It’s a brand new year, and that means a whole new slew of updates are in from the biggest name in pay-per-click advertising – Google AdWords.
Here’s our run-down of the most important changes from AdWords, and a few we haven’t yet covered from the past year:
The biggest new change to AdWords lately has more to do with form than function. You’ve probably noticed some of the makeovers Google’s other products have been given – including Gmail, with its new inbox tabs and filters, as well as a more streamlined navigation ribbon at the top; the ever-changing (and now very clean-looking!) Plus; and even the classic Search page, which since September has dispensed with the black bar and returned to its neater, original all-white background.
The same is happening with AdWords. Consistent with those other product redesigns, Google is working to simplify their interface while keeping the same amount of power under the hood – and, most importantly, prioritizing the information you need to see first.
The most noticeable changes include moving account-related information (Billing, Account Settings, Help) under the gear icon in the upper right corner – consistent with Gmail’s redesign, among others – and greater real estate given to essential campaign information. These changes are meant to streamline the process of navigating through AdWords to make campaign management a lot easier and less scrolling-intensive.
In-Ad Surveys for Display Ads
As part of its ongoing efforts to improve the quality of ads served around the web, Google is adding the ability for users to provide additional feedback about display advertisements they choose to mute.
Similar to the feedback gathered by social platforms like Facebook, which use short surveys on content that users choose to “hide” to influence their news feed algorithms, Google is rolling out a feature that will ask users why they muted a given ad. These mini surveys include a set of possible reasons (they just didn’t want to see it, they’ve seen it too often, it’s covering their content) and a set of brief follow-up questions to determine what motivated that particular answer. This allows Google to get an extra level of understanding about what exactly is causing the pushback – ultimately resulting, at least in theory, in better ad placement down the line.
Call conversions (old)
This feature has been in place since November, but we haven’t gotten to talk about it yet, so I’ll include it in this month’s round-up for kicks.
Phone calls through Google Ads are one of the best ways for a customer to immediately respond to an advertisement that interests them. In fact, Google’s own announcement reports that some 70% of mobile users call directly from an ad, and about 40 million calls are made from Google ads worldwide. It makes sense, then, that you should be able to easily track and record these as conversions in AdWords.
In the past, this required using a third-party service like CallRail to generate forwarding numbers that could be used for call tracking. Now, Google is letting you use forwarding numbers of its own, streamlining the process within AdWords and cutting out the middleman.
Just like with previous call extensions, users can click on the number that appears or a “Call” link, and the call will be rerouted to your ordinary business number. Google will provide relevant data about the call, including start and end times, duration, and area code, which can be viewed in AdWords.
These are the changes we found the most significant for AdWords advertisers. What about you? Anything we missed? Let us know in the comments below!