Performance Max, also known as pMax, is a campaign type offered by Google Ads that allows advertisers to show their ads across all available channels on the platform, including Search, Shopping, YouTube, Display, Discover, Gmail, and Maps. This comprehensive approach makes Performance Max the “Frankenstein monster” of Google Ads, as it combines multiple ad formats into a single campaign.
In November 2021, Google announced the launch of Performance Max, and later stated that all existing Smart Shopping campaigns would be upgraded to Performance Max by the end of the 3rd quarter of 2022. As of now, Performance Max has replaced all Smart Shopping campaigns worldwide and has seen high adoption rates.
Evolution of Google Ads
The launch of Performance Max is the latest step in the evolution of Google Ads, which has seen the platform increasingly rely on machine learning to take more control over how ads are shown to users. Before the launch of Smart Shopping in 2018, advertisers had the option to turn off certain placements, such as Search Partners or Display Select, with regular Search and Shopping Ads. With the launch of Smart Shopping, however, this optionality changed, and ads began showing on Shopping, Display, YouTube, and Gmail.
Performance Max takes this evolution one step further by merging Smart Shopping with Dynamic Search Ads to create a comprehensive campaign type that targets all available placements on the platform.
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How Performance Max Campaigns Work
Performance Max campaigns work by combining elements of Search, Shopping, Display, and YouTube Ads into a single campaign. Advertisers provide Google with a product feed, as well as assets such as headlines, images, and videos. Google then uses machine learning to mix and match these elements to create different ads depending on the placement.
For example, an ad that appears on YouTube would be created differently than one that appears on the Search network.
As these campaigns are able to target all placements, they have a big impact on other campaigns and how they perform. Further research should be done on how to optimise Performance Max campaigns for specific goals and industry.
How to Optimise Performance Max Campaigns
There are several ways to optimise Performance Max campaigns.
One way to optimise Performance Max campaigns is to segment your product feed by product category, and then create separate ad groups for each product category. This allows you to target specific products and audiences with your ads.
Another way to optimise your Performance Max campaigns is to use the various targeting options available in Google Ads, such as demographics, interests, and behaviours. This allows you to reach specific segments of your audience with relevant ads.
Additionally, it’s important to regularly monitor the performance of your campaigns and make adjustments as needed. Use metrics such as click-through rate (CTR), conversion rate, and return on ad spend (ROAS) to gauge the effectiveness of your campaigns and make adjustments to targeting, ad creative, and bid strategy as needed.
It is important to also use an invalid traffic prevention solution like Lunio to further improve your performance by preventing wasted ad spend on fake touchpoints, and thus improving conversions, ROI, and driving performance marketing efficiency.
As with all PPC strategies, testing and optimisation is key to success with Performance Max. Continuously test different ad formats, targeting options, and placements to find what works best for your campaigns.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I create a Performance Max campaign?
You can create a Performance Max campaign by going to the “Campaigns” tab in Google Ads and selecting “New campaign.” From there, select “Performance Max” as the campaign type and provide a product feed, as well as assets such as headlines, images, and videos.
What is the difference between Performance Max and Smart Shopping?
Performance Max is an upgraded version of Smart Shopping that allows advertisers to show their ads across all available placements on the Google Ads platform, rather than just on Shopping, Display, YouTube, and Gmail. Performance Max also includes a merger of Smart Shopping with Dynamic Search Ads.
Are Performance Max campaigns better than regular Search and Shopping campaigns?
It depends on the goals of the advertiser and the industry they are in. Performance Max campaigns are well-suited for those who want to target all placements on the platform and have a comprehensive approach to advertising. However, for advertisers who have specific goals and target audiences, regular Search and Shopping campaigns may be more effective.
What is the difference between Performance Max and regular optimisation?
Performance Max refers to the point at which a PPC campaign is delivering the maximum possible ROI. Optimisation, on the other hand, refers to the ongoing process of making changes to a campaign to improve its performance. While Performance Max is a specific goal that an advertiser may