Preparing For The New AdWords

Elle Williams | July 13th 2018

Google have announced that as of 10th of July 2018, they will be closing down the old AdWords to select advertisers. This will be rolled out across all accounts worldwide by the end of this year. Assuming that Google will keep to their earlier promise of not forcing advertisers to get to grips with the new AdWords UI in the busy holiday months, you can expect to say goodbye to the old AdWords sometime between July and early October.

The new AdWords UI has very quickly earned somewhat of an infamous reputation amongst the digital marketing community. Granted, replacing a UI that has remained relatively unchanged for over a decade was bound to encounter some teething issues. However, since the beta launch of the new AdWords UI last year it has received heavy criticism on multiple fronts. Slower, a far more complicated interface and regular crashes has resulted in the majority of advertisers avoiding it whenever possible and sticking to the traditional AdWords UI.

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Sadly, those days are quickly coming to an end and for anyone who regularly uses Google AdWords, becoming comfortable with the new UI will have to become a main priority in the coming weeks if it already hasn’t been.

In Google’s defence, there has been considerable improvements made to the new UI in recent months. Google have also released several new features that are only available in the new UI.

To make sure you’re fully prepared we’ve included some key pointers on the new AdWords.

What’s new:

Overview page: Admittedly far more visually appealing than the old AdWords UI Home page, the new Overview page allows you to report far more easily and also track metrics which matter most to you easily. Most advertisers normally ignore the traditional AdWords home page, going straight to the campaigns page, but it looks like the Overview page will be of far more use.

Household Income Targeting: Alongside traditional age and gender targeting, AdWords are rolling out Household income targeting across countries. You may have already come across it but it’s yet to reach key markets such as the UK. Interestingly, the new AdWords UI offers the chance to combine different demographic sectors in targeting, allowing for highly advanced targeting. For example, a business could choose to target females, aged 30 – 44 in the top 10% income bracket.

Promotion Extension: Aside from a beta in the old AdWords, the only way to utilise the highly effective promotion extensions is through the new AdWords UI. For the uninitiated, promotion extensions allow you to include specific promotions, including promo codes, within search ads. We’ve found them one of the most effective extensions you can use on Search Ads.

Overhaul to AdWords Editor: Alongside the new UI, the AdWords Editor is getting a fresh lick of paint with some useful new features included. Arguably the standout is the ability to download Search Query Reports direct from Editor. Search Query Reports can be customised to the same level as they are through AdWords, with the ability to choose ad groups and specific metrics to be included. Aside from Search Query Reports, the new AdWords Editor offers an overhaul in filters as well as the ability to utilise responsive search ads and manage your Google Shopping inventory.

What’s gone/changed:

Display Planner: Arguably one of the biggest changes in the new AdWords is the official retirement of the Display Planner. In its place forecasts will be offered when creating new Display campaigns, in a similar vein to when creating campaigns on Facebook’s Business Manager. As frustrating as the Display Planner was (very) it was still a relatively useful tool for forecasting. In its place is a much more limited method of gaining insight into potential reach. It’s the sort of move which has frustrated so many advertisers when it comes to the migration to the new UI, removing features which may not have been particularly valued, but not adequately replacing them either.

Total conversion value: Don’t panic. You can still track revenue, it’s simply called conversion value / Conv. Value in your columns now.

Audience Targeting Definitions: This is a particularly annoying one. On the old AdWords UI when it came to remarketing and targeting settings you had two options; “target and bid” and “bid only”. Quite simply “target and bid” would allow you to exclusively show to your selected audience at your preferred bid, i.e. exclusively target and bid on them. “Bid only” allowed you to bid on your selected audience without excluding other audiences. For whatever reason Google has decided to change the phrasing of this. So, targeting settings haven’t changed. However, the phrasing/definitions Google used have changed, potentially leading to confusion on what is the correct setting.

To make this as plain as possible; “Target & Bid” is now known as “Targeting” while “Bid only” is now known as “Observations. Why Google decided to do this is unclear.

AdWords is no longer AdWords: Yep, as of July, Google AdWords will be simply known as “Google Ads”.

As part of a massive rebranding Google will seek to consolidate the various parts of their marketing platforms. Alongside the simplification of their flagship PPC platform, Google DoubleClick for Publishers and DoubleClick Ad Exchange are now unified under the far broader “Google Ad Manager”.

Ultimately, this means little in day-to-day PPC management. However, many feel this is a clear indication by Google to continue their move away from traditional keyword-driven PPC to the AI-driven, automated campaigns they clearly wish to be the basis of digital marketing strategies.

 

Ultimately digital marketers will have to accept the new AdWords UI whether they want to or not. However, there are several new features which if utilised correctly could greatly improve performance with little manual effort.

Alongside that Google will inevitably roll out further automated campaign types across all PPC channels in the coming months. Being able to effectively operate these new campaigns will be crucial for anyone working in PPC.

In the meantime, users will unfortunately have to put up with the inconsistencies in the AdWords UI. With the end date for crossing over to the new AdWords coming ever closer, Google will no doubt be trying to iron out as many issues as they possibly can. Hopefully by the time the crossover happens users will be able enjoy the variety of new features available without any of the frustrating inconsistencies.