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Making the most of Google advertising grants

How charity attractions can emerge from lockdown on the back of Google funded advertising

With lockdown restrictions due to ease in the coming months, now  is the time for those leisure attractions who enjoy  charitable status, to make sure they are taking advantage of the Google Ad Grants programme.

What is Google Ad Grants?

The scheme gives qualified organizations $10,000 per month in Google Ads spend to be used to promote their business via the world’s no.1 search platform. To qualify, attractions must go through the application process and demonstrate they meet the qualifying criteria. These are as follows:

The attraction must be a registered charity or have the visitor side of it’s operation run by a charitable trust.
Acknowledge and agree to Google Grant’s required certifications regarding how to receive and use donations obtained from the grant (see below)
Have a functioning website that provides adequate detail on your charitable nature of the attraction.

Note: The following organizations are not eligible for Google Grants:

Governmental entities and organizations
Hospitals and medical groups
Schools, childcare centers, academic institutions and universities (though philanthropic arms of educational organizations are eligible).

Maintenance Rules

Once your grant is awarded, you need to meet certain criteria for it to be maintained. The relevant ones for attractions as as follows:

All the ads in your account must link to the nonprofit URL that was approved in your application process.
The account must be used at least once a month. If this doesn’t happen then the account risks being paused without notification.
The ads created must reflect the charitable nature of your operation. You can advertise to sell tickets as long as 100% of the proceeds are going to support the work of the charity or are paid to the charitable trust.
The ads you create must not point to landing pages that are used to primarily send visitors to other websites.
Your website cannot display ads from Google AdSense or other affiliate advertising links while benefiting from Google Grants.

If these guidelines are violated Google can remove you from the program. 

Making the most of the opportunity

So, now we understand ‘the rules’ how do we make the most of the opportunity?

Note, your daily budget will need to be set at $329 ($10,000 per month) and your cpc limit is$2.00. Your ads can only appear on – you cannot use Search Partners, nor are you eligible for the Display Network either.

$10,000 (just over 7k) per month is a generous sum and some attractions may struggle to use this amount. Here are some basic optimization recommendations. 

Negative Keywords

Don’t overdo the negative keywords. Of course you want relevant traffic, so if you are a Castle, you might still block the word ‘chess’, but you can afford to be a bit broader than is usually the case. Think about all types of enquiries you might welcome. As well as ticket sales you might want to encourage monetary donations and enquiries from prospective volunteers. 

Keyword Selection

The $2 cpc limit means you need  to get creative, using longer tail keywords and going a little outside of the box to find searchers. “Visitor attractions outdoors (in this area) that are good for the family”..might be the kind of thing to look for. 

Keyword Match Types

Exact matches are less critical than usual. You’ve got the budget to play with (for small attractions it’s a budget you’ve never had in the past) and broad match types are going to bring you a lot of impressions and potential clicks. Every click is  spreading awareness of your attraction and that can only be a positive.

Stick to Some Best Practices

Whilst you’ve got (at last) a decent budget to play with, that doesn’t mean you should waste it. We like to ensure that all our attraction clients have a solid account structure and that we learn and adjust as we go.

Happy to help

One of our latest new clients, a castle in Gloucestershire, is just about to embark on its first major digital campaign, fuelled by a Google Ad Grant.

If this sounds like something you want to explore for your vistior attraction, then don’t hestitate to get in touch.



Digital Marketing Marketing


April 18, 2021


Nick Wake

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