Last month, Google rolled out the new AdWords experience to all advertisers, which means we’ve all had a chance to get a feel for things. However, we know some of you aren’t taking to the new version of AdWords in your stride. With so many fundamental changes being made to how the platform operates, it’s only natural that things don’t click right into place.

So we thought this would be a good time to publish a starter guide to the new AdWords experience. In this article, we’ll be going through all the basics of navigating the platforms and showing you where to find all the most important features. This way


Your new AdWords dashboard

When you log into the new AdWords experiences, your main dashboard will look a little something like the image above. Here you can see an overview of your whole account for the previous month with the total number of clicks, conversions, cost and impressions displayed in the coloured tabs.

Select the small arrows in those tabs and you can change the metrics that appear in each tab. The performance of your selected metrics is also shown in the line graph and you can also change the timeframe to by clicking on the date range at the far right of the Overview tab.

In terms of navigation, you can see the left navigation panel where you’ll find tabs for Campaigns, Ad groups, Ad extensions and everything else you would expect. Now, at this stage you’re viewing everything for All campaigns, which you can see in the grey tab at the top of your dashboard. So, when you click Keywords in the left menu, this will bring up your keywords for all campaigns.

To narrow down your data for specific campaigns, you can click on Campaigns in the left menu, select the campaign you want to view and navigate your way to the data you need.

There’s a quicker way of doing this, though.


Navigating between campaigns and ad groups

You can also click on the little white arrow in the grey bar, next to where it says All campaigns. This will open up the navigation panel, a dark grey vertical menu that’s hidden from sight on smaller displays.

Using this menu, you can navigate to specific campaigns, ad groups and experiments. Once you click on a campaign or ad group, all of the information in the main dash will relate to what you have selected in the navigation menu. So to look at the keywords for a specific campaign, you can select the campaign in question in the navigation menu and then simply click Keywords in the left menu beside it.

This is much faster than clicking the Campaigns or Keywords tab in the left menu and navigating from there. It also means you can navigate to specific information from one campaign or ad groups to another within a few clicks.

Let’s say you want to change the settings for one specific ad group. You simply select the ad group in the navigation menu, hit the Settings tab in the left menu and you’ll see the current settings applied to that ad group – as you can see above.

Any changes you make here will only apply to this specific ad group. Of course, you can apply settings to all groups in any given campaign by changing settings at the campaign level, which can also be done within a few clicks in the new AdWords experience.

Any time you want to create a new campaign, ad or anything else, select the relevant tab in the left menu and click the blue + button.

Delving deeper into your data

As soon as you click on a page like Keywords you’ll be presented with an overview of the relevant information. You’ll also see a number of tabs at the top of the page, allowing you to refine your data.

On the keywords page, you’ll see tabs for Search Keywords, Negative Keywords and Search Terms for search campaigns. If you click on a display or video campaign, you’ll see a tab for Display/Video Keywords instead of Search Keywords and both options if you’re still looking at all campaigns.

The new AdWords experience filters information based on your navigation selections, so the most relevant data is always within a few clicks.

Once you’ve got the info you want, you can refine them further by using the icons above your data rows.

The downwards facing arrow allows you to filter your data, the broken circle allows you to segment your info and the three bars lets you modify your columns. You can type in specific values for the criteria you filter by (eg: more than 300 clicks, less than 100 conversions, etc.) and refine everything as far as you could possibly need.


Reports in the new AdWords experience

To access reports in the new AdWords experience, you can click on the chart icon at the top right of the main AdWords interface. From here you’ve got three options: Reports, Predefined reports and Dashboards.

Clicking on Reports will take you to the main reports page where you’ll also find a tab for Dashboards. While Predefined reports, which were formally called Dimensions, gives you a list of common report types for campaigns, ad groups, keywords and other essential reports.

Going back to Dashboards, this is one of the key new features in the updated AdWords experience. With Dashboards you can create your own customised dashboards, keeping all your most important data in one place. If you constantly find yourself navigating between two or three different pages for any given campaign, simply create your own dashboard and compare everything in one place.

This is a great addition to the new AdWords experience.


Improved visualisations

The more data you have available, the more important visualising it effectively becomes. You don’t want to be scrolling through tables of data to spot trends when charts and graphs can help you distinguish patterns and trends more effectively. This is one of the key design philosophies behind the new AdWords experience.

The new visualisations make it easier to set things like ad scheduling by seeing how impressions compare throughout the week.


Tools, billing and settings in the new AdWords experience

The next icon you’ll at the top right of the new AdWords interface is for tools, billing and settings. This is where you’ll find tools like the Keyword Planner and Ad Preview and Diagnosis. This is where you’ll want to go to complete bulk actions, set rules and create custom scripts as well.


You can get a pretty good idea of what’s on offer from the image above and you’ll also see that you can switch back to the previous version of AdWords if you can’t find what you’re looking for.


New experience, new features

The main concept behind the new AdWords experience is to make it easier to access and understand the most important information in your account. A lot of this has to do with the improved navigation and reporting systems, plus a level of customisability with dashboards.

There are a number of new features, exclusive to the new AdWords experience, that we haven’t mentioned yet, though.


Promotion extensions

We published an article on promotion extensions last month, when Google first introduced the new feature. Promotion extensions allow you to place special offers in your ads for a set period of time without having to create new ads or campaigns. So you can run promotions for Black Friday, Christmas or any other calendar event on your existing ads.


Call bid adjustments

Google introduced this feature back in July this year but you won’t have been able to use it until the new AdWords experience rolled out to your account. Now you can. Call bid adjustments give you more control over how often your click-to-call ads show.


Household income targeting


In the new AdWords experience, you’ll also find improved household income reporting and targeting under Household income on the Demographics page. Previously, you could only target household incomes based on location but you don’t have this restriction in the new experience.

The chart at the top of the reports page shows you how well your campaigns are performing across household income segments.


Audiences page

You also get a new Audiences page where you can manage all of your audience targeting, exclusions and optimisations. What used to be known and “Target and bid” is now called “Targeting” and “Bid only” is now called “Observations”.


There are plenty of other things going on with the new AdWords experience and more new features to come. We can’t go through everything now, but hopefully that gives you enough to explore with confidence and start making the most of the new-look AdWords. Of course, of you have any more questions about the new AdWords experience, get in touch and we’ll be able to point you in the right direction.