Google has been slowly rolling out the new AdWords interface to beta testers over the past few months and we here at Search Engine People have had the chance to immerse ourselves in it for a little while now and I must say " colour us impressed!

The new interface has a sexier look and feel to it which is a little more akin to the Analytics interface, but as we all know, looks arent everything. So how about functionality? Im happy to say that there have been some vast improvements over the previous interface. Functionality is a little more in line with AdWords Editor, which is the tool of all tools for anyone managing large scale PPC campaigns. MORE AFTER THE JUMP!

Okay, enough with the words, time for screenshots!

First up, the new Dashboard:


Click to Enlarge

  • The first thing youll probably notice is the graph, which is identical in look and feel to the type of graphs you will find in analytics. You can easily change which metric(s) you want to look at, with the ability to chart two metrics simultaneously. This is great to if you want a quick peek at some trending data, or take a snapshot for reporting/presentations.

Graphing Metrics

  • The second thing youll probably notice is that some of the terminology surrounding Status has changed. The biggest change here is that we no longer have Active campaigns, but rather, Eligible campaigns. What this means is that your campaign is Eligible to be to be active, but doesnt necessarily mean all your keywords and/or ad groups are live since they can be paused, have no search volume or showing ads for keywords in another ad group. So, Eligible=Active.
  • Another new feature to this interface is the panel on the left side of the screen that lists all your campaigns. I have found this to be somewhat of a nuisance and generally keep it minimized, which you can do by just clicking the arrow.
  • The last thing I want to discuss here is the Filter and Views drop-down menu which is located just above the graph, on the right side. Here, you can hide the graph, customize your columns, segment by network (which is wonderful) and add numerous filters.

Campaign Filter

So that, in a nutshell, is your new dashboard.

Next up, the Ad Groups tab:

Ad Groups Tab

  • The navigation and functionality here is the same as your campaign dashboard. You can graph, filter and manage to your hearts desire. The one thing that I want to point out with this tab is that by default, you get an account level snapshot of all your ad groups. If you want to focus on a specific campaign, maximize that left side panel and choose the campaign you want to focus in on.

Moving on to the Settings tab:

Settings Tab

  • This is the one area of the new interface that I dont think has improved, and in fact, I think has regressed a little. While I love the idea of have a settings tab where I can quickly see the settings for each campaign, the actual changing of settings is a little cumbersome. From this view, the only settings you can change are Status, Campaign Name, Budget and End Date.
  • If you want to change some more advanced settings, such as Networks and Devices or your Delivery Method, you need to click on the Campaign name, which will take you to this screen:

Configure Settings

  • The layout is similar to the previous interface, with what I consider to be a big (and not positive) change. See all those Edit buttons? If you want to change any settings, you need to click them in order to expand the settings. Is this a big deal? Not in the grand scheme of things, but it ads unnecessary clicks, and thus unnecessary time to change simple settings. Compare this layout to the previous interface, where all the settings are readily available in the form of radio buttons and check boxes. Much more efficient.

Old Settings Interface

And now, I present to you the Ads tab:

Ads Tab

  • This is one of my favourite new features " the ability to see all my ads, at an account level, campaign level or ad group level. Again, the default is an account overview, but if you want to focus in on a specific campaign or ad group, just maximize the left panel and pick away.
  • The one caveat here is that you when you create a new ad, the options available to you are Text Ad or Image Ad " what about Local Business Ad?

The awesomely new Keywords tab is next:

Keywords Tab

  • Again, the layout here is identical to all the other tabs, but the cool features lie in the drop-down menus. First off, within the Filter and Views menu, you can Segment by query match type, which is a clean and quick way to see how different match type are performing, compared to the other match types.

Match Type Display

  • The second cool feature is See Search Terms..., which you can perform on all your keywords, or only selected keywords. What this does is instantly give you a Search Query Report in the same window, which you can easily download! The other great feature with this is that as you scroll through the Search Query Report, you can quickly check off keywords, adding that keyword to your campaign, OR adding it as a negative. Awesome!

Search Query Report

And last, but not least, the Networks tab:

Networks Tab

  • This tab, quick simply (and helpfully) segments your metrics into Google Search vs Search Partners, your Managed Placement and Automatic Placements on the Content Network and also lists any site exclusions you have. Not exactly groundbreaking, but the ability to quickly grab a snapshot of how youre performing on different networks is a great addition to the new interface.

The very last thing I want to mention, for those who love shortcuts (me), are some keyboard shortcuts you can use to quickly navigate through the new interface:

Global Navigation:
Go To All Online Campaigns: G then O
Go To Campaigns Tab: G then C
Go To Ad Groups Tab: G then R
Go To Keywords Tab: G then K
Go To Networks Tab: G then N
Go To Ads Tab: G then A
Go To Settings Tab: G then S

Table Navigation & Actions:
Next/Previous row in the primary data table: J/K
Select current row: X (shift+x for multiple rows)
Edit: E
Pause: P
N: Enable
D: Delete
L: Download

So that, ladies and gentleman, is a quick overview of the new AdWords interface. Is it perfect? No, of course not. Have there been improvements? Absolutely.

If youre currently managing AdWords accounts, and have the option to test out the new interface (youll see a prompt at the top of your account), I highly recommend it. Theres a slight learning curve, but nothing you cant master by giving it a little bit of love.

If Ive missed anything, or youd like to see another post go deeper into something we covered today, leave those comments!