Skip to Content

Subscribe to Azteknically Speaking to get our take on the most important news in digital marketing and website development. Subscribe

4 New AdWords Features You Should Use in 2018

The face lifts to the Google AdWords platform and experience aren’t the only changes we’ve seen roll out in the past six months. There has been an influx of new features that can help increase campaign results and overall ROI. Here’s a rundown of the top four we think are important to use in your campaigns in 2018.

Demographic Targeting for Search Ads

Previously, true demographic targeting was only available for display ads in Google, but it has now been expanded into search ads as well. Similar to the way Facebook allows us to drill down into specific categories for users to create more targeted audiences, Google now allows you to add additional layers to your search campaigns to more closely match a searcher’s intent.

New demographic targeting options include gender, age, household income, parental status, and more. These additions allow you to be more considerate of your buying personas when you’re creating search campaigns. This will lead to more qualified clicks that are more likely to lead to conversions.

Custom Intent Audiences

These audiences are exclusive to the Google Display network and allow advertisers to find people who want to buy the products or services they offer based on historical data from your previous campaigns, website, and YouTube channel.

There are two ways you can use the custom intent audiences. First, you can combine URLs, search terms, and topics to create an audience. Second, you can allow Google to create an audience for you with machine learning. Which one you choose can depend on the goals of your campaign.

Custom intent audiences are a great way to refine your display targeting and to help drive more qualified leads, as people who are going to fall within these audiences are active researchers who are likely in the midst (or at the beginning) of their buying process.

Promotion Extensions

This is a new extension that can be used to add more value to your text ads by highlighting your sales and promotions for people who are searching for the best deals during certain time frames. The extension displays up to two lines of text that includes details of your promotion.

The promotion extensions can easily be added to any existing campaign or ad group from the extensions tab in AdWords. Currently, they can only be run during specific time periods designated by Google like holidays, back to school, Black Friday, etc.

Ad Variations

Google is attempting to make A/B testing as easy as possible for advertisers. Under the Draft/Experiments section in AdWords, there is a new tab called Ad Variations. This allows users to apply mass updates to your ads, which allows advertisers to quickly and efficiently create new ads to test things like CTAs or headlines. You can then set a time frame for the experiment and note what percentage of users should see the new variation to help determine which ad is more successful.

Testing and optimizing ads is essential to increasing conversions in AdWords. With this new feature, you’re able to do so in a timely fashion without having to rewrite or create entirely new ads or campaigns.


These are some of our favorite new Google features that we think can be most effective for businesses. If you have implementation or best practices question, give us a shout. We’re here to help! We’re sure there’s more to come throughout the year, so check back with us in a couple months to get more AdWords scoop!