The new AdWords interface was made available to all users late last year, offering a streamlined experience that grants advertisers greater control over their campaigns with a wide range of customizable features. The new user interface allows advertisers to improve demographic targeting, promote special sales and events, and test ads before going live, to name just a few of the many new options.

But for those folks who bristle at the thought of change, fear not. While the AdWords experience has undergone a major facelift, offering users a whole stock of shiny new buttons to play with, you are still able to manage your campaigns, ads, and accounts in exactly the same way you always have. Many of the functions you used before are still around; they’ve just been relocated to a more intuitive home. And if you don’t like the new interface you can still switch back to the comfy classic version that you know and love, at least for the time being.

Without further ado, here are the six most important updates that you should know about to amplify your ad game.

  1. Intuitive Audience Manager. AdWords’ new audience manager is now a centralized hub, allowing advertisers to set up, manage, and analyze the data for all audiences in one convenient location. This includes AdWords tags, app analytics providers, and YouTube channels. The new manager makes it easier to learn everything about the audience in each of your remarketing lists, including target demographics, geographic locations, interest, and even devices. The audience manager also offers audience insights using Google’s network data to help you pin down purchasing patterns and behaviors, find new relevant audiences, and expand your targeting demographic. When fully employed, this new feature could help you better target your ad to optimize conversions, using creative content that has been better informed by your data mining.
  2. Superior Demographic Targeting. AdWords’ limited targeting capabilities has long been the black sheep among Facebook, Twitter, and even LinkedIn, who have upped their audience targeting to sophisticated levels.Heel-dragger no more, AdWords has entered the fray of advanced demographic targeting with an abundance of bells and whistles that allow you to sharpen the focus on your target audiences, available in the AdWords Search Network, Display Network, and Video campaigns.The benefits of this laser-like customization are endless. You can now target different audiences with different price points, specifying age, gender, and household income within your campaigns. You can also select for parental status, which should have a great impact on toy and game brands, among others.
  3. Test Drive Your Ads. Sometimes a minor copy change is all it takes to get a conversion, but not everyone has the time, money, or resources to go through the hassle of creating and testing several different ads. The new ad variation experience allows you to create and test multiple versions of your ad across multiple campaigns, and then review the performance of each version before selecting and finalizing the ad. For example, you could test two versions of an ad with different headlines or different calls to action to see which ad performed better with your target demographic (or across multiple targeted audiences). You can test these changes across thousands of ads in less than a minute, and receive a report on the performance metrics as soon as they are “statistically significant.” This new service makes it easy to quickly (and more importantly, painlessly) replace all of your ads with the most successful variation in no time.
  4. Promotion Extensions for Easy Breezy Deals. According to a study conducted by Google/Ipsos Connect, “seven out of 10 internet users look for sales or discounts before visiting a store.” In a world where everyone is forever in search of The Deal, promotion extensions make it easy to publicize your specials and sales without the hassle of creating a new ad. Promotion extensions appear below your Search Network text ad in plain text that is easy to read and naturally engages your prospective customers. For example, you may want to advertise a “Black Friday” or “Valentine’s Day” special, (indicating dollar amount or percent discounts)—those offers would appear in bold next to your promotional text. Promotion extensions free up your ad space for more branded content. They are easy to update; and they allow you to edit your extension without losing any data. You can optimize for mobile preference and select flexible scheduling to specify the dates you want to run the promotion.
  5. Landing Page Performance Metrics. Mastering AdWords’ landing page experience metric is essential to understanding how people interact with your website and can help boost your conversion rate. With the new landing page experience, you can view full reporting metrics for your expanded landing page URLs, including an analysis of your Search, Display, and Video landing page performances and their respective click, cost, and conversion rates. You will also be able to determine if your landing pages are optimized for mobile audiences and evaluate mobile and valid AMP click rates.
  6. Universal App Campaigns for Greater Customization. The new UAC uses Google’s machine learning technology to help you strategically promote your mobile app and target the “right” mobile app users for your business across multiple platforms. In addition to promotion, UAC helps you track and measure how people are using your mobile app and identify who your most valuable app users are so you can pursue more folks like them. UAC also helps you optimize your creative assets to boost your overall campaign. AdWords recently launched a new education program for its UAC. Created by industry experts who were vetted by Google, the course contains a series of three-minute videos, designed for advertisers to learn at their own pace and on their own time. It offers interactive activities based on real-life situations so users can explore launching a new app or releasing an update before embarking on the real deal.

Staying on top of AdWords’ updates can be a full time (and daunting) task, so let us help you out. We will continue to post important updates as AdWords rolls them out, so check back with us regularly.

Anything you’d like to add? Feel free to share in the comments!