inability to use Search Partners or the Display Network mean that some will have a hard time finding a way to spend the $10,000 per month. Many Google Grant members under-spend their budget, with an average recipient spending only $330 a month.”
Working with the experts
The benefit of having an agency manage your Google Grant is that we have experience in working within the limitations of the grant and can get the most out of your account. We can manage the complete process from application to the maintenance of campaigns. If you already have an existing Google Grant account, we will conduct an audit and provide an overview of current performance and action next steps to improve activity.
If you think your attraction might be eligible for a Google Grant, get in touch. We could have you up and running within 7 days! Just email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call on 0117 440 0500.
Simon is one of the founders of Digital Visitor and has over 20 years marketing experience in the tourism sector, particularly with destinations and visitor attractions.