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Adwords Next: A few months in

Earlier this year Google announced the redesigned, reimagined AdWords user interface: AdWords Next. Since then they have slowly been rolling it out to more and more advertisers with the option to ‘switch back’, but what exactly does this mean for agencies and advertisers?

The whole user interface (UI) has been completely rebuilt; this includes navigation, toolset, features and even functionality. That’s right, some features are now exclusively available in the AdWords Next interface, so you could be potentially missing out if you’re not using it.

Here are a few aspects of the new AdWords Next interface:

Visualisation

Everything has stepped up in this regard. The larger changes are represented through conditional formatting, bar charts and sizing, rather than a simple +/- percentage next to a key performance indicator (KPI). Additionally, basic analysis is available on almost every screen, giving insight into hour of day, keywords and available opportunity, thereby making it easier for anyone to see, in simple terms, what is happening in the account.

Menus

In the new format, menus are now much more intuitive. This makes the process of optimising, building and implementing new features much easier. Extensions are a prime example of this. The old UI had extensions plugged in over time, which made browsing through them a fiddly and error-prone undertaking. In contrast, the new UI allows for a much simpler ‘view all’ extension, against which any level of activity (for example ad group and campaign) can be measured. Additionally, Google has incorporated a large PLUS icon, which displays what extensions can be added and allows the user to add them more easily.

However, this is still a work in progress, and we are seeing almost daily changes as the interface evolves, There are instances where some features are not included in the new UI, which may result in some user reverting back to the old UI in order to access them. Such instances are:

  • Creation of price and message extensions and automated extensions
  • AdWords Labs – and any beta extensions within it such as visual sitelinks
  • Business data and shared library
  • Advanced features such as automated rules, scripts and bulk uploads

Some new features, such as the ‘promo extension’ (which was a beta under the Labs tab for some advertisers), are now available to all advertisers, but only via the AdWords Next interface – a sign of things to come, we suspect, where betas and new features are released only in AdWords Next.

All Response Media Viewpoint

From an agency standpoint, there is a lot to consider with this move:

  • We heavily utilise bid management software, combining business data with strategy. Systems like DoubleClick (even though Google owned) are struggling to keep pace as new targeting and optimisation options are included in all engines. We therefore need to ensure we’re utilising the right platforms, for the right optimisations.
  • New features, such as promo extensions, represent a great opportunity for advertisers using AdWords Next, but for those not embracing it, this may be a missed opportunity.
  • Ensure we are making important comparisons between old and new: there are still minor discrepancies in feature adoption, which will go away over time, but in the interim period, we must ensure that we are applying all relevant and favourable extensions to client campaigns in order to maximise their returns.