How to reactivate your Google Grants account after a suspension

If your AdWords Grants account has been suspended, you’ll be keen to resolve this as quickly as possible. If you find the Google policy guidelines confusing then we’re here to help.

Empower are Google Partners and manage Google Grant accounts for many charities and nonprofit organisations, which includes regular reviews and audits to ensure maximum effectiveness and compliance with Google’s policies.

Here we’ll outline the common reasons Google might suspend your Google Grant account. Then, we’ll explain the most important steps to overcome any Google Ad Grant account issues, before requesting Google reactivate your Ad Grants account.

Follow the below guide and you’ll have your suspended ad account unsuspended – just don’t let the suspense get to you while you wait for Google’s response!

And if you want us to look into your suspended Google Ad Grant account for you, get in touch – we’re one of the best Google Ads agencies for nonprofit organisations around.

Why is your Google Ad Grants Account suspended?

The first step to recovering from a Google Ads Grant Account suspension is identifying the potential reasons for the suspension.

Violations include:

  1. Your account isn’t actively managed
    • You haven’t logged in within 30 days
    • You haven’t made at least one change in 90 days
  2. Repeated submission of disapproved ads
  3. Your ads are misleading
    • Implying that you’re a competitor in your ads
    • Providing inaccurate information about the content on your site
  4. Bidding and budget incorrectly set up
    • Campaigns set up to spend over the $329 daily budget
  5. Didn’t respond to the program survey
    • All grantees must complete an annual program survey

Not sure where to find the annual Google Grants program survey? The survey link can be found here.

What are the Google Grant policies and criteria?

Google has said that any account found to be in violation of its Google Grants program policies is subject to automatic suspension without notification.

If these points don’t sound familiar, then it is likely your account could have been impacted by a recent change to Google’s policies and criteria.

For example, new requirements are as follows:

  1. Maintain a 5% Click Through Rate (CTR). If your account doesn’t achieve at least a 5% CTR for two consecutive months, your Google Ad Grants account will be cancelled.
  2. Bidding on branded keywords you don’t own. This policy means you’re only sending relevant traffic to your website.
  3. Keywords have quality scores of 2 or higher. The policy requires active keywords to have a quality score of 3 or higher, on a scale of 10. Quality score is intended to give you a general sense of the quality of your ads.
  4. Campaigns without two ad groups
  5. Ad groups without two ads running in each
  6. Account doesn’t have at least two sitelink extensions active. Not sure how to add a sitelink? We can help manage your Google Grants account.
  7. Account is not using geotargeting – make sure you’re targeting only to the countries that your nonprofit operates in.
  8. Account is bidding on single-word keywords, e.g. “charity”. Make sure you’re only using relevant keywords with more than two words in then.
  9. Invalid conversion tracking.  Use Google Analytics to check your conversion tracking is setup correctly

The 5% CTR rule has been particularly challenging for some nonprofit organisations. We would suggest pausing all the campaigns or ad groups that have CTR below 5%.

Hopefully, the lists above have provided a starting point, but Google’s Policy Centre can provide further detail on the specific rules for Grants accounts.

We’ve also written a guide for these new Google Grants changes that sees charities pushed for higher quality ads, which has more background on things to look out for to keep your Google Ad Grants account compliant.

How do you get your Google Ads Grant Account reactivated?

Once you know why you’ve had your account suspended then you can work to resolve this. Generally, these things shouldn’t be too time-consuming and could be as simple as pausing keywords with low quality ads, adding negative keywords, or adding geolocation targeting.

To have your Google Grant account re-activated you’ll need to prove to Google that you’ve taken the steps to meet their requirements.

Once your account is live again, you can review what was paused and work to get these back live by optimising the account.

To help, we’ve written a guide on how to keep compliant with Google Adwords.

How can you submit a request to Google to reactivate your Google Ad Grants account?

Once you feel that the transgression has been dealt with you can appeal against the account suspension.  Requesting to reactivate Ad Grants account.  Note that if you repeatedly break program policies, your account may be cancelled and removed from the Google Ad Grants program.

Google can take up to 10 days to respond, although we have experienced much faster responses from them.

In the ‘Notes’ section of your reactivation request, you should clearly detail the steps you’ve taken to update your account and make it compliant.

If you’re not confident with Google Ads then please get in touch with the team here at Empower. We’re always happy to have a chat and give advice where we can, which is why we have a reputation for being one of the top Google Ads agencies for charities around.

Ben Matthews
Ben Matthews is the co-founder of Empower Agency. He is a digital strategist specialising in technology, media, government and charity. Ben offers senior client consultancy and trusted counsel, sets strategy, and ensures well-executed implementation for campaigns at all levels. View all posts by Ben >

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