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Google Ad Agencies Cannot Be Trusted if They Do This

Raphael Sebbag

As the co-founder of a Premier Google Ads agency, I get a lot of Google Ad accounts across my “desk” to audit. 

We find that auditing an account is a great place to start and demonstrate, quickly, the value we can bring to a prospective client’s account.

Also it’s a good opportunity for our company to see if this client is a good fit for us.

So really it’s a Win-Win – the client gets the feedback, no strings attached and we get to see if this is a company we feel would be a suitable fit for us. 

Sometimes though we can’t get account access, because the client doesn’t even have access to their own Google ads account, so in some cases a prospect will send us some reports to review. 

This happened last week and I had a range of monthly reports to review, which also had an FAQ page. 

So I want to share a few of red flags from this experience that may and I hope, helps any others out there who may have ad accounts managed in the same way…

Redflag #1: The first FAQ claimed that the client cannot get access to their account due to the Google ads agency having all clients in one account, and thus poses a security issue as well as all the agency’s intellectual property being contained within this account. 

First and foremost the Google ads account should always be under the ownership of the actual business/advertiser, not the agency. The agency is holding your digital asset ransom if they do this and could be very selective with which results to show you. 

This is a big indicator that they cannot be trusted! Plus they may also be tempted to use their own credit cards to get frequent flyer points benefiting from the ad spend of each clients account (so I have heard)

Have you ever heard of an accountant or other external agency that manages aspects of your business on your behalf to retain ownership of the account, claiming security or IP issues? Sounds dodgy to me!

Redflag #2: Another FAQ was that “you are getting clicks, but you want more leads”. The answer to this was, “getting the click is our (the agency’s) job, converting them is yours”

Now, they do go on to explain there are ways to convert better, but in a nutshell they are basically abdicating their responsibility here, despite claiming in earlier questions that Google ads is essentially a lead generation tool. 

Whilst Google ads is mostly about the clicks, I would say a credible Google ads agency should be also trying to get the right kinds of traffic that gives the business the best ability to convert. Maybe that’s what they meant but it did not come across that way. 

Yes, a client should do whatever they can to help increase the conversion rate and conversion rate optimisation is a topic we frequently talk about from the get go with our clients, because without leads, conversions, sales from your digital marketing efforts you are just burning through cash, you may as well do letterbox drops!

And this leads me to Redflag #3: In all their reports they did not actually show one of the most important KPIs… CONVERSIONS!

Zero, nisht, nada, NOTHING!

How could they not show conversions in their flashy report!?

No wonder the prospect was sending us these reports, he was paying all this money to the agency & Google, and he was wondering if it was even working, I don’t blame him, I wouldn’t either if i was getting reports with no conversion data. 

Imagine a pilot is flying and they’re not getting key data feedback to help them know they are still on course!

Maybe that’s why we say in French, “You’re flying blind!”

So, if you have read this far and you plan on engaging an agency or are working with one already, make sure:

  1. You own and have full admin access to the ad account
  2. Conversions are a major part of the ongoing discussions
  3. They actually report on conversion results from your investment

PS: this applies to Facebook ads, Shopping ads or any other online marketing channel you use for growing your business. 

PPS: If you want me to audit your Google ads accountget in touch with us.

We donate at least 10% of all our profits to various non-profits and charitable organisations locally and abroad aimed at improving lives for people and the the world in general.

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