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Google Ad Grant: 7 Best Practice tips [2022]

Looking for some Google Ad Grant best practice tips to help you optimise your account and spend more of your budget? 

First off, there is no requirement to spend all of your Grant. Focus on generating relevant traffic that will help meet your digital marketing goals

However, there are probably relevant and valuable ways you could be getting more bank for your (free) buck. 

Let’s jump into the list.

7 best practice tips for your Google Ad Grant:

Request a FREE account audit

Are you struggling with your Google Ad Grant account? Or perhaps you’d like a second set of experienced eyes to spot opportunities for improvement.

We will diagnose and analyse your Google Ad Account and provide you with a set of recommendations for FREE. Usually valued at $499, this offer is available to a very limited number of organisations a month.

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Use Smart Bidding in your Google Ad Grant

Firstly, you want to make sure you have at least one campaign using Smart Bidding Strategies.

These automated bidding strategies allow Google Ads to set your bid for a keyword. 

There are many advantages of using a Smart Bidding strategy, but the big one for a Google Ads Grant account is that it allows the system to bid more than US$2.00, which is the limit when setting bids manually in a Google Grant account. 

To use Smart Bidding, you will need to track conversions (s a program requirement forthe Google Ad Grants program). 

Smart bidding strategies are:

  • Maximise conversions
  • Target CPA 
  • Target ROAS

Set the budget for every campaign to $329

You don’t need to divide your daily budget of $329 among your campaign. 

To maximise your ad grant spend, you should set each campaign budget to $329 per day like this:

Screenshot of Google Ad Grants best practice budget settings. Three campaigns all with US$329 budgets.

IF you ever find yourself regularly maxing out your daily budget, then think about which campaigns to prioritise your spending on.

Turn on Smart Goals for your Google Ad Grant

Smart Goals are a feature of Google Analytics that allows Google to track and target the most valuable website traffic. Setting up Smart Goals can help Google Ads send more of the right traffic to your website.

Once you have 500 visits a month from Google Ads (this can be from both your Google Grant and Paid Google Ads account), you can turn on Smart Goals in Google Analytics and import it into your Google Ads Grant account. 

Follow these steps to set up Smart Goals and import them into your Google Ad Grant account.

Create Dynamic Search Ads in Google Ad Grant

It’s probably impossible for you to create ad groups and ads for every relevant search. That is where Dynamic Search Ads come in handy. 

Dynamic Search Ads can automatically target keywords and create ads based on the content that is on your website. You can use your whole website or target specific pages. 

Google provides this step-by-step guide to setting up Dynamic Search Ads.

Use as many extensions as relevant to your Google Ad Grant

Extensions add additionaf information to your search ads and, according to Google, can help lift click-through rates.

Sitelink extensions

As per grant policy, you must have two site link extensions in your Google Ad Grant. Sitelink extensions direct the user to specific pages of your website and look like this:

Sitelink extension example for Google Ad Grant. Search ads is for Amnesty Australia and contains two expanded sitelinks.

Or this:

Sitelink extension example for Google Ad Grant. Search ads is for Amnesty Australia and contains 3 sitelinks.

Make sure your use site link extension is relevant to each campaign.

Once you have your sitelink extension set up, there is a whole range of other extensions for you to test.

Here are some of my favourites in action.

Image extension

Image extensions add an image to your search results.

Image extension example for Google Ad Grant. Search ad for UNHCR with image extension.

Call extension

Call extensions add your phone number. People on mobile can call with one click.

Call extension example for Google Ad Grant. Search ad for UNHCR with call extension

Location extension

Yoguesseded it, location extensions add locations to your search ads.

Location extension example for Google Ad Grant. Ad for ASRC with location extension showing.

Callout extensions

Callout extensions add little snippets of information to your search ads.

Callout extension example for Google Ad Grant. Care Australia search ad with callout extensions

Even more extensions

Google recommends enabling all extensions that make sense.

If your organisation has an app, you could even try the App extension. If you are selling products or merchandise, price and promotion extension could be for you.

You can find a detailed description of all extensions here.


Search intent is the purpose behind a user’s search, which can be categorised into four main types: navigational, informational, commercial, and transactional.

How might these search intent categories apply to your Google Ad Grant?

Navigational intent

Navigational intent is when a user is looking for a specific website or web page. For example, a user might search for “Oxfam Australia” with the intent of navigating to the Oxfam Australia homepage.

Informational intent

Informational intent is when a user is looking for information on a particular topic. For example, a user might search for “refugee policy Australia” if they want to learn more about refugee policy in Australia.

Commercial intent

Commercial intent is when a user is investigating products and services with the intention of making a purchase. For example, a user might search for “best fairtrade coffee online” if they are looking to purchase fairtrade coffee from an online store.

It may seem like commercial intent isn’t relevant to nonprofits, but we can think about it as the investigation stage. Before a user decides to donate to a charity, they may research organisations with searches like “charities supporting refugees” or “how to help homeless Sydney”.

Transactional intent

Transactional intent is when a user is looking to complete a transaction, such as making a purchase or donation. For example, a user might search for “donate to the red cross” if they are looking to donate to the red cross.

Ensuring your ads AND landing pages are relevant to search intent will lead to more impressions and clicks.

Optimise your Google Ad Grant landing pages

It’s not enough to get people to click on your ads; you need to give them a fantastic experience when they get to the landing page.

Make sure your landing pages are fast, look, and function great on mobile and desktop.

A great way to start optimising your landing pages is to analyse how people use your site with HotJar.

HotJar lets you record site visits, create heatmaps and collect feedback. You will quickly see what is and isn’t working for your users.

And you may even be eligible for a free business plan.

Want more help?

While getting US$10,000 to spend on search ads is awesome, there is no grant for extra time. And making the most of your Google Ad Grant takes time and effort. Find out how we can help you make the most of your Grant.

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