How to Do You in the New AdWords UI

November 20, 2017

This is a guest post from Laura Stiles, Manager of Digital Advertising at Wheelhouse DMG.

Everyone’s opted into the new AdWords UI, and not everyone is excited about it. Remember when Facebook changed its UI in 2010 and people were outraged?

Here are two screenshots: one of Facebook when I joined in 2007 and the other after the 2010 redesign. Can you imagine going back to either of these versions, now that we have the Facebook we know and love today?

People hate change, but change is good.

In five years we’ll look back and laugh about how resistant we were to the new Google AdWords UI, but in the meantime, I wanted to provide you some tips to ease the transition.

  1. Be intentional about using the new UI. Set aside an hour a day or designate a project, and commit to going start to finish in the new UI. For me, I was recently transitioning agencies and getting all new clients, so I dedicated a few clients that I solely managed in the new UI.
  2. Submit feedback. The benefit to trying to transition yourself before the old UI goes away: there’s still time to submit feedback if there were features in the old UI that no longer exist! If there are missing features, your fellow marketers will thank you for bringing them to Google’s attention.
  3. Don’t throw in the towel. My first instinct when I can’t find something in the new UI is to revert back to the previous UI. We’re all busy and I know it’s quicker to go backward and access the data the old way, but take an extra minute and figure it out. So far I haven’t found anything I could do in the old UI that I can’t do in the new UI. (Shocking, right?) Below, I’ve shared a couple of tricks to accessing the views you’re comfortable seeing.

Google AdWords New UI Overview

There are now more options in the top nav, which is now the side nav. For example, ‘Device’ now lives on its own, as opposed to being tucked away under the ‘Settings’ tab. I’ll let you explore the side nav on your own, and focus on the seemingly hidden features in the new UI—the features that took me a little more clicking around to figure out.

These features include:

  1. Dimensions
  2. Menu features
  3. Campaign/Ad Group/Keyword screen features
  4. Keyboard shortcuts


Most notably different, in my opinion, is the elimination of my beloved ‘Dimensions’ tab. Luckily, I’ve found that all of the features I normally use still exist; they’re just more intuitively tucked away within tabs to which they’re relevant.

Geographic/User Location Reports

  1. Navigate to the ‘Locations’ tab.
  2. At the top of the screen, look for the ‘More’ option.
  3. Choose either ‘Geographic’ or ‘User Location’. As a refresher, the ‘Geographic’ report shows the location that triggers your ad, while the ‘User Location’ report shows where the searcher was physically located when your ad was triggered.
  4. To view more granular data, click into a particular country, and then you’ll get a list of location segmentation options.
  5. Finally, if you need a more comprehensive view across countries, click the graph icon in the top right of the screen. Next, click the option for ‘Predefined Reports (formerly Dimensions)’, then choose from ‘Geographic’, ‘User Locations’, or ‘Distance From’.

By Hour Performance

I use this all the time for intraday budget pacing, so I panicked when dimensions disappeared in the new UI.

  1. Click the graph icon in the top right of your screen.
  2. Select ‘Predefined Reports (Formerly Dimensions)’.
  3. Choose ‘Time > Hour of Day’.
  4. Change your date range to compare two dates to see a by-hour breakdown of performance.

Access Menu Features

This is also known as, “Place where you go to revert to the previous AdWords.”

Keyword Planner

  1. Click the three vertical dots next to the graph icon.
  2. Under ‘Planning’, you’ll see an option for ‘Keyword Planner’.
  3. Click this, and it’ll open the normal keyword planner to which you’re accustomed.

Shared Library

  1. Clicks the three vertical dots next to the graph icon.
  2. Here you’ll find the ‘Shared Library’, which gives you access to:
  3. Audience manager
  4. Portfolio bid strategies
  5. Negative keyword lists
  6. Shared budgets
  7. Placement exclusion lists

Bulk Actions

  1. Click the three vertical dots next to the graph icon.
  2. The third column from the left features the ‘Bulk Actions’ menu, including:
  3. Rules
  4. Scripts
  5. Uploads

Campaign/Ad Group/Keyword Screen Features

Auction Insights—Two Ways to Access

  1. To view this across all campaigns, ad groups, or keywords, select ‘More’ at the top of the screen, then select ‘Auction Insights’.
  1. To view this across select items, check ‘Specific Items’. You’ll see options to edit, label, or go to Auction Insights.

Segmenting Data

  1. Click the donut icon next to the filter icon. Select ‘Segmentations’ from the dropdown list. The same rollups by segment still exist at the bottom of the page.
  2. Options include:

Include Paused or Removed Items

  1. Click the on the ‘Additional Features’ next to the columns icon, then select ‘Additional Items’ to add to your current view. This is a little more intuitive to understand based on what view you currently have open. Showing ‘Paused’ but not removed is the same view as ‘All but removed’ in the previous UI.
  2. Similar to the old UI, this setting trickles down through your other views. For example, by selecting ‘Show Paused’, you’ll now see data from paused campaigns in the ‘Device’ tab.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Include Paused or Removed Items

  1. When you’re in the new UI, if you simply enter a ‘?’, then just the key command ‘shift + /’, you’ll be able to view all the keyboard shortcuts available in the user experience.
  2. Learning these shortcuts early will help save time, and even limit having to learn where your favorite views and dimensions are hidden.

As you get more used to the new AdWords UI, you’ll find more features that best suit your advertising needs. Here’s to change!

Laura Stiles

Marin Software
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