Earlier this week Google introduced the new opportunities tab. The old opportunities tab offered suggestions on keywords, bids, and budgets. All the things that you might not know are limiting you. Based on the performance of your account the system might suggest bumping up your budget. It may also offer more keywords similar to the ones you have in your account in order to get more clicks and impressions.

Quite a few things changed with the latest update. The keyword additions are still there as well as budget suggestions. The newest features are more in line with enhanced campaigns and some of the new tools introduced in AdWords.

The New Look

The interface changed considerably. The new interface is much cleaner. It offers suggested changes, the projected impact, and the opportunity to view and select from these changes in one place. Instead of being broken out across multiple tabs, suggestions of all types are offered on the same page in a clean, easy to read manner.

When you initially click the opportunities tab you will be given suggestions for the entire account. These can be helpful but I found it easier to go campaign-by-campaign using the campaign drop down on the upper right of the page. This ensures you are viewing all relevant opportunities. The issue with the default view is the fact that this is only one page.

The opportunities Google decides to put on the first page might not be the ones you are most interested in. As such, you might want to poke around with the filters just to make sure you aren’t missing anything important. If you don’t you could be bombarded with suggestions about extensions, when you are only concerned with bids and ad positions.

New Opportunities

One of the more interesting opportunities is the comparison to your competitors in the search engine results. These insights take advantage of AdWord’s competitive metrics. Looking at this I found that by increasing bids for certain keywords I could increase my impression share and surpass my competitors on a few key terms.

When I view the suggestions, the page gives me a quick rundown of my impression share, my competitors’ impression share and the overlap rate. In the accounts I looked at this was not overly helpful because most of the differences were miniscule. On the other hand if it picks up on differences this small, we can hope it catches the big differences as well.

One of the touted features in enhanced campaigns is the inclusion of geography based bid modifiers. Until now these has been something you have to keep track of in the dimensions tab if you wanted to utilize the data.

I’ve been implementing the geographic bid modifiers for a while and wanted to see how the system rated my performance. It only offered two suggestions in one lone campaign. When I evaluated the changes, I felt it was a little too aggressive for the two low volume regions it suggested. Nonetheless, it did get me re-looking through the data and evaluating further opportunities. Conveniently the system also breaks down the proposed change in conversions, cost, and CPA if these changes are made so you won’t have to blindly follow the system into making changes you are not so sure about.

My favorite new feature is the suggestion to split an ad group into multiple ad groups based on keyword themes. This is very important in a successful account performance, both in boosting ad relevance and quality scores. I see this issue a lot and the fact that the system will point out these issues makes it easier for people who aren’t in the account all the time to be aware of the issue.

If decide to take the advice and split the ad group apart, the system is extremely helpful in that it offers the suggested keywords to break out, creates the ad groups, and pauses the keywords in the original campaign. You can also change your ad text for each ad group before clicking the button to create the ad groups. All of this is done without navigating off the opportunities page.

Many of the other changes revolve around Google’s latest push with the new ranking calculations. You may see many suggestions pushing you to implement call extensions, sites links, and items of that ilk. It feels like these pop up a little to often even when they aren’t applicable. On the other hand, if you are missing them, they can be great for CTR, which is part of why advertisers are constantly reminded to implement them.

Closing Thoughts

Google plans to release additional features in the future; this is just the first round of updates. I’m looking forward to what else they come up. There is quite a lot of data in the AdWords system, enough that it can be easy to overlook something if you aren’t always keeping track of it. The new opportunities are great for pointing out data points you may have missed in the myriad of things you must keep track of in PPC.

Have you found any helpful insights from the new tab? Feel free to leave a comment below and let us know how you feel about the changes.