You’ve heard that Google’s new Performance Max campaign is a game changer.
But you’re not sure where to start.
There are a handful of businesses that have already seen improved results with Google Performance Max. Though if you don’t take the time to learn the ropes, you could be left behind.
But not to worry, this ultimate guide is your solution. We’ll go through everything you need to know about Performance Max, from how to set one up as well as how to adjust several campaign settings, along with some tips on improving your Performance Max campaigns if you already have an existing one up and running so that you can improve your chances of having a truly successful Performance Max campaign.
Keep reading to get started…
What is Google Ads Performance Max?
If you’ve launched Google shopping and local campaigns or search ads in the past and are not sure what Performance Max is all about, the next few sections will help you understand it.
A Performance Max campaign also known as a PMax campaign is defined by Google as “…a new goal-based campaign type that allows performance advertisers to access all of their Google Ads inventory from a single campaign. It’s designed to complement your keyword-based Search campaigns to help you find more converting customers across all of Google’s channels like YouTube, Display, Search, Discover, Gmail, and Maps.”
Needless to say, if you’re the kind of person who’s always looking for that extra edge, Performance Max is for you. As mentioned, with Performance Max, you can access all of Google Ads’ inventory from a single campaign, making it an efficient way for you to advertise. Furthermore, this goal-based campaign type is geared to gain more opportunities by finding potentially converting customers across all of Google’s channels which you’ll find out later reduces the amount of work you need to put in. Whether you’re looking to increase brand awareness and online sales or even increase the number of phone calls that your business would like to receive, Performance Max can help you get there.
But how does Performance Max achieve this?
We’ll now move on to discussing how this campaign type works.
How Does Performance Max Work?
Ultimately, advertisers may expect to see an increase in conversions as well as a reduction in cost per acquisition by using Performance Max campaigns.
So what’s the big deal about that?
Surely any other campaign such as search campaigns or local campaigns can deliver optimal results.
Well, that may be true, but right off the bat, Performance Max is the perfect solution for extremely busy advertisers who want to easily set it up and undergo less work for the entire campaign creation process.
Just provide a few basic pieces that make up your campaigns, like images, descriptions, logos and headlines, and Google will take care of the rest. Its machine learning systems will serve your ads across all channels, utilising automated Smart Bidding based on the goal you’ve set.
In other words, the greatness of Performance Max campaigns comes from the fact that they are powered by Google’s machine learning and automation which optimises placement, budget allocation, audience, etc. to meet the advertiser’s goal.
So you don’t need to design specialised ads for each specific channel on an individual and manual basis if you’re going to create a Performance Max Campaign.
Overall, the Performance Max Campaign type helps reduce time and effort while potentiating increased audience sizes for faster results and higher ROI.
Therefore, if you’re looking for a way to increase your conversion rate and reduce your cost per acquisition, then you should consider publishing at least one Performance Max campaign to see the value it can generate for your business or brand.
Who Can Use Google Ads Performance Max?
Many have agreed that Performance Max campaigns can be a great tool for businesses of all sizes.
However, we believe that this will ultimately depend on your business’s needs as well as further testing in order for any business to say that they have actually seen successful results from publishing one.
Nonetheless, here’s a short list of who can use performance max campaigns:
- Advertisers, marketers or business owners who lack the time and effort to optimise for each channel
- Advertisers, marketers or business owners who find it challenging to optimise various campaign types for one location
- Advertisers, marketers or business owners who want to explore new geo markets
- Advertisers, marketers or business owners with a bigger (or limitless) budget
Now that last one might have taken you aback.
But here’s our take.
Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been in business for years, Performance Max can help you get the most out of your advertising dollars.
So if you’re looking for a powerful and effective way to advertise your business, Performance Max is a great option.
But of course, just make sure to have a budget prior to setting up your Performance Max campaigns.
Reasons to Use Performance Max
If you’re still not convinced about testing Performance Max, we’ve listed several reasons why you should give it a try.
Increased Visibility for Your Business
If you’re looking to increase visibility for your business, Performance Max campaigns can be a great way to do just that. With careful planning and execution, you can see great results with this campaign and get your business in front of more potential customers.
Through the help of machine learning and smart bidding, your ad placements can range from Google Maps to Search. Rest assured your ads will be placed in the most optimal places on the Google network. Apart from achieving visibility, there is the potential added benefit of a lower customer acquisition cost.
Finds People Who Are Also Likely to Convert
One of the best things about Performance Max is that it can help you find people who are likely to convert, even if they’re not in your defined audience. This makes Google Ads Performance Max extremely helpful in driving sales and other important conversions from potential customers.
