We’ve already talked broadly about some of the new AdWords (and
AdWords related) features revealed this week at
Google Marketing Next. The event featured a bit of
everything, from shiny new toys (circuit boards! New Google
properties! Voice stuff!) to puppies.
Unfortunately, despite fanfare and legitimate use cases for
everything revealed, most AdWords advertisers aren’t going to
notice the new stuff at their disposal; many won’t take
advantage of Life Event targeting (sad!) and fewer still will
make use of potentially game-changing tools like Google
Optimize or Surveys 360.
Come December, though, every single one of us will come face to
face with “the new AdWords experience,” the pet name Google’s
given to their complete overhaul of the AdWords user interface.
Screenshots and demos of the re-skinned UI have been floating
around online for a few months now, and many WordStream clients
have already been granted access to the Alpha; don’t worry, you
can revert back to the good ‘ol fashioned AdWords we all know
and love with the click of a button.
The new UI is aesthetically pleasing, sure. It’s full of data
visualizations and expanding three-dot menus and colorful
representations of account data. But while it might feel
intuitive to the uninitiated, seasoned vets will quickly find
themselves lost in search of features they’ve used a thousand
There’s a flip side to this coin, though: the reshuffling of
just about everything means there are some pretty great new
features at your disposal. Some are right in front of you (see:
the uncountable number of colors painted across the dozen
graphs that greet you), others are hidden gems.
Let’s take a quick look at five things buried in the new
AdWords UI that should excite advertisers and agencies alike.
1. New Demographic Targeting Options!
Recently, Google released
Demographic Targeting for Search Ads as a powerful tool for
advertisers to cater their reach and messaging to users of
different genders and ages. These targeting options were
immediately powerful for advertisers of countless verticals.
In the old AdWords UI Demographic information was available for
advertisers to use. For search, at least, it looked a little
something like this:
In their new UI, Google doubles down on these demographic
targeting options, allowing advertisers to target users based
on their household income and parental status as well.
display advertisers could target by parental status.
Likewise, advertisers could previously target
locations based on their relative average household income
under their locations targeting, but not target individuals.
These two additions grant advertisers additional flexibility in
who and how they reach different audiences on line.
Parental status targeting could be a game-changer for several
industries. Sure, brands that sell baby products or childrens’
toys will enjoy this one, and parents become an increasingly
important audience during the
holiday shopping periods and
Back to School shopping. But savvy real estate and auto
advertisers could potentially take advantage of this targeting
and attempt to sell larger homes or cars to larger families!
Household income targeting can be particularly powerful in
helping you cater your ads to audiences with different price
sensitivities. If your product or service is competitively
priced, promote that in your ads targeted at low and average
income audiences. Conversely, if you’re selling
high-end luxury products, you may want to bid more
aggressively for affluent (or price-insensitive) users.
2. Promotion Extensions [Still Coming Soon!]
Google’s newest extension –
Promotion Extensions – is currently in beta.
If you have access to the new UI, though, it’s listed
among the other extensions (in the conveniently renamed “Ads
& Extensions” tab).
Promotion extensions will allow you to highlight a special sale
on your website. By doing so through an extension, you’ll save
yourself valuable, limited characters in your ad copy. You can
also use the opportunity to double down on your promo,
referring to it in one of your two headlines, a URL path,
and the extension as you close in on the end of your
offer to hammer home the value it represents.
Early beta tests of the new extension are promising: we’ve seen
very high CTRs – often well over 10%.
3. Reporting Gets a Facelift
The new UI offers plenty of powerful reports to make analyzing
your PPC campaigns easier. AdWords now visually displays the
breakdown of clicks, cost, and conversions across desktop,
tablet, and mobile, making it easier to manage your campaigns
optimize your device bid adjustments.
The new AdWords also highlights bar graphs and heatmaps for how
your ads perform across different days of the week and hours of
the day, making it easier to manage your campaigns’
This one hits home for me: I’ve been making heat maps in Excel
for Managed Services reps for years now. It’s nice to see
Google’s finally ready and willing to take some work off my
Finally, Google now lets you sort both the search terms and
words within your search terms in word clouds so that you can
easily identify new keyword ideas and
negative keywords for your campaigns.
Logophiles and data-junkies rejoice!
4. Advanced Bid Adjustments Make Life Easier
your bids can be tough, guys.
But it’s even more difficult when you’ve got active adjustments
in one direction or the other at six different levels in nine
different places. This is shockingly common. It also guarantees
managing all your bid adjustments just got easier.
Better still, it simplifies the way you can view and use bid
adjustments, (almost) eliminating the desire to pull your hair
Some downsides of the new AdWords UI
First, and this is a big one: It’s not complete yet!
Advertisers have a lot to be excited about within the new
interface, but they shouldn’t forget about their old AdWords
experience just yet.
Although powerful, the new interface doesn’t include everything
in the old AdWords, at least not yet. Advertisers may need to
navigate back into the old AdWords UI to manage popular
features such as display
remarketing audiences and
While it’s safe to assume that these features will be addressed
through addition or consolidation before the December rollout,
the fact that they aren’t currently available to trailblazing
advertisers makes it unlikely that many of us will spend much
time performing any actual account work in the new UI.
Exploration, though, is totally encouraged.
One more disadvantage of switching: Everything’s different! So
if you’re used to the old UI, you’re going to have to spend
some time relearning where everything is.
If you find something in the new AdWords UI that seems obscure,
out of place, or just plain interesting, let us know on Twitter
and in the comments, below!
About the Author
Mark is a Data Scientist at WordStream with a background in
SEM, SEO, and Statistical Modeling. He was named the
14th Most Influential PPC Expert of 2016 by PPC
Hero. You can follow him on Twitter, LinkedIn, and