ppc account access denied

Who owns your Google Ads Account?

This blog post has been prompted by a worrying scenario that cropped up for a potential customer this week.

The customer called me and said they’d like to get going with a brand new PPC campaign. I asked the usual questions about their business and industry, what they wanted to achieve, and why they wanted to use PPC. As we’d spoken about a brand new campaign I was surprised when the client told me that that PPC was already their most effective channel for generating leads in a highly competitive B2B market.

“But why create a new campaign?” I asked. “If you’re having such great results, I can work within your existing account and you’ll keep all the precious history you’ve accumulated.”

“Ah” was the reply.

This client had been working with the same agency for over 5 years. The agency had set up the account, managed the advertising spend and now, at the end of the relationship, felt that it belonged to them. The client was free to leave. His account wasn’t. Ouch.

The historical value of Google Ads

When you run an account there are a number of factors that influence your quality score/ad rank. Important amongst these are the historical performance of your ads. Engaging ads that people interact well with are given bonus points (in non-technical speak) for that engagement. Google learns this about the account, and starting a new one will strip this element away.

Were they right?

Personally, I don’t think so. I think the Google Ads account is part of the business it was built for. No-one like to see a client go, but when they do I don’t have any reason to hold them to ransom with their account. I’ll ensure that it’s handed over professionally to the client or the new agency in the event that we go our separate ways.

What to do if your agency won’t give you (back) your account

  1. Don’t panic. Speak calmly to the agency and explain your position.
  2. Check your contracts and set up emails – is there anything in writing that would give you legal standing?
  3. If they won’t give you the account in full, try for access for a limited time so that you can export the data.
  4. If you can’t get access then ask that they perform the exports or keywords, ads, negatives, targeting and with performance metrics for last month, last 3 months, last 6 months, last year, previous year.
  5. If they still wont play ball, then you’re probably at the point of setting up a new account. Get help to make sure this is done to give you the best possible start.

How to prevent agencies holding you to ransom

Always create the Google Ads account and give your agency access, not the reverse. It doesn’t really matter if you get it “wrong” – most things (except timezone and currency) can be fixed later by the agency once you have given them access.

Make sure any contracts or agreements are explicit in ownership.

If your agency really insist on ownership, ensure you have agreements about access to all your account data at the end.


Can we help? If you are having difficulties with this situation we are happy to try and talk to your existing agency to get the right data exported. We can also help you get a new account started but don’t worry – we never take ownership of Google Ads accounts – that’s a part of your business.


Digital Marketing Services

What is SEO?

First in my series of ‘most asked questions’ has to be this one. When I tell people I do SEO, it’s quite a common response, “What is SEO?” I have actually been asked this question a lot by friends, family and potential clients alike, and answering it isn’t hard for me, this is what I do all day. But giving an audience appropriate answer, now that’s more tricky.

 So, What is SEO?

For people outside of online marketing there are generally two preconceptions of ‘What is SEO?’ They are that it is either:

  1.    Some techie, geeky, mathematically certain process or
  2.    That it is a mystical dark art.

It’s neither of the above.

SEO (search engine optimisation) is part art and part science in its application, but, by definition, it is just improving a website the according to the search engines’ own best practices. And whilst they don’t give us the magic formula (now that would take all the fun out of it) they do tell us enough that we can make educated decisions how we align our strategy. And we have enough experience under our belts to know instinctively how to approach grey areas, and when to say “no-one could possibly know for sure what’s the right way to go it, let’s test it and be the first to find out”.

So SEO (part art, part science, part testing) , involves striving towards those best practices we mentioned. They include (but are not limited to):

The effect of your domain on SEO

This is your abc.com part. How old is it, who and where is it registered to, has it been penalised?

The pages and content on your site play a major role in SEO

How we create pages in the site, how we label the behind the scenes stuff, what we write on page, who writes it, how we present it, what images we use, how it relates to the rest of the site. Your content marketing strategy can be tied in with your SEO effort too.

Your online “community” impacts organic performance

Are you keeping good company? If the only sites that talk you are black hat (dark mystical types) websites, Google will (probably correctly) assume that represents who you are too. However, if have links from (and to) authoritative and reputable sites you build the case that you too, can be trusted.

