It’s hard enough juggling job responsibilities; let alone if one of those is learning how to manage Google Adwords.  A lot of companies choose to work with a provider to ensure their account management is done correctly.  But as we know, not all companies are created equal.

Whether it’s your first time looking for an AdWords expert to grow your business or you’ve been burned by one in the past, these five unethical practices will easily identify the bad AdWords management companies from the good.  

1. No Access to Your AdWords Account

Believe it or not, there are plenty of Google AdWords specialists who restrict clients’ access to their accounts. They will send reports, but not provide the client login ability to the interface.  This lack of transparency prevents clients from fully understanding what is happening (or not happening) in their account.

It’s common for AdWords management companies to send reports with select categories of data, but good companies will give you access to the account too so you can dig deeper.

A company with enough confidence in its ability to manage Google ad campaigns won’t need to hide information from its clients. Don’t fall victim to letting a management company hold your account hostage. Find an agency you can trust that can provide transparency.

2. No Account, Website or Landing Page Ownership

Intellectual Property is becoming a growing area within digital. Make sure that when you are evaluating agencies you confirm that you own the AdWords account and any other marketing material created for your business. Some paid search advertising agencies will hold your materials hostage if you try to exit the relationship. Know what you’re dealing with before you embark with a new company and make sure that you are able to walk away with your AdWords account still intact.

The data available within your account is crucial. By addressing this at the beginning of an agency relationship, you can ensure that you never get stuck in a predicament where you have to start AdWords from scratch or build a new website. Steering clear of companies with this kind of hook will save you time, money and stress.

3. Misleading Pricing

In order to “add value,” many companies will jam as many services as they can under one price tag–or so it may seem. Watch out for hidden costs included in your AdWords management fee.

For example, companies may advertise landing page creation included in the management of AdWords campaigns. In reality, your management may only cover one landing page and additional pages will cost more.

Also be cautious of packages where the company groups your ad spend with their management for one collective cost. You should always know exactly what you pay Google for your ad spend and what the company retains for their AdWords Management. Keep track of where your money goes by seeking out AdWords management services with clear, reasonable pricing and, of course, AdWords account access.

4. Setting Unrealistic Expectations

Good, solid AdWords accounts are not built in a day, your ad will not always be No.1 on the front of the Google Search page, and no one — I repeat, NO ONE — can promise you “unlimited clicks” within your budget. That being said, there are plenty of other improper expectations companies set when trying to get your business.

A seasoned, certified Google AdWords specialist will tell you that successful AdWords campaigns need to be setup with attainable goals and realistic expectations.

Your AdWords Account Manager should educate you about your account’s performance and potential. They should be motivated by the success of your business and work with you to find a solution that will realistically fit your business goals.

5. Not a Google AdWords Partner Company

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In order to achieve Google’s top-tier of partnership — Premier Partner status — companies are held to a higher standard than an average pay-per-click management agency. They must consistently meet rigorous qualifications in areas of knowledge, client account performance, and company performance.

With a Google Premier Partner company, your account’s management team receives regular training and support directly from Google, giving them a leg up on the ever-changing AdWords features. Your campaigns will be built and optimized according to Google’s best practices so that you can rest assured your campaigns are in the best of hands.

The key to a great Google AdWords management company is complete transparency. If you can’t have access and ownership to all facets of your account — how can you trust who you’re working with? Your AdWords agency is an extension of your business. They should be as invested and as open about your business as you are. Finding a great partner can lead to a relationship for sustained long-term growth and ultimate success in your business.