How to Setup Performance Max Campaigns Correctly
Google Ads Performance Max will help you maximize your performance. Here’s everything you need to know to get PMax up and running. My team has been testing Google Ads Performance Max campaigns since it was released in beta.
Here’s what you need to know to properly set up Performance Max campaigns.
What exactly is Performance Max?
PMax is an all-in-one campaign type that displays ads across all of Google’s channels:
- Discover feed
Smart Shopping and Local campaigns will be depreciated and rolled into PMax in the near future.
What distinguishes PMax?
The structure of the campaigns differs. In particular, in terms of structure:
- Asset Groups Ad Groups
- Listing Groups Product Groups
Performance Max, unlike Smart Shopping, can be used for ecommerce and lead generation.
Why should you use Performance Max campaigns?
PMax takes Smart Shopping to the next level for ecommerce retailers who have seen success with it by adding additional placements and reach – acting as a Smart Shopping campaign with retargeting and prospecting display ads layered on top.
Performance Max can deliver scale and efficiency in lead generation that Search and Display alone cannot.
Simultaneously, it will be critical to feed the system the correct signals so that you do not end up with low-quality leads.
Let’s get into the how now that we’ve established the what and why.
Moving on from Smart Shopping Campaigns
If you’ve been using Smart Shopping Campaigns, the one-click upgrade tool in the Recommendations tab is recommended. Using this tool will sync the campaign’s historical performance in the backend, allowing PMax to get started right away.
You should double-check all settings, including Locations, Asset Groups, and Listing Groups.
Because SSC’s display ad options are much more limited, you’ll want to add more creative/copy to the Asset Groups. It’s also a good idea to include Audience Signals.
Structure of the Campaign
What is the best way to organize PMax? It’s best to condense as much as possible unless you need to split into multiple campaigns for location targeting or budget allocation. This gives the system more data signals to work with in order to achieve peak performance.
Because no reporting is available at the Asset Group level, you may want to separate different products/services into separate campaigns for reporting purposes.
We try to condense as much as possible for stores with few products. Always choose simplicity over complexity.
We typically segment into product/service themes so that the creative and copy match the underlying products or services.
Choose the conversion actions that are appropriate for your company.
- Ecommerce/Shopping: Select “Purchases”
- Lead-Gen/Services: Select “Services” Select calls, forms, chats, and so on.
Hot tip: Prioritize calls over forms/chats to improve lead quality.
Targeting by Location
When creating your campaign, after selecting your target locations, make sure to check the box for Presence: People who live in or visit your target locations on a regular basis
Your messaging and creative assets should be tightly themed to the group’s product or service.
If you don’t supply a video, Google will create one for you. I highly recommend using Canva or a similar tool to create something simple.
For ecommerce, launching a PMax campaign with no assets other than the data feed is something worth testing for Google Shopping, especially if you’ve had success with Smart Shopping in the past.
Please keep in mind that you will almost certainly need to create a new Asset Group.
- Exclusions for Customers: Upload your customer list and have the system exclude them from all targeting. This is beneficial if you want to concentrate on new customer acquisition.
- Keywords: If you have a Google representative, they can help you block branded search terms from PMax.
Signals from the audience
Audience signals are not the same as audience targeting. This is used as a signal by the system to locate your ideal prospective customer.
We’ve had good results with the following:
- Customer compatibility. Begin by uploading any lists you may have, such as email addresses and phone numbers. This could include previous customers, email subscribers, and so on.
- Intention that is unique. Make a list of your top keywords from Search and Standard Shopping
- Interests. In Google Ads, you can target people based on pre-determined interests.
- Visitors to a website. Users can be targeted based on the pixel data in your account. Google will target new customers based on your website visitors, leads, and purchases.
Feed of data
Product information is the most important piece of the ecommerce puzzle. While everything else helps, the data feed submitted to Google Merchant Center has the greatest impact on the performance of your Performance Max campaign.
Make sure you include as much information as possible:
- Custom Labels
- Descriptive Titles (include keywords!)
- Google Taxonomy/Categorization
- Multiple Images
- UPC Code
- Product Type
There are two options available in Performance Max:
- Increase Conversions (with optional target CPA)
- Increase Conversion Value (with optional target ROAS)
If your account already has a large amount of historical data, you can proceed to target CPA/ROAS. Begin with Maximize Conversions on a new account to allow the system to collect data. Once you’re seeing consistent conversions, switch to tCPA or tROAS to meet your targets.