Sometimes the internet can seem like a cut-throat place. In such an environment non-profit groups and charities with limited budgets can lose out. Fortunately there are many good guys scattered across the web and, luckily, search engine giant Google is just one of them. 

What are Google Grants?

Google have been running a programme called ‘Google Grants’ for a number of years now. The Google Grants programme allows non-profit, charitable organisations to give their online presence a significant boost by providing them with their very own AdWords account. This Google Grants AdWords account comes with up to £310,000 worth of online advertising every year, allowing charities to make a big splash online. 

Why should your charity go for a Google Grant?

A well-managed AdWords account allows users to display their adverts right at the top of Google search results.

Put to good use, Google Grants are your organisation’s route to increased visibility, a greater presence, a louder voice, widespread support and significantly boosted donations. 

To date, Google Grants have supported and empowered more than 6,000 non-profit groups by giving them free access to highly effective AdWords advertising. The Google Grants programme has been responsible for some incredible charitable successes. From boosting Shop UNICEF’s profits by 43%, to gaining 10% more volunteers for CoachArt; Google Grants can be used to achieve great things.

Is my organisation eligible for Google Grants?

If you are a registered UK charity with current charitable status, you can apply for a Google Grant. Google Grants are available to you if you are registered with:

  • The Charity Commission of England & Wales
  • The Inland Revenue
  • The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator

Along with registered charity status, you will need the following in order to be eligible for the Google Grants programme:

  • An up-and-running website to link to your Google AdWords Pay Per Click account 
  • A set of targeted keywords relevant to your charity
  • No money-making adverts (this means no affiliate ads and no Google AdSense etc.)
  • The ability to make the absolute most of the Google Grants programme and your free AdWords account. 

This last point is an important one. The team in charge of the Google Grants programme are obviously looking to ensure that the Grants they award are used to the greatest advantage. This means that they are far more likely to be given to organisations with a good understanding of how AdWords works. 

How do I apply for the Google Grants programme?

Before you do anything, make sure you know exactly what you are signing up for. Ensure you fully understand how Google Grants work and how you can turn a free AdWords account to your advantage. When you make your application you’ll need to:

  • Suggest potential keywords for your AdWords campaign
  • Provide compelling adcopy to work alongside them
  • Explain exactly how your charity will benefit from the Google Grants programme

If you are at all confused or uncertain about any element of Google Grants or AdWords, speak to someone who knows their stuff. Here at Liberty we have a dedicated and talented Pay Per Click team who work extensively with Google AdWords. Our Pay Per Click advertising experts can provide you with all the advice, training and information you need to make your Google Grants application a success. Call us now on 029 2076 6467 to discuss how we can help make your application stronger and take away a lot of the hassle.

Once you’re on top of all the facts, you’re ready to make your application. Just fill out the online Google Grants application form and wait for it to be reviewed. Due to the high number of applications, the review process could take up to 5 months. Once the review has been completed you will be contacted with the result. If your Google Grants application has been successful you will also be sent instructions to help you set up your Google Grants AdWords account and get started! 

What do I need to know about Google Grants?

Once your organisation has been accepted onto the Google Grants programme you will continue to benefit for as long as you continue to make good use of the award and stick to its rules. Here are a few key things to bear in mind regarding Google Grants:

Use it or lose it

Once you’ve won your Google Grants account, you’ve only just begun. In order to manage a successful AdWords campaign and to continue receiving free advertising from Google you’ll need to regularly work on and monitor your AdWords account. Signing in regularly and responding promptly to communication from the Google AdWords team will give your grant a longer life.

Stick to the rules

You can be taken off of the Google Grants programme if you fail to keep to the rules. There are a number of rules, but if you are using your free AdWords account for your own charitable purposes you’re unlikely to break any of them. The conditions include:

  • Only ever linking your free ads to your organisation’s website
  • Never using irrelevant keywords
  • Never using bids of more than $1.00
  • Never using your free ads for purely commercial purposes
  • Never using Google Grants ads to advertise financial products or vehicle and property donation

You have the power to boost your budget

If you prove that you are using your allotted Google Grants budget shrewdly and successfully (and to its full extent), you may be rewarded with an increased budget. Google Grants generally start at around £75,000 per year and could be increased to a maximum of £310,000 per year. To push budgets up and to create the most successful AdWords campaigns, many charities outsource the management of their Pay Per Click advertising to an online marketing agency like Liberty.

If you would like to learn more about Google Grants and how to boost your non-profit organisation using Google AdWords, get in touch with us today. Our AdWords experts can help you to win a place on the Google Grants programme and make the very most of all that Google has to offer.

