New Google Beta: An Updated AdWords Interface

On June 3rd, I will have the opportunity to speak directly with the designers, managers & executives of Microsoft AdCenter.  In a yearly summit which about 50 advertisers are chosen to attend, Microsoft allows us to air our frustrations and point out their (many) short comings from the eyes of an end-user.  This is a rare opportunity to actually make a difference and get Microsoft AdCenter to the forefront of search.

These yearly powwows are to align AdCenter’s goals with that of its advertisers.  I was quite surprised how humbling they were last year; jotting down every idea brought up.  I think they realized that their system was architected with their programmer’s ideas & designs instead of an advertiser’s.  They need us to help make their changes.

If you are reading this and have a specific operation issue, lack or functionality, editorial, customer service, or anything you want to get off of your chest, please leave a comment here and I will be sure to represent your voice.  And please, don’t hold back.

This morning one of our accounts was chosen to be part of Google’s small test sample for their new AdWords interface. My First Impression:  When Can we switch the rest of our accounts over? Google hit a homerun with this one.

The interface integrates the look and feel of Google Analytics with the functionality of the AdWords Editor. When switching over to the Beta version the first change noticed is the line graph jutting across the screen. The new graph is very reminiscent of the one in Google Analytics. This is a good thing, as the graph serves its purpose well and turns trends into an easily comprehensible visual to look at.

The graph also allows the user to see two different metrics at the same time. This feature can be used at any level: Campaign, Ad group, and Keyword. Take a look at this next example, Impressions with clicks were chosen to compare at the Campaign level for the month of January.

After the graph is noticed the next big change to AdWords is the new tab layout and organization. Google reorganized the entire structure to make it resemble the AdWords editor. The hierarchy is on the left, which simplifies drilling into the different account levels. However, the most convenient feature of this reorganization is the ability to change a bid, key word, or ad on the spot. With one click on the edit button a yellow box appears that allows editing without having to leave the page. Very convenient.

The following are examples of the new keyword and Ad editors:

Another new feature found within this beta is a new status/quality score. If everything is ok, keyword status is labeled “Eligible”. Then when clicking on the left side of “Eligible” a box appears that breaks up the quality score into Relevance, Landing Page, and Landing Page performance.

Quality score has always been a bit of a mystery so hopefully this new feature will give advertisers a better glimpse into what Google’s opinion of “quality” is.

Other small changes implemented in the new beta include a new network tab that compares performance between the content and search network, and a tab that eliminates the long wait for the campaign settings page to load up.

Overall this new beta version is faster and far easier to navigate. There is no doubt that this version will increase efficiency and help advertisers save time and money. Hopefully Google will release the full version of this beta soon, because after using it for only a day it becomes difficult to switch back to the antiquated standard AdWords.

With the latest Microsoft Excel Updates, you can use the new module like Monetization, Keyword Extraction, Geographic and other new features that Microsoft prepared for their users.

We were contacted by our Microsoft AdCenter account rep last week about the AdCenter Add-in(beta) for Excel 2007 with Ad Intelligence. Excited to install a new module for Excel, this new tool seamlessly integrated itself into Excel 07 as a separate category tab.

The Verdict: This Beta add-in is the first time MSN AdCenter has truly developed a tool with the end-user held close at mind. This client-side add-in is a really good tool not a revolutionary tool, but a valuable feature set to call upon at any given moment you are in Excel plugging away at new keywords. The beauty of this program is that the data can be applied to non-MSN marketing channels.

Here’s a list of notable features with some good suggested uses. There is nothing revolutionary about any single feature, but it does consolidate tools and reports currently scattered across Ad Centers back end. It saves SEM developers valuable time by integrating (adding-in) these features directly into the Excel editing environment. Results are returned to you in Auto-Filter format which allows you to get very detailed by whittling away all but the best keywords for your account based on user preference.

  • Keyword Extraction:
    Enter URL(s) in Excel This feature crawls the website(s) and extracts keywords from meta tags and content. This tool differs from Google’s website content keyword tool because it does not return actively advertised keywords, only raw content based keywords.

Try this> Copy the URLs of allof your competitors into Excel and see if there are keywords or perhaps alternate verbiage being used which you can add to your accounts. Use it to help you get those creative juices flowing and to avoid a keyword writer’s block from advertising an unfamiliar product or industry vertical.

  • Keyword Suggestion:
    • Campaign Association:Returns similar words competitors are bidding on.
    • Contained:Returns similar words users are searching for on MSN.
    • Similarity:Returns similar words in context to other keywords used on the Web.

Try This > First use Campaign Association to get a list of competitor keywords then compare the results of Contained and Similarity to see if there are any opportunities to bid on keywords which have little or no competition on MSN.

  • Search Buzz:
    • Top Spiky Keywords: Choose your vertical from the drop-down menu and see which buzzwords are showing an unusual spike in activity.
    • Top Frequent Keywords: Choose your vertical from the drop-down menu and see which are the most popular keywords.

Try This > Use the Top Spiky Keywords to help you develop negative keywords. i.e. Real Estate Lending the results return the keyword Mortgage Leads and show that it is spiking. Since in the example we are advertising to the consumer, adding Leads as a negative keyword would help limit B2B lead resellers from seeing your ads.

  • Traffic:
    Monthly & Daily. View historical & forecasted impression counts for your keyword(s).
  • Monetization:
    Same as the keyword estimations when adding a new listing. Shows potential Clicks, Impressions, Avg Position, CTR, CPC. The added benefit to this feature is that it compares the estimated performances of Broad, Phrase and Exact match.
  • Geographic:
    Uses your keyword(s) to provide impressions estimates based on the available geo-targeted locations available in the Ad Group settings and a over a given time period.
    Try this> Use this feature to spot dips and peaks in account activity over the course of a year. Optimize by geo-targeting your Ad Groups around seasonal search activity across the country.
  • Demographic:
    Uses your keyword(s) to provide percentages of your search audience: Male vs. Female & Age Range (0-12), (13-18), (18-25),(25-35),(35-50),(50-65), (65+)
    Try this > Who is your product or service being targeted to? After you research a bunch of new keywords, you can use this feature to isolate the keywords most relevant to your target-base and thus improve your CTR.

(The one feature which would be exceptional to have with this utility would be a BulkUpload functionality thus avoiding the current online model which is in place and very cumbersome. )

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1 comment

  • Magne Uppman · Friday, March 20, 2009 at 4:17 am

    Thanks for sharing this. Looks promising!

    Just a little comment; The information about the quality score can be found in the old AdWords interface (the one we have now) also. Just click the magnifying glass behind each keyword, and you’ll have this info.



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