How to become a Google Elite Partner in 5 steps
Done right, joint partnerships with any platform can be extremely rewarding. Nowhere is that truer than with Google. Many of us have experienced some form of support and may even be classified as ‘Premier’ partners. But what many don’t know is that there’s an invite-only tier above this: Elite partnership. Jack Oddy, partnerships director from Soap Media, shares five tips to joining that exclusive club.
Soap Media outlines the five steps needed to become a Google Elite partner
What is an ‘Elite’ Google Partner?
‘Elite’ partnership is an invite-only level of partnership that’s reserved for top-performing digital agencies. Each year, Google handpicks around 150 agencies to join this tier.
To be invited, you must have delivered ‘best-in-class’ results for clients; grown revenue across all product categories; and striven for the adoption of new technologies.
Agencies in this tier have access to a host of additional benefits to assist with account growth, including bespoke optimization and expert training sessions; in-depth competitor and market reviews; rand reviews and audience persona reports; being the first to be listed for new betas; prioritized support for GA4; and privacy-centricity.
Here are five key steps your business can take to drive account growth, build on team skills and get recognized by Google.
Step #1: get certified
The first step, and one of the simplest, is to get certified by passing Google exams.
There are several product-based exams offered by Google that can be found on Skillshop. Exams typically contain around 50 questions and last for up to 75 minutes. Once you’ve passed an exam, the certification lasts for 12 months.
Having all account strategists attached to your Google ads account certified is preferable, but only 50% need to be certified in at least one product area to meet Google’s requirements.
Step #2: strive for excellent results
Obvious, right? But there are a few key actions that will bring best-in-class results and get you on Google’s radar.
First, have a coherent and agile strategy.
The nature of the market means tweaks to strategy will be needed from time to time. Start out with everyone on the same page, but be open to altering your strategy swiftly; change your approach entirely when necessary. This includes adjusting based on seasonality, emerging trends and reviewing the best time and day to bid.
Second, have clear reporting and visibility. Ensure you have accurate goal-tracking in place. This way, you can keep a close eye on the success of campaigns and analyze results to determine any required changes to approach.
In order to monitor overall progress, create a centralized dashboard for visibility of month-on-month and year-on-year comparisons.
Third, be aware of competitors and market changes. Use tools such as Google Auction Insights to see where you sit in relation to your competitors. It also helps you identify new competitors entering the market. Tools including Google Trends give visibility on emerging market trends.
Always keep a close eye on Google’s best practices, and stick to using its recommended ad formats.
Step #3: diversify your products
Google holds diversification in very high regard. That’s why it’s vital to display diversity across your ad account by using different products and ad formats. These should include:
Search: Great for driving sales, search ads allow you to reach your audience while they’re searching for your product or service on Google
Display: This type of ad, often included in remarketing strategies, involves static images being displayed on sites that are part of the Google Display Network
Video: Video ads give you the chance to show ads on YouTube at different points within videos. They’re a great option for increasing brand awareness
Shopping: These are product listings that are shown in search results and on the Google Shopping tab, making them perfect for retailers wanting to push products
App: App campaigns are used for promoting apps and driving installs. Your app can be shown on Search, Display, Play and YouTube in one campaign
Step #4: become an industry leader
One factor Google looks for when choosing agencies to join the ‘elite’ tier is whether they’re industry leaders.
Becoming an industry leader involves adopting new practices; when it comes to staying up to date with best practices, Google keeps us on our toes. However, to stay at the forefront of the industry, it’s important to adopt new practices sooner rather than later.
Google also often looks for agencies to try beta products. Although risky, being one of the first to try these can have notable benefits, giving you the chance to tap into techniques competitors aren’t already using. You help Google by trialing a potential product, while demonstrating that your agency is at the forefront of innovation.
Step #5: spend
The final step is ad spend. Obviously, increasing ad spend is beneficial for Google itself, but with returns set at $8 per $1 spent, it also amplifies the return on investment for your business.
However, don’t be deterred if inflating ad spend isn’t an option right now. If you follow steps one through four, your ad spend should increase organically.
Although it may seem like a challenge, it’s important to remember that being invited to join the ‘elite’ tier is more about growth than spend. The idea is to prove willingness, dedication and ability to Google.
Since joining the ‘elite’ tier, we’ve seen accelerated growth across all clients. We were lucky enough to be awarded end-of-year recognition, and have also already been granted a host of additional perks.
Content by The Drum Network member:
Soap Media is an award-winning, industry-leading digital marketing agency based in Preston and Manchester. We combine strategic thinking with creativity, always with our partners at the centre. We like to think of ourselves as a customer journey agency, delivering the ultimate user journey across all digital marketing. Our ethos is to become “Your Partner in Digital”, instilled in everything we do. It defines our brand and delivers outstanding results that personify this motto.
Since launching in 2005, we have successfully developed and grown our unique omnichannel approach and worked with leading organisations across a spectrum of sectors. From finance to e-commerce, education to entertainment, we’ve created some of the UK’s most compelling and innovative projects, transforming the digital presence of AA, Money Supermarket, Redrow, Centre of Excellence and more.
We work with our clients as an extension of their internal teams, taking a partner-centric approach that delivers returns over and beyond their expectations. This is reflected in everything from the way we collaborate on creative ideas to implementing their digital projects.
Our partners’ performance has been central to the accolades we’ve secured, named by The Drum as the best agency in the UK for client satisfaction in 2021. We’ve also been recognised as a top UK B2B company for four years running by the world-leading reviews and ratings platform, Clutch. These are alongside accolades from AAAwards, Ad World Masters, and ThreeBestRated.
We’ve honed our approach over many years, always staying ahead of the demands, trends and expectations of the digital marketing industry. Our best results are when working holistically, but our specialities include web design, creative design and web development, inbound marketing, search engine optimisation (SEO) and content marketing, as well as pay-per-click management (PPC) email marketing, and social media. Whatever your digital goals, we have a solution for you.