What to Know About Google’s Performance Max Campaigns

Our CEO Roger Janik has published an article in Forbes about Google’s Performance Max campaigns. We thought we’d provide you with some more tidbits for the road!

Google announced the Performance Max campaign would be given a broad rollout and since then, a lot of questions have surfaced about what Performance Max is, how it compares to other campaigns and how it performs. In this blog, we will answer some common FAQs to help you prepare.

What is Performance Max?

The primary distinction between Performance Max and other campaigns is that Google automates the targeting and delivery of the campaign based upon data provided by the advertiser.

Performance Max is an automated campaign type, like a Smart campaign with small differences.

Ad creation will be automated but only based on assets provided, much like how responsive display ads work.

Performance Max and social campaigns are similar in the sense that it runs across multiple placements utilizing dynamic ad formats and also that performance reporting by audience and placement is limited.

Performance Max Runs on What Network?

Performance Max campaigns are authorized to run across all of Google’s inventory, which is a big differentiator from Google’s other campaign types.  Performance Max campaigns can serve in any of the placements filled by Search, Display, YouTube, Gmail, and Discovery campaigns.

What are the Options and Controls with Performance Max?

When you configure a Performance Max campaign, you select your objective. Depending on your goals, it is possible to connect product feeds and store locations.

Budget and Bidding

Next, you can decide your budget and select your bidding approach. Notice the bidding options include max conversions and max value but you can also set a max CPA or a target value/conversion, allowing you leverage Target CPA and Target ROAS strategies.

Location, Language, Ad Scheduling

After that, you’ll pick your locations. Currently, Performance Max is not supported by Google Ads editor, so to establish the targeting is more difficult than most campaigns. If you have a lot of locations to include, you can select “enter another location,” which will then expand to include a blank space and an “advanced search” link. Click the “advanced search” link for the option to bulk import locations.

You can then select languages, your ad schedule, your campaign run dates.

Advanced URL Options

The URL options are important. By default, Google will define its own final URLs except if you toggle that option off. If you permit Google to direct traffic to whatever links it sees fit, you do have the option to exclude links, as well.

Additionally, you may add tracking templates.

Configuring “Asset Groups”- Ads

You’ll then be directed to set up an “asset group,” which is essentially an ad, similar to a responsive display asset. This “asset group” is named this way because it acts as an asset to all platforms. Advertisers can create multiple “asset groups.”

Informing the Automated Targeting

There are no ad groups so, each campaign has just one set of targeting. You can choose audiences to assist in giving some insight into who Google should target. Google notes, “Your ads will automatically be shown to people who are most likely to convert for your goals. You can speed up optimization by providing audience signals.” This implies that your campaigns may not only be presented to those audiences but rather, Google is reading the audiences you provide for signals. They’ll use that data to pinpoint similar consumers that are likely to exhibit the same behaviors and interests.

Configuring Ad Extensions

Finally, add your extensions. You can opt to use existing account-level sitelink extensions or select and produce particular sitelinks for the Performance Max campaigns. The campaign will suggest extension formats based on your goals. You can also add structured snippets, price extensions, promotion extensions, callouts and call extensions.