Breakups are inevitable. Dynamics change. Eyes wander. Needs evolve.
Breakups are also bitter and painful. And arguably the most painful part of the breakup process is “giving back the stuff.” That rare Kinks album. The perfectly worn Red Sox hat. The engagement ring.
And of course, the most valuable asset of all, the Google Adwords account.
If you’re a client looking to change your digital or advertising agency, you might stress and lose sleep over this. Do I own my Google Adwords account? Does the agency? I want to transfer accounts from my old agency to my new agency, what happens next?
First, you are justified in losing sleep to this. Why? Because if you can’t get your account transferred over back to you, or your new agency, you lose the history and all important Google quality score, something built over time.
Visibility into the account history will have a huge impact on your strategy going forward and in setting benchmarks for success. Maintaining the existing AdWords account will also save time by keeping all your current goal tracking in place. Having to create a new account means having to create and add all new conversion tracking to landing pages.
Here’s what you need to know:
First, your Google Adwords account should belong to you. Even if an agency is hired to manage, optimize an account for you, the account with all of its history, is yours, paid for by you and should be owned by you.
As a client, you should always have access to your Adwords account at all times. You’ll want this to be sure your reporting is honest, accurate and fully transparent.
You’ll want the ability to own that data in your account. No matter who manages it, it’s associated with your account, your brand, your company. That data is critical in helpful in predicting future conversion rates, proper campaign structure and how ad copy tests performed.
But my ex-agency is not playing fair, and won’t transfer access, what now?
While this is not the act of a solid or reliable digital marketing agency, it does happen. Sadly, the time and money you spent in investing in a client manager to optimize your account is gone. Wasted.
And even Google themselves can’t help you fight an agency that won’t do the right thing.
You are essentially starting from scratch on your quality score.
Your best option is to have the agency export the account history and data, and move on and start over.
And at the beginning of your new relationship, make sure you maintain ownership or have contractual language that assures account transfers. Consider it a digital pre-nup.
A reputable agency won’t fight you.