What are the Google Ad Grants Certified Professionals? This is a great question that we get frequently, so we wanted to take the time to create a video addressing it. We are a Google Ad Grants Certified Professional, and we can talk about some of the background of that program, why it exists, and what it means.
The Google Ad Grants Certified Professionals was created a few years ago to create a community of trusted agencies that have expertise in managing the Google Ad Grant, offered a good degree of service, and had a great understanding of what the ad grant was and how it should be uniquely applied.
Organizations have to go through a vetting process by Google to establish their credentials and their expertise with the Google Ad Grant. They have to be managing a certain number of accounts, typically, so that they have proven real world experience in the program. And then they’re required to attend monthly calls with the Google team to stay up to date on the program, how it’s evolving, and ways that they can be helpful in terms of fostering the overall ecosystem.
I just want to say that we have loved our experience being in the Certified Professionals Program. It’s an incredible group of folks, and it gives us a great opportunity to meet and interact with the Google Ad Grants Team, which is based mostly in California, but then they have people all around the world. It’s truly a wonderful group of people, so we are thrilled to be a part of it.
The nice thing, if you are a nonprofit that’s looking for an agency to help you with the Google Ad Grant, the Certified Professionals are absolutely the place to look. I would actually recommend not looking anywhere else. These are people who have been tested and verified by Google to know what they’re doing.
You can find all of the Certified Professionals listed on Google’s website if you just Google “Google Ad Grant Certified Professionals,” you’ll see a directory of all of them, which you can search by location and language to find someone that is in your country or works in your part of the world, speaks your language, and can help you out. Each agency has a little blurb underneath its profile, and it will give you a quick synopsis of what it’s all about and the ways that it thinks it’s distinctive.
A cool thing about the page for all of the Google Ad Grants Certified Professionals is that every time you load the page, it will put them in a different order, which is a very nice way that Google has gone about making it random which one you see first and gives all of them a fair shot at hopefully winning your business.
Other things to know about the Certified Professionals is it can often be helpful to ask how long organizations have been in the program if you’re having a sales call with an agency – just asking “how long have you guys been in the Certified Professionals Program and what has your experience been like?” That can often undercover interesting insights. It’s also interesting to ask the agencies, if you’re vetting them as a potential partner, just about how close their relationship is with Google. Are there projects that they’ve collaborated with Google on? Have they been part of Google webinars and so forth? Often, the agencies that are really invested in the program and really dedicated to the success of Google Ad Grants in general have lots of ways that they can point to that they’ve been partnering with Google and so forth. That’s just another thing to keep in mind.
In terms of the different services offered, it’s actually a pretty wide ballpark in terms of what types of services are included for different agencies and how the pricing works. So it will be worth comparing different providers against each other. There is a broad range of pricing that we have seen, and so it’s definitely worth getting a sense of what’s out there.
A couple of things to keep in mind are that it’s probably typically not to pay a set-up fee, so if you are paying a set-up fee or being asked to pay a set-up fee by an organization, maybe shop that around against some others. Typically, organizations will help you get the Google Ad Grant for free at the beginning, so they’ll walk you through that application process and get you approved, which is also very time consuming. We actually have one and a half people – one full-time and one part-time person – whose only job is to get people approved for the Ad Grant. It takes them, on average, three weeks to walk an organization fully through the process, depending on where they are starting just because there are a lot of different steps and it often involves communication with different people at your organization. That is a big thing. If the agency is willing to help you with that, even better if they’re willing to help you for free – that is a wonderful thing and sort of like a reverse set-up fee, which is great.
You’ll also see very wide variance in terms of the contract link the agencies ask for. Some organizations won’t work with you unless you’re willing to work at least six months or a year. Others are willing to do it on a month-to-month basis. That can just be another consideration to keep in mind as you figure out who might be a good fit for you.
I will say, sort of in the defensive, we offer a month-to-month model or you can prepay for a year and get a pretty significant discount. You get three months for free. I will say, in defense of those agencies that won’t let you do just month-to-month, there is a lot to be said for the fact that the Google Ad Grant builds momentum over time as more and more ads are created, the ads get increasingly well-optimized, and your website gets increasingly well-optimized, so having a situation where you jump in and then jump out with an agency or just do it part of the year can really be counterproductive because if an account’s not being managed part of the year, it’s very likely that it might get suspended. That creates a lot of work when you try and turn it back on. So just a quick comment there.
But overall, we love the Google Ad Grants Certified Professional community. It’s a great resource if you’re looking for an agency to help you out. Let me know if you have other questions about the program or about different ways that it could potentially be helpful. Let us know in the comments, and we’ll be excited to answer your questions. Thank you so much.