CharitiesGoogle AdWords

How to recover an Ad Grants account after suspension

If your AdWords Grants account has been suspended you’ll be keen to resolve this as quickly as possible. This guide will explain common reasons for suspension and how to get your account back up and running!

Charities were put at increased risk of having their Grants accounts suspended when Google introduced new requirements at the end of 2017. Read our guide to the new ad Grants rules to understand the changes and how to respond to them.

In most cases Grants are suspended for failing to comply with these new requirements, if you think this is true in your case then you can skip to the section specifically on the new guidelines.

If you’re not confident with Google Ads (formally AdWords) then please get in touch, as we’d be happy to give help you with getting your account re-activated (no purchase necessary!).

Reason for Suspension

Within your account you should see a notification stating that your account has been suspended and the reason for this. Unfortunately Google is rather vague with the most common reason they provide being:

“Your Google AdWords account has been suspended for violation of Google’s Advertising Policies in this or a related account”.

As such, you’ll have to try and isolate the reason for the suspension yourself. A good place to start is their Policy Centre and their specific rules for Grants accounts.

Here are some of the most common reasons for Grants accounts being suspended:

  • 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.
  • Repeated submission of disapproved ads.
  • Your ads are misleading.
    • You may be implying that you’re a competitor in your ads.
    • You’re providing inaccurate information about the content on your site.
  • Poor user experience.
    • This might be diagnosed from a very high bounce rate and little engagement; possibly as a result of poor targeting/misleading ads.
  • Failure to meet the new guidelines (more detail below)

If you can’t think why your account has been suspended then Google may be able to provide further information/recommendations if you give them a call*. You can also drop us a line if you want some advice which we’re always happy to freely give.

Once you have an idea why your account has been suspended you’ll need to address this issue.

New guidelines

At the time of writing (March 2018) we expect most Ad Grant suspensions will be as a result of the new guidelines mentioned above. The 5% CTR requirement has been particularly challenging for some charities so we’ll focus on this. If you have hit a 5% CTR but have been suspended then take a look to see which of the other new guidelines you might be breaking.

If your CTR was below the 5% threshold for January and February then you’ll need to log into your account and start making changes. In order to have your account re-activated you’ll need to prove to Google that you’ve taken the steps to meet their requirements.

We covered some ways to reach the 5% CTR in our article on the new requirements, but here are some starting points for you:

  • Start by looking at the campaigns with the most impressions.
    • Beginning with these will have the biggest impact on your overall CTR.
  • Look at the CTR of campaigns and from there dig into the ad groups and keywords
    • A poorly performing campaign can be caused by just 1 bad ad group (same with keywords).
  • Check the ads in your ad groups, you might find that some outperform others considerably so you can pause the lower performing ones.
  • Check your search term report as you might be appearing for irrelevant search terms, in which case you can add negative keywords.
  • The aim is to keep as many of your key campaigns running whilst still reaching the target
    • You may have to weigh up which campaigns are the most important to you

If you don’t have the time or experience and you want to get your account online asap, then simply pause all the campaigns or ad groups that have CTR below 5%.

Once you have your account live again you can review whatever you paused and work to get these back live by optimising targeting (location, age, keywords etc) and ads.

If it wouldn’t be possible to maintain a 5% CTR then AdWords Express would be your best option as that doesn’t have a minimum CTR. But we only recommend using this as a last resort.

Resolving the issue

Once you know why you’ve had your account paused then you can work to resolve this. Generally these things shouldn’t be too time consuming and could be as simple as removing a chain of disapproved ads or updating your targeting.

If you’re not confident with AdWords you can speak to Google* who might be able to talk you through some recommendations. Otherwise consider agency support – we offer on-going or short term support to help you get back on track. We also run training if you or your team would benefit from this. If this would be of interest, please drop us a line as we’d be happy to discuss options with you.

Requesting a review

Once you feel that the transgression has been dealt with you can appeal against the account suspension. Google can then take up to 10 days to respond, though we’ve often seen this happen much quicker.

In the ‘Notes’ section you should provide some information on the steps that you’ve taken to update your account and make it compliant.

If you’ve followed these steps and are still struggling to get your account back online then feel free to drop us a line. We’re always happy to have a chat and give advice where we can.

*You can contact Google on 0800 169 0409. Note that if you speak to Google they may try and move you to an AdWords Express account. This is an AdWords account that Google automates for you so it doesn’t require hands-on management. We recommend using this only as a last resort as you’re giving up a lot of control over your account.