Google announced in March that it was launching a major redesign of its 15-year old Adwords functionality; the last time the tool was updated was 2008. With the growing popularity of smartphones and tablet computers, the desktop functionality just is no longer optimal anymore for advertisers who want to place content in searches, videos, shopping and mobile browsing.
In planning the redesign, Google talked to, and really listened to, advertisers of all sizes, across industry lines. In those conversations, Google sought to learn what was working and what was not working with the current platform and to identify what changes would actually be useful for marketers. Using the same design language Google already uses in tools like Gmail, search and Google maps, the new platform should be more intuitive and user-friendly. For example, most users will be familiar with the “overflow” information represented in other Google tools by the icon showing three dots stacked on top of one another.
Google’s goal is to complete the redesign work and to have everything rolled out to users by the end of 2017, however it intends to introduce changes and features along the way and certain businesses, both large and small, have been pre-selected to test features along the way over the next 12 to 18 months.
The changes will not actually affect any functionality, so advertisers will continue to structure and run campaigns on the new platform the same way they are run today. But, the product is getting a facelift, so users will notice differences in the way data is displayed, and the timing of when certain data is displayed will change.
For example, clicking on an individual campaign in the newly redesigned platform will bring up an “Overview” screen; a dashboard for the marketer. On that overview screen, advertisers will now be able to see performance metrics at the ad, ad group or campaign levels.
As designed, the new Google Adwords will also simplify use by only displaying relevant navigation options, based on the type of ad or campaign being designed. And, frequently-used navigation tools like “Locations”, “Devices” and “Sitelinks” that apply across different types of campaigns will now be available in a sidebar navigation right alongside the primary navigation, so users will not need to search the “Settings” menu anymore. The “Keyword” view will also be cleaned up and streamlined for ease of use.
These updates are intended to both make Google Adwords easier for marketers to use, and to help them adapt to all of the ways the public now uses technology, through websites, videos and apps, on computers, tablets or smartphones.
Ultimately, the changes are expected to help marketers reach more customers, which is what advertising is really all about. To quote Google’s redesign announcement, “Adwords should be more about your business, and less about our product.”
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