There are a whole bunch of other factors too, but these are the basic building blocks of SEO.


If you’d like to get started with SEO for your business then feel free to contact us for a no obligation chat. We offer a range of SEO packages if you’d like a tried and tested formula to get going, or we’ll build you a bespoke, competitively priced SEO service if you need something extra special.

What is paid search

What is PPC?

Paid search is a confusing subject for many of my clients, not least because of the number of names and sub-disciplines it entails. Paid search is, in my definition, any ad that is triggered in response to someone searching on the internet, if that ad was paid for. The most known example of this is Google AdWords.

What is Paid Search?

In the above example, LinkedIn and Google have chosen to show me these ads in response to my search query “pay per click google”. The small word “Ad” in green tells me that they’ve paid to be there.

Paid Search Marketing Terminology Buster

Let’s look at some of the common names you’ll hear for paid search marketing and see what they mean – because I may well refer to them here and throughout the site.

What is PPC and what does it stand for?

PPC stands for “Pay Per Click”. This is any advert that you show where you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. Google lead the way with pay per click in its AdWords platform, but offers many other pricing models.

What is Search Engine Marketing (SEM)?

Search engine marketing is any form of paid ad placement on the search engines. The primary platforms for these are AdWords and Bing here in Europe, but there are many other available if you need a broader reach.

Is Search Engine Marketing different to Search Marketing?

Yes! In the old days SEM used to encompass any form of traffic driving through search engines, but these days SEM is limited to what we refer to as paid search, whereas Search Marketing includes both Paid search and SEO (Find out what SEO is here).

So, what is Search Advertising?

The term Search Advertising is interchangeable with SEM (Search Engine Marketing), and refers to any form of paid ad placement on the search engines.

What is online advertising?

Online Advertising is any paid ad online – it could be on any platform, search engine, format or pricing model.

What is Paid Social?

Paid social is placing advertising on social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and more. This is a fast-growing area where ads can be in a range of formats and targeted extremely precisely.


Who is paid search right for?

Everyone! Paid search offers instant exposure on search engines, important website and social media. You are able to tightly control budget – from £5 per day to £50,000 per day and have complete control over the message you present and who you show it to.

If you’d like to get started out in PPC we can help you. Find out more about our PPC methodology and service here. Check out our PPC packages for small and medium businesses or for something tailor made for you business please contact us for a bespoke package.

What is content marketing?

What Is Content Marketing?

Fundamentally content marketing is the process of creating and distributing content, in any one of a whole range of formats, that is valuable to your customers and potential customers with a goal of new driving leads/sales, increasing customer retention rates or uplifting lifetime value.

However, content marketing is not about writing ads – content marketing sells your brand or service more subtly by creating relationships and trust, and whilst your own goal is ultimately to sell, the customer should see value in that content without purchasing from you – in fact, by delivering them content without selling, you will be creating a very strong brand loyalty.

This type of content should engage your readers to look forward to your next publication, and to share it among their peers.

 What is the goal of content marketing?

Awareness, engagement and trust. Simply put that’s it. Content marketing is about focusing on the complete customer life cycle, and building a relationship from the outset, you may be producing content for customers you don’t know yet, but for them you are already holding their hand, guiding them through their journey, offering support, and more subtly – delivering solutions. By the time them come to engage with you, they already know you, see your expertise and have confidence in your ability to help them – and that’s before your sales team have even lifted a finger. Of course, all of this comes back to the customer buying cycle, which you and your team are no doubt familiar with, but let’s recap:

  • Awareness – the (potential) customer has a need or problem – and now knows there is a solution to that problem
  • Research – the customer is now analysing the different solutions available to ascertain what criteria they are looking for in their particular case
  • Consideration – the process of shortlisting solutions and start of the ROI comparisons
  • Buy – the customer is now ready to engage with you and buy your product or service.

Your traditional advertising and sales team are likely to address the two latter parts of this cycle, but content marketing will also address the early stages. The beauty of content marketing is in fact that you can address all four through different types of content on different channels. And because of the nature of content marketing, you can focus your efforts directly for your chosen audience.

