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Julia Hammond
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Taking a Look at Google’s New AdWords Interface

Google has been rocking with the same AdWords interface for well over 15 years.

We’ve all been extremely used to seeing THIS daily:


Google has now given the classic dashboard a facelift, proposing that we begin to look at this:

They say it’s faster and that you can get more done:

But can we really get more done with the new interface, or is it change for the sake of change?
Visual & Layout

Obviously, the biggest noticeable difference is the design overhaul of the interface. Appearing to come more in-line with the look and feel of Analytics — i.e. more graphs, more colours and lots of contrast.


Everything is bigger, bolder, more fleshed-out and more user-friendly on the surface; whether the new layout and visuals result in improved usability is something that will become apparent over time. Personally, the new UI feels a bit more clunky to use for me, but I prefer more stripped-down and old-school designs.

Let’s look at some of the top features…


Promotion Extension

This new extension allows advertisers to highlight deals on their ads.

Currently in beta mode, this is cool…


You can select:

  • Monetary or percentage discount
  • The currency
  • Start and end dates of the offer
  • Selection of an ‘Occasion’ type to help emphasise offers for common holidays:6

If you run an online store of any kind, this extension may be of great benefit to your campaign: when used for seasonal offers, the visual aspect of the ‘deal tag’ and how it is emphasised is a great improvement in itself compared with having to previously to do this mainly through text.

Very cool feature. We’ll certainly be testing this out on our campaigns.


Improved Demographic Targeting

Back in October 2016, Google introduced Demographic Targeting for Search (previously only available for Display campaigns), allowing advertisers to make bid adjustments based on gender and age:


The ability to adjust bids for Search Ads based on specifics of the individual was a major game changer at the time.

Google has now taken this a step further in the new interface, allowing you to also see data and adjust bids by household income as well:
This is most likely a sign that Google is determined to continue offering as many traits of individuals to optimise as possible. As such, the new AdWords model is more in-line with Display advertising and very likely spurred on by the increased demographic/individuals focus of Facebook.

Needless to say, this is great news for advertisers: it means more control, more refinement and massive potential for creative management of campaigns. Outside of flat bid adjustments, the potential to use this data for the benefit of campaigns structures, budget allocation, ad messaging and the like is huge.

For example, you could potentially now create a separate ad groups with selective product/service keywords appealing on an income basis, having a ‘higher income’ group and a ‘lower income’ group with different keywords and ads specific to each group. That’s just the beginning.

The section is also separated — while it used to sit under ‘Audiences’, it now has its own tab ‘Demographics’ in the left-hand navigation, thereby becoming much easier to spot and become a regular part of consideration.


Impression Share Diagnostic for Shopping Campaigns

This is more of a useful little adjustment for analysis rather than a totally new feature. It’s now possible to see the ‘Absolute Top Impression Share’ (Search abs. top IS) for your Shopping ads:


This is a slightly adjusted column, combining all instances of your Shopping ad’s appearance when searched. It allows you to see the level of position dominance at a product level (where it was previously only possible to see impression shares of product groups).

Not a bad little adjustment at all — the update makes it easier for all keen Shopping optimisers of the world to spot product-level performance against ROI. Though not quite yet exact position reporting, this nifty little change enables them to treat their product optimisation even more like regular Search keyword optimisation.


Final Thoughts

The refreshed AdWords interface offers some great new features in terms of optimising campaigns. While a whole new design and layout probably wasn’t necessary to include these, the new look is much more current as well as impressive (and easier) on the eye. It really is a total overhaul.

But again: the benefits of usage and whether the new interface is an actual improvement for practical purposes is not something easily answered. Only time will tell.

There are also many other interesting (well, to us!) features of the new AdWords interface, but we’ll spare you the trouble of reading a thesis to digest them all; just give us a call and we’ll happily discuss them with you!


Give us a call!

By Nick SullivanJulia Hammond

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