Google Performance Max Campaigns 101 

google performance max campaigns
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In 2021, Google introduced Performance Max campaigns at their Google Marketing Live conference. Google announced that these new campaigns would build upon the learnings of current Google Ads to create a comprehensive solution to reach a wide range of goals. But what exactly does this mean? This high level summary of Performance Max campaigns is enticing. However, taking a deeper look will show us how valuable these campaigns can be for advertisers.

What Is Performance Max?

As many marketers know, predicting future changes and adapting to them are key to staying ahead of the curve. And with this challenge, automation is a crucial marketing trend that has transformed the way that marketers are able to do so. Google’s Performance Max campaigns take the power of automation, along with machine learning, to create campaigns that address a full range of goals and channels.

So, what exactly is a Performance Max campaign? Performance Max campaigns are goal-based Google Ads campaigns. As its name suggests, these campaigns focus on maximizing ad performance. To do so, they use machine learning to serve ads to a highly relevant audience. In addition, this machine learning is used to further optimize the campaign performance by using Smart Bidding. With Smart Bidding, Google automatically applies an optimized bidding strategy, allowing you to maximize the value of your campaign. Even further, they use these automation technologies to optimize the campaign’s creatives, attribution, and more.

To help reach your specific campaign goals, Performance Max campaigns use these machine learning and automation technologies to display your ads across a wide range of channels. With this, you can find more converting customers by targeting those audiences that are most relevant to your ad. Google’s Performance Max campaigns use dynamic ad formats to display your campaign across the following channels:

  • Display
  • Search
  • Maps
  • YouTube
  • Gmail
  • Discover

What Are The Benefits Of Performance Max Campaigns?

It is clear to see why Performance Max campaigns can provide an amazing opportunity for advertisers due to their automation and optimizations. In fact, in 2021 Google reported that advertisers who use Performance Max campaign see a 13% increase in incremental conversions at a similar cost per action as other campaigns. The following are some of the key benefits of Performance Max campaigns and why advertisers should incorporate them into their strategy.

Unlock New Audiences

By optimizing across a variety of channels, Performance Max campaigns allow you to reach consumers where it matters most. In addition, their use of real-time learnings of consumers’ interests and preferences allows these campaigns to place your ads in front of the most relevant users.

Drive Goal-Focused Results

Performance Max campaigns are goal-focused, allowing you to specify your goals to guide the campaign. Google will take this goal, and use their machine learning and automation technology to optimize your campaign towards your specific campaign goals.

Gain Useful Insights

Google’s Performance Max campaigns provide new reports that clue you in to how they are optimizing your campaigns. With this, you can learn valuable information on your creatives, messaging, audience, and more that can help you adapt your strategy.

Save Money & Drive Value

By figuring out which creatives, audiences, and channels work best for your specific goals, you can minimize the amount of spend required for testing. Their bid and budget optimizations will allow you to maximize the efficiency of your campaign, which can both save you money and help drive conversions more efficiently.

How To Set Up A Performance Max Campaign

Another great benefit of Performance Max campaigns is that they simplify the campaign set-up and management process. With the following steps, you’ll gain a basic overview of how to set up your Performance Max campaigns.

Choose Your Campaign Objective: To begin your Performance Max campaign, you will need to determine the goal you want Google to optimize towards. After you choose your campaign objective, make sure to specify that you’re setting up a Performance Max campaign.

performance max campaign objective

Choose Your Conversions Goals: Next, you will be asked to confirm your conversion goals. Get the most out of your Performance Max campaign by setting goals that you want Google to optimize your campaign towards.

Set Your Budget: You’ll want to set a budget for how much you want to spend per-day per campaign. Google will not spend more than your monthly budget, which is determined by multiplying your daily budget by 30.

performance max bidding

Set Your Bid Strategy: Next, you’ll need to choose a bidding strategy that will work towards your specified campaign goals. Performance Max campaigns use Smart Bidding, which uses machine learning to optimize bidding towards your goals. The following are the Smart Bidding strategies that you can choose from, along with which goals they are geared toward. Choose the one that best corresponds to your business and campaign goals.

      • Maximize Conversions → Increase Sales or Leads
      • Target CPA → Increase Sales or Leads
      • Target ROAS → Increase Profit
      • Maximize Conversion Value → Increase Profit

Adjust Campaign Settings: Performance Max campaigns will give you the option to adjust some of the campaign settings. Here, you’ll want to adjust the location and language as needed based on where and who your ads are intended for.

performance max settings

Final URL Expansion: In addition to general settings, you’ll need to specify whether or not you want to use Final URL Expansion. Turning Final URL Expansion on will allow your ads to show for additional search queries that have a high change of driving conversions. With Performance Max campaigns, Google will determine a landing page on your website that is the most relevant for the user. In addition, they will create optimized headlines for your ad that match the consumers search intentions.

Create Your Asset Groups: Google will do the hard work for you once your campaign is running, but you must provide campaign assets to be used. To complete your asset groups, you can provide the following assets to be used across your ads:

      • Images
      • Logos
      • Headlines
      • Descriptions
      • Videos
      • Audience Signals

performance max campaign asset groups

Add Ad Extensions: Ad extensions can be added to your Performance Max campaigns to provide important details to users. Some of these useful details include locations, additional links, prices, and your business’ phone number.

Publish: Finally, it’s time to publish your Performance Max campaign. From here, Google will begin using machine learning to optimize your campaign for your specific goals.

Google’s Performance Max campaigns bring important value to a paid search strategy. With the power of automation and machine learning, they can be used to increase campaign value and reach overall campaign goals, like generating leads and online sales. It is unclear exactly what the future of Google Ads will bring, but Performance Max campaigns provide a glimpse into how automation and predictive technologies will transform the space.