At Kerigan Marketing, we are pleased to announce that we have achieved official Google Partner status! We are one of only two local agencies in all of Northwest Florida, from Tallahassee to Pensacola, to earn the distinction, and we worked hard to get it, so we thought we would tell you what was involved and, more importantly, what this means for you and your business.
What is a Google Partner?
Google’s main source of revenue is advertising, and they are always looking for ways to make their system, AdWords, more effective. Because advertising on Google is so popular (but time consuming), many “online marketing agencies” have sprung up over the last decade, promising to help businesses take advantage of the various and sundry advertising opportunities available on the search giant.
Well, just like in any business, expertise and experience matter. There is no license to become an AdWords manager; anyone can spend someone else’s money in AdWords, to good or bad effect. And because Google has so much at stake in AdWords, and wants their system to be used as it should be, they developed a way for consumers to know which marketers Google trusts to operate the AdWords system for others.
Hence the Google Partners program. If a business sports the Partners badge, you can know they meet Google’s fairly stringent criteria for online marketing excellence. And Google means business.
Here are the criteria for becoming an official Google Partner:
1) Pass the Google AdWords Certification Tests
Yes, I said test”s”. To become a Partner, you first have to study for and pass two challenging written tests. The first is a Search Fundamentals exam, and the second is for Advanced Search techniques, neither of which is for sissies. In fact, I did not pass the Advanced test the first time around, and I have a master’s degree (read that slightly embarrassing story here).
If your AdWords provider is AdWords Certified, that means something. Let me assure you, Google does not give it away lightly.
2) Demonstrate Advanced AdWords Best Practices
Once you start managing AdWords accounts for other people, Google watches your activity to see if you practice what you preach. And they are not looking for you to just set up accounts, use the basic, out of the box settings, and dump someone’s money in. They want to see you working the account, taking advantage of the advanced techniques in the system, reading the reports, and course correcting accounts to ensure you squeeze every last click out of your clients’ budget.
If you do not demonstrate that you know how to and actually do use these techniques, you cannot have Partner status. In other words, you can’t just pass the tests and then quit trying. You have to show continual performance to keep your status, which means if you are using a Google Partner to manage your AdWords account, that account is actually being managed, with Google watching, just to make sure.
3) Manage at least $10,000 in a 90 day period
Why does Google set this limit as a criteria for Partner status? Two reasons: First, to encourage you to keep growing your client base (which is good for Google’s bottom line), and second (and more importantly for you), Google wants to see that you have the trust of many clients over time. If they see you manage a large account, then lose it after a month, they know something is wrong. That client was unhappy. Google wants to see that you, as an agency, can handle multiple clients successfully over time. And the way they do that is by the budgets you manage.
Bottom line: If you are going to spend money on AdWords (and you should definitely consider it), use a Certified Google Partner. That status is not a throwaway title; Google makes agencies earn it and keep earning it. We are proud of our Partner status, because we know it makes us better at our jobs. Don’t just take our word for it – ask Google.
If you would like to talk about your online advertising options, we’d love to chat anytime. Just contact us and we’ll go over everything with you.
Thanks for reading.