Considering Google hasn’t given its AdWords service a cosmetic update since 2008, it might not come as a surprise that the internet giant has this week announced a complete overhaul and redesign of the AdWords interface. Debuting in 2000, AdWords has, in recent years, begun to look both outdated and inefficient, with new features constantly being added with no amendments to the interface in order to accommodate these.
According to AdWords product management director, Paul Feng, the company have been working behind the scenes on the rejuvenation for “a year, year and a half” but concedes the project “is going to take some time”. Feng goes on to claim that the “reimagining” as he puts it, was primarily instigated by the changing market of online advertising, in particular the widespread use of smartphones. The management director admits that the current AdWords interface was built with desktops in mind and as such, isn’t as mobile-friendly as its users would like.
The redesign has been planned using conversations with a range of advertisers in order to identify areas in need of improvement. These talks raised issues such as a need to focus on marketer’s needs and objectives, a gentler learning curve for navigation and a fresher, simpler, more flexible interface. The overhaul will also bring AdWords in line with other Google products such as Maps and GMail by basing itself on Google’s design language, Material Design.
For any AdWords users concerned over how this project will affect their campaigns, it’s important to stress that the functionality of the service won’t be altered, with the focus solely on AdWords’ visual elements. The way advertising campaigns are currently managed and structured will not be tampered with.
In terms of what aspects will be updated, Google has released several screenshots, one of which points to the introduction of an ‘Overview’ screen, a dashboard style display for data on each individual campaign. This ‘Overview’ is intended to provide more streamlined data at a glance using infographics and four primary metrics such as ‘clicks’ and ‘conversions’. As suggested by Paul Feng, users will also be able to gather more data on how performance is faring across a range of devices.
Other changes include a vastly simplified ‘Keywords’ analysis view and options such as ‘Locations’ and ‘Devices’ being relocated to a secondary navigation menu that runs adjacent to the primary one. There will also be an emphasis on only displaying relevant sections, for instance the ‘Video’ tab won’t show for picture or text based campaigns.
The current timeline aims to have all changes in place by the start of 2018, with Feng promising that features will be released “as they become available”. Until then, the rebuild continues.