Advertiser Guide: working with a third-party partner

Introduction to online advertising and AdWords

AdWords is Google’s advertising product, which displays your ads to people looking for products or services similar to those that you offer on Google or its partner sites. Advertising with AdWords allows you to reach new customers at the precise moment that they’re searching for your type of products and services. You can choose to be charged for clicks, impressions or conversions, depending on the type of campaign you run.

Once your ads are running, we provide performance data so that our third-party partner can track what’s working and what’s not. AdWords is highly accountable, helping you understand precisely the return on your advertising investment and allowing your third-party partner to make adjustments to optimise for the best possible return.

In addition to Google search, you can also run ads on Google’s network of partner sites (places where you may have seen the “Ads by Google” message) – including YouTube. On this network, you can take advantage of other ad formats, such as image ads and video ads.

Google and third-party partners

We believe that AdWords can help your business succeed. However, you might not have the time or resources to devote to building – and regularly maintaining – a successful AdWords account. Or maybe you’d just like some help from an expert.

That’s where our third-party partners come in. There are many different types of third parties out there - from the largest advertising agency and yellow page publisher to the one-person web consultant. To help you select a third-party partner, we’ve developed our Partner Programmes. Third parties participating in these programmes will display a badge on their website and have taken and passed certification exams. Two badges that you’ll probably see most often are AdWords Certified Partner and AdWords Authorised Reseller. See the badges and learn about our Partner Programmes at www.google.co.uk/adwords/partnerprograms.

To confirm that a company is certified within our Partner Programmes, click the badge on their website. If they’re certified, you’ll be taken to the company’s profile page on Google.co.uk.

How to work with a third-party partner

An AdWords third-party partner can save you and your business a lot of time and energy. For best results, we encourage you to stay informed, involved and up-to-speed on your ad campaigns, and let your partner handle the time-consuming work.

Third-party partners will often charge a fee in addition to the cost of your advertising. Remember, they’re providing a valuable service by managing your AdWords campaigns, providing you with reporting, answering your questions and optimizing your campaigns, among many other things. We believe it’s important for you to understand the total cost of your AdWords advertising, including any fees that your third-party partner charges. Use this amount to determine your return on investment (ROI).

Here are five quick tips for being a savvy customer:

1. Be selective When selecting a third-party partner to work with, look for companies that display a Certified Partner or Authorised Reseller badge. You can use Google Partner Search to verify that a company is certified, or to search for certified partners. As part of your selection process, make sure that you understand and are comfortable with the length of the contract that you’re entering into with the partner. There are a few other criteria to help you choose the right third-party partner for you:

2. Pick one partner You may be tempted to divide your budget among multiple third parties to see which one drives the best results. You’re welcome to do this as long as you test them one at a time. Google doesn’t display more than one ad for a business on a page of search results, so you’ll find it difficult to test multiple third parties at once.

3. Educate yourself Understanding AdWords at an advanced level can take time, but it doesn’t take much time to learn the basics. Review the "AdWords basics" section below or visit the AdWords Help Centre at support.google.com/adwords to learn more. Understanding AdWords will help you make more informed decisions with your third-party partner.

4. Trust experience If you’re working with a company that’s managed hundreds of AdWords accounts, then it’s likely that they’ve developed expertise with AdWords. If they tell you that certain industries have historically higher online-advertising costs or certain keywords might not work for your business, they’re probably speaking from experience.

5. Evaluate your performance Unless you’re focused on branding, what matters most about AdWords is the return on your advertising investment (i.e. the number of new customers coming through the door). So take some time each month to measure what you’re investing, and the results that you’re receiving from that investment.

What to watch out for

We believe that it’s important for you to have a great experience with AdWords. If this isn’t the case, please let us know. Make sure that you work with your third-party partner to try to resolve any issues first before contacting us.

Many third parties have earned our trust by representing the best interests of their advertisers. There are some third parties that are not acting in this way. Here are some activities to watch out for and let us know about:

AdWords basics

Disclaimer: While we may not respond personally to your email, we will investigate your comments and, if necessary, take the appropriate action. If you have a question about your AdWords account and need help, please visit the Help Centre at http://support.google.com/adwords/.