Whether you have been running ads online for years or are new to the party, it is important to make sure that you own your Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising accounts. Owning your accounts should be non-negotiable for any company, but sometimes paid search agencies take control instead. Here’s five reasons you shouldn’t let them.
I wish I could count the number of times that I have heard a client say, “I have been advertising for years with XYZ Company, but I don’t know how to log into my account/don’t have access to my account.” Some agencies create these accounts for clients only to hold them hostage when the clients want to discontinue the agency relationship. If you are advertising online, you need to be the owner of your account. If the agency you are interviewing, or have already hired, denies you this right – run for the hills and find a different, more transparent partner for your digital journey.
Why, you ask?
Owning your digital advertising account ensures that you always have access to the data and results that are being provided by your management agency. Just like your medical records, you should have access to all of your PPC performance data. Not being transparent is often the first sign of an incompetent or dishonest agency. If they are acting in your best interests, they should have absolutely no problem with you logging into your account at any time and checking up on the performance.
Creating your own Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising accounts allows you, as the owner, to decide who should have access to the account. Would you want some random doctor’s office receptionist having access to all of your personal and confidential medical information? Absolutely not. The same is true for PPC accounts: the tighter you control the access to your account the more likely it is that your treasure troves of information will not get shared with people who don’t need to see it. Account data and conversion statistics are gold, don’t risk them being shared without your consent. Who’s to say that an agency that doesn’t give you access won’t use your priceless information to help boost the results for a competitor of yours?
Maintaining ownership of your PPC accounts will make transitioning to in-house management or another agency painless. When you own your account and are ready to terminate access to the previous agency, all you have to do is revoke their access and *POOF* they will no longer be able to view your data or manipulate anything in your account.
If your account is owned by an agency, breaking up is hard to do because they aren’t required to relinquish their access to your historical data, and can actually terminate your access to the information contained therein. The fact that you can advertise and pay millions of dollars in click costs only to be frozen out of the account that you funded is an all too real frustration in paid search.
Along with access, making sure you own your account is important for future optimization if you do switch agencies or bring your management in-house. Without your historical data, you will literally be starting from scratch. Whether you have been advertising for 10 days or 10 years, this is not an ideal situation to be in.
Historical data in Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising accounts is incomparable to any forecasting or keyword tool that you can find anywhere.
Your business is unique, even if you have competitors who do the exact same thing. An important part of digital marketing account management is being able to look at the account performance over time to see what works, what doesn’t, cyclical trends, and more. Without this information, no matter how awesome your new agency is, the transition will be more difficult than if this data was provided. Don’t make it harder than it has to be.
Ownership of your account is also important if you are using any sort of back-end tracking software or special coding on your ads. Many times, we see clients who come to us from previous agencies who have utilized third party tracking and have extra snippets or parameters attached to their URLs so the system they are using can parse the data more effectively. If you do not own your account, you don’t have the necessary permissions to ensure that these tracking features are up to date or functioning the way they should be.
If you’re still not convinced, read the list again and put yourself in the situation described. You should have access to and ownership of your advertising accounts and historical data at all times. Think of it like HIPAA for PPC, but with fewer rules and regulations. You have paid for the performance; you should own the information.