As Google gradually rolls out a new interface for AdWords, it looks to help retailers use ads to tackle specific goals.

As Google embarks on its gradual rollout of a major overhaul of its AdWords interface, the search giant is looking to position AdWords as a simple-to-use platform for marketers. As part of that push, the search giant today launched a website that aims to demonstrate how marketers can use the platform to achieve specific goals.

The informational site features an overview of the ways retailers and other advertisers can use AdWords to achieve such objectives as boosting e-commerce purchases, increasing app engagement and driving shoppers into a merchant’s physical store. The site walks marketers through Google’s various text-based search ads, graphic display ads, YouTube video ads and in-app mobile ads to help them understand how to achieve their objective. It also features case studies and “best practices” guides.

For example, the site enables a multichannel retailer that wants to drive shoppers into its stores to learn about Google ads that feature store directions.

The site is in line with the revamped AdWords, which focuses its navigation around a retailer or marketer’s specific goals, such as driving consumers to physical stores. As part of the overhaul, Google is streamlining the interface so advertisers will only see relevant metrics. For example, an advertiser running a video campaign will only see a “video” tab.

“We know there are folks who know AdWords inside and out,” Anthony Chavez, Google’s product management director, advertiser platform. “But there are also plenty of marketers who are not aware of our capabilities or the features that we offer that can help them achieve their goals. The advertising world is pretty complex—even from the AdWords perspective. And unless someone is constantly reading our blog posts, we know it can be hard to keep up. We realize that it’s important and valuable to organize content in a way that acknowledges that we understand what marketers are seeking to achieve.


The AdWords platform overhaul is a slow process. Chavez says Google is currently testing the new interface with several thousand advertisers, with plans to roll it out to all advertisers over the course of next year. The project is significant because the last time it rewrote and redesigned the platform’s core interface was 2007 and 2008, well before mobile devices were mainstream.

“The world has dramatically changed since then, especially in respect to the shift to mobile,” Chavez says. “As consumer behaviors change, we have to evolve with that.”

That’s essential for Google. While the search giant’s advertising revenue is up 17.9% throughout the first three quarters of the year that growth pales in comparison with Facebook Inc., its main competitor for advertisers’ digital marketing dollars, which has seen its advertising revenue rise 59.2% throughout the first three quarters of the year. And while Google’s year-over-year comparables make it tougher to post those types of strong growth numbers, there’s little doubt Google has to continue adjusting to the changing ways consumers behave online.

Google isn’t taking that challenge lightly. In September alone, Google announced that over the next few months it will begin letting retailers add Google Maps data and photos to their ads, expand its Brand Lift tool to show marketers how TV ads increase Google and YouTube searches for their brand compared to YouTube campaigns and—most significantly—it will take a step away from its reliance on cookies to track consumers’ across the web and across devices. Instead, it will begin using consumers’ logins to track browsing behavior and enable retailers to market to them across multiple devices, apps and sites.


Click here to read more about Google’s pivot in the November issue of Internet Retailer.