Google Grant success secret — bid on your brand

Here’s a scenario I’ve seen play out over and over again: An organization applies for an AdWords Grant from Google, gets super excited about the $10,000 in in-kind media that they get every month, and then feels deflated because they can’t figure out how to spend the Grant.

(If you’ve never heard this one, or don’t know what a Google Grant is, please take a minute to read this post on Google Grants. Better yet, drop me a line and I’ll help you get a Google Grant today.)

While there are lots of tricks for maximizing your Google Grant, one of the easiest is to bid on your brand keywords.

You might be asking, “Why would I bid on my brand? I’m already the top listing on Google.”

Good question. Here are four excellent reasons to bid on you brand name:

1. Competition
While you technically can’t bid on a trademarked term, Google doesn’t police this, you have to watch out yourself for competitors bidding on your brand keywords. Sometimes this might not even be malicious, especially if your brand includes generic terms, like “focus on the family.” But owning the domain and the brand name means you’re a shoo-in for the first spot if you do end up in a competitive situation.


Competitive ads have nearly pushed Focus on the Family’s organic results below the fold.

2. Control
You’re in AdWords because you want your visitors to do something, right? Give a gift or sign up for your newsletter. But, if you’re like most organizations, your homepage isn’t laser-focused on those objectives. With an ad, you can control where the user is taken and what the ad looks like, including its associated site links.

This Prison Fellowship ad leads to a donation optimized landing page and highlights what’s important to the organization instead of what Google thinks is important.

This Prison Fellowship ad leads to a donation-optimized landing page and highlights what’s important to the organization instead of what Google thinks is important.

3. Conversions
People searching your branded term are likely the furthest down the conversion cycle. A branded ad with a clear call to action ensures they find what they’re looking for.

4. Clicks
Google has sweetened the AdWords Grant with Grantspro: $40,000 in in-kind media per month. But in order to apply for this upgrade, your account has to meet certain criteria, including maxing out your Grant twice and maintaining a 1% or greater clickthrough-rate (CTR) over a six-month period.

Some studies show that paid links beat out organic ones by as much as a 2:1 margin. That means that even if your brand name is the top organic result on a Google search page, people are likely to click on your ad if they see it above the organic result.

Since your brand name is likely the top driver of traffic to your site, this tactic will almost ensure you maintain a >1% CTR and help you spend out your Grant.

What are you waiting for? Starting bidding on your brand keywords today.

Are you maximizing your Google Grant?

We’ve helped many organizations figure out how to maximize their Google Grant and apply for a Grantspro that will help them even more. If you’re having a hard time getting your Grant to work for you, we’d like to offer you a free review of your Grant.

To get started, enter your information below and a Google-Certified Grants manager will be in touch with you.