Google Adwords gets a Material Design Makeover

Business.com / Marketing Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Google is making big visual design changes to its incredibly successful Google AdWords platform. Here's what you need to know as a marketer.

Google is making big visual design changes to it's incredibly successful Google AdWords platform, citing the need for major changes to accomodate a more mobile-first world.

It has been eight years since any real changes have been made to AdWord, and perhaps for good reason. 

  • The majority of the $66 billion revenue Google earned  in 2014 came from AdWords, Google AdWords.
  • Within that number, 68 percent, more than $45 billion, came from ads shown on websites Google owns. 

The new changes to the website are superficial, an upgrade to Google Material Design, Google's effort to make the web homegenized but highly usable.

It is characterized by drop shadows, and meaningful movements and transitions that make the interface decidedly more interactive feeling than what hadn't been touched since 2008. 

Related Article: Clicks to Cash: 6 Ways Your Business Can Benefit From Using Google AdWords

Here's How the New Interface Will Look

Google AdWords - Material Design Makeover, PPC

  • Large retailers often spend up to $50 million per year on AdWords paid search.
  • More importantantly an average business utilizing AdWords will spend anywhere from $9,000 to $10,000  per month, or $100,000 to $120,000 per year, just for Google ads. 

And the technology surrounding what's effective in the space is growing more sophisticated by the day.

Programmatic advertising automates decision-making process of advertising buys by targeting specific audiences and demographics.

According to PPC Minneapolis, programattic ad buying is set to go up to $14.88 billion of the approximately $58.6 billion digital advertising money spent over the next year.

That's a $5 billion leap from 2014, when it only accounted for $9.9 billion.

Related Article: My Cheat Sheet: An SEO Manager's Go-To Digital Marketing Tools

New Features Like Deeper Tracking and Bulk Edits, but Same General Framework

Clearly the space is changing, but the core of Google's AdWords functionality is staying the same.

According to Google's own press release, the visual elements an heirarchy are said to be cleaned up and optimized for greater complexity.

Their description hints at a greater ability to update the text on a large amount of ads at once, and track more micro-moments or individual interactions with product pages. 

As for the elements that make up the user interface, you'll no doubt be familiar with them already.

They already pervade the services many of use on a day in and day out basis, like Google Search, Gmail,  and Google Maps.

Visual design conventions that someone is familiar with are proven to facilitate more conversions, as a visitor doesn't have to waste attention on learning a new system.

This homegenization that Google is creating within it's eco-system reminds a keen observer of the kind of in-breeding that makes Apple products so compelling and addicting.

But what requires much less factories than Apple's product-heavy offerings? A website that everyone is on and clamoring for attention on. 

It really begs the question though.

Where Should You Spend Your Digital Advertising Money? Facebook Ads or Adwords?

The benefit of being there when someone is specifically searching for something related to your product or service is still undeniable.

Social ads win in that they are great for brand awareness and social proof, allowing one more touch in the famed seven touches that a customer will have before buying from you, but it's still not enough to pull all of your budget away from Adwords. 

As granular control of audiences gets greater and greater it's a year to year battle over which digital ad giant, Facebook or Google will win in regards to targeting very specific groups of people.

A casual observer might think that the level of specificity for targeting interests is almost creepy (or very creepy,) but this offers a serious upside for advertisers who want to serve up their ads to people who will actually be interested in them.

As of this writing, Facebook is winning on targeting but Google isn't far behind. Perhaps the new Adwords platform will offer improvements on this front as well.

So in the end, the decision comes down to your objectives and the amount and kinds of targeting you want to do to get the word out about your products or services?

Related Article: 14 Tools to Track Key Performance Indicators for Your Business

If you're looking for highly-targeted ad based on employment, industry and professed interests that will expose your brand to more people, work with social ads, and more specifically Facebook's ad product.

If you want to be there at the exact moment someone is looking for a product or service related to yours, it's Google Adwords for the win. 

For an increasing number of people the answer is not which one, but how much to each, and what content or what offer should they promote on each one.

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