On March 27, Google announced that they would be granting small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) $340 million in ad credits. This grant represents a fraction of Google’s $800M+ initiative to support SMB’s as well as healthcare organizations, NGO’s and banks.
Many of our clients are SMB’s that may be eligible for this ad credit. Some of the details surrounding the ad credit are unclear, so we wanted to flesh out some of the most frequently asked questions.
What is the context for this ad credit?
It’s not news that the Coronavirus pandemic has dramatically impacted businesses large and small around the world. Google’s intention with granting this credit is to “help SMBs stay in touch with their customers during this challenging time.”
Is my business eligible for the ad credit?
Google’s ad credit doesn’t have borders, and can be accessed by small and medium-sized businesses worldwide. However, only SMB’s that have spent with a Google Ads account in ten out of twelve months of 2019, and in January and/or February of 2020, qualify. Google specifies that businesses that advertise directly with Google Ads or through a partner and adhere to Google’s advertising policies are eligible.
How does Google classify a SMB?
This is where things get vague. Google doesn’t give specific criteria for what they classify as a small or medium-sized business, but state that they “work with SMBs worldwide from local stores to companies with hundreds of employees and many locations.”
It isn’t clear whether Google classifies SMB’s according to their employee count or ad spend. Even if your business has more than a hundred employees or multiple locations, it looks like you will still count as an SMB from Google’s perspective.
How do I apply for the credit?
There’s no need to apply for the ad credit. If your business meets the criteria mentioned above, the credit will be automatically applied to your Google Ads account once it’s rolled out.
When will the credit be rolled out?
While Google announced that the ad credit will be rolled out in phases starting in late May, Scott O. Hirsch, CEO of Media Direct stated in a Medium interview “I was informed that every eligible business will have the ad credit appear in their Google account before May 1st, 2020 and they’ll also be notified by email that the credit is available.”
How long is the ad credit valid for?
The ad credit can be used until the end of 2020. It can be spent across Google Ads platforms, including Search, Display, and YouTube as well as all campaign types.
How much ad credit will I get?
The ad credit you will receive will be based on past Google Ads spend, as well as the country and currency where the business and Google Ads account is set up.
According to industry sources, the credit will be equal to one month of Google Ad expenditures. For example, a business that spends $1,000 a month on Google Ads will get a $1,000 credit.
The bottom line
If you’re a small or medium-sized business that spent in Google Ads in at least ten months last year and in January or February of this year, and have abided by Google’s Advertising policies, then keep an eye on your Ads account for the credit.
If you’re one of the lucky recipients, congratulations! Use the funds towards recovering from the COVID-19 downturn with a strong SEM strategy.
In the meantime, there are other discounts and resources for small businesses to push through slow times. Digital Summit released a collection of resources dedicated to helping businesses overcome COVID-19. We at Alphametic are also offering a 50% discount on our SEO Audit service to help your website get a boost
Matthew Capala is the Founder and Managing Director at Alphametic, a boutique search marketing agency. He is also the Founder of SearchDecoder SEO Training Institute, an industry-leading platform for actionable workshops, bootcamps and online education for businesses and entrepreneurs. At Alphametic, Matthew helps clients increase their online visibility through integrated SEO and SEM solutions that yield higher ROI. His clients include L’Oreal, Novartis, Hoval, Quest Diagnostics, ilani Resort, Shopkeep and Primoprint. His work and ideas have been featured on Inc Magazine, Chicago Tribune, eMarketer Huffington Post, Mashable, Entrepreneur, The Next Web, and Inc. He has delivered talks and keynotes all over the world, from Trinidad to the Swiss Alps. He is the author of bestselling “SEO Like I’m 5: The Ultimate Guide to Search Engine Optimization.” Formerly Adj. Professor at NYU (’12-’14) in the field of digital marketing, Matthew has three business degrees, including Marketing MBA.