Access to All Google Ads Creative Assets
Another key benefit of Performance Max is that you have access to all of your Google Ads’ creative assets. Because of this convenient accessibility, you don’t necessarily need to manually upload your creative assets when crafting your Performance Max campaign. Allowing you to save time and effort as you can use previously uploaded images and videos that were utilised in your prior Google Ads campaigns (this includes search campaigns, smart shopping campaigns or even multiple performance max campaigns).
Easier Campaign Set up
Google Performance Max makes it easier than ever to set up your campaigns.
Although Performance Max is quite different when setting up, you’ll be able to access some of the features of other Google Ads campaigns. But more on this in the latter sections of this article. To give you a hint, the time and effort for keyword research are eliminated. With its powerful features, Performance Max makes it easy to get the most out of your advertising efforts.
Leverages Machine Learning for Optimal Results
In a nutshell, machine learning is a type of artificial intelligence that allows computers to learn on their own, without being specifically programmed. This makes them ideal for being one of the pillars of several digital marketing platforms, tools, applications and more.
As a matter of fact, Performance Max campaigns employ machine learning to generate optimal results for many businesses as it can continually learn and adapt as to the ever-changing landscape of the internet, ensuring that your campaign is always getting the most out of its performance.
This means that you can more or less rely on Performance Max campaigns to always deliver optimal results – no matter what changes are happening online.
Cons of Using Performance Max Campaigns
With Performance Max, it’s important to be aware that you have limited control over how and where your ads are displayed. You can’t choose the specific websites or pages that your ads will appear in, as well as how they will look like once Google mixes and matches them together.
Therefore if you would like more control in the majority of the aspects of your advertisements, then you’ll be very limited when setting up and launching Performance Max campaigns.
If you’ve previously managed or are currently managing existing smart shopping campaigns, then you know how frustrating it can be to have no control over the creatives.
Limited Data and Insights
One of the downsides of Performance Max campaigns is that they offer limited data and insights. Even if you have a good understanding of how the system works in order to make the most of it and avoid wasting your advertising budget, it can still be difficult to know whether you’re achieving the results you want, especially when it comes to specific results that will help you make sound decisions.
Possibility of Cannibalisation
When using Google Ads Performance Max, it’s important to be aware that there is a possibility of cannibalisation.
Cannibalisation occurs when one campaign harms the performance of the campaigns that your business is currently running by stealing sales, especially from search campaigns, specifically branded search.
If you’re running multiple campaigns that target similar keywords, make sure to monitor their performance closely. And if you happen to see one campaign consistently underperforming, it may be because it’s being cannibalised by another campaign. Be sure to keep an eye out for cannibalisation and take steps to prevent it from happening.
Inability to Add Negative Keywords
Campaign types such as search campaigns allow you to add negative keywords. But if you’re using PMax campaigns, you might feel like you’re being held back from really unleashing the power of your keywords. After all, users can’t add negative keywords or use other bidding strategies.
However, there is an upside to this: you don’t have to worry much about these things especially when it comes to your keywords! While this may seem like a huge downside, it’s actually in your best interest. Instead, you can focus on developing great ad copy and other elements of your campaign. So while PMax campaigns might not give you as much control as other types of campaigns, they can still be a great way to achieve success.
Although Google does note that, “Account-level negative keywords will soon be available and can be used to exclude certain search terms from your Performance Max campaigns.”
So that’s something to look forward to.
How to Set Up Google Ads Performance Max?
Campaign Objectives and Goals
Step 1: Select Your Campaign Objective
Take note that the objectives available for a Performance Max campaign are Sales, Leads, Local store visits and promotions, and Create a campaign without a goal’s guidance.
Other than those objectives mentioned, Performance Max won’t be available for objectives such as App promotion.
Step 2: Select Your Campaign Type
In this step, you’ll need to select Performance Max among the other campaign types provided as seen above.
Step 3: Choose Your Conversion Goals
Google Ads has made some impressive changes over the years. The latest change to note is the addition of multiple goals within a single campaign. Not only does this give you the freedom to choose which goals you want to include in each campaign but also the flexibility to add more than one goal.
Just make sure that your chosen conversion goals do not have pending adjustments that need to be made. You can delete other conversion goals if there are any that are listed such as Outbound Clicks. Then again, you can also retain multiple conversion goals.
It’s important to remember that not all goals are created equal. You’ll want to carefully consider which goals are most important to your business before adding them to your campaign. Otherwise, you could end up with a bunch of goals that don’t actually help you achieve your objectives. So go ahead and add those conversion goals – just be sure to choose wisely.
