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6 min read

Changes to Ad Grant Adverts: Get Ahead Of The Change And Make The Most Of Your Ad Grant Account

This article was updated on: 07.02.2022

Google has recently announced an important change to AdWords Grant adverts. In light of recent findings that Ad Grant ads were often of a lower quality than standard paid adverts, Google have now implemented a quality filter whereby Ad Grant adverts will now be subjected to quality scoring. If the advert falls below average on its quality score, the advert will be stopped from running even if the bid alone makes it eligible. This may seem like yet another ‘limitation’ for Ad grant advertisers, however, this change can in fact be beneficial to future success in AdWords for a non-profit organisation.

What is a Quality Score and How is it measured?

AdWords quality scores are measured by three important areas: Expected click-through rate, ad relevance, and finally, landing page experience. AdWords quality scores are calculated by an average of these three factors, meaning that even if your advert falls below average in one of these three areas your advert is not automatically prevented from displaying. So, you don’t have to worry about being absolutely perfect.

How to Find Your Quality Score

  1. At the Account level select the Keywords tab.
  2. Once the Keywords are displaying find the ‘Status’ column.
  3. Hover over the white speech bubble in the column.
  4. Quality score will be displayed with a score out of 10 beneath the ‘displaying ads now’ section.
  5. There will be a breakdown and summary of the quality of each of the three strands. For each strand it is only possible to achieve one of the three statuses: above average, average, and below average.

(image credit: Pexels)


Beat the Quality Filter and Enhance Your Ad Grant Account

There is no doubt that this change can be used to an advantage. The new change can alert issues with an advert that would have previously have gone underdetected, meaning that even if your advert was bidding enough to be eligible to show, the three factors that measure quality may have been falling below average, therefore having an impact on user actions. This means that even if you were showing your advert this may not have ended in reaching  a conversion. With the new filter this means effective and relevant adverts must be created, leading to a better on-page experience which will ultimately mean better results for a non-profit organisation.

Writing a Good Text Advert

In order to create a good text advert you need to make sure you have done extensive research into the keywords that will be most effective using keyword planner. Once you have compiled a list of keywords you think will be effective, you can begin to structure your campaigns around these, a part of which means creating adverts. Google’s guide to creating text adverts is a good place to start, but bear in mind when looking at this that it is targeted at those creating standard, paid adverts.

Making Sure Your Advert is Relevant

One of the factors contributing to the quality score is the relevance of your advert in relation to the keywords you are using to direct traffic to your advert. This means that if your advert was displaying ‘Nike trainers for sale’ your keywords would have to be closely related to Nike trainers and would be affected if any irrelevant keywords were inserted such as ‘summer dresses’.

You therefore need to be vigilant about the wording of your adverts in relation to the keywords you are using. The easiest way to keep on top of this is to check your quality score on the keywords tab.

Keep up-to-date With Search Queries

Checking Search Queries is a really important part in encouraging traffic to your page. By keeping up to date with the kinds of things people are searching to find your page you can begin to learn a lot about what works well for your organisation. The keywords you initially put into campaigns will do a lot to get the ball rolling, but if you want the ball to gather momentum then you need to take a look at the search queries and begin to build around them. This usually results in better adverts with better targeted keywords, which can make all the difference when you are a small non-profit organisation amongst a massive web of competing non-profits and standard paid-adverts.

Check Landing Pages

Another part of the quality score is on-page experience for the user. This means how effective your page is at giving the user exactly what they are searching for. This means that the landing page must relate to the advert you have displayed as well as a variety of different factors. Your on-page experience can be improved in a variety of ways but if you are a little overwhelmed by all the things that contribute to on-page experience score start with considering your advert in relation to the page landed on. For example if you have an upcoming fundraising event, consider creating a separate advert and specific landing page for the event. If your advert for the event leads to a specific page relating to the event this will immediately result in a better score for on-page experience.

Expansion not Competition

With non-profit organisations it is important to remember that the restrictions Google imposes upon bids using Ad Grant (maximum $2 per keyword) mean that it is not feasible to gather conversions and interest through aggressive bidding and competing with others for a good keyword. Google Ad Grant can give non-profit organisations a maximum $10,000 spend per month with a maximum $329 per day spend. This is a huge amount of money, and so with the restrictions placed upon bidding it is important that account expansion becomes the goal.

Knowledge of search queries and bringing to the forefront the work of an organisation can be the key in unlocking where to take the next step in enhancing your AdWords account. Perhaps there is a keyword which is obtaining a lot of clicks but the conversion rate is low. You wouldn’t want to just copy the keyword into a campaign, but the keyword is obviously an area of interest and perhaps worth experimenting with.

Remember, with an Ad Grant account you can do what many standard, paid advertisers cannot – you can experiment. Experimentation is integral to understanding what works and what doesn’t work, and with such a big budget there is little worry in the impact this will have if the new campaign performs badly. Experimentation can make you stand out from the crowd and give your organisation the attention it needs.

Embrace The Change

Change can seem scary. However, instead of seeing the change as an obstacle or perhaps a source of worry that you’ll no longer have adverts showing, take this opportunity to really take a look into your account. Take this as a chance to look at your campaign structure, your keywords, your adverts and your website and really get to know what works and what doesn’t. With no longer being able to rely on a bid to propel your adverts to display on position 3 or 4, learning about what isn’t working within adverts lends a wealth of knowledge to an advertiser. The more you know about what is going on the less scary any change will ever seem, and naturally, the better the results.