It seemed like a good idea at the time.
Let the agency take care of setting up the credentials and apply their credit card for all the digital accounts – Google Ads, Bing, Facebook, etc. And since it’s less for me to do, why not let them take care of getting those new URLs? Who cares if it’s all under their name and they technically own it? After all, they are going to be dealing with the accounts daily and managing all of it.
What could go wrong?
Well, If you plan to stay with this agency forever (unlikely) and they are 100% transparent, honest, and accountable regarding account performance and spend (hopefully), maybe things will be ok and you won’t encounter any hassles or issues in the future. But, you never know what will happen tomorrow and it’s a good idea to ensure that if things go south, your PPC accounts can be transferred to a new agency.
Here are the 3 top reasons why you need to own your Google, Bing and Facebook advertising accounts:
1. Your agency can’t hold your accounts as ‘digital hostages’ if you decide to leave them
If all the accounts are in your agency’s name (and heaven forbid your URL) they could charge you a lot to transition everything over. Nice ad accounts you got there. It would be a shame if something happened to them. Should you decide to sever your relationship with your existing agency, you should be able to transfer account management to a new one quickly and without a hassle.
#2 Gain complete transparency on media spend
Is your agency really spending $10,000 a month on Google Ads? Or is that what they’re telling you and really skimming 30% off for additional management fees? It happens. And if you can not access your accounts to check, how do you know for sure that your entire budget is being allocated towards ad spend? If you own your account and the agency set it up with your payment details and provided account access credentials, you can review your account’s spend in the dashboards and reconcile these figures with your budget.
#3 You have control over who can access your PPC account
It’s very common and acceptable to hire a PPC expert or a second agency to audit a PPC account. A fresh pair of eyes can usually spot areas of improvement and provide an assessment of your campaign strengths and weaknesses. However, it’s not uncommon to find that the existing agency has only provided the client with limited read-only access credentials, which do not allow the client to share with other people. Remember, that you are footing the bill for your agency to MANAGE your PPC accounts, not OWN them. Make certain you have administrative credentials and the freedom to share your PPC account dashboards for routine audits of your campaign management and performance. If there is nothing to hide, this shouldn’t be a problem.
What if you don’t own your own ad accounts?
OK, you can’t go back into time, but account payment details and administrative access credentials can be easily updated by your agency. Have an honest conversation with your agency and make it clear that you want the ad spend charged directly to your organization’s credit card and have administrative access to the account’s dashboard. Requesting these things doesn’t mean you are shopping for a new agency or dissatisfied, but should the time come that you decide to switch agencies or bring the PPC ad management internally, you can rest assured there will be no pushback during the transition.
So, to avoid any unpleasant future conversations or risk losing the PPC accounts that cost a lot build and optimize over months or years, make certain when you initially engage the services of a digital marketing agency, that YOU have 100% ownership of your PPC accounts.