This year Google is embarking upon an ambitious project to overhaul its AdWords platform, not only to improve user experience on mobile devices but also to empower businesses and brands to make better use of this paid marketing solution.
It has been almost a decade since the AdWords interface received any kind of attention, but Google spokesperson Jerry Dischler revealed in an official blog that his team was actively working to help marketers cope with the fact that their jobs are becoming unavoidably more complex.
Google is hoping that by altering AdWords and bringing it up to date, it will be easier for users from around the world to make the most of its tools and features. But what are the benefits in terms of PPC management and how will businesses be able to take advantage of the design changes that are being implemented in 2016?
Improve User Experience through Engagement
Google’s Paul Feng told Search Engine Land that the redesign of AdWords was being led by user feedback. Google's engineers have engaged with marketers in order to come up with a game plan that will satisfy everyone.
Feng said that a significant percentage of the responses had revealed that marketers wanted a more objective-focused interface, rather than one which revolves around separate features. Users are also eager for the integration of new capabilities to be simplified, rather than fresh functionality arriving in a fragmented manner. And finally there were calls for the look and feel of the platform to be modernised, moving away from its now archaic roots.
At the core of this overhaul is the introduction of Material Design to AdWords. This is Google’s design language which is consistent across many of its other solutions, including everything from GMail to its mainstream search engine. And businesses responsible for perfecting ecommerce web design can also learn a great deal from the holistic, customer-centric approach that is being taken here.
Keeping Functionality Consistent
While bold claims about the future of AdWords are being made, it is important to note that Google is not actually planning to add any new functions as part of the overhaul. Neither is it expected to eliminate any current capabilities which are regarded as useful.
The real changes come in the way in which information is relayed to users, with the introduction of the Overview screen being the most significant move in this regard. Overview will provide real time access to a graphical representation of performance, whether of an individual ad or an entire campaign. Users will be able to see how many clicks and conversions are being generated, as well as the devices from which they are originating.
This means that marketers who are already intimately familiar with AdWords will not need to re-learn the associated skills, but will instead be able to manage PPC campaigns as they did in the past, but with a greater degree of feedback and control at their fingertips. Google has made a point of showing how the interface will look on both desktop and mobile devices, indicating that it is aware of a need to cater to users who may want access to AdWords Overview metrics on the move.
Another good example set by Google in its plans to revamp AdWords comes in the way in which the navigation elements have been organised. Primary and secondary tabs have been streamlined and simplified, while many regularly used features are available at a single click, rather than requiring users to trawl through menus to find them.
Another way in which the fat has been trimmed to enhance usability is by ensuring that each view provides only the data and interface elements which are pertinent in that context. Tabs for items such as videos will not be present on campaigns that do not involve this type of media, for example.
It is little touches like this that show that AdWords is maturing as a platform, while demonstrating that there are some sensible web design principles being applied under the surface which could be useful for all businesses operating an online presence.
As with many of Google’s major updates, the latest iteration of AdWords will not be rolled out all at once, but will instead be drip fed to advertisers over time, giving time for further testing and feedback.
It is likely to be at least a year before the full set of capabilities and updates are available to a significant degree. And by 2018 the process should be complete, with Google planning to target SMBs with early builds in order to gauge the response.
Businesses that want to improve user experience but lack the resources to handle their digital marketing in-house, including the use of AdWords, can take advantage of Yoma’s PPC management and services to ensure that they are not left behind once the update is fully available.