A laptop showing the Google Ads logo

Should Our Church Manage Its Own Google Ad Grant? Consider 5 Tips from Marketing ProsLast Updated: June 27th, 2023

Limited budgets confine many churches and nonprofits. Since Christian organizations acknowledge every gift is from God, they try to steward their resources with wisdom. In the process of finding this balance, Google Ad Grants can be a game changer. The $10,000 in paid ads that Google gives qualifying nonprofits can drive more traffic to your website and, in turn, exponentially more visitors to your church. Unfortunately, many nonprofits don’t know how to utilize the ad spend and wonder if managing it on their own is the best strategy. As marketing professionals, we’ve seen it all, so here are 5 tips to consider when answering these questions.

Do you have the time it takes to manage the Google Ad Grant in-house?

Pastors and church staff members are busy people. If you’ve been juggling more things than you have time for, it can be wise to delegate certain tasks to professionals. Burnout rates are significantly higher for ministry workers than those in other careers, so don’t bite off more than you can chew. It would be a waste to have $10,000 in ad spend available without using it. However, overloading a stretched-thin communications staff is not the answer. Inexperienced volunteer teams that run their ad campaigns in-house can actually tank their website performance altogether. Thankfully, there are professionals who specialize in creating optimized Google ads for churches using this free grant resource to improve your metrics successfully the first time.

Do you know how to create Google ads in a way Google likes?

Google’s search algorithms are tricky to navigate. In fact, there are entire careers focused on creating content optimized for Google. Because Google is always changing, it’s impossible to keep up.  The requirements, stipulations, and policies associated with Google Ad Grants are always shifting.  The number of changes in Google Ad Grants is so extensive that, even if you work on the platform daily, you will miss some of the updates.  If you feel like you don’t know enough, you’re not alone. After all, ministry is your main priority. Never try to figure it out alone with an online tutorial! Even a tutorial from last month could miss crucial updates about Ad types, Ad Content (religious restrictions), Keywords, Bid Strategies, CTR evaluations, or audience determinations. When you miss an update, your DIY approach will most definitely negatively impact your account and website performance. 

That’s why is best to have a team of people working on Google Ad Grants. There are specific techniques professionals employ to make sure your ad spend gets an optimal return on the investment and reaches the most people. If your ads weren’t successful in the past, you’ll find that hiring a professional makes all the difference.  

someone preforming complex analysis of google ad grant performance on a computer

Do you understand Google strategy?

Google’s algorithm is constantly being modified. Decades ago, when the internet was relatively new, it was easier to show up in search results. However, now that every business is online, there is immense competition. If your church is competing with every other church in your region to rank in the first 5-10 Google results, you need a strategic plan. But even if your communications team is knowledgeable on SEO, keyword research, or sponsored posts, the same processes may not apply to the Ad Grant. The policies and requirements Google has established for Google Ad Grants are significantly different than those policies established for Google Ads.  Effective management strategies, methods, and approaches used in Google Ad Grants are only learned from managing multiple accounts over a measurable timeframe.  Google does not teach this. Our team has observed performance decline on Google Ad Grant accounts managed by part-time volunteers, even though they had Google Ads experience. If you don’t know how to utilize the current best practices, your Google Ad Grant might be going down the drain. 

How Closely Can You Manage Campaigns?

If you or your team already have busy schedules, you should not take on a Google Ad Grant campaign alone. Because of the ever-changing policies and procedures, the campaign requires active day-to-day management. So it’s not a good idea to tack it on the end of someone’s job description if they can’t attend to it frequently. Google Grants has increased the frequency of account verification and account compliance.  If a DIY’er is not accessing the account on a weekly basis, the account verification and policy requests will be missed.  If these compliance requests are not tended to, the account will be deactivated and the Grant revoked. This can be avoided by selecting either a staff member or an outside team that can manage your Google Ad Grant with frequent attention to detail.

What is your objective?

If you don’t have a clear website management plan, it will be equally unclear how to spend your Google Ad Grant money. Is your goal to get more website visitors? Do you want to boost your sermons with Google Ad Grant? Do you know how to achieve these with grant money without sabotaging your stats? There are other aspects of content creation and website management that lend themselves to a DIY approach, but this isn’t one of them. You need to know what your objective is and how to achieve it before you dabble. Otherwise, it could have detrimental effects. Our team has become experts in ensuring your ads are optimized to effectively accomplish your precise objectives.

a graphic of Google Ads with various related icons appear around a laptop

Have you experienced success?

If your Google Ad Grant money has seen limited results, consider getting help from a professional. Fortunately, this is something our Google Ad Grant pros at Missional Marketing see all the time. In May 2020, our team worked with a client who had very little experience with Google ads. Despite their inexperience, they insisted we construct an ad campaign excluding specific phrases we suggested and, instead, including ads and keywords they had written themselves. Unfortunately, as a direct impact of these changes, their web results rapidly declined. They went from spending $8,000 in Google Ad Grant money per month to $2,000 per month. As you can see in the diagrams below, Impressions and clicks fell drastically. 

Another church we worked with, depicted in the image below, also tried to manage their own Google Ad Grant. Immediately, the traffic to their website stopped. We see this all the time. Well-meaning churches intend to manage the Google Ad Grant themselves. However, the constant upkeep and lack of knowledge make maintaining the Google Ad Grant very difficult. In the end, Google’s free advertising money becomes like many people’s January workout purchases, sitting in the corner unused.

a chart showing the collapse of traffic to a previous church client after they decided to manage their Google Ad Grant themselves

The image above depicts the stats for a church that tried to “do it themselves.” The image shows that as soon as they went to “do it themselves,” the traffic to their website completely stopped. Unfortunately, this is common for those who don’t know how to use Google Ad Grant.

How do I know when it’s time to hire a professional?

If you have any doubt whether your Google Ad Grant money is producing quantifiable results, it’s time to talk with an expert. The experts at Missional Marketing will take care of the details, so you don’t have to. The metrics reflected in these charts demonstrate the success we’ve realized for other clients in your situation. 

When you work with Missional Marketing, you can rely on us to meet your marketing needs entirely. Running and maintaining ads is quite complicated, which is why Missional Marketing helps churches just like yours get the best results without adding duties to your staff’s busy workload. Plus, you don’t have to worry about keeping abreast of changing technology. You can focus your time and energy on what you care about and enjoy doing for your church community. 

At Missional Marketing, each client gets a personalized dashboard like the one seen above. This enables you to easily monitor your church’s marketing success and feel encouraged, knowing your metrics are soaring. We provide you with invaluable ways to grow your web presence and see measurable results from these efforts. 

You can be confident in return, knowing you’re reaching a far greater audience and gaining new traffic to your website as soon as you start working with us. As you explore our website, you’ll see the many ways we meet all your marketing needs and help you get excellent results. To book a consultation call with one of our Google Ad Grant specialists, click the button below. We look forward to meeting you!

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