Complete Guide To Google Grants For ChurchesLast Updated: April 20th, 2021

Is your church looking to grow your congregation?  With Google’s incredible Google Grant program for non-profits, your church is eligible to receive up to $10,000 per month of free advertising on Google Ads to reach new people searching online in your local area.  You might be thinking to yourself that this sounds too good to be true, but Missional Marketing is here to tell you that it is 100% legitimate.  Every day, churches just like yours are running free ads in their local area on Google’s dime.  Regardless of your church’s budget, with Google’s generous donation you can reach more people than ever before to help grow your church.  Keep reading this complete guide to Google Grants for churches to learn how you can get this impactful financial resource for your church! 

What’s a Google Grant?

Google created its Google Grant program for 501(c)(3) nonprofits to be able to receive free advertising of up to $10,000 a month to spend on its platform, Google Ads.  If you haven’t heard of Google Ads before, you’ve most likely come across these ads many times while searching the web.  When you go to Google and type in a search, the ads are displayed as the top results above the organic listings.  

Every day, people are searching on Google for churches near them, searching for answers to their tough spiritual questions, and solutions to their felt needs.  By advertising on Google with a Google Grant, you’re able to reach these people with your church right where they’re searching.  

To receive a Google Grant for your church, you have to go through the application process and meet all of Google’s pre-requirements. To check if your church is eligible for a Google Grant you can use our free tool here.

What’s the Google Ads Platform?

Google Ads is an advertising platform created by Google, the largest search engine, that allows you to be able to advertise in search results and on the Google Display Network.  It’s important to note that Google Grants are only eligible to run on the search network.  As mentioned above, when a person types into Google a question or search query, the Google ads appear at the top of the search results.  Since most people do not scroll past the first page of Google search results, it’s vital to have your listing show towards the top of page 1.  With a Google Grant, you’re able to put your church’s website in a highly visible place on Google to drive traffic to your website and spread the word about your church.  

How Do I Get Approved For A Google Grant?

Applying for a Google Grant and getting approved can be a time consuming and complicated process to navigate.  In addition to submitting a lengthy application, your church has to also meet Google’s other requirements like having a high-quality website that’s free of errors on a secure network and enrolling in Google For Nonprofits. 

If you’re a busy church pastor or leader, it can be challenging to find the time to dedicate to completing the application.  The good news is that Missional Marketing will completely take care of this process for you by applying on your church’s behalf for a Google Grant with our management services.  We’ve successfully gotten hundreds of churches approved for a Google Grant in record time and strategically maximize your allotted Grant money each month.  Our goal is to make the process as stress-free as possible for your church.

Missional Marketing will:

  • Complete the Google for Nonprofits registration
  • Take care of the entire Google Ad Grant Application process
  • Perform initial keyword research
  • Audit your church’s website to make sure it’s free of errors or lacking important requirements that would disqualify you from obtaining a Google Grant
  • Build and manage your ad campaigns 

How Do I Maintain My Google Grant?

Once your church is approved for a Google Grant, it has to follow Google’s strict guidelines to maintain it.  Failure to comply with Google’s requirements can result in your Google Grant being taken away and your account put on hold.  To maintain your Google grant, your church must meet several factors relating both to the actual structure of the campaigns and its performance.  

For example, you must have at least 2 ads per ad group, at least 2 ad groups per campaign, and at least 2 sitelink ad extensions.  Google also requires you to have geotargeting set up to only focus your advertising efforts on areas that your church reaches.  Additionally, you must maintain a click-through rate of 5% or higher, have accurate conversion tracking in place, and have keywords with a quality score above 2.  

If this sounds confusing,  don’t panic! Missional Marketing will make sure that your account meets or exceeds all of Google’s requirements to keep your church receiving your Google Grant money month after month.

Does Google Allow You To Have Someone Else Manage Your Google Ads Account?

Yes! In fact, Google actually encourages Google Grantees to utilize a third-party management service for its Grant campaign.  The reason for this is that Google Ads is a very advanced platform for a person with little to no experience.  Your campaigns will be competing against other campaigns run by professionals specialized in Google Ads so it’s best to put your precious Grant money in the hands of experts.  

Additionally, creating and actively running your Google Ad Grant campaign takes substantial time and commitment.  If you are busy running your church, you most likely will not have the time needed to dedicate to running a thriving Google Ad Grant campaign.  Our team of Google specialists at Missional Marketing will be actively running, optimizing, and refining your campaign in real-time. 

Generally, when a person tries to run their Google Grant campaign themselves, they are only able to spend a small amount of their Google Grant and eventually have their grant money taken away.  Why risk losing up to $10,000 a month when your church could trust a team of professionals with your grant?

How Could Missional Marketing’s Google Grant Management Services  Help My Church?

Google Grants are an incredible way to grow your congregation by connecting with new people online who wouldn’t have otherwise come across your church.  Below are just a few ways a Google Grant could benefit your church:

  • Reach New People – With a Google Grant, your church’s ads will be seen by thousands of people daily that are directly searching for churches near them or their most pressing needs.  
  • Drive Meaningful Traffic To Your Site and Your Church – When people click on your ads in search results, they’ll land on your church’s website.  In turn, this eventually translates to more in-person visits to your church.
  • Bring More People To Jesus – By targeting seekers and the unchurched and optimizing your campaign for felt needs keywords, you’re able to connect people to Jesus through your church’s powerful resources.
  • Get Free Landing Pages – With Missional Marketing’s Google Grant services, we provide your church with over 70 free landing pages as a courtesy to help boost your campaign’s performance and drive the maximum results.
  • Save Time and Energy – Our team of fully Google certified experts will take care of everything from getting approved for your grant to creating and managing a successful campaign so that your staff can focus on your church and community.  
  • Leverage Data From Other Churches – Missional Marketing has worked with hundreds of churches and has the historical data from their past campaigns to know what works and what doesn’t so that you can have a head start to a top-performing campaign.
  • Get More Free Google Grant Money – On average, we see churches receive 5-10x more Grant money than churches that do not use our management services.
  • Increase Web Engagement – Our Church Web Engagement Maximizer service ensures ou get the best bang for your buck.

