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5 Features We Hope to See in Google’s AdWords Update

Lauren Frankel

2008 seems like light years ago. Back then, Taylor Swift was still writing country music and smartphones were a novelty. It was also the last time the AdWords user interface got a facelift.

Oh, how everything has changed since then: Taylor switched to pop music (and took over the world), there is a smartphone in nearly every pocket, and the AdWords universe has expanded to include display ads, video ads, and (our favorite) Google Shopping ads.

To help marketers capitalize on these new ad formats, Google is treating the AdWords interface to a makeover — it released two sneak peek images this week, but did not reveal full details. I am pretty excited about the redesign, and hope to see a few features that would make AdWords even better for e-commerce pros managing Google Shopping campaigns:

1. Designed with Google Shopping in Mind

I was particularly encouraged when I spotted this little nugget in Google’s announcement of the change: “From creating a single Shopping campaign to updating thousands of text ads, we needed to do this in a way that works well for all advertisers around the world, regardless of size or objective.”

Released in 2012, Google Shopping is relatively new to the AdWords party, and the current AdWords interface wasn’t designed around this campaign type. Nevertheless, Shopping campaigns are fast becoming a valuable source of revenue for retailers of all kinds, and it is exciting to think about Google designing a version of AdWords with Shopping-specific features built in from the outset.

2. Optimized for Mobile

If the buzz among my Sidecar colleagues represents wider market sentiment, Google needs to get on this one fast. While there is currently an AdWords app with roughly 500,000 downloads in Android’s Play Store, and Google introduced an iOS AdWords app earlier this year, many marketers still long to use AdWords on their smartphone and tablet browsers.

“From creating a single Shopping campaign to updating thousands of text ads, we needed to do this in a way that works well for all advertisers around the world, regardless of size or objective.” – Google

Hopefully, the newly designed AdWords interface will feature mobile functionality to allow for bid and budget updates on the go. This would benefit all advertisers, not just those advertising via Shopping. Google’s sneak peek includes a tablet view, so fingers crossed!

3. Order-level Data Available in AdWords

Currently, the only way for e-commerce marketers to view order-level data in their Google Shopping campaigns is via Google Analytics. Shuffling between browser tabs and web apps is a hassle, but many AdWords users (myself included) do it anyway because knowing which products were actually sold — and not just clicked — is important for devising advertising strategies.

Pulling this information into one interface would make life much easier for advertisers interested in granular order-level data.

4. A True Average Position for Google Shopping PLAs

Anyone who manages Google Shopping campaigns knows all too well that the average position for Product Listing Ads is currently not a very actionable metric. Google considers all eight PLAs that typically appear on page one of the SERP to occupy position 1.

For those keeping score, Google will begin to release the new-and-improved AdWords UI features to select advertisers during 2016, with the ultimate goal being a full-scale rollout by the end of 2017.

Including this information in the updated AdWords dashboard might require more than just a new design. However, it would be great to get more insights into how position affects product performance.

5. Custom Columns — in All Views

We’ve been pretty open about our love story with custom columns and custom formulas in the AdWords interface. Custom columns and formulas are super helpful when it comes to analyzing Google Shopping campaigns because they put the metrics marketers care about most right at their fingertips.

BUT (as we’ve lamented in the past) custom columns are not available at the product group level in Google Shopping campaigns. If Google does decide to include product-group-level custom formulas in the redesign, marketers will have even more granular data available.

Google is “forever and always” (to quote Ms. Swift) improving the AdWords experience for everyone, and I, for one, can’t wait to get my hands on their largest redesign in years.

For those keeping score, Google will begin to release the new-and-improved AdWords UI features to select advertisers during 2016, with the ultimate goal being a full-scale rollout by the end of 2017.

What are you hoping to see in the AdWords update?

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