Earlier in the year, Gareth was approached by an online publisher to write a book on Pay Per Click advertising. Bookboon publishes short textbooks for students, professionals and business owners to download from their site.

They mentioned that there is a demand for easy to understand books in the world of online marketing and they wanted a title on Pay Per Click and Google AdWords. They needed a new book where the advice would fall somewhere between an introduction to the topic and a step-by-step guide for those new to search engine advertising.

A few month and 15000 words later, Gareth had written the book. Chris, who heads up the Liberty Pay Per Click team (and knows Google AdWords and Analytics inside and out), contributed on some chapters and made sure the book was up-to-date following the numerous AdWords changes.

If you want to learn about Pay Per Click advertising, in particular Google AdWords and Facebook Ads, then you can download your copy of How Google Changed Advertising and How to Master AdWords here.


Call extensions for mobile devices have been with us for quite a while now. But this week, Google introduced a new version that is designed to target the desktop and tablet users – which will be rolled out to all advertisers over the next few weeks. 

So, if you’re an advertiser that enjoys healthy conversion rates from users phoning your business, you may wish to pay more for a phone lead than an online enquiry. Equally, if you’re an advertiser interested in online conversions – there are benefits for you too. 

How does it work? 

Currently the position of your advert in the Google rankings is influenced by your Ad Rank – which is your Quality Score multiplied by your maximum cost-per-click. With bid-per-call enabled, this will carry its own Quality Score and can directly impact on your overall Ad Rank. Which means you could improve your overall ad positions and generate more clicks and calls. 

Want to give it a try?

Go to the ad extensions tab and:

- Select the call extensions option.

- Select the option for a Google forwarding number. 

- Enter your max CPP

If you are already using call extensions for mobile, just enter a max CPP for the extension to show on desktops, laptops & tablets. 

What is really exciting about this type of targeting is the reporting. Not only will you see the basic dimensions, like phone-through-rate and cost-per-call. You’ll get extra metrics like call time, duration, and caller area code – which will be available from the dimensions tab.


If you want to learn how Pay Per Click advertising works and see what makes Google AdWords one of the most popular advertising platforms in the world then join us at our latest joint training course with Marketing Tom Media.

On the 3rd and 4th November in the ESIS conference centre in South Wales, Gareth Morgan, Managing Director of Liberty and Alun John of Marketing Tom Media, will be teaming up to offer another 2-day Pay Per Click Masterclass.

The course will look at everything from the history of search engine advertising and the theory behind Pay Per Click, to advanced AdWords uses, such as the display network and ad extensions. Attendees will be shown how to choose keywords, structure an account, write adverts, pick keywords, manage bids, and a whole lot more!

This training will benefit those new to AdWords as well as existing advertisers that want a refresher or a look at additional options.

Full details and a booking form can be found here. We hope to see you there!

AdWords advertisers are being targeted by scammers with a new phishing email that is being sent out a lot. In the past 24 hours, we've seen a few dozen of these emails target various inboxes belonging to Liberty and its clients.

Whilst phishing emails have been doing the rounds for years, and AdWords ones aren't a new thing either, these ones are different because they are written by someone who can actually spell. Even though previous emails were filled with misspellings and grammatical errors, they caught a lot of people out, so these will probably do quite well.

With the title "Google AdWords: Please Update Your Payment Information", the plain text email reads:

This message was sent from a notification-only email address that does not accept incoming email.
Please do not reply to this message.
If you have any questions, please our Help Center to find answers to frequently asked questions.

Please update your primary and backup payment information, even if you plan to use the same information.
Please follow the steps below to update your information and trigger our billing system to process your
next payment.

1. Log in to your account at
2. Enter your new or updated payment information.
3. Click 'Save Changes' when you are finished.

To update your backup credit card:
1. Visit the 'Billing Preferences' page, as described above.
2. In the Backup Credit Card section, click 'Edit'.
3. Re-enter your backup credit card details.
4. Click 'Save'.

To update your bank account:
1. Visit the 'Billing Preferences' page, as described above.
2. In the Bank Account section, click 'Edit'.
3. Re-enter your bank account details.
4. Click 'Save'.

Thank you for advertising with Google AdWords.
The Google AdWords Team

What started out as a small beta test one year ago has been rolled out to all Adwords advertisers.  The new interest categories allow advertisers to target their audience, based on interests and demographics. 

So, how does it work?

When a user visits a website, Google’s system looks at the page type and frequency of visits, then associates the user’s browser with the relevant interest categories. Provided the sites they visit have AdSense, you will be able to show adverts to your audience wherever they are surfing on the web – it is no longer limited to contextual or topically relevant content or themes. With over 1,000 categories & 500 million interested users, there is bound to be an option for your business. 

