If you are a business owner, or a decision maker within the company, trying to discern between all of the Google Ads management agencies available, the choices can be overwhelming. At times these Google Ads management agencies, all seem to be the same. From a lay-man’s point of view many of the pitches and processes may seem as if they are identical. This could not be further from the truth. Each agency, or individual, will have their own quirks which will make their approach slightly different from the other. Despite these differences, business owners need a way to be able to determine how reputable the agency they are engaging is.
What is the Google Partner Program?
The Google Partner Program is an accreditation offered by Google to digital marketing agencies who meet specific thresholds. There are three thresholds which a company must meet in order to be considered a Google Partner. Those three thresholds fall into the categories of spend, certification and performance.
The Google Partner Program is an accreditation offered by Google to digital marketing agencies who meet specific thresholds.
- Google Partners must maintain a minimum of $10,000 in combined ad spend, between Google Ads and Google Local Services, during the previous 90 days
- The Ads Manager account registered to the Google Partner must maintain an Optimization Score of at least 70%
- A minimum of 50% of account strategists must be certified in Google Ads
- Additionally, at least (1) certification is required for any specialization which accrued more than $500 in spend during the previous 90 day period
For the most part, all reputable digital marketing companies will have at least achieved Google Partner status. This demonstrates the very minimum qualifications necessary to demonstrate competency. However, not all Google Partner agencies are created equal and decision makers should use their best judgment to determine exactly how much of an expert the partner agency is.
What is a Google Premier Partner?
Google Premier Partners are the top 3% of Google Partner agencies by performance. Typically, Google Premier Partner agencies are much larger than Google Partners and have much higher average monthly spends for their clients. Below are the qualifications from Google which determine who becomes a Google Premier Partner.
Google Premier Partners are the top 3% of Google Partner agencies by performance.Per Google
- Existing client growth: Ability of partners to grow their existing clients, measured by year-over-year ads spend growth and ads spend among existing Google Ads clients.
- New client growth: Ability of partners to acquire new clients, measured by year-over-year ads spend growth and ads spend among existing first-time Google Ads clients.
- Client retention: Demonstrated ability to sustain client business, measured by the percentage of clients with active Google Ads spend who are managed by the partner and are retained year-over-year.
- Product diversification: Demonstrated investment in product mix beyond Search, measured by the percentage of non-Search spend in YouTube, Display & Video 360, Display, Apps, and Shopping each calendar year.
- Annual ads spend: Investment in Google Ads or Google Marketing Platform, measured by spend across managed accounts each calendar year
What are the negatives of selecting a Google Premier Partner?
Based on the requirements for both types within the Google Partner program, it would seem that a Google Premier Partner agency is the smart choice for everyone. This is simply not true. While Google views these partner agencies as the top performers from their point of view, there are potential pitfalls even if an agency is a Premier Partner.
One of the biggest issues with dealing with a Google Premier Partner is the lack of individualized attention. Due to the fact that these partner agencies have the highest spends already, it can be difficult to get the type of one-on-one attention necessary to be successful as a small business. Additionally, many Premier Partner agencies require much higher minimum budgets. In some cases, small businesses may not reach a threshold which the agency is able to help. Due to the size of these Premier Partner agencies it can be much more difficult for their account managers to be agile in targets. Whether it is by the company’s internal process, or lack of dedicated resources, Premier Partner agencies can struggle to keep up with changing conditions of your business.
On the whole, selecting an agency who is a Google Partner is a no brainer. At the very least, decision makers can get peace of mind that their agency maintains the minimum necessary to demonstrate their proficiency in Google Ads. Only the top 3% of Partners reach Premier status, however; there are numerous issues which can arise even if you are to select a Google Premier Partner. During your consideration of digital marketing agencies it is important to rely on your best judgment and select an agency who can truly partner to meet the needs of your business today and as you grow into the future.