In 2016, there were over 13,000 advertising agencies operating in the United States alone. That is a lot of agencies competing for the same slice of pie. The problem is, starting a digital agency isn’t that difficult. In fact, it’s one of the easiest businesses to set up and start making money from, because the barrier to entry and startup costs are fairly low. All of these forces join together in a melting pot of heightened competition and a growing challenge to stand out amongst the noise.
One way to stand out from your competitors and build trust with potential clients is to become a Google Certified Partner and confidently display the partner badge on your website. Just like we do:
What is a Google Certified Partner?
The Google Partner program is designed to help digital marketing agencies, consultants, and other marketing professionals display their competency in managing Google Ads accounts. If you are certified as a partner by Google it means that your team has passed a series of Google Ads competency tests and assessments to earn relevant certifications.
As a Google Certified Partner, you earn a badge which you can then display on your website. This badge is awarded based on the accreditation of your employees, demonstrated client results, and a predefined Google ads spending threshold. There is a basic Google Partner badge as well as a Premier Google Partner badge, depending on your monthly and ongoing ad spend.
Why should you become a Google Certified Partner?
There are several reasons why a digital agency should apply to become a Google Certified Partner, but all of them add up to a better and more compelling perception of your agency with your current and future clients.
Here are 6 reasons why you should become a Google Certified Partner:
#1. Increased Credibility and Social Proof
The ‘proof’ you provide for the outcomes you have achieved for your clients is the underlying factor that determines your credibility with potential clients. Without third-party proof that what you say about your agency is legitimate, people won’t believe it.
When you think about proof, the first thought that comes to mind is probably testimonials or case studies from your clients. Yes, these are powerful forms of proof that you can use to accelerate the trust-building process with prospects. There are over 40 other types of proof you can leverage to achieve incrementally more credibility for your agency. They are outlined in the infographic below:
One of these 42 elements of proof is ‘Third-Party Verifications’. If you can obtain and display a verification from a reputable institution (such as Google), that aligns with your service offering, it eases the concerns of new leads. This is the value of a Google Certified Partner badge.
#2. Improved Perception of Value
Your agency value proposition is a largely intangible concept. Essentially, it is the belief of your clients that you will deliver on the promises you make and help grow their business using your marketing expertise. A Google Partner Certification will improve the perception of your value proposition with potential clients by solidifying the claims you make during the sales process.
For example, the Google Partner program enables you to establish company specializations that showcase your agency’s specific area of expertise when it comes to Google Ads. At InvisiblePPC, our specializations are in Search Advertising, Display Advertising, Mobile Advertising, Video Advertising, and Shopping Advertising – all of which are displayed on our partner page:
#3. Better Exposure
The screenshot above shows what a Google Partner Page looks like. The information on these pages is somewhat basic and it is unlikely that a potential client will visit this page by chance. However, a key benefit of being a Google Certified Partner is that you will be listed on their Marketing Platform Partners page. This can provide some excellent additional exposure for your agency.
On this partners page, businesses who are looking for a qualified marketing agency can filter through certified partners based on specialty and geography:
#4. Exclusive Training and Certifications
The Google Partner Program allows your employees to access exclusive training and online certifications which will improve their skill set via the Google Academy for Ads:
The benefits of additional training for your employees is three-fold:
- It improves the outcomes your team achieves for your clients due to a better knowledge of optimizing campaigns.
- It works as a recruitment and retention tool for your agency because you are investing in your team’s development.
- It creates additional social proof by displaying these certifications on your partner page:
#5. Direct Support and Community Interaction
As a Google Partner, you have direct customer support access to the Google team via phone, chat, and email. You can also participate in the Google Partners communities, managed by Google and contributed to by the many community members.
The Advertiser Community gives you a place to ask questions, learn ways to grow your agency, build relationships with like-minded marketers, and share experiences with your peers.
#6. First Access to New Features
A somewhat unknown benefit of being a Google Certified Partner is the access it gives your agency to new products and beta features before anyone else. This can give you a huge competitive advantage over other agencies that aren’t partners, with the ability to use new features for months before they are available to the general public. Of course, this is yet another selling point you can talk with your prospective clients about, aswell.
How do you become a Google Certified Partner?
Here is a step-by-step process for becoming a Google Certified Partner:
- Go to the Google Partners website and click on the ‘Join Now’ button to join as a free partner.
- Apply to receive Partner status, and get a badge, by demonstrating your agency’s skills and expertise. Below is a table from Google that summarizes the requirements to be considered for a Google Partner badge:
In summary, you need to be Certified by completing a Google Ads accreditation, spend at least USD$10,000 on Google Ads in a 90-day period, and deliver consistent results for your clients.
Becoming a Google Certified Partner can help your agency stand out from the noisy world of digital marketing services. That small but powerful badge embedded on every page of your website can deliver much needed social proof and credibility for your business. Not to mention the huge opportunities for exposure, training, and networking that the partner program unlocks.
It’s a must for any agency selling Google Ads services.