To see what a Google Grant could do for your church, check out our free Impact Estimator tool.

Real Life Subdomains and Landing Pages

A great way to reach the unchurched and seekers is by running ads targeted to this type of online user.  Although your church is most likely able to meet the needs of these people, your website might not necessarily reflect that, causing them to exit the page and move on to the next result. A powerful solution to this is through using a subdomain that has landing pages designed to reach the unchurched.  

When your church chooses to have Missional Marketing managing your Google Grant campaign, you’ll get a free gift of over 70 landing pages to use in your campaign, as well as a branded subdomain to house these new pages.  Each landing page will be specifically optimized for a felt needs keyword or answer to a question a seeker might ask about real-life or faith based topics.  These highly relevant pages will boost your campaign’s performance and lead to more conversions overall since the person arriving on these pages will directly find the help and answers that they were searching for.  The landing pages and subdomain will be fully branded to your church and gently guide people to your church as a great resource for them.  

At another marketing agency, these landing pages could easily cost over $20,000 to recreate.  You might be wondering why Missional Marketing chooses to give these impactful pages away for free.  The reason for this is that we’ve seen these pages work and believe in them.  We care about the long term success of your church and want you to get the most benefit out of your Google Grant.  We see churches receive more grant money than churches who do not use these landing pages.  

Understanding Google Ads

Most likely, if you’re a church pastor or leader, you probably don’t have a ton of expertise or experience when it comes to Google Ads.  When you work with Missional Marketing, you won’t need to know any of the technical or strategic elements of running your church’s Google Ad Grant campaign.  However, some people still like to have a basic understanding of what goes on behind the scenes with your Google Grant.  

Google Ad Grant accounts are structured by the following:

  • Account – You will only have one Google Ads account for your Google Grant.  Missional Marketing will set this up for you or if you already have a Google Ads account, you can share access to it with us.
  • Campaign – Within your account, you can have multiple campaigns running at the same time.  Only certain features are able to be set at the campaign level of the account.  For your campaigns, we will start you off with a core set of campaigns focused on targeting those looking for churches and the unchurched.
  • Ad Group – In every campaign, you have to create at least 2 ad groups.  You can think of ad groups as a way to organize your campaign on similar topics or themes.
  • Ads – Each of your ad groups will have ads that are related to the theme of the ad group.  Your ad copy must be compelling and highly relevant to the keywords that you’re targeting.

Google Ads works as an auction system where ads compete against each other to rank higher in search results. The amount an advertiser is willing to spend, or bid, for an ad, combines with the overall quality and relevance of the ad to determine the ranking order in search results.  This is because Google always wants to show the best possible results to a user.  Just as a note, Google Grant ads appear slightly below the paid advertisements in search results.

Again – if your church plans on using Missional Marketing’s Google Grant management services, we will handle all of this for you! 

Google Ad Grant Vocabulary and Key Metrics

In order to have a good understanding of Google Ad Grants for your church, we’ve included some important definitions and metrics that you’ll likely see a lot of on your monthly reports and throughout your campaign:

  • Quality Score – a metric Google uses to estimate the overall quality of your ads and relevance to the keywords being targeted to determine ad rank and performance.
  • Click-through-rate (CTR) – This percentage tells us out of how many times your ad was shown in search results, the number of times it was actually clicked on.
  • Impressions – The number of times your ad was shown in search results.
  • Cost-per-conversion (CPC) – The amount it costs for a user to complete a goal set for your Google Grant campaign.
  • Conversion – When a user takes a valuable action to your church that has been defined in Google Ads as a goal like clicking “Plan A Visit” or submitting a contact form.
  • Average Cost Per Click – This number is the average of how much it costs when a user clicks on your ad in search results.

How Long Does It Take To See Results?

Once your Google Grant campaign is live, all of your ads will have to be approved by Google before they are allowed to run.  This is generally a fairly quick process that is completed within a day or so.   You should expect to see preliminary results within days of having your ads live in the form of more visits to your website and online engagement.  

Over the first couple of weeks, we will be closely refining and optimizing your campaign based on the data.  During this time, you’ll see more significant results and an increase in conversions as the impressions and clicks steadily ramp up.  On average, churches that choose to utilize our Google Ad Grant Management service see a return on investment of 833% (Google Paid vs Client Paid).  

How Do I Know If The Campaign Is Performing Well?

In order to track your Google Grant campaign’s results, Missional Marketing will install conversion tracking software on your church’s website so that we can see what’s working and what needs improvement.  We’ll also make sure that you’re fully set up with Google Analytics and Search Console to gain in-depth insight into your site’s performance.  We believe in full transparency with our clients.  Every month, clients will receive a detailed report of their campaign’s metrics and a full breakdown of the results in easy to understand terms.  We encourage our clients to ask questions and report the results they’re seeing on Sundays back to us.

Get Started Today

Are you ready to begin advertising your church with a Google Grant?  Our team is ready to help your church get approved and running ads within weeks.  It all begins with a simple conversation.   We will talk with you to discuss your church’s needs and goals to put a plan in action to grow your church.  Give us a call today at 480-420-2007 or schedule an appointment with a member of our team below that works best for your schedule.   

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