A few months ago, Google launched a new AdWords Alpha interface and so far, the reception amongst advertisers and tech-geeks has been decidedly mixed. While AdWords users of all backgrounds have been eagerly awaiting many of the updates and changes that were made, there are also a lot of widely used and helpful features from the old version that are noticeably absent—at least in the Alpha version. On the plus side, end users still have the option of hopping back and forth from the new version of Google AdWords to the old one just in case they need to use those specific features or functions for any reason. On top of that, the changes aren’t necessarily permanent or complete yet, which means there’s still a lot of room for improvement and promises that a lot of the most important and popular functions will eventually resurge. The long-term effects these changes will have on SMEs and SMBs has yet to be seen, so stay tuned. In the meantime, only select accounts are eligible to participate in the AdWords Alpha testing process.
Effect on SMEs—Small to Medium Businesses
Missing “Dimensions” Tab
As mentioned, there are a few very noticeable differences between the old version of Google AdWords and the newer Alpha, for better or worse. One of the most important changes for SMEs is the now missing “Dimensions” tab. This is unfortunate because the “Dimensions” tab was instrumental in helping businesses gather and track vital information about their target audiences such as user location, demographic, active times of day and week, age, gender, etc.
Missing Price Extension
Another missing key feature is the price extension, which is actually very helpful when it comes to setting companies apart from their competitors and inevitably increasing their click-through rates based solely on convenient price comparisons on SERPs. Other practical tools such as the Shared Library and Message extension are also missing, but can still be accessed if you switch back to the old version of AdWords from time to time.
Don’t worry, though, because there’s still a light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak, because even as Google giveth, Google taketh away—a little tit for tat, if you will. In this case, even though Google has—hopefully temporarily—removed a few important popular AdWords features as part of the Alpha testing, it might re-install said features in the beta version. In the meantime, there are a few new AdWords features for advertisers and technology enthusiasts to rejoice over: Advanced Bid Adjustments, Goals, and a completely refurbished and more fluid AdWords interface.
Advanced Bid Adjustments
This is a huge improvement on the old interface that allows advertisers to more easily make bid adjustments based on online interactions.
The Goals feature gives advertisers the ability to set specific financial and web-based goals for multiple individual AdWords campaigns they’re managing. Google will also offer suggestions on how to improve your results based upon the goals you’ve set and you can choose whether or not to adhere to them.
New AdWords Interface
Perhaps one of the best features of the AdWords Alpha test is the fact that the new interface is much easier to navigate due to its consistency from one page to another. It might take a while to familiarize yourself with where everything is because a lot of the existing features have been relocated, but once you get accustomed to all of the idiosyncrasies of this new AdWords interface, you’re sure to get behind it.
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