Searching Beyond the Paid

Friday, September 23, 2011

Google Engage for Agencies - What's It Worth?

As part of their overhaul of their Certification program, Google recently launched a new service for SEM agencies called Google Engage for Agencies. The program offers training resources, marketing materials, news, and support for agencies who manage Adwords accounts on behalf of clients. Members of Engage also get free $100 Adwords vouchers to use for new clients.

The program launched several months ago, but I just recently had time to go in and play around with it. Overall, I’m underwhelmed. In order to secure your membership in the program, you’ll need to watch four 15-20 minute videos covering an overview of Adwords. The videos are so basic it’s not even funny – really 101 type stuff. And you have to watch each video in its entirety to get a little code you can enter to finalize your membership and get your $100 vouchers.

It seems to me that anyone who’s already Adwords Certified should be able to skip that step. After all, if you’ve passed the Fundamentals test, you’ll already know everything that’s in the Engage videos. You can't tell me that Google doesn't know you're certified - the login for Engage is the same as your Adwords login, and your profile includes certification info. And if you work at an agency, your time is money – time spent watching basic videos on stuff you’ve been doing for years is time you’re not doing billable client work.

All that said, there are a few redeeming qualities of the program. Obviously, the vouchers are nice – I don’t know any agency folks who would turn down $100. Engage also has a library of marketing materials that can be used to sell Adwords to clients. For example, there’s a downloadable PDF on preparing a sales pitch for Adwords, complete with worksheets you can use to ensure you’re asking the right questions of your prospect. While I’m not personally responsible for sales at Fluency Media, I’ve passed along many of these materials to our sales team.

And the training modules are definitely helpful for new agency team members who need to get up to speed on PPC. So if you’ve hired an intern or new staff member, I recommend starting them off with the intro videos I mentioned earlier. You’ll get the dual benefit of training them on PPC and enrolling them in the Engage program at the same time.

Engage also includes handy links to Adwords Certification training modules. This info, formerly found in your Adwords MCC, is a good training resource for those new to PPC, as well as a handy refresher course for anyone who needs to get certified or renew their certification.

To sum it up, if you’ve been doing PPC for a while, you may not find much use for Engage; but if you’re new to PPC, you’ll find it informative.

Have you tried Engage for Agencies? What do you think of it?

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  • Honestly I saw that I had to watch the videos, didn't have the time and moved along. I keep meaning to go back and check it out, but haven't quite found the time..

    By Blogger Katie Saxon, at 8:20 AM EDT  

  • Same here - that's why it's taken me so long to get to it!

    By Blogger Melissa, at 8:40 AM EDT  

  • My sentiments exactly on Google Engage Mel. In addition, you can actually skip ahead in each of the videos to just get the code needed for verification purposes. I think it usually pops up about a minute or two from the end of each video.

    By Blogger Andy Groller, at 9:11 AM EDT  

  • I just signed up for Google Engage yesterday. I don't think I'll be watching the videos, but we just hired on 2 new people so I'm hoping it will be helpful for them.

    By Blogger Bethany Bey, at 12:46 PM EDT  

  • I just signed up for Google Engage yesterday. I think it's strange that they have to call you to activate the account. I don't think I'll be watching the videos, but we just hired on 2 new employees so I'm hoping it will be helpful to them.

    By Blogger Bethany Bey, at 12:46 PM EDT  

  • Were you able to enter in the video codes to get the vouchers to take the cert test? I can't figure out where to do this and no one is answering me in their support.

    By Blogger Julie Hennessy, at 9:48 AM EST  

  • I didn't have any trouble entering the video codes to get the vouchers, although I don't remember exactly how I did it. Have you tried contacting the main Google Adwords support number? 866-2GOOGLE

    By Blogger Melissa, at 10:11 AM EST  

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