Performance Max 101 – What It Is And Why You Should Use It For Your Business

February 22, 2023
Performance Max 101 – What It Is And Why You Should Use It For Your Business

You’ve probably heard about Performance Max and how this new campaign type has revolutionized Google Ads in the past year. We have put together some basics for you in this Performance Max 101 blog post. 

If you haven’t, Performance max is the newest campaign type offered by Google, where all of the campaign types are condensed into one. Through PMAX campaigns, you can run display, shopping, search, and YouTube campaigns simultaneously.

This effective campaign type is designed to help you get more clicks and conversions by boosting your bids on search queries that are likely to convert. You can set your bid targets, so you’re not tied to Google’s suggested bid amounts or automatically increase your bids as the auction progresses.

What makes Performance Max better: 

  1. It uses machine learning to optimize your bids, targeting, and performance based on previous data in the account and general shopping behavior
  2. It’s easier for you to explore new placements for your ads effectively. Since Performance Max uses so many placements, it’s easier to be omnipresent in all of them and get as much impression share and digital advertising real estate as possible.
  3. It’s much more scalable once you dominate all placements: Once the account is seasoned with data and the algorithm has learned what works, Performance Max is much more scalable than other campaign types in the past.

What makes Performance Max campaigns so unique?

  1. Performance Max Asset Groups

An asset group is what digital marketers are usually calling “ad groups.” It’s a section that contains your marketing materials such as creatives, uploaded images & YouTube videos, copy, headlines, descriptions, product feeds, destination page, and other information. 

It’s essential to have an asset group for each audience you’re targeting because the previously mentioned marketing materials (copy, creative, and other info) can differ for each audience, depending on their position inside your sales funnel. This helps you organize your information, analyze the Performance, and make necessary changes. It also makes it easier to track which assets you have used in each campaign and which ones are still available for use. 

You can now upload your assets from different campaigns into one asset group. Google will do the heavy lifting of combining and testing thousands of combinations across their networks to discover what works best for you. This allows you to create multiple versions of an ad at once, which will help determine which version performs best on each network.

Pro Tip:

You can have up to 100 asset groups inside one single PMAX campaign. HOWEVER, make sure that you have enough budget for it. Remember that Performance Max takes all the assets and uses all available placements to show them. That can use the entire budget quickly.

  1. Performance Max Audience Signals

Audience signals are segments of people based on various attributes to whom you show your ads. Pretty simple if you’re familiar with digital advertising.

But here’s the thing, Google goes way beyond that and will not only take the audiences you added but will also use the data as the “starting point” and more of a guideline you’ve provided. After the data is collected and a few purchases are processed, the algorithm will look for other audiences likely to convert equally or even better than the original audiences. This way, you’ll acquire many customers and new data from Google of what works well for the product you didn’t have before, which you can use for your business in the future. 

Pro Tip:

Let the campaigns run for a while. Once Google has gathered enough data, look at insights and do some analysis. You’ll likely find something that stands out and works very well. Take that information and create a new asset group and/or campaign with these learnings and knowledge. Make a very concentrated and focused campaign of what works best. 

  1. Performance Max Goals

Google’s Smart Shopping campaigns were amazing for many e-commerce brands. It allowed you to set up campaigns with a specific goal—purchases. Then, every optimization effort from Google would be optimized towards giving you that goal. But the Smart Shopping campaigns were limited in one significant way, they relied heavily on warm audiences and then just confirmed with conversion actions, which meant they needed more opportunities to expand on new, fresh audience signals.

Now, with the introduction of Performance Max, Google has opened infinite possibilities for brands to expand their digital advertising efforts, and it’s one of the most revolutionary things that has happened in the space lately.

With Performance Max campaigns, Google is doing a lot more thinking than before—it has to have a clear goal to understand how to expand on audience signals. Now Google is going after new people, and it needs your guidance (your goal) and audience signals. Google has released information that Performance Max is generally going for 20% warm and 80% cold audiences. That means most of your efforts will go towards acquiring new customers, making every conversion even more valuable than ever before—and that is precisely what you want!

Evestar works with global e-commerce brands mainly in fashion, beauty as well as niche products. We are a Google Ads Agency with lots of experience improving Performance Max campaigns for clients.

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