If you’ve been searching for an agency to help with your pay per click management, you may have come across agencies that call themselves a Google Adwords Partner. In fact, they may even have a logo stating as much and a link to Google stating they are.
You may wonder what is a Google Adwords Partner? And if you should give them more consideration than an agency that isn’t?
First of all Google Adwords Certified Partner is a new designation, although the program has been around for a number of years. Agencies that met Google’s requirements were originally called Qualified Google Advertising Individual. Although the name has changed the main criteria are primarily the same.
To become an authorized agency or individual you have to meet a number of requirements. The first is that they must take two tests a year. The first is a general overview of the Adwords program. It is designed to be difficult, but anyone who regularly works on campaigns has a good foundation to work with. They also provide a wealth of study materials. I know when I prepare to retake the test I go through the study guide. Often I find something I wasn’t aware of or had forgotten and which would benefit one of my clients.
For the second test, an individual can choose to take Advanced Search or Advanced Display exam. I chose to take the Advanced Search test because it ties in with my work as a SEO consultant as well.
Passing the test is not enough to be certified. There is also a criteria of ad spend. The agency or individual must also maintain campaigns that spend a minimum of 10,000 over a 90 day period. This is a relatively low number so most have no trouble meeting this requirement.
What has changed with the program is that individuals or agencies are being held accountable more. Now they must also demonstrate that they are demonstrating best practices. This ensures that they aren’t going through the motions with their clients, that they’re actively adding new features to campaigns and actively adding new phrases and ads. This I’ve also found beneficial as they point out areas I can improve on, even though my score is above average.
Should You Use A Google Adwords Partner
First of all, there are a lot of qualified pay per click specialists that aren’t partners, for various reason. Unfortunately, there are also a lot of bad agencies that have spent a lot of money for a business with nothing to show for it. At least with a Google Adwords Partner you know they’ve had training and are being held to a standard of some sort. And yes, there are still partners who lack real experience.
Google Adwords Certified Partner often have access to new features, sometimes when they are still in the testing process. This means you might start features that your competitors don’t even know about.
Google has also been proactive about educating partners, providing weekly hangouts on new features or on how to best utilize current features.
One benefit I particularly enjoy is the Google Plus forum for Certified Partners. Agencies and specialists share knowledge with one another. I'll be the first to admit I don't know everything about Adwords and never will. But with the forum I have access to most every answer.
I’ve done thousands of campaign and have experimented at some point or another with all the features of Adwords, but I also know that I have room to improve. The Google Adwords Certified Partner program ensures that I'm constantly learning more and as a result seeing a higher return on investment with clients.