How to Start A Google Ads Agency: 13 Essentials You’ll Need [Course & 20+ Templates]

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Launching your own Google Ads agency can be an exciting and rewarding venture. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, businesses are increasingly recognizing the value of effective pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, specifically Google Ads. In this blog, we'll walk you through how to start a Google Ads agency, including how to get clear on your agency’s value proposition, the thirteen essentials you need to start your Google Ads agency, and what types of paid advertising services to provide to your clients. 

Starting a digital marketing agency, whether it's focused on paid advertising services or other digital marketing channels, is a time-consuming process. There's a lot to figure out, from finding a bookkeeper to understanding the legal stuff needed to launch your business.

Our agency, Slam Media Lab (Slam), kicked off during the pandemic and quickly grew to over 30 customers and $2M in revenue in just two years. We're an award-winning digital marketing and design agency based in San Francisco for founders and forward-thinking brands. We specialize in Webflow design and development, focusing on content marketing, SEO, and brand strategy and identity. We've been through the challenges of building a successful agency, so we get the hard work it takes.

If you've been researching "how to start a Google Ads agency," or "how to start a PR agency" you've probably noticed most advice is just listing things to do without practical tools to actually do those things. That's why we created the How to Start an Agency Course.

This course is built for a variety of marketing professionals – from freelancers to agency employees dreaming of starting a company, to entrepreneurs, and more. Our course includes all the steps and tools we used to launch and run our agency successfully, like how to legally set up your agency, how to find your first clients, and how to streamline your agency ops. Our goal is to save you from endless research and give you a complete guide to make starting your agency easier.

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We've been so thrilled by seeing our students crush it and start their own Google Ads agencies. That's why this month, we're offering 75% off for the first 10 people who sign up with code AGENCY100. Use this link.

Does a Google Ad Agency Work?

Google Ads display paid ads at the top of search results, and businesses pay for them to appear for specific keywords. These ads are a powerful tool to attract relevant traffic when people search for specific products or services.

A Google Ad Agency acts as a strategic partner, helping businesses use Google Ads to boost online visibility and achieve marketing goals. The agency's expertise lies in managing clients' Google Ads accounts and handling the complexities of online advertising to deliver excellent results. This allows businesses to focus on other aspects of their operations.

Why Businesses Need Google Ads as Part of Their Digital Marketing Strategy

When someone is searching for a product or service, Google is likely their first stop. For businesses, utilizing Google Ads can effectively drive traffic to their website, generating brand awareness and promoting their products and services. Businesses that do not utilize Google Ads as part of a comprehensive digital marketing strategy are passing up on the world's most popular and valuable online advertising platform. The statistics speak for themselves. In 2023 alone, there were 3.2 trillion searches per year, 8.5 billion searches per day, and 100,000 searches per second. Those are staggering numbers.

Understanding Your Google Ad Agency’s Value Proposition 

Businesses have numerous reasons to include Google Ads in their digital advertising strategy, and as a Google Ads Agency, you can offer valuable services to your clients. Through Google Ads, businesses can:

  1. Reach customers when they're looking for what they offer
  2. Connect with their local market
  3. Provide searchers with their business details
  4. Reconnect with their potential customers using retargeting ads and remarketing
  5. Achieve measurable results

Reach Customers When They're Looking For a Business's Offerings

Google Ads helps businesses show up when potential customers actively search for their offerings. It's like renting a house – quick and immediate. With the right budget and strategy, businesses can appear at the top of Google's search results for specific keywords when users search for them. It offers immediate visibility for marketing dollars, allowing businesses to "rent" a top keyword spot.

On the other hand, search engine optimization (SEO) is like buying a house – a longer-term investment. Ranking organically in top spots on Google requires time and effort. Once a website becomes an authority and consistently ranks in the top 10 for various keywords, it doesn't have to pay to show up. This is like owning a house and gaining equity.

Google Ads is particularly beneficial for high-intent keywords - take the search phrase, "blue Nike shoes." When users search for such keywords, they likely aren't researching the history of blue Nike shoes, but rather, they intend to make a purchase immediately. Google Ads provides businesses with the opportunity to show up for these high-intent keywords when buyers are ready to make a purchase.

Connect With A Business's Local Market

Local businesses can focus on specific areas to reach their local market effectively. This is beneficial for businesses with physical locations aiming to connect with potential customers in nearby areas. Google Ads can boost local brand awareness by targeting specific keywords related to a business's location, like "nail salons in San Francisco." Paid ads can make businesses visible and prompt users to click for more information, call directly, fill out forms, or make purchases. The content of Google Ads, including headlines and descriptive ad copy, influences local customers to engage in different ways.

Provide Searchers With Business Details

Google Ads enable businesses to showcase essential details like contact information, website links, and operating hours. Each ad has headlines, descriptions, and a call to action, such as a phone number, making it easy for users to directly contact a business without visiting its website.

