Today Google announced an upcoming upgrade to the AdWords user interface. The goal of the improved UI, which will be gradually rolled out over the coming months, is to streamline workflow, deliver a more modern look and feel, and make management of AdWords digital marketing campaigns easier.
While Google constantly tests and implements new features for advertisers, it’s been a while since the last major changes to the AdWords web interface. The last major upgrade occurred in 2013 when Google added several new UI features including copy and paste, quick timeframe comparisons in reporting, and improved data segmentation. At the third AdWords performance summit in May 2015 Google announced many new vertical-specific ad units, a more powerful version of Dynamic Search Ads, more advance mobile measurement, and many new features.
As a result of the rapid evolution of AdWords over the past three years, both Google and Displaying Ads see a significant division across the industry between power users who have taken the time to understand and leverage advanced reporting and features and basic users who often aren’t even aware of these features, don’t know where to find them, or sometimes even don’t realise what settings and targeting their campaigns are opted into.
Google aims to improve campaign management for these basic users with this new AdWords web UI. All existing settings and features will be maintained, but many will be rearranged in order to provide an easier-to-understand workflow.
It’s worth noting that unlike Enhanced Campaigns or Upgraded URLs, no AdWords features are being depreciated or radically changed—in fact, marketers will be glad to hear there’s no migration process needed to upgrade to the new UI. It’s also worth noting that this upgrade only affects the web UI. Platforms that utilise the AdWords API will not see any changes there, and other ways of accessing AdWords (such as AdWords Editor and the AdWords App) will remain unchanged for now. The interface for DoubleClick Search, which mirrors much of the current AdWords UI, will also remain unchanged for now—but we predict many of the features in the new AdWords UI will appear there within the next twelve months.
Basic users aren’t the only ones who will benefit from this improvement. Advanced users will be able to more quickly identify insights and take action on them without nearly as much busywork and clutter, creating much more opportunity for digital marketers to become more strategic. Success in search in 2016 requires a deep understanding of the intersection of traditional keyword targeting and modern audience targeting (RLSA, Customer Match), and Displaying Ads sees this move by Google as a great opportunity for advertisers to drive more success by becoming more strategic.