Google Ads Logo

Adwords to Google Ads – What’s Changed?

After almost 18 years as AdWords, Google has rebranded and overhauled its paid advertising platform as Google Ads. Since making the initial URL and branding change on 24th July 2018, Google has rolled out a host of new features. Aside from the obvious name change and a glossy new logo, it’s left a lot of advertisers wondering what the move means for them.

Fortunately, we’re here to clear things up. Read on as we look at what has changed as AdWords becomes Google Ads.

Streamlined services

First of all, it’s not just AdWords that is changing. As well as changing its primary brand to Google Ads, Google has integrated DoubleClick and Google Analytics 360 Suite into the Google Marketing Platform. They have also merged DoubleClick for Publishers and DoubleClick Ad Exchanged into Google Ad Manager.

This is all part of an effort to simplify their services. So, rather than having a selection of separate tools, the Google Marketing Platform now provides a unified platform for advertising and analytics with the following features:

  • Analytics
  • Data studio
  • Optimisation and testing
  • Surveys
  • Tag Manager
  • Display & Video 360
  • Search Ads 360

Fortunately, that means they aren’t massively changing what’s on offer with the specific tools. The same goes for Google Ads, but there are some key additions and innovations…

Ad Preview and Diagnosis

The Ad Preview and Diagnosis tool allows users to preview their ad as a result for a specific search term. Rather than performing a real search, which would affect their ad metrics, they can do a test run with a diagnosis if the ad isn’t showing. This works in tandem with custom filters like location, language and device, which would be used when the ads appear on search engine results.

Google Ads Graphic

No, it isn’t a new tool – most Google Ads users are familiar with it. However, Google has added two new features. Firstly, users can now filter their previews by audience. If you’re targeting an ad, you can then see whether it’s showing for that specific audience – rather than being misled by a general preview.

On top of that, they have made it easier to make changes following diagnosis. Previously, the tool provided a diagnosis for your issue, which was the reason behind your ad not showing. It was then up to you to make the changes elsewhere in your account.

A lot of legwork, right? Good news. Google has made it possible to fix issues directly from the Preview and Diagnosis tool. If, for instance, your ad isn’t showing because of the budget, you can simply edit the budget and see an immediate impact.

Parallel tracking

With this change, Google is focussing on the speed of their ads and your site. Traditionally, users – or third parties on their behalf – would need to use click tracking, which slows down load times once visitors have clicked through from your ad.

Instead, parallel tracking takes place in the background while visitors are taken directly to your landing page. According to Google, it reduces load times by as much as five seconds.

From the end of October 2018, this will be mandatory for any third-party Google Ads partners. So, you can rest assured your ads will be tracked seamlessly, with no effect on loading times and the best user experience for visitors on your site.

Improved reports

Another key feature in the Google Ads experience is the Report Editor. This gives advertisers easy access to performance data for their ads, in a range of formats.

Rather than having to download and manipulate the data themselves, the user can create, view and share tables and charts which can be integrated into their Google Ads Dashboard. Again, this in itself isn’t new. What is new, however, is the landing pages report and expanded report.

The landing pages report is essentially a new and improved version of the final URL report, which allowed users to see landing page reports exclusively for traffic from Google Ads. They could see which pages are most effective for Google Ads traffic and tailor them to get the right conversions.

For the landing pages report, Google has added additional columns for mobile speed score, mobile-friendly click rates and the click rate for Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs). On top of all this, the expanded landing pages report shows which URLs users visit with any custom parameters in place.

Responsive search ads

Previews, reports and parallel tracking all help you monitor, tweak and optimise your ad campaigns. On top of all that, Google is trying to empower advertisers with machine learning. How? One way is through responsive search ads.

This tool allows advertisers to enter up to 4 descriptions and 15 headlines for their ad, before Google’s technology combines them to find the best grouping. It essentially removes the need for tweaking on your end, eliminating hours of A/B testing. Your customers get an advert which adapts to them, resulting in maximum conversions for your business.

Smart campaigns

One of the keystone features in the transition to Google Ads is Smart campaigns. This is a collection of tools which makes Google’s paid advertising more accessible and practical for small businesses. It’s the newdefault ads experience, allowing them to create ads in minutes with clear direction and goals.

Ad management is minimised with a simple campaign overview, ad scheduling and critical alerts about your campaign or billing. Google basically runs your ads for you, with clearer performance indicators relating to your specific goals.

Verified calls, for instance, displays how many calls you receive as a result of your campaign, on top of the clicks. Similarly, map actions allow you to see how many people used Google Maps to gain more information about or directions to your business following an ad impression.

Make the most of the changes

With all its new tools and features, Google Ads gives more power to businesses when it comes to reaching the right people and achieving your goals. Report Central is a team of digital marketing experts that wants to help you make the most of the changes.

We provide specialist PPC management services to help you fine-tune your campaigns and boost your sales. Whatever industry you’re in, we’re dedicated to creating the right leads and helping you convert them into sales and profit. Want to know more? Get in touch today to chat with one of our team.

learn how report central drives results

Request a free consultation with our team of experts.


Share this blog post:

award nominations and accreditations.