4 Useful Features Hidden in the New AdWords Interface


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

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

new adwords ui

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 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 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 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:

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.

 new adwords experience demographic targeting options

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. AdWords 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.

new adwords experience device reporting 

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’ ad scheduling.

new adwords experience day and hour reporting 

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.

 new adwords experience 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 AdWords UI

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 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 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 Google +.

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May 26, 2017

This is yet another brilliant article from WordStream team! While exploring the new UI, I was unable to download reports directly from that particular view eg. Auction insights, device, keywords etc. I was able to see the Download option but it was disabled. I had to browse Reporting dropdown to get the reports I needed. Not sure if it's the same case in other accounts too. Do let me know.

Mark Irvine
May 31, 2017

Hi Shailesh,

Thanks for the kind words, glad you liked the article.

You're correct, at the moment, the new UI does not allow you to download data from the current view, you'd have to go into the reporting tab and segment your data there to download it. It's very likely functionality will exist once the new UI leaves beta though.

Tec Crowd
May 26, 2017

Thank you so much wordstream team for writing this most valuable article.

Kajal Aggarwal
May 29, 2017

It was nice method and all the given details are best for me

Calvin Abot
May 31, 2017

Great article by the WordStream team!

I've been really thrilled with the new keyboard shortcuts in the new AdWords. Being able to quickly switch between things without clicking around has been super helpful.

Paul Lappage
May 31, 2017

In your example above with Promotion Extensions, I see that 'Price Extension' is greyed out. I'm seeing that also as a user. Any reason why?

Elisa Gabbert
May 31, 2017

There are some limitations on Price Extensions as outlined here: http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2016/07/11/adwords-price-extensions If any of those apply to your campaign that might explain it?

Jun 02, 2017

no summary row for filtered report, sucks!

Sep 29, 2017

awesome--keep it coming b--aby!!
ha ha ha..

Nov 20, 2017

Just a heads up....They've had promotion extensions for quite some time. Not sure why it's being covered as new. There really is nothing new with this UI besides the look. I use the old one everyday because the new one appears to be designed to impress people who have never used it.

Elisa Gabbert
Nov 21, 2017

I believe they were in beta, not available to all advertisers.

Dec 09, 2017

I don't have promotion extensions so they aren't available to all users and would certainly be new to me when they appear!

Suyanto jituads.com
Jan 06, 2018

just press return/enter key is the same as clicking virtual enter/save button on screen, that should save a lot of time.

Drew Griffiths
Feb 02, 2018

Took me about 3 days to work out how to do remarketing in the new interface...other stuff is better though

Feb 09, 2018

Nice article. very clear understanding about the Adwords Interface.

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