Reconnect With Potential Customers Using Retargeting Ads

Through retargeting ads, businesses can re-engage users who have previously interacted with a Google ad. This is a great way to nurture potential buyers. Have you ever searched for something –  we'll use the "blue shoes" example again – and noticed that you start to get ads for "blue shoes" anytime you open your phone to scroll social media or read your favorite blog? That's the goal of retargeting.

When a user interacts with a Google ad but doesn't convert, it's like planting a seed. Retargeting, using Google Ads methods, is like watering that seed, reminding users to return and eventually convert. 

Achieve Measurable Results

Google Ads offers detailed analytics for businesses to measure their campaign performance. With a Google Ads account, your agency can centrally track a business's advertising efforts, ad spend, and ad groups. Analyzing factors like cost-per-click, cost-per-conversion, and advertising insights gives your clients a competitive advantage. You can help them identify competitors, assess budget limitations, and understand search volume for specific keywords. This data empowers your agency to offer strategic advice, helping clients win in their industry and refine ad campaigns across all accounts.

Ready to get started? Sign up for our How to Start an Agency Course waitlist now! 

13 Essentials You Need to Create a Google Ads Agency

Starting a Google Ads management agency requires careful planning and execution. Here are the 13 essentials you need to launch and operate a successful Google Ads agency:

  1. Google AdWords Certification
  2. PPC Knowledge and Expertise
  3. Professional Agency Website
  4. Social Media Presence
  5. Solid Business Plan
  6. Legal and Operational Setup
  7. Pricing Strategy
  8. Networking Skills
  9. Team of AdWords Specialists
  10. Google Ads Management Tools
  11. Communication and Project Management Tools
  12. Analytics and Reporting Tools
  13. Graphic Design Tools for Advertising Assets

Google AdWords Certification

To start a Google advertising agency it is vital to acquire your Google AdWords certification. This provides credibility that your agency and its Google Ads specialists understand the Google Ads platform and how to manage client accounts. From there, you can create a Google Ads agency account and operate as a professional Google advertising company.

Google Partners Program

Another key factor to consider when starting your Google Ads agency is acquiring Google Partners status. There are three tiers to the Google Partners Program:

  1. Member
  2. Partner
  3. Premier Partner

The Google Partners program is designed for advertising agencies and third parties that manage Google Ads accounts on behalf of other brands or businesses. Becoming a Google Partner provides agency accounts with a variety of benefits, such as educational resources, additional customer support, exclusive tools, and public awards recognizing an agency as a Google Partner depending on which tier of the Google Partner program they reach. Being recognized as a Google Premier Partner, for example, is a badge of honor to display to businesses looking to hire a Google Ads management agency that automatically builds trust and credibility.

PPC Knowledge and Expertise

Getting a Google AdWords Certification is crucial, and it's equally important to enhance and demonstrate your expertise. Utilize Adwords Educational Resources to gain comprehensive training in Google Ads, stay informed about the most recent platform updates, and develop the essential skills required to succeed as a PPC specialist. Google Ads’ educational platform and Skillshop accounts offer valuable resources for agency owners and account managers, covering strategy development, how to set up ads manager accounts, creating and running effective search and display network ads, responsibly managing a client's ad spend, and staying current on the latest campaign management best practices.

Can You Start a Google Ad Agency With No Experience?

You can start a Google Ads agency without experience, but it's essential to educate yourself and become a Google Ads specialist before serving clients. Building expertise is crucial for running a successful agency, ensuring excellent customer service, retaining clients, and attracting new ones through referrals.

Whether experienced or a beginner, staying informed is crucial. The aim is to serve clients well, grasp effective ad campaign management, and optimize ad spend for great returns. If you can gain the necessary expertise to create successful strategies for multiple clients, go for it!

Professional Agency Website

Your agency's website is your online storefront. Invest in a professional website that showcases your services, expertise, awards/recognition (like your Google Partner status), and successful case studies. Utilize search engine optimization best practices to rank for focus keywords related to your agency's service offerings. For example, if you are a Google Ads agency looking to serve small businesses, then you should create content and pages with focus keywords such as "Google Ads agency for small businesses", "Paid advertising agencies for small businesses", and "Google Ads companies for small businesses", among various other keyword phrases.

Your agency website is an evergreen sales tool to generate organic traffic to reach your site and ultimately create inbound marketing leads from that traffic. Make sure your site is user-friendly by implementing conversion rate optimization best practices, as well as building a blog that showcases your industry knowledge and builds credibility with potential clients.

Need more website design and SEO tips? Sign up for the How to Start an Agency Course!

Social Media Presence 

Leverage social media platforms to extend your reach and engage with your audience. Consider tools like Iconosquare and SproutSocial for effective social media management. These tools allow you to post to multiple platforms with one click and schedule posts, so you never forget to post on the day of.

