When the Google Ad Grant is Not Effective

by Jason Deutsch | Mar 29, 2018

CV Outreach exists to connect people to the church so that you can introduce people to the Gospel and help them become true followers of Jesus.

One of our main programs we leverage to achieve this mission is called the Ad Grant Partnership.  This free program is a unique approach to Online Advertising for churches.

One of the greatest strengths that we often forget to highlight in regards to the Ad Grant Partnership is that the program only grows stronger with every church that is added.

This may seem counterintuitive; traditionally the more churches added would mean more competition in the advertising space. However, CV Outreach doesn’t employ a traditional Church Marketing strategy, and by doing so we completely side step the issue.

But first, here is when the Google Ad Grant as an online advertising for churches strategy can come up underwhelming...

When the Ad Grant is Not Effective

The first time I heard about the Google Ad Grant my first thought was, “This is going to be a great way to promote local churches”. I had lofty ambitions that my local church, for instance, would connect with every person searching for “Church in Frisco”, “Student Ministry Frisco”, or “VBS Collin County”.

Unfortunately, the grant ads are not as effective as one would hope, utilizing this particular strategy. There are two major reasons for this:

  • Not many people are actually searching for those types of "church-centric" keywords
  • If there is any search volume for these types of keywords, paid accounts usually outbid grant accounts

Google Adwords allows you to target specific searches within the search engine and place a advertisement within the search results. The problem is that if people aren’t searching for “church in Frisco” my ads won’t display, and no one will be reached.

The second issue involves the google bidding auction. To place ads you must bid on various keywords. I can say I’ll pay up to $5 per link click every time someone searches “Church Near Me” in the DFW area. As long as no one outbids me, my link will appear in the search results and I’ll enjoy new traffic to the website when someone clicks on the ad. Unfortunately, the Google Ad Grant has certain restrictions that can relegate Ad Grant ads to a less favorable position than paid Adword Account ads.

Between targeting keywords with low search volume and being outbid by the competition many churches see very little success using the Ad Grant. 

The CV Outreach Strategy

The simplest way to describe the CV Outreach strategy is to say that we are looking for keywords that people who are somewhere between being a non-Christian to a nominal Christian are actually googling.  In other words, what are lost people searching for that churches are uniquely positioned to answer.

One of the big paradigm shifts here is that instead of churches competing against each other for online ad space, The Church could begin competing against the secular resources that are provided by the internet.

online advertising for churches

For example, a quick google search of “what happens when we die” brings up search results that include editorials where scientists try to explain the afterlife and online blogs that speak of reincarnation and offer up Oprah’s thoughts on the afterlife, as well as a link to the Jehovah's Witness website.

Save for one lone link to billygraham.org, none of these organic results provide a biblical response to the question.

But, using the the CV Outreach Ad Grant strategy, two of our partner churches appeared in the top two positions of this google search. This is a place where traditionally the church never existed, and now, through CV Outreach, we can begin saturating internet searches with the Gospel.




The Power of the Collective

One Ad Grant account isn’t enough to take on the entire internet. There are tens of thousands of google searches happening every second, and with 450+ Ad Grant Partners, we are just beginning to scratch the surface of covering the potential search volume. Every new church partner increases the opportunity that we have together to engage even more people with the gospel. CV Outreach Church partners are now able to provide the hope of the gospel to people searching topics like:

  • The Afterlife
  • The meaning of life
  • Questions about the bible
  • Loneliness
  • Depression
  • Marriage and Divorce

These topics are just a small sample of who your church can begin reaching today. To see demo examples of the landing page topics that we are advertising to, you can check out our current content page.

We’ve found that the people being connected to through these topics would never have normally sought help form a church on their own.  However, through the prompting of Google they are happy to reach out.

In the first three months of 2018, we connected just over 1 million people with 486 different churches and 68,000 of these visitor’s watched 100% of the gospel presentation video on the landing page.

We Need You

CV Outreach wants to see the Gospel permeate the online search space and we want to do it through The Church. If you aren’t one of our church partners you can get started with the Ad Grant Partnership for free! 

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