MCC Client Manager Strategies for Agencies

If you work at an agency or manage accounts for clients, you will eventually have to face the nightmare of linking accounts.  It's not hard to do from an operational standpoint; it's more hard to wrap your head around how to set up MCCs for client managers.

You essentially have three options:

  1. Everyone at your agency logs into one master MCC account
  2. Client managers at your agency have their own MCC.  The Master Account assigns client managers to clients.  The Client managers log into their MCC and only see the accounts that have been assigned.
  3. Client managers at your agency have their own MCC, they link their MCC to each individual accounts that they manage (not linking to the Master MCC account).  After linking, they need to be approved by the real account owner.

There are benefits to all three of these agency MCC management strategies.  I will discuss the pros and cons below.  I will also discuss scenarios using this awesome and cheesy image.  The Master MCC will be a main MCC account.  Silver manager and Gold Manager are client managers (paid search specialists).

Master MCC Linking and Sub MCC Linking

Everyone logs into one Adwords MCC

In this scenario, everyone logs into one Adwords account.  This means Silver and Gold manager will be logging into the Master MCC account.


  • Simple to setup - you only need to have one MCC account from which all your paid search specialists manage client accounts
  • Easy for other client managers to access accounts within the MCC


  • Since everyone uses the same login, if a date range is changed on one person's computer, it changes the date range on other users' computers.
  • Security issues since everyone uses the same login.
  • No ability to see change history made by individual client managers.  This means you don't know for certain who is making what changes and when.  The change history shows a single username making all the changes.

Client Managers are Assigned Accounts from a Master MCC

In this scenario, each of your paid search specialists go and make an MCC account of their own.  The Master MCC then links to (sends an invite out to) Silver Manager and Gold Manager's MCC.  To send an invite, you need to know the account number of Silver and Gold's MCC account (located top-right).  Silver Manager and Gold Manager go to Account Access and accept the request to link under the Actions column.

Allowing Adwords Account Access Accept Request to Link MCC

This is how it will look from the Master MCC account's perspective:

How Client Managers Look inside Master MCC Account

The owner of the Master MCC account can then assign accounts to Silver and Gold's account.  To do this, all the Master MCC does is select the checkbox next to a client's name and goes up to "Arrange Accounts" and selects "Change Client Manager."

Arrange Accounts by assigning Client Managers Accounts


  • Divide up and assign paid search accounts to individual client managers
  • Master MCC account owner can shut out client managers from accessing the Master MCC
  • Ability to see the change history for each client manager
  • Each client manager is responsible and accountable for their work


  • From within the Master MCC, you have to select a client manager before being able to see what accounts they are assigned
  • If client managers share management of the same account, it will cause problems since one account is assigned to a specific single client manager

Important note!  You can't link accounts the other way around.  For example, if the Master MCC isn't linked to anything else, Silver Manager could link to the Master MCC.  But, can Gold manager also link to the Master MCC?  No!  An Adwords MCC can only be linked to one account at a time.  If you try doing it this way, you will get the error:

This client is already linked to the maximum number of allowed managers

Client Managers Link to the Actual Accounts from their MCC

In this scenario, the client manager essentially sets up a Master MCC of their own.  For example, Silver Manager would send out invitations to all the accounts they manage.  Gold would send out invites to all the accounts they manage.  Each invite goes to the actual account owner.  The actual account owner will need to Accept the Request.


  • Keeps the Primary MCC account intact (doesn't assign clients under a client manager/sub MCC)
  • Ability to see who is making changes through the change history
  • Preserves the security of the Master MCC
  • One-time initial set up
  • If client managers share the management of the same client, they both may be able to link to the same client (I however didn't test this)


  • Silver and Gold managers will have to send out invitations to link
  • Give clients a detailed explanation of how to accept the invite, why they need to accept the invite, and so on
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