New Google AdWords User Interface Review

May 7th, 2009 by Nikki Kuhlman

If you’ve logged into your Google AdWords account lately, you might have noticed a new link in the upper right corner, New Interface (Beta). If you click on it, you’re treated to a whole new way of looking at your Google AdWords account. Not every Google AdWords customer has this beta option, but Google New Google AdWords User Interfaceis slowly rolling the new AdWords User Interface out to more and more customers.

When Google initially introduced the new beta version of the AdWords User Interface (UI), I played around with it a few times in my few client accounts that had the option, but it looks like last week the new AdWords User Interface rolled out to a much wider audience and I decided I better get myself familiar with it. I’m not going to review every new part of the Adwords UI, but I will highlight a few new features that I’ve noticed in the past few days.

The Pros of the New Google AdWords Interface:

  • The “Tree” Based Visuals: I can get to any campaign or AdGroup using the tree interface, instead of going back out to the campaign summary or AdGroup summary.
  • Nice Graphical Representation: in each campaign and AdGroup you can view a graph based on criteria like CTR, Conversions, Impressions, CPC and more, for whatever time period you prefer. I love looking at graphs for trends – is CTR dropping or CPC rising, etc. I used to use this a lot on the account dashboard, but this is even better, and I can choose to hide the graph if I want.
  • Query Report Built Into the Keyword Tab: Another new AdWords User Interface feature that I like is the “Show Query Report” button within the keyword tab. I can select a few broad and/or phrase match terms, then hit the Show Query Report button and it will give me a list of the search queries that were triggered by the keywords I selected.One caveat is that it appears you have to have quite a few impressions before it will show you data. A lot of the terms I tested kept giving me the error “Not enough data to show particular queries.” It still seems a bit “buggy”, because a number of times the report would generate partially, but without the search queries, and trying to refresh would cause a bright red error bar to come up. This one is also a Con because once you’ve generated the list, it’s a bit kludge to put the actual terms into the AdGroup, but I’m hoping that will approve.
  • One last pro: you can still switch back to the original interface if the new UI gets a bit confusing.

And now on to my new Google AdWords User Interface Con List:

  • Ads Showing in the UI May Not Be Active: this one is a big problem for me, because I almost lost a client last week because of it. When you are in the keyword tab of an AdGroup in the new AdWords User Interface, one ad will be showing on the top left, just like in the original UI. Unfortunately, that ad may not be an active ad (in fact, I have YET to see where the ad that shows is going to an Active ad, unless only active ads are in that AdGroup – it almost seems to default to a Paused ad which is terribly annoying). I had a client who went into the new interface and was clicking around. He clicked the ad that was showing and was stunned to see it was going to a dead page of his site. He went through a bunch of the AdGroups and saw the same thing, and then called us, completely irate, because this was a change that had happened in January, and that I had told him was taken care of. He demanded a refund of several thousand dollars and was very close to quitting before I got him calmed down enough to understand what was happening and explain to him that the changes were made, and the only ad that was actually active in those AdGroups were all going to a live page in his site.
  • Quick Add Tool is Missing: one of my favorite tools in the original interface is on the keyword tab and it’s the Quick Add link. Click it and Google lets you manually enter your keywords, AND generates a very specific list of keywords that you are missing that are all based around the existing keywords in that AdGroup. I use it a lot to see what keywords I might be missing in an AdGroup AND what negatives I should include. The Keyword Tool just generates too much “noise” to be used effectively in this same manner. And now it’s missing in the new AdWords User Interface, and the Show Query Report is not an effective substitute.
  • Show Query Report: it’s on my pro list too, but most of the time it either doesn’t give results because it doesn’t have enough data or it keeps having errors.
  • The MCC Drop-Down List is Not Alphabetical: this is a con for PPC management agencies like ourselves who use an MCC to manage our clients – the Drop-Down Client list isn’t alphabetical, so it can be hard to find a client in the list.
  • The Next/Previous Links on the AdGroup Level Are Gone: in the original interface, I could sort my AdGroups by some criteria, like Cost or Impressions, and go into the first one, then hit the next link to move to the next one. That link is gone, so I have to keep going back to the Campaign level to see what the next AdGroup is that I need to go into.

Now this certainly isn’t a comprehensive list of Pros and Cons but just the first ones that have come to me over the last four or five days of continually using the new AdWords User interface. I’m sure I’ll have plenty more in the days and weeks to come. There’s no set switch date that I could find when they are moving from Beta to the new UI permanently, but I recommend getting used to it now, when you still have the ability to switch back and forth between the beta and original Google AdWords User Interface.

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