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Securing $40K/MO In Free Advertising From Google


The client was managing their own $10K per month Google Ad Grant. However, not for any lack of trying, the client was only able to spend approximately 40% of the funds each month. Our digital team took over management of the client’s account and were not only able to consume the full $10K, but were able to satisfy the highly competitive set of requirements to enter the Google Ad Grantspro program which awarded the client a $40K per month budget.


Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona is the largest Goodwill organization in the country. The client operates 84 retail stores, 20 donation centers, 3 clearance outlets, 3 furniture stores, and 20 career centers and has revenues nearing $150 million.

One of our many roles is to serve as the client’s digital marketing agency. And as part of that role, we manage the client’s Google Ad Grant.

Up until the time our digital marketing team took over management of the client’s Google Ad Grant, the client had only been able to spend approximately half of the monthly grant which meant that Goodwill’s visibility wasn’t being maximized.


Optimizing a Google Ad Grant account, in many respects, requires a different strategy than optimizing a normal Google Adwords account. Examples include:

  • The typical paid search strategy of “cast a wide net” and optimize from there doesn’t work the same way with a Google Ad Grant account. A Google Ad Grant account has a max bid per click of $2.00. That means that implementing Broad Match to cast a wide net increases per click costs and can actually reduce clicks. While in a paid search account, the max bid can be increased to compensate, in a Google Ad Grant, it cannot be increased beyond $2.00.
  • Many of Goodwill’s competitors are also using the Google Ad Grant program, so given that they have the same restrictions on bidding, ad rank also becomes even more important than it would be with a non-Google Grant account. At least in the sense that while for-profit entities can buy their way into search engine positions by throwing money at it, that tactic doesn’t work with Google Grants.

To address these challenges and others, our digital marketing team went to work on the following:

  • We moved from extensive Broad Matching to more Phrase and Exact Matching.
  • We drove Quality Score and Ad Rank improvements through a variety of factors, including:
  • Landing page content improvements
  • Tightly knit Ad Groups
  • Exact Matching
  • Negative Matching irrelevant keywords
  • Ad Copy testing to boost Click Through Rate


You can see in our cost graph how we were able to drive consumption of the budget up to the full $10K after just a few months of effort and how Click Through Rate, Impression Share and Exact Match Impression Share also improved dramatically.

Goodwill Securing 40k Right Side - Results

These results, combined with satisfying a variety of other requirements, enabled us to then secure an expanded $40K per month budget from Google via the Google Grantspro program which is limited to a small, select group of non-profits.