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How to Manage Multiple Google Ads Accounts [a Nutshell Guide]

Google Ads is a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes. However, managing ads can be a daunting task for large enterprises with multiple campaigns on different accounts. With tens of disparate dashboards in different tabs, it's almost impossible to piece together a picture of your marketing efforts without overlooking some details.

That's why large companies promoting their product across different regions and marketing agencies—and thus working with hundreds of accounts—need a solution to help them manage their multiple Google Ads accounts with ease.

In this blog post, we'll discuss all possible ways to work with multiple Google Ads accounts, starting with built-in features to third-party tools. Let's get started!

Google Ads manager account

A Google Ads manager account (formerly known as My Client Center or MCC) is a Google solution that gives you control over multiple individual Google Ads accounts.

You can use a manager account to see high-level data for multiple linked accounts, create and manage shared budgets and goals, quickly access multiple accounts from one place, and more.

It is considered to be one of the best ways to manage multiple Google Ads accounts since it was designed by Google itself.

The manager account also offers other benefits, such as:

  • Consolidated billing. You can combine different invoices for multiple Google Ads accounts into a unified monthly invoice.
  • Cross-account conversion tracking. This feature allows one conversion tracking tag to be used across multiple accounts and minimizes the risk of counting the same conversions several times.
  • Shared negative keyword lists. A manager account provides a library of your negative keywords, which can then be applied to all of the accounts you use.
  • Automated rules. You can automatically change campaigns across all accounts with automated rules based on your selected conditions.
  • Placement exclusion lists. A manager account allows you to use the Shared Library to manage placement lists and apply them to all available accounts.

Which businesses will benefit the most from a Google Ads manager account?

A Google Ads manager account is recommended for businesses that need to consolidate their ad efforts across different regions, promote multiple products or services, or target multiple audiences. The tool will yield the most benefits for large enterprises or agencies dealing with many customer accounts.

For example, a hotel chain with properties in different locations (e.g., in Asia and North America) would benefit from using a Google Ads manager account. They could manage all campaigns from a single view while still being able to customize ads for each location.

Creating a Google Ads manager account

If you don't have a manager account yet, you can create one by following these steps:

  1. Visit the Google Ads manager account official page.
  2. Click on the "Create a manager account" button.
  3. Sign in with the email you'll use to manage your Google Ads account. You can use the same email for 20 different Google Ads accounts (including a manager account).
  4. Assign a name to your manager account.
  5. Choose how you're going to use the manager account. Either manage your own accounts or manage third-party accounts.
  6. Specify your country and time zone.
  7. Select a billing currency. Please note that each linked account will be billed in its own billing currency.
  8. Click the "Explore your account" button to get started with your new account.

Congratulations! You've just created your first Google Ads manager account.

Google Ads manager account hierarchy

Before using a manager account, you need to link it with existing Google Ads accounts or similar manager accounts. Then, you can view all performance data and manage campaigns across all accounts using a single login.

However, to set up an effective chain of accounts, you'll have to follow a strict hierarchy defined by Google Ads.

The hierarchy looks like this: 

Google Ads manager account hierarchy
Google Ads manager account hierarchy

The root manager account is always positioned at the top of the hierarchy. There can only be one root manager account, which then leads to multiple sub-manager accounts. In turn, these sub-manager accounts connect to child accounts (individual Google Ads accounts).

If your structure doesn't include sub-manager accounts, the root manager account will be linked directly to child accounts.

The root manager account has complete control over all accounts in the hierarchy. It can access and make changes to any account, whether sub-manager or child.

On the other hand, a sub-manager account can only view and manage child accounts.

How to link accounts to your manager account

To build an appropriate hierarchy and manage all accounts from a single tab, you need to connect all child accounts with the root manager account. Here's a step-by-step guide on how you can do it:

  1. Sign in to the manager account.
  2. Click the "Sub-account setting" button in the "Setting" tab at the top of the page.
  3. Click the plus button.
  4. Choose the "Link existing account" option.
  5. Enter the ID number for the desired child account. If you want to link several accounts, enter one child account ID per line.
  6. Click the "Send invitation" button.

Then, you can accept invitations by going to the "Access and security" tab. The "Link request" section will show you a full list of connection requests from your manager accounts.

How does the Google Ads manager account work?

The primary purpose of the manager account is to provide marketers with a hassle-free way to manage campaigns across a multitude of accounts and facilitate campaign management. Here's a list of hints to help you understand how it really works.

  1. After setting up a manager account and linking it to all child accounts, you can manage all campaigns in just a few clicks. For example, you can choose which ads you want to pause/resume, change budgets, edit keywords, and monitor the ad's performance. What's more, you can create custom rules and automate campaigns according to your needs.
  2. A manager account allows multiple users to access the dashboard. This feature enhances collaboration between advertisers. Additionally, the admin can assign specific roles and access levels to different users.
  3. Performance monitoring is the primary benefit of a manager account. It allows the tracking of conversions, CTR, clicks, CAC, and other crucial marketing metrics across the network of your accounts. Furthermore, you can even generate automated reports on campaign performance.
  4. Consolidated billing is another killer feature of manager accounts, especially for marketing agencies. You can use the manager account to update each of your clients on their ad spending and track monthly invoices.

Limitations of Google Ads manager accounts

Although a manager account provides you with a big picture of your Google Ads performance across all accounts and simplifies the micromanagement of campaigns, it has its own bottlenecks.