A consistent social media calendar will help to generate more traffic over time and help your Google Ads agency create a brand presence across various social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and LinkedIn.

Solid Business Plan

Developing a solid business model is essential for long-term success. Clearly define your agency's mission and brand values, business goals, target audience, and unique value proposition that gives your Google Ads agency a competitive edge over another PPC agency. Your agency's paid advertising services should be clearly defined to ensure you are hiring the right PPC specialists to execute the work you promise to clients to build a track record of happy clients.

Will you provide Google search and display ads management, including reporting and creative asset development? Or will you strictly provide Google search ad management? Depending on the answers to these questions, you can decide if you will charge clients a fixed rate or billable hours, how many full-time ads specialists you can hire, and whether your clients will have regular strategy calls with an agency account manager.

Legal and Operational Setup

Setting up your agency legally is no fun – we understand the headache and seemingly never-ending requirements to legally launch a marketing agency. It is crucial to invest the necessary time and money to ensure you are setting up your agency on the right foot and not putting your business at any legal risk. Simplify legal and operational processes with tools like Striple Atlas, Gusto, Deel, and Mercury. Ensure your agency complies with all legal requirements, such as:

  • Acquiring business licenses and insurance in your chosen state of operation
  • Getting your EIN number
  • Opening up a business bank account and following all state and federal tax laws
  • Staying compliant with employment laws per state
For all of the legal nitty-gritty and step-by-step processes, we used to launch Slam check out our Agency Starter course that includes a legal and operational setup module.

Pricing Strategy

Determining your pricing strategy requires careful consideration. Explore industry standards and set competitive yet profitable rates. The goal is to remain competitive with your prices in the market to ensure you are profitable, while also having a competitive edge against other marketing agencies.

How Much Should You Charge Clients Who Hire Your Google Ads Agency?

Different agencies charge different amounts and with different payment structures, so we recommend doing some competitive research to see what other Google Ads agencies are charging. Here are a few different ways a marketing agency can charge its clients:

  • Billable hours
  • Fixed rates/project pricing
  • Subscription models

It's wise to have some level of customization available for new clients so they can feel confident in what they are paying for. Additionally, flexible pricing options increase your agency's chances of serving different types of clients within your ideal client profile, rather than limiting your agency to a few clients due to limited pricing options.

Networking Skills

Enhance your networking skills, both online and offline. Invest in platforms like LinkedIn Premium to connect with industry professionals. Reach out to potential clients via LinkedIn DM to pitch your services authentically. Our How to Start an Agency Course provides specific examples of how to pitch your Google Ads agency to gain multiple client accounts. A good rule of thumb is to reach out to a connection with something you have in common like if you've worked in the same industry or attended the same university.

Team of Adwords Specialists

Building a team of Google Adwords specialists is crucial for managing client accounts effectively. Platforms like Upwork and Fiverr can help you find skilled professionals who can work on a full-time or part-time basis. Look for specialists who understand the internal factors of working on multiple client accounts, such as:

  • The nuances of managing clients
  • The importance of campaign project management
  • How to utilize the Google display network in addition to Google search ads
  • How advertising strategies contribute to a client's business goals
  • Google Ads specialists who have worked at another Google Ads agency in the past

Google Ads Management Tools 

Google Ads management involves various tasks such as campaign creation, keyword optimization, ad copy testing, and performance analysis. To streamline these processes and enhance efficiency, several tools are available. Here are some popular Google Ads management tools:

  • Ahrefs - helps you view the average CPC for different keywords you want to bid for and conduct competitive analysis for an advantage over your client's competitors
  • Google Ads Editor - allows advertisers to make bulk changes to their Google Ads campaigns offline. It simplifies tasks like campaign organization, ad creation, and keyword management
  • Optmyzr - offers automation and optimization features. It helps in creating and managing campaigns more efficiently
  • SpyFu - allows you to spy on your competitors' Google Ads campaigns. It provides insights into their ad copy, keywords, and budget
  • SEMrush - a comprehensive digital marketing tool that includes features for PPC management. It provides insights into competitors, keyword research, and ad strategy

Communication and Project Management Tools 

Improve communication and project management by using tools like Slack and Notion. Slack is a messaging platform that enables instant communication among team members. You can organize discussions by creating separate channels for each agency account, reducing clutter and making information easily accessible. Slack features direct messaging, file sharing, and integrations with various apps, facilitating efficient communication and a collaborative environment.

Notion complements this by offering a versatile workspace for project management and collaboration. Its user-friendly interface allows teams to create and share documents, databases, and task boards in one place. You can create content creation calendars on Notion and customize workflows to match your team's needs. By consolidating information in Notion, team members can access crucial details, updates, and project timelines, ensuring everyone is on the same page.

