Google Grants has gone through many changes the past few months. We’ve developed an FAQ to help answer some common questions around these changes and help you navigate them.
What are the changes affecting Google Grants?
In January 2018, Google updated their Grant policies. These policies were designed to encourage Grant account to focus on compliance and quality versus spend.
Here are the list of policies enacted in 2018:
- Conversions must be meaningful, which are conversions that help drive the organizations busines, or mission-like conversions
- Maintaining a 5% CTR minimum for the account
(WARNING: Accounts that miss that threshold for two consecutive months will be suspended)
- Keywords must have quality scores of 3 or higher
- Campaigns must have at least two ad groups with at least two ads running in each
- Accounts also must have at least two site-link extensions active
- Any single keyword (ie Theater) or general keywords (ie Sleeping Beauty or Ludwig van Beethoven) are prohibited
Google was moving clients away from focusing on maximizing spend, and instead having Grant accounts focus on reaching the right audience.
The measurement of success was through click-through rates. Essentially, if you have a keyword with a strong relevancy score (3+) and a strong click-through rate (5%+), you are reaching the right audience and are therefore more likely to convert!
What is the impact of these changes?
Due to these changes, across the board, we saw spend and impressions drop on almost every account. The changes impacted clicks, conversions, and revenue. What we did see is that, due to compliance, our click-through rates started to grow.
Additionally, over the summer, Google was automating account audits that suspended any accounts that violated any of their new policies (even if the campaigns were completed, paused, or are no longer running).
Mogo worked with Google’s Grant team to understand each account better. Now, we have automated rules on all of our Grant campaigns to help prevent any policy/compliance issues from impacting your account!
Over a year into the new policy changes, we are seeing BIG results thanks to the growth in CTRs. Most accounts now are not only ahead of that 5% CTR that Google requires, but we as an agency are averaging 10%+ (some as high as 20%+). We are starting to see proof that the higher CTRs are driving more conversions and revenue than we did maxing out the spend in 2017! This is further proof that focusing on the right audience will drive more qualified traffic to your site.
To continue maximizing on the growth we are starting to see on our Grant campaigns, we are starting to recommend a strategy shift to clients. The goal is to better align Grant with Paid Search support . . .
How can I get the most of my Google Grant moving forward?
In partnering with the Google Grant teams, and reviewing clients that are seeing success, pairing your Grant with Paid Search efforts is going to help support your brand!
By leveraging both Grant and Paid Search, we can now extend our bid caps, cover single keywords (even branded keywords), and better support your events, programs, or products. Grants will primarily focus on your top performing branded keywords, whereas paid will pick up everything else. Not only will that help you stay in compliance, but it will also help your Grant focus on reaching the right audience while paid can give you the flexibility the Grant does not.
How is Mogo working with the Google Grant team?
We are in the Google Grant Immersion program. This is an invite-only program where key agencies focused on supporting Grant clients come together to discuss Grant changes, seek out campaign & account feedback, and understand trends to help improve our Grant management of your accounts.
Being a part of the immersion program, gives us direct access for Grant support and best practices, that we apply to all of our Grant campaigns.
The Google Grant policy shifts has really forced us to focus on compliance and quality. With that, Mogo has done a lot of work aligning more closely with Google. We have built out automated rules to secure compliance, enrolled in the Grant Immersion program to stay ahead of the trends, and really helped focus on quality getting click-through rates over double what Google is asking! All this helps to drive more conversions and revenue for our clients.
Most importantly, we have been recommending a strategy shift to encourage clients to pair their Grant campaigns with Paid Search campaigns to better support their goals, remain competitive on important keywords, and drive better success for our clients.
If you have any questions on your Grant account or are interested in discussing your current Search strategy, reach out to your Account Strategist or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.