  1. There can be no more than six levels in the hierarchy of manager accounts. 
  2. An individual Google Ads account can't be managed by more than five manager accounts.
  3. An individual Google Ads account can't be connected with more than one manager account within the same hierarchy.
  4. A manager account can't be managed by more than one manager account.
  5. The number of active child accounts linked to your manager account depends on your accounts' monthly spend for the last 12 months. This table shows how many child accounts you can have depending on your ad spend:
Google Ads manager account limit
Google Ads manager account limit

How to extract data from a Google Ads manager account

A common question among marketing specialists is: "Is it possible to extract data from different Google Ads accounts and consolidate them on a single dashboard outside of Google Ads?" Well, the answer is yes.

Marketers can streamline their Google Ads data to Data Studio. Manager account users can connect and generate reports on up to 50 sub-accounts.

With a manager account, it's a lot easier to build a cohesive dashboard of your Google Ads performance since you don't have to extract data from each account every time you need to draw up a report.

Here's a step-by-step guide to setting up the connection with Data Studio:

  1. Sign in to your Data Studio account.
  2. Click on the "Create" button and choose a "Data source" from the menu.
Google Ads manager account: Data Studio integration
  1.  In a new tab, select the "Google Ads" connector.
How to connect Google Ads manager account and Data Studio
  1. Click on the "Authorize" button if required.
  2. Select "Manager accounts" in the "Accounts" panel.
  3. Select the manager account and all sub-accounts you want to extract data from.
  4. In the upper-right corner, click on the "Connect" button.

Reminder: Don't forget to filter your accounts depending on the currency type. If you select all currencies while having accounts that use different currencies, Data Studio will convert all revenue-related fields to the currency of the root-level manager account.

After setting up a connection, you can build reports in Data Studio and combine performance insights with data from other marketing platforms.

However, it's still challenging to build a comprehensive cross-channel marketing dashboard because you have to manually extract data from other platforms. What's more, you have to push all data to the dashboard manually, spending tens of hours each time you need a new report.

Marketing data pipeline

So, how do marketers manage multiple Google Ads accounts and merge all acquired data with insights from other platforms? The answer is a marketing data pipeline.

Instead of manual data aggregation or API management, marketers use automated tools to quickly move their data from point A to point B. Let's consider Improvado as an example.

Improvado is an ETL data pipeline for marketing and sales data that automatically extracts data from 300+ platforms, transforms raw insights into a digestible format, and streamlines them to a data warehouse and visualization tool of your choice.

⚙️This guide will help you understand the concept of ETL⚙️

Improvado takes the management of Google Ads data to a new level when paired with a manager account. This ETL platform uses the power of Google Ads API to extract data from Google Ads and merge it with data from other platforms to build a holistic picture of marketing performance.

With the API's help, Improvado extracts all campaign data across your accounts and displays the spend per campaign, number of clicks, conversions, revenue, or any other custom metric you might need.

If you run tens of Google Ads accounts without a manager account, Improvado can quickly connect them to a visualization tool with the help of extraction templates. These allow analysts to set up new connections immediately. Plus, analysts can modify these ready-made templates to better fit their needs.

How to set up extraction from multiple Google Ads accounts with a data pipeline
Improvado’s extraction templates

Later, Improvado extracts data from other sources to combine it on a single dashboard. However, all data should be cleansed and normalized before this occurs.

🧼Learn all the steps and best practices for data cleansing in our guide. 🧼

That's why marketers use Improvado's DataPrep, an efficient transformation tool, to convert acquired data into a digestible format. With its help, analysts can execute complex SQL queries without writing a single line of code.

All transformations take place in a spreadsheet-like UI with drag-and-drop functionalities. As such, analysts with absolutely no experience in database languages can quickly and efficiently make transformations on par with advanced SQL users. 

How to cleanse data from multiple Google Ads accounts
Improvado’s Data Prep

Furthermore, it's common for the same metric to have different names on different platforms. For example, different marketers may refer to a repeat purchase rate as a repeat customer rate or customer retention rate. Improvado's Marketing Common Data Model (MCDM) framework seamlessly solves that problem.

This tool helps analysts align disparate naming conventions and provides a unified view of all marketing data. Moreover, MCDM maps all data automatically, so analysts don't have to spend tens of hours bridging gaps between data sources and the destination.

Finally, when all of your insights are aligned and structured, it's time to load it to the data warehouse of your choice. Improvado integrates with 15+ warehouses, including Google BigQuery, Amazon S3, Snowflake, and other popular solutions.

With all data in one place, analysts can then streamline it into visualization tools to build a cross-channel dashboard of their marketing performance. By merging Google Ads data with other sources, analysts can spot insights that were not visible while monitoring these channels individually.

Improvado connects to today's most popular visualization tools, including Google Data Studio, Looker, Power BI, Tableau, and many others. The ETL pipeline that your dashboard will always have up-to-date insights, so you can track even the slightest changes in your Google Ads campaigns and overall marketing performance.

Here's an example of a Data Studio dashboard built with Improvado's data:

After reviewing all of the benefits of a marketing ETL platform, it’s safe to say that the combination of a manager account and an ETL system brings a ton of benefits. Instead of using these tools individually, analysts who manage multiple Google Ads accounts should put them both to use.

Build a holistic picture of your Google Ads campaigns

Isolated paid ads performance data limits marketers' vision and makes it difficult to identify new opportunities to acquire customers. So, why put boundaries on your marketing analytics?

Improvado will help you merge your Google Ads data with any paid and organic channels you use to reach out to prospects. Having a single dashboard with all of your marketing insights will help you identify the upsides and downsides of your marketing strategy and take advantage of previously overlooked opportunities.

Schedule a call to learn how Improvado can help you manage your Google Ads accounts and boost your marketing analytics.

Learn how a revenue ETL platform can help you exceed your marketing goals and save time your analysts' time.
Ali Flynn
VP of Customer Relationship
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