Top 5 Christmas Wishes For Google AdWords Improvements

2016 has seen some pretty seismic changes in the Google AdWords Advertising.  The one that might prove to be the most significant has happened in the last couple of weeks, that is the introduction of Google Shopping In Ireland.  This new functionality will give a e-commerce websites an opportunity to display their products directly in Google’s search results showing images and prices of products on sale from their websites.

Other notable changes include the disappearance of right hand side text ads (to make room for Google shopping ads) on desktop search results and the introduction of the expanded text ad format giving advertisers nearly 50% extra ad space to work with in the main text fields.  We’ve also seen the introduction of demographic targeting for search ads and new ad extensions such as the very recent message extensions being rolled out.

Despite all these fantastic improvements in terms of features and the opportunities it affords Adwords Agencies and individual advertisers alike, it would be hugely beneficial if some of floors in the functionality of Google AdWords could be addressed.  We spend hours each day within both the AdWords interface and the offline AdWords editor and over the last few months we have been keeping a note of our gripes.  So Google, if you are listening, below are our Top 5 Christmas Wishes For Google AdWords Improvements.

1. AdWords off line

AdWords offline screenshot

It doesn’t happen very often but when it does, it’s a real frustration.  It’s totally reasonable that from time to time a system as complex of AdWords would need to be taken off line, however, being forewarned of upcoming maintenance would allow work to be scheduled around such down times.

2. You can’t import conversions from Google AdWords into Google Analytics

For many years the functionality has existed to allow goals (and other useful metrics) from Google Analytics to be imported into Google AdWords.   However, the ability to do that in reverse is not possible.  This is a particular issue in relation to phone-call conversions.  We are being schooled to think mobile first and that phone-call data from Google AdWords can’t be seen in Google Analytics is baffling.

3. Accessible log of Google support interactions

Google AdWords support has come a long way over the years. The days of despairing with the person at the other end of the telephone are a distant memory.  And the number of times we manage to solve a problem whilst on hold to AdWords Support have all but disappeared.  In more recent times, the online chat support functionality has been a real winner, enabling a degree of multitasking – being on chat to support whilst getting on with other essential tasks.

Our one gripe here though, is that these conversations, particularly those on online chat are not stored anywhere for future reference.  Of course you can request the transcript of the chat to be emailed to you, but it would be much better if these transcripts were stored somewhere, within your clients account.  They should be accessible and searchable.  It would be very beneficial to be able to look back at previous support interactions (it would save time and cut down on support calls and chats) and it would be a useful resource that you can refer to when measuring performance and reporting back to your clients.

4. No warnings or prompts that making some changes are irreversible (and dangerous!)

If you over-write a final URL in an existing live ad in AdWords, you in effect delete the old add.  This is of little consequence if you are making a permanent change that you will never need to reverse.  However, by deleting an add and creating a new one in this way, you are essentially resetting its performance to the beginning.  This can have a huge impact on quality score and ad rank, which in turn can cause your ad position, clickthrough rate, cost per click, and per action to be negatively impacted.

When you click on an ad to edit in the AdWords dashboard you do get a simple warning however you do not get an idea of the seriousness of what you might be about to do.

Screenshot showing AdWords prompt when about to edit ad

Even more of an issue exists in AdWords Editor –  there is no prompt meaning it is easy, all too easy to delete hundreds of ads in the click of a mouse

5. Location targeting remains poor in Ireland

Up until the end of 2011 it was possible to mark out an area on a map within AdWords location targeting and that would be the area your ads would show.  This was called Custom Shape Targeting  Presumably this was not overly accurate and this was feature was stood down.  In some jurisdictions like the UK and US you can target post code and zip code respectively. In Ireland this is not the case.  Google can be excused somewhat in that countrywide post codes were only introduced into Ireland in 2014. However simple 1 and 2 digit post codes have been in existence within Dublin, for longer than Google has been around!

Other nuisances exist around location targeting.  For example you can target people in South Dublin.  But you can’t in North Dublin.  Also many major towns ‘cannot be found’ when you search for them to target in AdWords.  For example, Howth cannot be targeted specifically, nor can Clontarf or Ballymun.

Summary

Google AdWords is a fantastic tool for advertisers.  Our clients certainly benefit from the opportunities it provides them to reach more online customers.  And the future is bright, especially with the advent of Google shopping.  However, addressing functionality issues like the examples above would in our opinion greatly improve the user experience and ultimately the results from it, to the benefit of Advertiser and Provider alike.


Are you looking for a Google AdWords Management Solution? Drop us a line at SWOT Digital and we’d be happy to discuss how we can help you.