Budget and Bidding
Step 1: Configure Your Budget
Next, set your budget.
If you’re like most people, budgeting probably isn’t your favourite thing in the world. But when it comes to your Google Performance Max campaigns, setting a budget is actually a very important step.
By definition, a budget is a plan that allocates resources in order to achieve a specific goal. In other words, it’s a way of making sure that you’re spending your money in the most effective way possible. This is why when you set a budget for your Google Performance Max campaigns, you’re essentially creating a roadmap for success.
You’re telling Google how much you’re willing to spend on each click, and you’re also setting limits on how much you’re willing to spend each day. This ensures that your campaigns are as efficient and effective as possible.
Although if you are very new to Google Ads you might probably assume that setting a budget for your Google Performance Max campaigns is simply a matter of choosing an amount that you’re comfortable spending.
But, there’s actually a lot more to it than that.
The truth is, your budget can have a big impact on the success of your campaigns. For example, if you set too low of a budget, you may not be able to reach your target audience. On the other hand, if you set too high of a budget, you may end up wasting money on clicks that don’t convert.
Therefore, it’s important to strike the right balance when setting your budget. By doing so, you’ll maximise your chances of success while minimising your risks.
Here are some tips that you may want to go over when tackling the budgeting aspect of your campaign:
Start small and increase your budget over time
When it comes to Performance Max campaigns, it’s important to start small and increase your budget over time as you see better results. This allows you to gradually increase your spending while still seeing positive outcomes.
Set your max budget to what you’re comfortable losing
You read that right.
This tip is especially true if you’re just starting to test this campaign. And so when setting your max budget for a Performance Max campaign, you should be comfortable with the amount you’re willing to lose. This also means that you shouldn’t set your budget too high, especially if you’re new to performance marketing.
Monitor your results regularly and make changes as needed
Monitoring your results is key when it comes to Performance Max campaigns. You need to be able to track your progress and make changes as needed in order to achieve the best results. If you aren’t seeing the desired results, make changes to your budget, until you do.
Regularly monitoring your results will help you fine-tune your campaign and achieve the most success possible. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different campaign settings until you find what works best for you.
We understand that setting a budget for your Google Performance Max campaigns probably isn’t at the top of your list of things to do. After all, there’s so much else to think about when running a campaign – from designing creative ad units to making several tweaks on your landing pages.
Fortunately, we can help you run your Performance Max campaigns! Simply book a FREE strategy session with us and we’d be happy to help you get started in setting up your ads.
Step 2: Add Your Bidding Options
To get the most out of your ad spend, you’ll want to leverage one of Google’s smart bidding strategies which are as follows:
By choosing Conversions you can set a Target Cost per Action.
If you select Conversion Value, you can set your desired Target ROAS (return on ad spend).
Step 1: Enter Your Location
Simply add your target location based on the following options that are provided to you which are:
- All countries and territories
- Enter another location
Step 2: Add Your Desired Languages
In this step, we’ve decided to stick with English but you can add any language you need to add.
Step 3: Configure More Settings
When you click more settings, you can adjust your ad scheduling accordingly, set your start and end dates, make changes to the final URL expansion field, and configure your campaign URL options.
In this guide, we’ll cover Final URL expansion and Campaign URL options in another. So stay tuned for that.
Final URL Expansion
In this portion, you can choose which URLs to include and exclude. We do recommend that you select On: Send traffic to the most relevant URLs on your site instead of turning it off. This is because Google will direct traffic to your other web pages which could result in more conversions.
If you’d opt for Google to exclude certain web pages select the Exclude URLs option. This way, you’re letting Google know which web pages of your site you would want Google not to drive traffic to.
Just remember, based on the intent of your target audience, your final URL might be swapped in order to provide a more relevant landing page to optimise for performance. So take the time to go through the considerations needed in this step.
With Performance Max campaigns, there are no ad groups as compared to search campaigns which allow you to enter the specific details for each ad group. You can however create multiple asset groups with Performance Max.
Step 1: Name Your Asset Group
This step is self-explanatory, you’ll just need to enter the name of your asset group.
Step 2: Add Your URL
This is also another self-explanatory step, simply add the URL of your business or brand.
At this point, you’ll notice on the side, a preview of what your ad looks like, which is similar to when you create a search ad.
Step 3: Add Your Images
There are three crop options for the images you upload which are: 1.91:1, 1:1 and 4:5. Make sure that your image meets any of the crop ratios mentioned.
