Search Volume with Google Ad Grants

One Term That Will Boost Your Google Ad Grants Performance

OK, I get it. You don’t have the time or resources necessary to manage your Google Ad Grants more effectively. Yet, your board of directors is wondering why you can’t get more value from the $10,000 per month ad grants, when you’re only spending a fraction of the money. What’s up with that?

And to make matters more interesting, the rules for Google Ad Grants changed on January 1, 2018 to make it more challenging.

Sure, there’s a lot you can know to be truly proficient with these ad grants. (And the more you learn, the better!) For starters, just what’s needed to keep your account compliant (so you don’t lose your Ad Grants), is mostly technical. Although having a compliant account may not seem so satisfying when it’s not doing much for you, just realize that plenty of nonprofits are losing their Google Ad Grants because their accounts do not live up to the new rules. So, if you haven’t lost your ad grants, you’re in better shape than others.

But what about actually making Google Ad Grants perform more for you?

What’s one thing you can do to get more value from Google Ad Grants that’s not so technical?

In fact, even if you hire a professional service to manage your Google Ad Grants, they typically will only focus on the technical side of things and there’s only so much they can do, if what you want them to advertise doesn’t have an opportunity to interest many people.

“What” you advertise is more important than the technical points, although an ideal account will have superb technical implementation as well as a great marketing story.


The one term you want to know about that can dramatically boost your ad grants performance is “Search Volume.” This boils down to “What can you advertise that lots of people are searching for?”

Here’s an example. Let’s say you’re the American Heart Association and you want donations to support your nonprofit. Well, you could advertise your donation page. Doesn’t that seem practical?

But how many people are searching for “Donate to the American Heart Association”?  Even though they’re a well known nonprofit, the  search volume for their donation page would still be disappointing compared to other options.  (And your donation page would have less search volume than theirs).

So, what’s the solution?

“Search Volume.”

Using this same example, there’s a massive amount of people searching for “heart attack symptoms” or “heart health” or “heart disease.”

So, if you already have a special page on one of those topics, that’s what you advertise. Or at least that’s where you can start. If you don’t have such a page, then create one. In fact, create one for each of those search terms and any other terms that have high search volume. (Bonus: this would also be part of a Search Engine Optimization strategy to boost your organic ranking).


Your Google Ad Grants account has a free tool called “Keyword Planner.” This will advise you about the search volume of any keywords you enter and will help you discover other keywords, including better performing ones.

If you don’t want to bother logging into your account, you can do a search for “free keyword tool” and use one of those that you find. There are paid options, too, but you won’t need to spend any money for this exercise.

Start with the basic keywords related to your nonprofit message and check the search volume. The Keyword Planner, in particular, will also list related keywords, so be sure to look through them.  Other keyword tools will have a similar function.  Some of the suggested keywords may be quite pertinent and others won’t be. The point is to select high volume keywords that relate to your nonprofit.

Afterwards, you may find that you can simply take an existing page on your website and add your new-found, higher search volume keywords so that the page relates to the new ads you create. And don’t forget that latter part. You need to create new ads that take advantage of the higher performing keywords.

This gets to the crux of how to make Google Ad Grants perform better for your nonprofit.

  • You need high-volume keywords.
  • You need ads that relate to those high-volume keywords.
  • You need a webpage(s) to advertise with those ads and that page also needs to include those same high-volume keywords.


Now, if you really want to get professional with your ad grants, you need to ensure the web pages that you’re advertising have an opportunity for people to exchange their name and email address for something from you that is free.

And don’t think too lightly about this. Offering free stuff online is so common that people are still resistant to providing their info to receive it. That means you need to offer something of truly exceptional value. And even that’s not enough. You could have the greatest free giveaway in the world and not describe it well enough and it will perform poorly.  You need to sell the free giveaway so that people fully understand what it’s about. You need to present a sales pitch to inspire the readers to take advantage of your free giveaway. Like it or not, that’s the reality of modern internet marketing.  And if you do it well, you should have new people signing up to your community each and every day and you will be spending a higher percentage of your monthly ad grants.

And then keep repeating the above exercise so that you can continue to spend more and more of that $10K each month.

The truth is there’s more to know about Google Ad Grants. But if you just take advantage of what’s outlined in this article, you will significantly improve your ad performance and substantially increase the propagation of your nonprofit message.


Nonprofit executives are busy.  It’s understandable that they don’t all provide adequate respect for Google Ad Grants. Some even consider that since it’s free, it can’t be that valuable.

That perspective has been maintained by some number of nonprofits for years without any liability. Until January 1, 2018. Since then Google has changed the game, they’re taking their ad grants away from those who don’t use it professionally.  But they’re still making it available to any other qualified nonprofits that are interested in using it productively.

For another perspective, losing Google Ad Grants would be heartbreaking to any for-profit business that’s paying thousands of dollars in cash each month for the same Google advertising to keep their business expanding. (And many of them also pay professionals to manage their Google ads to help them get the maximum value from it).

Ignoring your ad grants, and especially losing them, is a waste. When used effectively, this advertising can be your single greatest opportunity for expanding awareness about your mission.


The most effective thing you can do for your nonprofit with Google Ad Grants is to use the ads to build an online community. Once people are signed up to receive information, then you can email them for low cost on a regular basis to nurture them about your nonprofit story and also ask for donations. But if all you do is ask for donations without educating them about your good works, many of the people will stop opening your messages.  Also, if you nurture them in a slipshod fashion, many will stop opening your messages and/or won’t be responsive to your donation requests.

Use your Google Ad Grants professionally!

If you want to learn more about effective story development for Google Ad Grants, be sure to visit the Google Ad Grants Story Triangle.

And if you’re interested in turning your community into donations, you’ll want to visit the Perpetual Fundraising Engine which uses the Google Ad Grants Story Triangle specifically for fundraising.

Wishing you much success!

George Alger
Nonprofit Fire