The new AdWords experience: sometimes change is good

In February I wrote a blog post on the Top 5 Benefits of the New AdWords Experience. At that point, I was really only just getting to grips with all the new bells and whistles that it had to offer. I picked out the 5 things I liked the most about the AdWords experience but as I admit in the post, I wasn’t 100% sold on it at that point. Now, 5 months on from that post, I’m very happy to admit, I’m sold and in good time as well – Google has announced that the new AdWords experience is rolling out to all users on July 10th, and we will not be able to return to the old, familiar interface, ever. Change is scary you might be thinking but, is it really?

Two challenges of the AdWords experience

Now, there are going to be two big challenges when you move over to the new AdWords experience.

  1. Google has changed the names of some of the tabs and settings in the interface. However, we feel these have been changed to be clearer for the user so they get a feel for what these tabs or settings are before they use them. For example, Opportunities, a tab exclusively in the new interface, is now called Recommendations (which can now be seen at the top of the old interface, it just drops you into the new one). The Dimensions tab is now called Predefined Reports and can be found under Reports in the top right of the new interface. Bid Only and Target and Bid in the Audience settings have also been changed to Observations and Target, respectively. “Total conversion value” is now simply called “Conversion value” and that’s pretty much it. That’s not too bad, is it?
  2. The second challenge is the interface itself. Where is everything that I once knew gone? Well, the answer is, not far at all.  There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the old tabs but, to access the other areas that you may prefer to optimise the account for, you’ll have to click into one of these tabs and segment the data. With the new tab menu and new keyboard shortcuts (shown below), there’s a lot less clicking and searching for what you need. This is made for people who are new to or have less experience with the AdWords platform, which we think the new experience has been created to encourage.

Keyboard shortcuts in the new AdWords experience

The new AdWords interface itself

Everything looks a lot cleaner, less daunting and more user-friendly with the big, colourful graphs in the Overview tab which show you what’s going on in your account. You are also able to click straight into your demographics, devices and even ad scheduling here from any tab that you’re viewing at the time rather than clicking through to find what you need.

There’s also a whole load of columns and segments that you won’t be able to use anymore, listed in the table below. They were probably retired because they are the most underused columns and segments, so it’s more in line with Google’s approach to make the new platform much more streamlined and concise.

Retired columns / segments from the new AdWords experience

The new AdWords experience is not that scary after all

From our experience, we’ve realised that the big changes are actually great and will surely improve results for clients, but these changes don’t necessarily make it any easier to maintain an account. The main advantages are the smaller changes which improve navigation and make life a little bit easier in the account with day to day tasks.

Let us explain – Google have really been hammering it home that the new interface is quicker than the old. So, when one of our PPC Executives recently worked on a training plan for a client of ours about the new AdWords experience, they decided to test just how much faster it was. They found that doing the exact same tasks on the new and old interfaces, navigating from one area of the account to another, ad copy testing, implementing bid adjustments, etc., was around 4-6 seconds quicker. Now, we know 4-6 seconds doesn’t sound like a lot but that’s 4-6 seconds per task, this time can really build up in the long-term, meaning the PPC team can focus more on a client’s strategy rather than using time navigating through the old AdWords experience. Of course, this is anecdotal but we’d say try it for yourself. Time yourself doing tasks in both interfaces and see which one is the better of the two!

Sometimes change IS good

So, in summary, there’s not a lot you really need to worry about, just fear of change. The best tips we can give you are:

  • Learn the keyboard shortcuts, there’s so much time to be saved by utilising these
  • Learn the new names of the old settings and tabs. It’s confusing when you’re looking for the Dimensions reports and you realise 10 minutes later that Google changed the name, but it’s an easy one as there’s not so much to relearn here

The last thing we would suggest is to just throw yourself into the new interface. The old one isn’t coming back and this is a great time to get a fresh look into your accounts and make the most of the great new features the new Ads experience has to offer!

Written by Joshua Bailey