If you are interested in giving it try, it couldn’t be easier. Go to the Audiences tab and you will be presented with a list of interest categories to choose from along with the estimated amount of searchers by category: 

As always, you only pay for clicks or impressions at auction prices.

Google have provided a best practices guide to help you get started.

Today Google has introduced a new feature of Ad Sitelinks - embedded ad sitelinks - which brings targeted links to within the advert itself. e.g...

How does it work? There are no additional lines available for the ad text. Alternatively, text in your advert that exactly matches one or more of your existing sitelink extensions in that campaign will automatically be linked with that sitelink’s URL. Allowing potential visitors to pick part of the advert that applies to their interest and visit the most specific page. 

As always, there are restrictions on when and where these extensions can be shown. First of all, you must have active sitelinks within your chosen campaign and your advert must appear above the search results. However, the embedded sitelinks will only appear for adverts that do not meet one or more of the requirements for the traditional set up – details here.

As Liberty is on the Google Engage for Agencies programme, on Wednesday, our Pay Per Click advertising manager Chris had the pleasure of attending an event at their UK HQ.

The main focus of the event was to understand how best to improve the visibility of small businesses online.

There were some very interesting topics discussed and some great insight into search trends. Here are the highlights from Chris’s notes on what Google was saying:

Changes to AdWords

There are quite a few changes in AdWords ad extensions this week. You will soon be charged for clicks on your location extensions, such as people using your advert to find directions to your premises. Google realises these are useful and lead to more interaction with your business, so want you to pay for it.

Video extensions will be the next big thing for AdWords extensions, where videos will be playable from within the sponsored ads section of the search results. This is currently a beta test and only rolled out to major film companies for the time being.

Google is removing the £5 activation fee for new AdWords accounts. This is great news for small businesses, providing less of a sticking point – it’s even better if you have an AdWords voucher, meaning you really can now try it for free!

The Google Checkout button is being removed from the ads, though it will still be seen within the Google Products shopping results.

Getting British Business Online

This is a big focus area for Google and Getting British Business Online is something they want online marketing agencies to help them push. In the UK last year, 17pence in every £1 was spent online – which highlights why a new or small business without a website needs to seriously consider an online presence. For one-man-bands or those dipping their toes into the web, the great part is that after a simple registration process, you will get the following from Google:

- Free. domain for 1 year
- Free easy-to-update website for 1 year
- Free email address @yourdomain
- Free support

If you or any small businesses you know want to take advantage of this then let us know and we will happily point you in the right direction.

How big brands are being innovative

Using Google AdWords with other Google tools - like Trends & Insights - can help you find and attract cheap traffic that your competitors aren’t targeting. See this great example from Converse.

Is YouTube the next major destination for online shopping? Check out how fashion retailer French Connection turn videos into ecommerce opportunities via links within product videos.

Other interesting facts

The number of people making decisions in stores has halved, which is mainly down to product reviews online. Your potential customers have the ability to browse the web almost everywhere – via pc, laptop, mobile and tablet. The key message on the day was make sure you and your products can be seen and make sure you manage your reputation online.

Also, 1 in every 3 Tweets now has a YouTube connection.

Something we noticed this morning is Google AdWords showing a URL in the headline of an advert:

It looks like Google is:

1. Only adding the URL to the headings of the top 3 adverts
2. Not adding the URL if the advert is taking advantage of the recent 'top ad' layout (where the first line of the body becomes the second half of the heading)
3. Not taking space or characters away from the headline to add the URL

This is definitely in testing phase right now as doing the same search a few seconds later did not show these results.

The latest comScore Press Release shows that between them, Bing and Yahoo! now have a 30% share of the US search market. The two search engines are set to merge later in 2011, which would create a serious competitor to Google.

Whilst Google is still far in the lead, with over 65% of all searches, the percentage of queries made using its system has dropped by 0.3% in April compared to March. Bing and Yahoo! each rose by 0.2% during this time.

In the UK, the amount of market share that Google has is believed to be 90%+, though Bing is rising in popularity on this side of the Atlantic too, so it certainy shouldn't be ignored by search engine marketers.

Our Pay Per Click team has found, across many businesses and markets, that Bing and Yahoo! traffic may be a lot lower in quantity, but it redeems itself in quality. In sectors as diverse as software, insurance, training and clothing, conversions were slightly more expensive when sent over from AdWords than they were from traffic brought in by the adCenter and Yahoo! Search Marketing systems.

If you are an AdWords advertiser then we recommend testing out adverts in adCenter. Now is a good time to get started - before the rush.