Account Admin—Sharing Access

It usually takes more than one guy to run a company; likewise for an AdWords account. A single AdWords account can be handled by CEOs, marketing departments, website developers, outsourced PPC agencies like ours—the bigger the company, the more people that’ll get involved!

It is easy to share your AdWords accounts with all of these guys. However, it is important that you aren’t giving users more data and access than they need.

There are six access levels that an AdWords user can have:

Access levelTypical role in the company/organisationWhat this user can do
StandardThe person who runs AdWords campaigns on a day-to-day basis, such as a marketing team member or a junior search engine marketer, or a website developersCreate and edit campaigns; set budgets; view reports—just about everything. The only thing a Standard account holder cannot do is grant and edit access levels of other users.
AdministrativeOwner of the company, marketing boss, advertising manager—whoever created the AdWords accountEverything and anything.
Email-onlyCEOs, SEO teams—anyone who doesn’t make any changes to your AdWords accountReceive account reports and notifications via email
Read-onlyMore hands-on-type CEOs and SEO teams—anyone who doesn’t make any changes to your AdWords account, but would like to view details about each campaignReceive account reports and notifications via email and through the AdWords interface
ManagerLarge advertiser or a third-party agency, such as search engine marketers, PPC agent or an automated bid manager—anyone who manages multiple AdWords accountsEverything a Standard user can do, but on multiple accounts at a time.

Quick Tip

If you are considering outsourcing the management of your AdWords account to a PPC professional, we recommend granting them the “Manager” access level. This way, the third-party can run all your ad campaigns without modifying any proprietary information like your login details. It’s also a nice insurance policy knowing that you can terminate access at any time.

You shouldn’t share your login details or password directly!

Different account levels can perform different actions in the AdWords account:

Actions in the AdWords accountEmail-onlyRead-onlyStandardAdministrativeManager
Receive notifications and reports
Generate reports
Can browse the Campaigns, Opportunities, and Tools tabs
Can unlink manager accounts
View and edit any part of an account and its campaigns, including Billing
Give account access and change access levels to other users
Give email-only account access

Quick Tip

Don’t worry about tracking who does what in your account.

Every change made to your account is tracked through the “Account History” page. You can get to this page by clicking on the “Campaigns” tab. Look to the right of the “Search” button and click “View Change History”. You can filter this information by user. No inexperienced bugger or disgruntled team member can hike up your budgets without getting past this omnipresent tracker! Likewise, no successful ad editor will go uncredited.

You can also view the whole list of access owners through the “My Account tab” > “Users with Account Access”. Be sure to check this list every once in a while and give it a good dusting!

Once you’ve figured out which access level to grant to which team member, you may get into the act of sharing your account:

  1. Sign into your AdWords account.
  2. Simply click on the gear icon and select “Account Settings”.
  3. On this page, select “Account Access” and click “Invite other users”.
  4. Enter the email address and a nickname; then choose an access level.
  5. Click “Send Invitation”. This user will receive an email titled “Invitation to share an AdWords account”, with simple instructions to sign in.
  6. When they complete their part of the sign-up, you’ll receive another notification, asking you to “Grant access”.

Quick Tip

One Google account ([email protected]) can only have access to one AdWords account. If your invitee had already used his email address for AdWords, they’ll have to create a new Gmail address to use with yours.