Google to Overhaul AdWords User Interface to Reflect Marketing in Multiscreen World

New Design Intended to Help Marketers Running Campaigns Across Devices

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An early look at the AdWords redesign, which will be more than a year in the making.
An early look at the AdWords redesign, which will be more than a year in the making. Credit: Google

Google said Monday it will redesign the user interface for AdWords so it can better serve marketers who are trying to deliver ads in a multiscreen world.

While AdWords has seen a handful of minor updates previously, the redesign will be the first major overhaul of AdWords' interface since it was created more than 15 years ago, the company said.

Certain advertisers will receive invites to test out the revisions and provide feedback. Google expects the overall effort to take more than a year to complete.

"This is for a multiscreen world and that means a lot of advertisers will be able to reach their users whether they are on YouTube, browsing on a tablet or if they're using Google Maps," said Paul Feng, AdWords product management director. "The goal is for advertisers to reach their consumer with a message, not because they understand the intricacies of search."

More than a million advertisers currently use AdWords to buy ads pegged to Google's search results. But it was built in 2000, when Google was first figuring out search advertising and consumers accessed the internet through desktop computers. Today more people around the world search Google from their smartphones than their computers.

"The shift to the mobile consumer behavior is fundamentally different," Mr. Feng said. "Display, mobile, video, shopping and search -- if you think about all these new things and consumer behavior, it has really increased its demands on marketers. That is really the driver for this."

Mr. Feng said the new AdWords will have a big focus on campaign types and ask marketers upfront what their goals and objectives are, whether that's driving business to a physical store or increasing app installs. "We want to streamline that process," Mr. Feng said.

One of the planned new features is a top-level view that will digest a variety of data points to represent important elements of a campaign with dynamic visuals. Data shown will include the percentage of traffic coming from mobile and which ads are driving the most profit.

"The old UI is it had just grown complex over the years as new channels emerged," Mr. Feng said. "The product felt really dated and we needed to change the look and feel."

The new AdWords UI will feature Google's Material Design, which is the same design element found in apps like Maps, Search and Gmail. There will be no extra costs for using the new UI and current campaigns will not require upgrades or migration, Google said.

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