We once made a Google Ad rep speechless.
Let that soak in for a moment.
During a check-in with one of our team members, the rep happened to notice that the names primarily linked to all accounts and essential logins … belonged to our clients.
IMPACT’s expert chuckled and explained our company’s philosophy: Clients should maintain ownership of their credentials and essential logins – period. We are happy to act as a managing consultant while we’re doing business with them. But, ultimately, it is their data to do with what they please. If we ever part ways, our clients maintain complete access to their credentials, without any need to unhook from a master account.
It’s all part of our motto, she explained: “What’s good for the client is good for us.”
And for the briefest moment, Google was stunned.
It’s a Tale as Old as the Internet…
A small business launches a great website, and for years – decades even – operates under the assumption that everything is hunky-dory… until it comes time to update and reconfigure that website.
That’s the day the business discovers the company they had hired way back when to develop their site has gone out of business and has dropped off the map – taking all essential logins with them.
Oops. (And maybe – probably – a few choice expletives.)
At IMPACT Marketing, we routinely acquire clients from other digital marketing companies. Almost invariably we encounter situations in which consultants have hoarded credentials and login information from their clients, not allowing them any control whatsoever.
What are they so afraid of? If web developers feel the need to hold their clients hostage, what does that say about them, really?
Keep Track of Your Essential Logins
You’ve heard the old saying, “get everything in writing?” Well, when it comes to your business’s website and IT – get everything in writing. Like, personally write it down. Keep a running list of your credentials and keep that list in a lockbox somewhere. We’re talking every login, every password, every possible credential that is tied to your business’s success in some way, shape, or form.
Secure your digital assets and online accounts and know beyond the shadow of a doubt who has access and administrative rights to this make-it-or-break-it information.
Here’s a brief listing of administrative controls that are absolutely critical for you to manage (you can download a more extensive checklist at the end of this blog):
- Domain Registrar (such as GoDaddy or Network Solutions)
- Website login
- Business email program
- Analytics/Google Tag Manager
- Google/Microsoft Ads
- Email blast programs (like Constant Contact, MailChimp, and more)
- Marketing Automation programs (Hubspot, SharpSpring, etc.)
And here are a few other critical credentialing tips to take to ensure your business is protected:
Choose Administrators Wisely
As the business owner, you should ALWAYS be the lead administrator, period.
Interns or new employees are all too often given the proverbial keys to the kingdom in the interest of expedience, only to end up linking their personal accounts with those of your business. And that’s all kinds of dangerous.
Trusted advisors are great, but employees don’t stick around forever. At the end of the day, you – the business owner – must have control over your access information. Otherwise, a duplicitous and/or spurned business partner could essentially lock you out of your site and hold it hostage. Or the digital marketing company you’re collaborating with could go belly up. Or the friend of a friend you “kind-of, sort-of” knew who did your website on the cheap could disappear, leaving you with no idea of what the passwords are.
You don’t want to have to build an entirely new website because you lack access to the backend. It’s not only practical, but paramount, to keep this information close to the vest.
Create a Master Email Address
Set up a master Gmail account using your company’s name and use this for all IT and website login purposes (but not for personal company emails). Cut off access for anyone whose access is not critical.
Be certain to make it a companywide policy that employees may not create company accounts using their own personal or business email addresses. Any company accounts should use the company Gmail address. This will save a lot of headaches in the long run.
Protect Your Analytics
There is a ridiculous amount of valuable data tied up in your Google Ads and Analytics. Defend it. Be certain you can control this data via a Google account in your company’s name, otherwise you may lose access.
You’ve worked too hard to be sent back to the starting line because of a technicality or oversight. It’s important to find a digital marketing agency you trust and who will be completely forthright about the logins you need to run your business properly.
At IMPACT, we not only allow our clients access, but we insist upon it! Literally. For example, we do not buy clients’ URLs for them, even though we’re constantly asked. Instead, we walk them step by step through how they can do it themselves.
We’re not afraid. We want our clients to be able to fire us if they feel the need. (It almost never happens. And if it does, it’s probably best for all involved.)
If you’re in need of digital marketing assistance, we’re always ready and willing to help. Give us a call for any of your website design and development needs. And download your free essential login checklist below.