This past month I have spent several hours trying to fix a Google nightmare caused when a client lost access to their Google AdWords account. In the eyes of most small business owners there is Google confusion. Between Google Places, Google AdWords, Google Analytics, Google+ and Gmail, businesses may be using multiple business as well as personal accounts. People sometimes get confused about what account is set up with what Gmail address. In their haste to delegate tasks to someone else, they end up losing access to their account.
My client came to me because they were getting increased charges for Google AdWords, yet they had no idea how to access the account to control their campaign costs. Their account was automatically billed to a credit card. Armed with the credit card number, I was able to get Google to confirm the Gmail address used to set up the account, but then we didn’t have the password. To reset the password Google was going to send a pin number to a backup phone number, only the phone number used to create the account didn’t belong to the business, or either of the two owners. Turns out the phone number belonged to the business owner’s daughter who worked at the firm for a few months. To reset the password we needed to get the pin number that was texted to her personal phone. Now we are trying to determine if the information from Google Adwords can be moved to another account.
If you have ever tried, you know that reaching a live person from Google is not easy. They try to answer all questions on their website and hide their phone numbers pretty well. I found one, and to Google’s credit, I was connected with someone from their AdWords department who has been very helpful.
Business owners need to recognize that their website, google analytics and social media accounts, contain valuable information for the business and need to be maintained and protected. You need to keep control over them, and that means properly managing the accounts. To keep you from something like this happening, here’s my advice to business owners on setting up your Google account.
1)Start by creating a Gmail account for the business. Keep this separate from any personal accounts. This is key, because the business should stay in control of the account. You can provide permission to others to access the account, but you main control over the password for the account, and can deny access, if you desire. Write down the password, the back-up email and backup phone number for the business , and answers to security questions. Don’t let employees or outside agencies use their personal Gmail account or cell phone as the backup.
2)Tie all Google products to the same Gmail account. You want Google Adwords to tie into Google Analytics so you can see how your advertising is impacting website traffic. You can authorize others to be administrators or users on the account using their own Gmail accounts.
3)Google Places is now Google+ Local. Keep you Google Places Business Account separate from your personal Google+ account.
4)Keep all account user names and passwords on one simple spreadsheet.
Include the following:
Website hosting website, login and password
Google analytics UA Number
Company gmail address and password
Blog login address, user name and password
Blog RSS Feed
Twitter login and password
LinkedIn login and password
Facebook login and password
Pinterest login and password
Email Marketing login and password
Do you have a Google nightmare to share?