Bright, Shiny, and New: Interpreting and Utilizing the New Google Ads Interface and Functionality

When I was a newbie at Google in 2006, the AdWords interface was already a few years old. Since then, I have seen lots of tabs and features introduced and added to the existing platform, but the basic interface had never changed. Now, for the first time, Google has undergone a complete makeover. The new interface is clean, refreshing, and much easier to navigate.

Google still gives users the opportunity to return to the previous interface, but not for long. Google previously announced they will retire the old interface by the end of the year, but they’ve already begun transitioning some clients to the new interface. Like many of us, I resisted using the interface until late last year when I finally bit the bullet and made the switch. My only regret is not doing it sooner.

In this article, we will discuss navigating the updated interface and getting the most from its features, as well as the latest releases from Google Marketing Next in 2018.

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Navigating the New AdWords Interface

As a visual primer, here’s a quick video explaining how to effectively navigate the new AdWords experience:

At first glance, the new dashboard can be intimidating and confusing. But once you get over the initial shock, you’ll notice the tabs are more intuitively organized. The “Overview” tab, which was previously the “Home” tab, now provides a quick snapshot of the health of the account, major changes, device data, search terms, and so much more. The data is presented in a highly visual format that allows users to absorb more information at a glance. You can also quickly and easily customize reporting to see the information you want to see.

Some of the coolest new features include:

    1. Columns are now adjustable, which helps eliminate excessive sideways scrolling when viewing numerous columns.
    2. Change history is more visual and segmented. Users can view exact changes segmented by date and category. Below, you can find options to expand this view to full screen, download the report as-is, or filter by campaign, ad group, campaign budget, time, change type, etc.

  1. The “Dimensions” tab is now housed under reports as “Predefined reports.”

  1. You no longer have to dig through the “Settings” tab to set up Dynamic ad targets. Instead, it’s now readily available in the panel on the left of the page.

  1. Display planner is no longer available as a standalone tool but is now integrated with Display campaign creation.

  1. Do you make multiple changes across your accounts and struggle to keep track of the changes you’ve made? You can now add notes to review these alterations at your convenience, which is especially useful if you have multiple users on the account and would like to keep them informed of the changes.

  1. Keyword filtering is far more efficient. Default and saved filters allow users to use and view data in just one click.

  1. Users can now view “Drafts and Experiments” in the “Navigation” tab.

  1. Access Promotion extensions can be found under “Ads & Extensions” by clicking on the “+” box. This feature allows users to create different promotion extensions and is a great option for retail and travel industries.

  1. Users can now view landing page data to compare and analyze metrics, which is especially helpful for A/B testing. You can also view information like mobile speed score, mobile friendly click rate, and valid AMP click rate.

Google Ads & New Feature Roll out

At Google Marketing Live, 2018, the company announced a total rebrand of its advertising and marketing products under the new name: Google Ads. Additionally, several new features will be integrated with the updated user interface.


YouTube is home to nearly 2 billion monthly users, and people from all around the world spend more than 1 billion hours watching videos on the platform every day. Because of YouTube’s continued upward trajectory, Google is announcing three major updates that will play a huge role in YouTube’s advertising products moving forward.

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TrueView for Reach

The first update is the introduction of TrueView ads for reach. YouTube is a 95% viewable, 95% audible environment, which YouTube flaunts as the perfect place for advertisers to ensure their ads are shown and viewed. Trueview facilitates that promise, and advertisers only pay when an ad is seen.

In this new update, YouTube now allows advertisers to create TrueView campaigns to maximize reach. For example, Dick’s Sporting Goods wanted to reach in-market consumers during the holidays. They used TrueView to build top-of-funnel interests with in-Market Audiences. By utilizing TrueView to encourage action among the most engaged users, they enjoyed a ten-fold return on ad spend (ROAS).

TrueView for Action

TrueView for Action drives consumer action by allowing advertisers to place a branded banner tailored to a specific call-to-action button. YouTube embedding form fills directly to videos optimizes these ads for conversions.

In the Marketing Live 2018 presentation, Google used Master Class as a case study, claiming that their TrueView for Action campaign increased sign-ups by 140%.

Maximize Brand Lift Bidding

Google is making a serious attempt to create actionable metrics that measure the effectiveness and strength of a brand through lift bidding. Google combines survey data and search data to see how people are responding to your brand’s messaging, and provides relevant metrics related to where your users are in the customer journey.

Responsive Ads

An effort to simplify ad creation and testing, Google will be automating several functions in the future, including responsive ads, which use machine learning to create applicable headline/description combinations to produce the most relevant ads. In this format, advertisers can show ads with three 30-character headlines and two 90-character description lines, which is a 90% jump in character space compared to what we have available now. Advertisers submit 15 headlines and 4 description and let the magic of machine learning take over. This feature will be rolled out to English-language advertisers in the coming months.

Mobile Landing Pages

According to Anthony, half of mobile users don’t convert on mobile devices, due to slow landing pages. To make mobile more profitable, Google is rolling out mobile landing page speed score on a 10-point scale based on multiple factors, such as anticipated page speed and potential conversion rate. This feature already exists in the new interface under the “Landing Pages” tab.

Cross-Device Reporting and Remarketing

How do we understand customer behavior in world with so many devices? Google has developed a consolidated view of user behavior on your site aggregated from across all devices. This report can help identify your high value customers to remarket to reach customers at every touch point.

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Smart Campaigns

Smart campaigns are going to make campaign creation faster, simpler, and easier to manage. These campaigns are designed for small business owners who don’t have the time or skill to manage complicated ad campaigns. They will build ads using machine learning and auto-optimize landing pages — reducing your work by 90%. These campaigns are designed to produce conversions, and Google claims they are three times more likely to place your ads in front of the right audience.

Smart Shopping Campaigns

These campaigns are specifically designed for online retail and will build ads based on your digital inventory. This will reduce the complexity of online shopping campaigns and will increase conversions by 20% with no additional costs, according to Google. Google also introduced new goals for shopping campaigns, such as Driving Store Visits & New Customer Acquisitions, to help target and measure online and offline customers.

Local Campaigns

This is a new addition for small business owners interested in store-front traffic. Advertisers can promote local campaigns across Search, Maps, Places, Display, and YouTube.

LaFleur Is Leveraging Elements of the New Google Ads

The latest news from Google represents a series of exciting opportunities unprecedented in the digital marketing world, and we’re already implementing several new features to improve our clients’ campaigns. These tectonic shifts in usability and automation will make our digital initiatives more effective and efficient.

If you’re interested in launching or improving paid digital advertising strategies, or any other digital marketing initiative, please contact us today by calling (888) 222-1512 or completing this brief online form. Our marketing professionals are thrilled with these new updates and are already seeing amazing results.

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Marvin, G. (2017, July 26). 7+ features you’ll only find in the new AdWords interface. Search Engine Land. Retrieved from

Marvin, G. (2018, June 21). Google begins sending goodbye old AdWords UI notices. Search Engine Land. Retrieved from

Stemper, B. (2018, July 10). Biggest takeaways from Google Marketing Live — 2018 recording and recap. Try AdHawk. Retrieved from