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4 Useful Features Hidden in the New Google Ads Interface

October 7, 2018

Every single one of us can now come face to face with “the new Google Ads experience,” the pet name Google’s given to their complete overhaul of the Google Ads (formerly known as Google AdWords) user interface.  

That's right, folks: the new Google Ads UI is now available to all advertisers.

adowrds changes 2017 new interfacec

Screenshots and demos of the re-skinned UI have been floating around online for a few months now, and many WordStream clients were granted access to the Alpha; don’t worry, you can revert back to the good ‘ol fashioned Google Ads 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 times.

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 Google Ads 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 Google Ads UI Demographic information was available for advertisers to use. For search, at least, it looked a little something like this:

old adwords ui demographic targeting

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.

Previously, only 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.

adwords demographic targeting information easier to find in new UI

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 listed among the other extensions (in the conveniently renamed “Ads & Extensions” tab).

new adwords experience promotion extensions

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.

In accounts using Promotion extensions 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. Google Ads now visually displays the breakdown of clicks, cost, and conversions across desktop, tablet, and mobile, making it easier to manage your campaigns and optimize your device bid adjustments.

AdWords device reporting

The new Google Ads 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’ ad scheduling.

adwords dayparting data viz 2017

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 plate.

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 find new negative keywords for your campaigns.

new adwords experience word cloud reporting

Logophiles and data-junkies rejoice!

4. Advanced Bid Adjustments Make Life Easier

Managing 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 weekly headaches.

Well, managing all your bid adjustments just got easier.

The new UI introduces advanced bid adjustments, which allow you to adjust your bid to drive certain actions from the SERP, such as placing a call from a call extension or call-only campaign.

advanced bid adjustments

Better still, it simplifies the way you can view and use bid adjustments, (almost) eliminating the desire to pull your hair out.

Some downsides of the new Google Ads UI

Advertisers have a lot to be excited about within the new interface, but they shouldn’t forget about their old Google Ads experience just yet.

Although powerful, the new interface doesn’t include everything in the old Google Ads, at least not yet. Advertisers may need to navigate back into the old Google Ads UI to manage popular features such as display remarketing audiences and price extensions.

features missing from the new adwords ui

While it’s safe to assume that these features will be addressed through addition or consolidation before the new UI becomes the UI, 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 Google Ads UI that seems obscure, out of place, or just plain interesting, let us know on Twitter and in the comments, below!

Mark Irvine

Mark Irvine

Mark is a Senior Data Scientist at WordStream, focused on research and training for the everchanging world of PPC. He was named the 5th Most Influential PPC Expert of 2017 by PPC Hero.