In Q4 2021, Google launched Performance Max campaigns, which offered great potential for effective advertising.
Performance Max is a relatively new campaign type that helps performance advertisers access all Google Ads inventory from a single campaign. It complements your keyword-based Search campaigns by helping you find more customers across all of Google Ads properties such as YouTube, Gmail, Maps, Search and Display.
The adoption of the PMax campaign is growing rapidly, and Google is very much committed to improving this campaign type to deliver quality results for advertisers. In During Alphabet Q1 2022 Earnings Call, Philip Schindler, SVP & Chief Business Officer at Google mentioned1,2:
“Let’s talk Performance Max – our newest AI-powered campaign that allows businesses to harness the best of automation to drive the most optimal performance across all Google Ads inventory. Since launching globally in November, PMax has seen strong customer adoption, particularly among smaller businesses. PMax’s simplicity shows how we’re moving from a model in which businesses needed to understand a complex language of campaigns, keywords, CPCs, etc. – to a model where we understand a company’s goals and actively help them achieve their business objectives.”
Also, the company announced in January that the Smart Shopping and Local campaigns will be replaced by the Performance Max campaign starting from April 22.
Since the Performance Max campaigns have already become a part of many Google Ads accounts, we’d like to share some optimisation tips that can help you get the most out of your Performance Max campaigns.
1- Using Google Ads Conversion Tracking is recommended instead of importing conversions from Google Analytics. It allows you to track view and conversion data across devices, which is vital as bidding strategies use this data to optimise traffic.
2- Ensure that conversion tracking is configured correctly and that the campaign is optimised towards a lower-funnel conversion action with high frequency. In this case, if you’re using maximise conversions or target cost per conversion bidding strategies, bid strategies will receive enough data and work more efficiently. You may want to change the other conversion actions to “secondary” conversion actions.If you have offline conversions, import your offline conversion data so that bid strategies can use this data and work more efficiently.
3- If you’re unsure whether the PMax campaign type will work well for your business, allow the campaigns to run for at least 6 weeks to give the machine learning algorithm enough time to build patterns from your customer data and optimise traffic.
4- Keep an eye on the “Ad Strength,” which can indicate how an asset group will perform.
Add or remove assets and keep your asset groups up-to-date as your marketing message changes or expands. If you’re going to target a different segment of customers, set up a new asset group for that audience.
As the PMax campaign allows you to reach potential customers across many Google properties, we recommend including different types of assets (image, video, text) in your campaign.
Google recommends adding at least 5 versions of text assets (4 headlines and 5 descriptions) and 5 versions of image assets to your asset group.
Improve campaign performance by ensuring your creative assets meet Google’s image quality guidelines which will help you get traffic from as many surfaces as possible.
If you’re running a PMax campaign for shopping, create different asset groups for different product categories.
5- Although Google will replace Smart Shopping campaigns with PMax campaigns soon, if you want to test an existing Smart Shopping campaign against a new PMax campaign, here are some tips:
If you have an existing Smart Shopping campaign running the same products as a new Performance Max campaign in the same account, please keep in mind that Performance Max campaigns will be prioritised over Smart Shopping campaign type. Therefore, when you launch PMax campaigns, the smart shopping campaigns featuring the same products will get significantly lower traffic, and PMax will start receiving traffic instead. Once you start running a Performance Max campaign, it’s recommended to pause your Smart Shopping campaign to ensure the PMax campaign can run smoothly.
However, if you want to keep them both in the account, to avoid performance issues, set a similar budget for your PMax campaigns as you do for Smart Shopping campaigns (when those 2 campaigns are running the same products). If your Performance Max campaign has a lower budget than Smart Shopping, it likely won’t capture as much inventory and return fewer sales.
Lastly, you may have to wait up to 3 days before your Performance Max campaign can take over the inventory of your Smart Shopping Campaign.