After a recent trip to the Google Masterclass, we got to thinking. What would go through the heads of a potential client looking to locate a potential certified Google Partner to help with their digital marketing activities?

That naturally led us to Google search to punch in queries like AdWords agency, AdWords agency Sydney, Google AdWords certified company, Google Adwords partner, Google advertising professional, Google Certified Professional (GCP), Google advertising professional, Google partner search, Google Adwords Management. (See what we did there?)

After our long and exhaustive search, we didn’t find what we were looking for.

What exactly were we looking for, though? Well, we were looking for someone that had the necessary skills. But, we also wanted to find an agency that thought like us and could get onboard with our online strategy. What we found was stuff that looked like the spammy SEO sites from the 90’s and 00’s.

It was important for us to find the right Google Partner that would be able to manage your AdWords and provide you with significant ROI. This should be a key goal for any agency involved with your business, they would need to understand your business and be invested in your success.

Below is our guide on how to find the perfect marketing partner:

Find A Badged Agency

A badged agency is someone that has been verified by Google once they join the Google Partners program. To do this, they’d have to of shown that they are capable using AdWords. Which means demonstrating their abilities in a business setting, meeting the spend requirement of an AdWord campaign, aiding in the growth of their agency as well as the clients, and sustaining a level of customer satisfaction and retention. The specifications of the badge requirements can be found on the Google Partners qualification page.

If an agency can do this, they’ll receive the almighty Google badge. There are two types of Google Partner badges. Depending on the amount of commitment you show, you’ll receive either a standard badge or premier badge.

How to find badge certified agencies:

Start by going to Google Partner Search. Here you can search for Google Partners based on their location and the services they offer.

You should begin by entering your own website. You have the option to skip this, but entering your businesses site allows for a more refined search to occur. Next to this you’ll be prompted to enter the location of your preferred agency. Click the ‘View Results’ button. You’ll navigate to a page with a selection of agencies that fit your search criteria.

Each of the search results is characterised by the minimum monthly budget the agency is willing to spend on AdWords, and the Google Certifications they have acquired.

Vet Their AdWords Skills

As you advance towards a decision you have to take into account the skills of your preferred agency. Will they be able to satisfy your AdWords needs? Google product certifications are a good indicator of a businesses ability to meet your needs. They act as a signpost which shows the qualifications of a Partner.

When a business signs up as a Google Partner, they receive access to exams and certifications where they can prove their competence with Google products. Search Advertising, Mobile Advertising, Video Advertising, Display Advertising, Shopping Advertising and a Google Analytics Individual Qualification are all available to Google partners. When an individual from an agency passes one of these tests, the business they work for is accredited with a Google certification and a basic or advanced understanding of Google Products.

Identifying a business with the skills you’re looking for is the first step towards finding an ideal partner.

Click on ‘learn more’ to discover the specific service offerings an agency offers. The information provided includes the industries they target, languages and focus areas of their services. For example, a business may service the automotive industry, have English and Chinese as they’re available languages and focus on advanced AdWords support.

An important step for your business is to determine whether these service offerings are in line with what you’re looking for. If they are, then the agency is worth considering.

Although, there are more actions you can take to make sure you find the right partner for your business.

Ask For AdWords Referees

One of the best ways to investigate a possible partners capabilities is to ask them directly for referees. Asking for this is something a lot of people forget to do, even though it’s an excellent way to understand how well a possible partner operates.

Just like a referee on a resume, you can use a referee to find out the competency of another agency. Ask a prospective Google partner for referees from clients to get an idea about the way they function. An efficient agency will already have these prepared and ready to send through. An organisation that’s good at what it does should be ready to hand over this information, standing by their ability to meet client’s service expectations.

The information given to you by the clients of the agency should help indicate their customer service capabilities, amount of AdWords skill and expertise, ability to meet advertising requirements and their client revenue growth.

Information from referees will give you a better understanding of the agencies management of their services and clients. As a result, this valuable insight will help inform your final decision.

Talk Strategy, Not Product Set

Anyone can spin up a Google Adwords campaign so don’t get bogged down talking about an agencies product set. Sure, a business can have a host of company specialisations and individuals with multiple Google Certifications. But, that doesn’t always transfer into business acuity.

What you need to do is discuss their strategies and how they implement their campaigns so that they meet predefined advertising goals. Are these goals similar to what you’d like to achieve as a business?

If that’s the case, then this serves as a much more effective indicator than a proficiency with certain tools. When the two are paired together, they provide more confidence moving forward with a Google Partner. This combination means that they’re skilled in the desired product set, and they understand how to put it into practice so that they can provide the best return for their clients.

What you want is a certified professional that you know will continually manage and optimise your AdWords account. Someone who is skilled and can interpret the intentions of your business is likely to provide better results.

In conclusion, the key is not to rush into anything. Sure the cost and skills of a possible Google partner are important factors when making a decision. But, the businesses that get the most out of an agency are the ones that investigate. Going the extra mile to understand a partner can help in the long run. Through research and discussion, you should be able to determine their competency. It should also help to determine whether or not the strategies used by an agency are the best avenue towards achieving your advertising goals.

Categorised Under: MarketingSEM

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