In addition, you can add up to 15 images. And the more images you add the better, as Google will have more options for the best ones to serve. If you have uploaded images in the past, you’ll be able to see all of them under the Asset Library tab.
On the other hand, when you go to the Website or Social tab, it will scan your website for images that meet Google’s size requirements. If these two options are not what you’d like to utilise, you can upload a new set of photos by going to the Upload tab.
Once you’re done, click Save.
Step 3: Add Your Logos
When you click Logo, you’ll be greeted with the same Asset library as in the previous step. So if you haven’t previously added your logos, you can still add them on this step. Simply click the upload tab to do so and select your desired ratio.
Step 4: Add Your Own Video
With videos, you can go through your asset library for existing videos that have been unloaded previously, or you can search YouTube for a video that has already been published on the YouTube site.
If you don’t add a video that is fine, however, Google will automatically create a video by utilising the images and logos you have provided in the previous step.
So the question is, would it be better to take the time to create multiple videos or allow Google to do this task for you?
The answer is, it all depends on your preferences.
We personally prefer that a video should be created in advance as there will be more creative freedom and you’d be able to properly explain and express your product, service or brand in the way you want it to be presented to your audience.
Step 5: Add Your Headlines
With headlines, you can add more than 3 which we highly recommend so that Google will have more options to utilise.
When writing headlines for your ads, you want to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward. That’s why it’s important to write headlines that can actually capture the attention of your audience. Not only will this help you stand out in a crowded online space, but it will also help you capture the attention of your targeted audience.
Step 6: Add Your Long Headlines
So why are long headlines so important?
With so many businesses competing for attention, it’s essential to find ways to stand out from the crowd. And one of the best ways to do that is by using long headlines that catch the attention of your audience.
Another reason is that long headlines help you connect with your target market. When you use long headlines to give a unique snippet that describes your brand, product or service in a manner that is relevant to your potential customers, you’ll be able to connect with them on a deeper level. And that can lead to better results for your business.
So if you’re looking to make the most out of your long headlines for your ads, be sure to do some research on the wording that will best hook your audience. Not only will this help you stand out from the competition, but it will also help you to truly connect with your targeted customers.
Step 7: Add Your Description
The significance of writing good descriptions for ads cannot be overemphasised.
A well-written, keyword-rich description can make the difference between someone clicking on your ad and someone scrolling right past it. Not only do you want to make sure your ads are enticing, but you also want to make sure they are accurately describing what you are offering.
Misleading or false advertising can get you in trouble with Google, so be sure to take the time to write accurate and honest descriptions.
When writing your ad descriptions, be sure to keep the following in mind:
- Write for humans, not bots
- Include your unique selling proposition
- Include a value proposition
Step 8: Add Your Business Name
All you need to do is add your business name.
As any ad expert knows, sitelinks are an important part of Google Ads. They provide links to specific pages on your website, making it easier for users to find the information they’re looking for.
However, many individuals mistakenly believe that they can only add two sitelinks to their asset groups.
You may be wondering why you would want to add more than two sitelinks. After all, aren’t two sitelinks enough?
Well, the answer is that you can actually add up to four sitelinks, and it’s best to add more than two. The reason for this is that sitelinks provide links to other pages on your website, which can help visitors find the information they’re looking for.
In addition, sitelinks can also help to improve your website’s search engine ranking as well as your web traffic. So, if you’re looking for a way to improve your website’s visibility and traffic, adding more sitelinks is a great idea.
Step 10: Add Your Call to Action
Make sure that the call to action you choose will help you achieve your desired outcome or goals. If your objective is to increase online sales, then you’d want to choose from the list of calls to action that will help you do just that.
Step 11: Set Up Your Audience Signals
With Audience Signals, you’re guiding Google to find your desired audience as well as audiences who’d be interested and are likely to convert but are not necessarily in the target audience you’ve defined.
You can choose to either stick with the previous audience you have created or create a new audience. Here’s a brief walkthrough of the three sections in this tab.
With custom segment, you can opt to create a new custom segment based on search activity and more.
Under Your Data, you can select an audience who has previously interacted with your business.
Interests and Detailed Demographics
In this section, you can add interests and detailed demographics where you can use previous ones or browse from in-market segments, life events, detailed demographics or affinity segments.
Audience signals are an important part of any effective Performance Max campaign. They help you to target your ads more effectively and to reach the right audience with your message. There are a number of different audience signals that you can use, and each one is important in its own way.
Take note that for Audience Segments, you can add your previously created audiences to your other Google Campaigns.
Step 12: Publish the Campaign
And finally, the last step is to launch your Performance Max campaign.
