The Ultimate Guide To Performance Max Campaigns

One of the ways a new e-commerce business can start driving sales relatively quickly is through Performance Max Campaign ads. Google Ads has replaced their Smart Shopping Ads with Performance Max campaigns to provide improved automation and targeting. 

Performance Max dynamically creates ads using your brand assets including logos, videos, images, copy and products. Based on your designated campaign goals, Google will automatically build ads and distribute across all of their advertising channels to the most primed audience to convert. As you add more creative to your ad account, your campaign will generate improved ad formats to appear across Google’s network. 

So how do you take advantage of these campaigns? We break down Performance Max campaigns below. 

Performance Max Campaigns vs Google Shopping Ads: The Biggest Differences

The main difference between a Performance Max campaign and Google Shopping campaign is the increased level of automation, targeting and delivery of ads based on predetermined goals. Performance Max allows Google to automate ad creation based on the assets you provide. This process is similar to the way responsive display ads work. 

Performance Max ads can be displayed across all of Google’s channels:

  • YouTube
  • Display
  • Search
  • Shopping
  • Discover Feed
  • Gmail
  • Maps

If you had success with Smart Shopping, Performance Max will help take your efforts to the next level. These new campaigns increase placements, reach and layers retargeting and prospecting display ads on top of current efforts.

Performance Max provides improved scalability that can be difficult to achieve through traditional Search and Display campaigns. 

How To Setup A Performance Max Campaign

If you are looking to set up a campaign focused on online sales or lead generation, follow the steps below to create an effective Performance Max campaign

Create a New Campaign and Select Your Goal

  • Navigate to the page menu on the left side and select “Campaign”. 
  • Click on the plus button and select “New Campaign”. 
  • From there, select your advertising goals and confirm your conversion goals for your campaign. 
  • Account goals will be pre-populated so you can remove these or add on to these goals as needed. 
  • Select Performance Max as your campaign type
  • Give your campaign a name
  • Select Continue

Define your Budget and Bid Strategy 

  • In the “Budget and Bidding” section, you will be able to determine the average amount you are willing to spend each day. 
  • In the “Bidding” section you can also indicate your preferred bid strategy. Performance Max campaigns will help you set the right bids for every auction. Organizations that track values with conversions, can benefit from selecting “Maximize Conversion Values” bid strategy. If you are not tracking values, “Maximize Conversions” is a strong bid strategy to consider. 
  • Conversions: When you select “Set a target cost per action” the Performance Max campaign will attempt to meet the Target CPA you enter. 
  • Conversion Value: When you select “Set a target return on ad spend” the Performance Max campaign will attempt to meet the Target ROAS you enter. 
  • Setting Your Budget: The monthly charging limit you establish consists of the average daily budget you set, multiplied by the days in a month. You may spend different amounts each day, but your monthly spend will never be exceeded.

Campaign Settings – Add or Exclude Locations, Select Language

  • You can select “Locations” on the “Campaign Settings” page. 
  • From there you can select the locations you would like to target or exclude from your campaign. 
  • On the “Campaign Settings” page you can also click on “Languages” to designate the language to best serve your ads in. 

Strengthen Your Ad Assets 

  • On the “Asset Group” page, create and name a new asset group.
  • Add the following details into your account:
    • Images (Add up to 15)
    • Logos (Add up to 5 different formats)
    • Videos (Add up to 5 videos)
    • Headlines (Maximum 30 characters)
    • Long Headlines (Maximum 90 characters)
    • Descriptions (One short description with 60 characters maximum and up to 4 descriptions with a 90 character maximum.)
    • Call-to-Actions 
    • URL Options 
  • You have the ability to create an asset group before you set your Performance Max campaign live. Post-activation, you can build more asset groups. 

Increase Ad Assets

Ad assets provide additional information to give people more reasons to view and interact with your ads. When selecting your Performance Max campaign assets, you will be able to add the following:

  • Learn More About Your Business Ad Assets
  • Calls to Action Ad Assets – Call Your Business, Submit a Lead Form, or View Locations
  • Gather More Information Ad Assets – Extends the interaction period with the end user

Activate Your Campaign 

When you are ready to publish your Performance Max campaign, you will be taken to a summary page that will detail all of the specifics of your campaign. Once you approve all of the settings, you can select “Publish Campaign” to set the ads live. 

Benefits of a Performance Max Campaign

Still curious if a Performance Max Campaign is right for your business? We breakdown a few benefits below.

Discover More Converting Customers 

Performance Max campaigns allow you to customize your goals so you can maximize conversions or conversion value through ads strategically placed across Google’s channels.

Google uses real-time data to understand consumer preferences and takes your audience signals into consideration to build a customer segment to strategically deliver ads to. This increases your brand visibility to customer segments you may not have been aware of. 

Unlock the Power of Optimization and Creation 

Performance Max campaigns reduces the work advertisers have to perform when managing and creating PPC campaigns. Once you set up a campaign, you can put Google to work for you. By uploading your individual assets, Google will create ads on your behalf and distribute them to the appropriate channels that your target audience is drawn to. 

Improved Ad Inventory 

Performance Max campaigns allows all advertisers the ability to showcase ads throughout all of Google’s ad channels. This makes it easy for advertisers to reach new audiences, and collect additional advertising data that can be used for further optimization.

How To Organize Your Products

The best way to organize your products within a Performance Max campaign is with asset groups. If you have a small budget, you can create one Performance Max campaign and organize your products by theme. For example, if you sell women’s apparel you can organize your asset groups by shoes, jewelry, clothing, etc. 

If you have a larger budget, you may want to create multiple campaigns. This may look like one Performance Max campaign for best sellers, one for medium tiered, one for lower tiered. After you set up these campaigns, you can organize your budgets accordingly. 

How To Target Using Audience Signals

Audience signals act as a compass to help guide Google to target who you think your ads would best be suited for. Google then takes those signals and begins to optimize your campaigns based on your goals. 

It is important to know that audience signals are always tied to an asset group. This means you will have to build audience signals for each asset group you develop. This is beneficial because you can curate a collection of creative that is best paired for your identified customer segment. 

You can add additional organization to your campaigns by breaking down your audience signals into four distinct categories: 

  1. Non-Converters (Abandoned Cart Users, Website Visitors Without Conversion, Add-to-Cart With No Purchase, etc.)
  2. Conversions (Customers)
  3. Interest-Based Customer Segments (Predefined Customer Profiles)
  4. Keywords (Custom Segments Targeted Based on Search Activity)

Wrapping Up

Performance Max campaigns are a great advertising tool to get in front of audiences that are primed to convert. You will be able to drive qualified traffic, generate leads and make sales you otherwise might have missed. Use this guide as a tool to help get your Performance Max ads created properly, so you can see a boost to your eCommerce sales. 

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