Analytics and Reporting Tools

Use powerful analytics and marketing agency reporting tools to evaluate your campaigns and share results with clients. These tools offer crucial insights into campaign performance, helping you make informed decisions for better outcomes. Google Analytics is a valuable tool for monitoring Google Ads campaigns, providing data on user behavior, website traffic, and conversions. Integrating it with your ad campaigns enables tracking ad effectiveness, understanding user interactions, and making data-driven decisions to improve overall performance.

Additionally, you can provide clients with specialized reporting tools like Google Looker Studio for visually compelling and customizable reports. These reports simplify complex data, making it easy to understand. Presenting key insights in visually appealing reports enhances your ability to communicate effectively with clients.

Effective communication goes beyond presenting raw data - it involves creating meaningful narratives that highlight successes, address challenges, and suggest actionable recommendations. Regular and transparent reporting strengthens a client-agency relationship and demonstrates the value of your agency's efforts.

Check out our masterclass and templates on how to slam your agency reporting

Graphic Design Tools for Creative Assets

Invest in graphic design tools like Canva to create visually appealing creative assets that can be utilized in clients' campaigns. These creative assets include graphics and photos of a business's products and services to entice users to click on an ad. Additionally, these creative assets should work cohesively with ad landing pages and the ad copy in search ads.

If you are not a graphic designer and would rather clients use external resources outside of your agency to help with creative assets, make sure you set that expectation with your clients from the get-go. Regardless, as a Google Ads management agency, you should be equipped to guide clients on what creative they can create to follow Google Ads guidelines.

What Types of Services Do Google Ad Agencies Provide?

Google Ad agencies offer a range of services to meet the diverse needs of businesses. These services include:

  • Google Ads account setup
  • PPC advertising
  • Ongoing campaign management
  • Managing multiple client accounts
  • Ad conversion rate optimization and A/B testing

Google Ads Account Setup

Set up and configure new Google Ads accounts to meet clients' goals by creating a Google Ads Agency Account. This centralized platform allows you to efficiently manage multiple client accounts, saving time and simplifying processes. Within the My Client Center (MCC), you can create dedicated sub-accounts, enhancing organization and ensuring focused attention on each client's campaigns. This separation facilitates tracking and organization, especially for agencies with managing many businesses.

Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Designing and overseeing paid advertising campaigns is a multifaceted process aimed at generating traffic and conversions for a business or brand. This encompasses several key steps, including:

  • Defining the goal of the campaign - whether it's increasing website traffic, boosting sales, or raising brand awareness, a well-defined goal serves as the foundation for the entire campaign
  • Identifying a client's target audience - understand the target audience to tailor the campaign content and utilize audience segmentation to create personalized and relevant ads that resonate
  • Keyword research - conduct thorough keyword research to identify the terms and phrases your target audience is likely to use when searching for products or services
  • Ad copy creation - craft compelling and concise ad copy that highlights unique selling points, encourages clicks, and aligns with the campaign objectives

Ongoing Management and Optimization of Google Ads Campaigns

Ongoing management and continuous optimizations are essential to enhance performance and ensure that advertising efforts align with evolving market trends and customer preferences. Analyze key metrics such as click-through rates, conversion rates, and return on investment (ROI) to identify areas for improvement and optimization. Examples of this type of management include ensuring the landing page is optimized for conversions by conducting A/B testing, and allocating ad spend fairly across different campaigns by monitoring their ROIs and adjusting the ad spend accordingly.

Handling Multiple Client Accounts

Effectively managing multiple client accounts requires careful planning, organization, and understanding of each client's unique goals and challenges. Ensure that each client's objectives align with their overall business goals, whether it's lead generation, sales growth, or brand awareness. Once you set expectations with your clients, conduct thorough onboarding sessions to understand their business and industry. Most importantly, maintain clear communication with clients to keep them informed about campaign progress.

Additionally, automation can help handle routine tasks, allowing more focus on strategy development. We have a bonus module in our How To Start an Agency Course all about how to utilize ChatGPT to automate processes across your agency for effective time management of multiple client accounts.

Ad Conversion Rate Optimization and A/B Testing

Implement A/B testing to experiment with different ad variations, headlines, images, or calls to action (CTAs). This ongoing testing process helps identify the most effective elements that drive engagement and conversions using heat mapping tools that reveal user interaction or bounce rate on a client's ad landing page.

Starting a Google Ads Agency as a Lucrative Career Move  

Starting a Google Ads agency can be a lucrative career move in the ever-expanding territory of digital marketing. By leveraging the resources, tools, and strategies outlined in this blog, and located in our How To Start an Agency Course, you can position your agency for success.

As you navigate the challenges of starting your own Google Ads agency, remember that continuous learning and client satisfaction are the keys to success, and that you can always look to the agencies that have gone before you (like Slam) for guidance on how to start a thriving marketing agency.

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