Last week, Google announced it was releasing an AdWords app for Android users. Many PPCers rejoiced (and many complained that it wasn’t out for Apple users yet) and were anxious to see how this could help them manage their accounts on-the-go.
I downloaded the app and fiddled with it some, and thought I’d share my initial impressions. First, let’s review what it has and how it works.
The interface is very clean and basic, making it easy to navigate. There are really only a few screen versions, they’re just adapted to whatever you happen to be looking at. You can look at Account, Campaign, Ad Group, Keyword and Ad Views, which can only be viewed on one screen at a time.
Screen type 1: The Overall Performance layout: This shows high-level performance when you first choose an attribute to look at. It features the date range, your budget, its paused/active status, a graph (mine shows Impressions by default), a brightly-colored Opportunities section, and then refiners to drill down further, depending on what you’re looking at. So for example, if you’re looking at a Campaign, you can pick Ad Groups, Keywords or Ads to dig in further.
For those with an MCC, there is an initial MCC view. Once you pick a client, you are funneled into the standard account view options.
Overall Performance View
This is the first screen you see, showing high-level performance. It populates when you first pick the account you want to view from the MCC, or if you choose to look at Campaigns and Ad Groups.
It features the date range, your budget, its paused/active status, a graph (mine shows Impressions by default), a brightly-colored Opportunities section, and then refiners to drill down further, depending on what you’re looking at. So for example, if you’re looking at a Campaign, you can pick Ad Groups, Keywords or Ads to dig in further.
When you choose to view specific attributes, the view is pretty much the same. It lists it down the left (Campaign name, Ad Group name, Keyword, or Ad Copy), with room for 3 columns. These columns default to Budget, Impressions, and Clicks. It has totals at the bottom, with a dynamic overlay that disappears if you scroll down. You can refine your dates at the top.
Changing the Metrics You View
You can also refine the metrics you choose to display when you are viewing this type of screen, and this is where you might feel the pinch of limited real estate. Tap the three dots in the upper right-hand corner, and you can choose to customize your columns. It opens a menu that looks like this:
The three lines on the right let you drag and drop the field to put them in the order you want. The pencil icon opens another menu for you, where you can choose to display different metrics. Note that you get three which will display when you hold your phone in it’s normal portrait-oriented way, and then one additional one that will show if you turn your phone sideways into landscape mode.
If you choose the pencil, these are the metric options you have available (you have to scroll, so I have them listed as two screens here so you can see all of the actual options):
These options show each time you choose the pencil/edit option, with your current selections noted by a checkmark.
This might also be another area that could limit some account managers, as you obviously don’t have all of the options you would have within the normal interface. You certainly have the basics and the most commonly referred-to metrics, but that’s about it.
Managing Details & Drilling Down Further
You can also refine and make edits to your budgets and bids from this view. Clicking into the individual campaigns gives you a version of the overall Performance view, with the option to pause/activate at the top, and adjust your budget. Drilling into an Ad Group gives you the same layout, with the appropriate options at an Ad Group level.
Likewise, you can drill down to the keyword level to adjust your bids. It also helpfully notes the Campaign/Ad Group above to help you keep your bearings on where you are within your account:
Overall Impressions and Usage:
The app is clean, easy to navigate, and runs fast.
It’s definitely not meant to be used for any in-depth account management, and it’s not really a workhorse. Because of the limitations in screen size, you have to tap and refine to get down to some things, but given the mobile environment, this is to be expected.
There are also details listed that you can’t necessarily change, but are there more for informational value. For example, you can’t change device modifiers at the Ad Group level, only bids or status. You can’t edit keywords, only change their bid or status. The Campaign view will list the locations you’re targeting and excluding, but you can’t update them. You can’t change any inherent Campaign settings or modifiers.
Essentially, the app is useful for a few things:
1. Glancing at performance on-the-go, to see how performance is going/if anything looks off for that day. If it does, you may not have all the data tools you need at your disposal to troubleshoot it, however.
2. Very basic bid management.
3. Emergency pausing of terms or ads if a problem arises.
Given how mobile most of us are as account manages, despite the limitations, this is still a very welcome addition to our tool arsenal for PPC.