Best Practices for Client Account Creation and Ownership – What You Need to Know

in Marketing

As a business owner, you should know the best practices for Google account creation and ownership. It is your right when working with different digital agencies to understand the concept of account ownership. During our consulting services projects, we came across many clients who have had issues regarding the ownership and access to their business accounts, such as Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and even social media accounts. 

We decided to write this client-oriented article to help digital agencies and business owners understand that any client account belongs entirely to the client.    

What is Account Ownership?

Account ownership refers to the top-level user of any account. Owners have complete control over the administrative access and data access privileges. 

The owner has the ability to:

  • Invite or remove users with administrative access to the client account;
  • Authorize or dismiss administrative access to users on the client account; 
  • Allow or refuse link requests from other managers to the client account; 
  • Switch off and transfer ownership;
  • Unlink managers from the client account; 
  • Permit the sharing of remarketing lists in the client account to other accounts in the manager account. 

How Does Ownership Work?

A Google client account can have only one owner. If a manager or a marketing specialist creates a new account, that person will automatically become the account owner. 

If a manager links an existing account, this doesn’t mean that he will become the account owner by default. The client must enable ownership of the manager’s account. 

However, for most Google products, ownership is transitive. This means that when a manager account is set as the owner of a client’s account, every person above the manager account will have ownership.   

Best Practices for Client Accounts Creation and Ownership

There are two ways of setting up Google clients accounts, and many agencies debate on which one is the best approach. 

The first approach is to create a separate individual account for each client, and the second one is to add a new property for each client in the agency’s Master Google Account. 

By creating individual accounts, each client has their own Google account and complete control over their assets. 

By adding a new property under the agency’s Master Account, only the agency can grant access to the client’s property. 

If you are a marketing specialist in a digital agency, you should read the following best practices. If you are a business owner, it is helpful to read them as well, to know what to ask for: 

We strongly recommend each client to have separate individual accounts because:

  • All data belongs to the client.
  • Each client should own their account.
  • When the collaboration ends, both parties can walk away cleanly and safely
  • The digital agency should have admin access to the client’s property.
  • If the client doesn’t have a Google account, the agency can set them up by asking the client to sign up with the company’s Gmail and add you as administrator.    

Our Advice for Agencies

As an agency managing a client account, please remember that the client owns the account. For example, when a company develops a website for a client, that website belongs to the client. The same principle applies to Google Analytics (GA), Google Ads, Google My Business account etc. It might seem easier to just create the account for your clients and let them use it, but it is not a good idea, nor a best practice because: 

  • Being the owner of the account makes you the owner of all the data in it.
  • Collaborations end. Therefore, it is easier for the client to remove your access from their account than to transfer the ownership. 
  • Do not create an account for your client. Let them do it, help them, guide them through it. After that, you make sure that the account is created correctly, and you can start personalizing it.
  • If necessary, an agency may create an account for the client (not recommended), but they should immediately transfer the ownership of the newly created account to such client, and only use the admin access as an agency.
  • As an agency, make sure you have a master account where you have access to all of your client’s accounts.
  • The master account should be the only one that clients will give access to.
  • You can manage users from your master account, meaning you can give access to certain people from your team. You can also choose the level of access they will receive.   
  • Access to clients’ accounts should always be granted to the work email address and not the personal email address.

Our Advice for Clients

Whenever choosing consulting services to take care of your account creation, we strongly recommend being informed on the best practices. As we mentioned before, you are the account owner because all the data gathered in your Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Google My Business, or any other type of account belong to you

Our advice is to: 

  • Have a general Gmail email address such as yourcompanyname.marketing@gmail.com to use for all your google accounts mentioned above. 
  • Give access to that email address to your marketing team. 
  • Avoid creating Google accounts using one employee’s email address. 
  • If you don’t have any Google account created and you go to a digital agency for help, make sure the account is set on your email address
  • Make sure that you are the account owner and give the digital agency admin role
  • In case the agency created your account using their own email address, ask for ownership transfer immediately.    

If you are looking for a partner to take care of your accounts, who knows the best practices and offer you high-quality consulting services, do not hesitate to contact us today. Our services and solutions vary from custom development, website performance optimization to eCommerce and digital marketing. Check out our portfolio and our Clutch profile to get more information about how we work and our client’s reviews.  

Frequently Asked Questions

If we are an agency and own our client’s accounts, won’t they stay with us?

We believe this to be very unprofessional thinking. Your clients will stay with you because you do a fantastic job and bring value to them. If you don’t, they will look for other agencies.

 If we are an agency and don’t own the account, how can we get all the information we need?

You don’t have to own the account to have access to all the information. As an agency, you need administrator rights (edit and manage users), which will give you the same access as an owner.

As a client, why should I be the owner of the accounts?

First of all, because you own the data. Second, it is easier to remove or grant access than transfer ownership when deciding to change agencies.

If I am a client and an agency suggests creating an account with their email address, what should I do?

Tell them you want to own the account, and they should use your email address. If they try to convince you otherwise, we recommend looking for another agency to help you.

Tags: digital marketing , web consulting