 What else can you achieve with content marketing?

Whilst the primary objective is to attract and engage new customers by creating a strong relationship with your brand, I have worked with clients who have a range of objectives:

  • Additional revenue streams through monetised content – for example if your content is genuinely valuable you can ask for something in return – whether that’s their email address or credit card number there are a range of ways to monetise content from pay to view, third party ads on your content or a subscriber model to view your entire library.
  • Reduce marketing costs – many firms are paying huge fees for advertising in traditional fashions. Content marketing encourages natural (free) sharing and distribution amongst your potential customers
  • Establishing relationships with other organisations and peers – by working with experts in your field, or those offering complementary (but not competitive) products and services you can quickly increase your reach, exposure and authority.
  • Increase lifetime value of your customer base – by creating content for an audience that you have already engaged with you can up sell, cross sell and resell.

 Why is content marketing so important?

Content marketing engages your potential customers and generates brand loyalty, but it also supports the rest of your marketing efforts. Because of the overlap between content marketing and other marketing activities the ROI can be phenomenal. Here’s how:

Search engine optimisation and content marketing

Modern SEO thrives on unique, authoritative content and by production of great articles and collateral you’ll be fulfilling this requirement, attracting search term visibility that is 100% relevant to your target audience. By creating regular, unique content that encourages interaction with your site you’ll be fueling your SEO efforts.

“Link Building” and content (and more SEO)

I’m not a fan of “link building” (the process of getting more sites to link to yours thus increasing your domain’s perceived authority, thus facilitating your SEO efforts) in the forced, artificial sense. But there is huge value in accumulating these links in a natural way. If you are creating genuinely valuable content then people will link to it in blogs, articles, forums and social media.

Social media marketing and content marketing

A great social media marketing campaign needs great content to push to your followers – if you are already producing it for you content marketing your social campaigns have a strong and authoritative start. And by avoid overt sales you’re much more likely to encourage your audience and share and ask questions.

PR and content marketing

PR is about engagement and awareness as much as content marketing and there is an overlap here where one can fund and fuel the other.

Paid search and content marketing

Paid search is about getting the right message to the person at exactly the right time. But once they have clicked on your ad and are on your site, what do they do next if they are not quite ready to buy? They continue their research. What if you already provide all the answers to their other questions on your site, they can continue their research without ever leaving your brand. Win.

What content should I produce?

This is, of course, the million dollar question. We always recommend that you create content for customers in all stages of the buying cycle, and for maximum exposure choose a range of formats that are suitable for distribution over a wide range of channels, for example:

  • Informative articles to be published on other websites
  • Infographics that can be shared on social media
  • Presentations for Slide Share
  • Videos for YouTube/Vimeo and integration on your site
  • Podcasts for your customers on the move
  • eBooks available from your website
  • Whitepapers that can be referred to within your industry and amongst your peers and customers
  • Webinars addressing in real time the questions your audience are asking, with on demand versions available to support your video efforts.

By supporting your products in this way you create a USP that sets you apart from everyone else selling the same or similar products.

When choosing the theme of each item of content we recommend using all the keyword tools available to look at trends and search volumes, but also ask your customers what they want to know. Ask your sales and support team what questions they are asked. When you explain your business to family and friends listen to the questions they have as they will have knowledge gaps that may not have even occurred to your or your existing customers, as they are not immersed in your industry. Once you have these questions turn them into themes and then add value by giving even more.

How do I start content marketing?

If you want to try your hand at hand at content marketing start with your blog. Write answers to the questions you are being asked every day, as you know for sure that this what your customers want to know.

Take time to learn the basics such as formatting tips to make reading easy, great headlines that will attract attention and imagery (which you can source for free on many stock image sites).

Of course, you are subject to limitations by your time and availability, and the readership of your blog. If you really want to get a good content marketing program going then we suggest you make this a part of the responsibilities of one of your team – or of course bring in an outside team to work on strategy and production, leaving you free to do what you do best – manage your business.

For help getting started in content marketing please read more about our content marketing services and feel free to contact us for no obligation advice.