The BIG List: Your Guide to the New AdWords Experience

It was mid-October when Google announced that the new AdWords experience was available to all advertisers and the floodgates opened; the PPC industry had a range of opinions and analysis of the new tools and features as it was met with mixed emotions (and some toggling back to the prior version).

While we’re certain you’ve seen several blog articles on this topic, we’ve decided to put them all in ONE location. Here it is, a list of resources pertaining to the new AdWords Interface tutorials and guides!

Getting Started

If you want to know all there is to know from Google, have a look at this Help page about the new experience. It shows all of the differences between the previous AdWords interface and the new one as well as the exclusive features that are offered in the new AdWords experience.

I’ll be going down the list and covering most of the new available features in the table above.

The Overview Page

It’s the first page that you see when you open your AdWords account into the new interface. If you use a manager account, your Overview page will include data across all of your managed accounts.

It’s a smattering of additional insights – such as which locations traffic is coming from, presented in a more visual way –  that the old interface doesn’t bolster. Main Street ROI has a great review of this feature or you can check out AdWords Help’s information on navigating this. The AdWords Help page has a helpful video as well.

Call Bid Adjustments

If you’re looking for a way to have more control over how often call information appears in mobile search ads, call bid adjustments should help. With an adjustment range of -90% to +900%, this new adjustment is housed under “Advanced Bid Adjustments” > “interactions” in the new UI. Additional information about this feature can be found on Search Engine Land.

Showcase Shopping Ads

Released back in July, this new ad format allows advertisers to group related products and display them together. These ads appear in the same place that product ads appear at the top of the SERPs. The interesting thing about these ads is that the first click on your ad is free, you only pay if someone clicks through and arrives on your landing page. Learn more about setting up these ads from Wordstream or AdWords Help.


Audience Manager

In the new Audience Manager, you’re able to see the data sources available for your AdWords tag-based remarketing lists and YouTube remarketing lists. The new audience list table allows you to search, sort and download your remarketing lists. You can also access Audience Insights from the Audience Manager as well.

This feature is accessed through the wrench dropdown in the top right navigation under “Shared Library.” More information about this portion of the UI is available here.

Promotion Extensions

One of our favorite features in the new UI is the ability to create promotion extensions. These are an additional 2 lines of text that allow you highlight current sales and specials with Search Network ads. They work the same way other extensions function, meaning that you’re charged when someone clicks on your promotion extension. Check out the Clix guide to promotion extensions to set these up.

promotion extension

Import Third-Party App Analytics Platform Data

If you or your client use third-party app analytics providers to track mobile app conversions, this will allow you to import data from your account by linking it to your AdWords account. To get started, check out these instructions from AdWords.

Keyboard Shortcuts

As someone who uses shortcuts on my Mac all of the time, this is one of the features I am most excited about. You can easily glide from one report to another with ease.

There are a few basic shortcuts you should know about to get started. Here’s what they are:

  • Key 1 + Key 2 – Similar to other shortcuts you have likely used, make sure to hold down the second key while still pressing the first key in the shortcut and then release both keys.
  • Key 1, then Key 2 – Press the first key and release, then press the second key and release.
  • Key – Just pressing 1 key in some instances will be a shortcut in the new UI.

Here is a list of shortcuts that you should try out:

  • ? – Show or hide shortcuts list
  • G then T – Search for a page
  • Shift + N – Create new item – useable anywhere you see the plus sign button.
  • Shift + W – Show or hide the navigation panel on the left.
  • Ctrl or ⌘ + C – Copy
  • Ctrl or ⌘ + V – Paste

To move between areas of AdWords:

  • G then O – Go to Overview page
  • G then Y – Go to Opportunities page
  • G then C – Go to the Campaigns page
  • Shift + A –  Go to All Campaigns view (after you’ve clicked into a campaign)
  • G then K – Go to Ad groups page
  • G then A – Go to Ads page
  • G then X – Go to Extensions page
  • G then K – Go to Keywords page
  • G then S – Go to Settings page
  • G then U – Only useable if you have a Manager account. This will take you to the Managed Accounts page.

Landing Pages Page

Google first announced their new landing pages mobile-friendly test tool, which allows advertisers to check their mobile-friendliness, at Google Marketing Next. If you haven’t tried that tool out, you can utilize its features in the Landing Pages page on the new UI. This feature allows you to see how all of your landing pages are performing in one interface for search, display and video campaigns.

Content Exclusions Changes

In the previous interface, there were “site category options” for Display Network campaigns. Those are now called “content exlcusions” in the campaign settings. Some of the settings are also being phased out. If you run remarketing and display campaigns, make sure you’re up on all of the changes.

Additional Updates

There are some other changes that have come with this new user interface. Below are a list of some of the additional changes that other folks have wrote about that I thought would also be useful.

AdWords Basics

Beyond just logging in, there are a few differences in how you go about finding some of our core metrics and reports. Navigating the interface to filter, segment, modify columns, export data, find Auction Insights, run experiments or utilize tools such as Keyword Planner can all be found in this post from 3Q Digital. If you need to get a grasp on the basics of the new interface, that’s a great place to start.

New Shopping Reports

We love some of the new reports that are now available. Check out this Clix post to learn how to better eCommerce accounts with these helpful reports.

Ad Variations Ad Testing Tool

This is another one of our favorite new features. Customize ad elements, easily apply on a large scale and keep tabs on the test as it runs. Get all of the details and the how-to guide in this Clix post.

New Demographic Targeting

Hello, household income and parental status targeting capabilities. Get the full scoop on this feature over at Wordstream.

Goodbye, Dimensions Tab

It was one of my favorites, but it is no more. If you’re looking to find the geographic/location report or the by hour performance reports, they now live in other places. Follow this guide to locate those handy reports.

Opportunities Tab Updates

This tab also got a makeover and now offers additional information in terms of “repairs”; bids and budgets; keywords and targeting; and ads and extensions. Written by our friend Robert Brady, here is what you can expect to see.

Popular Search Terms and Redundant Keywords

The popular search terms report allows you to see a more visual representation of what users are using to find your site.

Additionally, you can now find redundant keywords outside of just AdWords Editor. More on these two features on from Clix.

Custom Intent Audiences for the Display Network

During the Christmas season, Google released this feature along with a few other features. This addition allows advertisers to create their own or allow Google to create audiences of people who might be interested in your products. Ginny Marvin at Search Engine Land explained it as enabling advertisers to “target people who want to buy the specific products you offer – based on data from your campaigns, website and YouTube channel.” Get started with custom intent audiences with this how-to guide.



If you want a step-by-step guide of the new interface, you can check out the Guided Steps section by clicking the ? button in the top right navigation bar.

You can get a tour of the new features.

We hope this list is helpful as we all make the transition to the new user interface.

Special thanks to Kerri Bonner for her contributions to this post.

What are your favorite features in the new AdWords Experience? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!