But before you hit the Publish button, it would be best to thoroughly review each of the sections of your campaign.
A Performance Max campaign requires several creative assets and details that need to be defined during the campaign set-up. Moreover, there are minimum as well as maximum specifications that must be met in order for the campaign to be successful.
Use the image above as a reference for your creative assets such as headlines, images, YouTube videos and more.
Tips for Running Performance Max Campaigns
Run a Performance Max Ad Alongside Existing Campaigns
When used in conjunction with an existing campaign, Performance Max can help drive even more conversions apart from the possible conversions you are able to gain from the other campaigns that are running.
Create Compelling Ad Copies
With Performance Max campaigns, it’s important to create compelling ad copies that speak to your audience. This means using persuasive language and including the right keywords in your copies. It’s also important to make sure you have a strong offer to entice customers. This can be in the form of a discount, free shipping, or some other incentive.
Essentially, you want to write copy that encourages them to take action.
Design Your Ads for High Click-Through Rates
To design your ads for high click-through rates, there are a few things you can do to ensure that your audience will be interested in clicking on your advertisements.
First, make sure your creative assets are relevant to what you’re selling. Second, you’d also want to use eye-catching visuals and lastly, make sure you use your brand colours and fonts.
By following these tips, you can create an ad that’s enticing enough that your audience clicks on your ads.
Optimise Your Landing Pages for Conversions
There’s nothing worse than a landing page that is not relevant, uninformative and isn’t well-rounded. To optimise your landing pages for conversions you would want your page to be designed in a way that encourages users to take the desired action, whether that’s signing up for a newsletter, making a purchase, or some other goal.
The following are a few things you can do to optimise your landing page for conversions:
Users should be able to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily.
Make sure the page looks professional
No one wants to click on a shoddy-looking website.
Landing pages that look professional, appealing and trustworthy are typically designed with clean and simple layouts. They also typically have a few key elements, such as a strong headline, persuasive copy, and prominent CTAs. Additionally, they often feature high-quality images or videos. When creating your landing page, make sure to focus on creating a simple and visually appealing layout, and be sure to use high-quality and creative assets.
Finally, avoid using too many flashy or gimmicky visuals, as they can actually distract users from taking the desired action.
Use clear and concise copy
Don’t overwhelm users with too much information at once. Stick to keeping your message easy to understand.
Copy that is clear and concise will help you to achieve your desired results. It will help to keep users on your page and encourage them to follow through with your call to action.
Use persuasive visuals
Images can be very effective in persuading users to take action, and using the right images can make a big difference.
Some things to keep in mind when using visuals on your landing pages:
- Use high-quality images that are relevant to your offer
- Make sure the images are properly aligned with the rest of the content on the page
- Use persuasive visuals sparingly. You don’t want to overwhelm users with too many images
- Use images that support your message
Keep the page short and sweet
The longer the page, the more likely users are to get bored and leave without taking action.
Create Professional Videos
Videos are considered to be one of the highly effective customer acquisition tactics. When creating video ads for a Performance Max campaign, it’s important to make sure that it is of high quality and looks professional. This will help to ensure that customers are more likely to click on your ad and ultimately convert.
To create a high-quality video, you’ll need to invest in some quality equipment and hire a professional videographer. This may seem like an expense, but it will be worth it in the end.
Moreover, your video should follow a script, be well-produced and that the messaging is clear and speaks to your audience. If you can create a video that is both informative and entertaining, you’ll be well on your way to success.
Monitor and Adjust Your Campaigns Regularly
We’ve mentioned this before in terms of setting your Performance Max campaign budget, but we will mention this again in a more generalised scope as this tip is one of the most important ones to keep in mind.
Campaign monitoring and adjustment are part of the many factors that contribute to a successful Google Ads campaign. It’s the same for your Performance Max campaign. If you’re not monitoring each of your Performance Max campaigns regularly, you’re likely to be wasting your time and money on ads that aren’t performing well.
By adjusting your Performance Max campaigns regularly or as needed, you can optimise them for the better. This may involve changing your budget or adjusting your ad copy and other elements involved.
The best way to determine what adjustments need to be made is to monitor each PMax campaign closely and to keep track of how much you’re spending and how many conversions you’re getting.
If you do not see good results, make changes to try and improve them.
Running a Performance Max campaign alongside your other current Google Ads campaigns can help you achieve your pay-per-click goals.
Whether you’re looking to boost your traffic and conversions, or simply to take your paid ads strategy to the next level, consider using Performance Max and see how well it can help your brand or business.
And, if you’re not sure on how to set it up or maximise this campaign type it, our team is here to help.