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As Google unveil Partner Search in an effort to make finding Google AdWords Qualified Companies easier, we look at other ways you can find out and just why this certification is so important.
Google commands a 92 per cent share of the search market in the UK [see: Search Engine Market Share Statistics – April 2010]. Invariably, this has helped to make their paid search platform, Google AdWords, the most competitive and lucrative for advertisers.
With greater volumes of search traffic passing through the pages of Google each day, their SERPs are the place to get seen. Whilst Yahoo, Bing and the other search engines offer their own platforms, it is AdWords that most go to by default. This has created greater competition; helping to push up bid prices, Google profits and the expertise required to effectively manage a profitable campaign.
The balance that we all need to find is expense versus return. ROI is vital to a website and is at the forefront of most website owners and Pay Per Click Management agencies thoughts. Therefore it is vital that you are able to manage spend and ensure that your PPC campaigns are targeting the phrases that will return the highest yields.
Why Choose a Google AdWords Qualified Company?
If you are unable to manage your PPC advertising yourself, this will mean outsourcing it to a professional company. This requires a great deal of faith and trust. You have to be sure that the expense of hiring an outside agency will ultimately provide more benefit than it does cost. So what exactly should you be looking for when tracking down a company to manage your Google AdWords?
First and foremost, the PPC agency should be Google AdWords qualified Company. This means that their staff have passed the examinations provided by Google and are therefore knowledgeable about the platform and the best practices for optimising Pay Per Click advertising campaigns on it.
Google will only officially supply this accreditation to companies that meet their requirements; therefore you can be sure that PPC agencies showing the Google AdWords Qualified badge have worked hard to develop their skills in accordance with official guidelines [see: The Importance of Using a Google AdWords Qualified Company]. Or at least that’s how it should be.
How to Avoid Companies with False Accreditations
There are some unscrupulous types who have cottoned on to this accreditation being a sign of professionalism and trustworthiness, choosing to dishonestly claim that they are an AdWords Qualified Company despite never having taken the exams. This, unfortunately, comes as part and parcel with an industry that has a huge revenue turnover and massive potential for returns, just as with SEO in fact[see: 5 Questions You Should Be Asking Before Outsourcing SEO].
The first thing you should do is click on the Google AdWords Qualified Company symbol that they are, presumably, displaying. Any officially certified Google AdWords Company will have an embedded link within the image, leading to its own Google Certification Program page (see below for example). This is hosted by Google and therefore provides the most conclusive evidence to support their claim of being a certified business.
If there isn’t an embedded link, this should raise a little suspicion; although there is one final test you can do just to make sure. Google have now created an easy way for business to find AdWords Qualified Companies.
Using Google Partner Search
Google Partner Search is a new innovation from the search giant. It helps you to track down Google Qualified companies in your area and budget range. This will allow you to filter out all of the pretenders and get straight to those who obtained the qualifications that will better benefit your PPC campaigns on Google. Partner Search refines the whole process and allows you to bi-pass the potential pitfalls of a general online search .
Unfortunately this hasn’t yet been enabled for UK searchers, although full search capabilities should be in operation within the next fortnight. For now though, if you are in the UK and want to check on company’s AdWords status, there is a simple Search by Partner Name function beneath the main search. This will return any qualified businesses with the name you’ve entered. So if yours doesn’t come up, they aren’t qualified.
In terms of quality assurance for the AdWords environment, official Google Certification is the highest available standard. It isn’t an absolute guarantee, but it is the best the industry is able to offer when it comes to measuring quality in services. You should still do background checks to see how they have performed for others clients; so make sure you look out for case studies, testimonials and any personal recommendations you can obtain.
So if you’re looking for PPC management services and don’t want to get stung by a fraud, make sure they are fully qualified to manage your account.
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