What are Performance Max Campaigns?

March 2, 2024

What are Performance Max Campaigns? | AIA Book in a free 30 minute strategy session

Google first announced it would be introducing a new campaign type back in 2020 when the entire world was dealing with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. After a year of beta testing, Performance Max campaigns (PMax) officially became available to everyone in November 2021.

And some advertisers may need to embrace this new campaign even if they don’t want to. Officially, Performance Max is replacing Smart Shopping and Local campaigns, which will be fully disabled by 2023.

But now that advertisers have had a year to use Performance Max campaigns, do they rise to expectations? Can they really make a difference in your business?

The short answer is that they can, in some cases. Keep reading this short blog post to find out what Performance Max campaigns actually are, and how you can optimise them to yield impressive results.

What Is Performance Max in Google Ads?

Performance Max is a new type of campaign that allows advertisers to access all of their Google Ads inventory (also known as the Google Network) from just one campaign.

It’s a way to support keywords-based Search campaigns to reach and convert more customers from across all the other Google channels such as the Display Network, Discover, Maps, Gmail, and YouTube.

PMax campaigns will present all the features you may be used to from smart shopping and local campaigns with the added bonus of new insights and automation tools, all in a single campaign.

The biggest difference between PMax and other types of campaigns is automation. Essentially, Google uses automation and machine learning technologies to optimise a Performance Max campaign when it comes to:

  • Bidding
  • Budget optimisation
  • Audiences
  • Creatives
  • Attribution, etc.

Google makes these automated optimisations based on the information provided by the advertisers, meaning you still have to provide the PPC system with your creative assets.

Other elements that are in your control include:

  • Campaign objective
  • Setting the budget and bidding strategy
  • Ad location and language
  • Ad scheduling
  • Advanced URL options, which allow you to choose the final URL customers are redirected to

How Do I Set up a PMax Campaign?

Very broadly, setting up a Pmax campaign involves a few steps:

  • Go to your Google Ads account and create a new campaign
  • Choose your campaign goal
  • Set up your budget and bidding strategy
  • Add your location and language
  • Build your creative asset group
  • Publish your campaign

Google Ads is a very intuitive advertising system and doesn’t necessarily require lots of technical skills to set up a campaign.

However, creating a campaign that converts does require a deeper understanding of how the PPC system works.

How Do You Optimise Performance Max Campaigns?

Optimisation can help advertisers get better results with their Google Ads campaign. And for Performance Max ads, you should carefully consider:

Your Conversion Goals

Possible goals can include:

  • Lead generation
  • Sales
  • Website traffic
  • Local store visits and promotion

Choosing the wrong goal can negatively impact your campaign performance right from the get-go, as it will deliver your entire ad group to the wrong customer segments.

Your Asset Groups

Performance Max campaigns will essentially take all the headlines, images, CTAs, and other such elements and automatically assemble an ad.

As a result, it’s very important to make sure all the single elements in your asset groups work well together to avoid strange or incomplete ads. The simplest way to achieve this is to choose a central theme for your creative assets and create different variations for them.

Additionally, make sure to use all the different asset types that Google enables, including a logo, videos, and ad copy to get the best ad assemblies.

Your Audience Signals

Performance Max automates targeting, but you can also tell Google who you want to include in your ads through Audience Signals.

It’s essentially a suggestion you can make to Google to speed things along and give the machine-learning technology a good basis to work with.

Give It Time

Even if you give Google as much data as possible through Audience Signals, the AI technology needs time to really optimise your ad, so be patient and allow your ads to run for at least a few weeks before you draw any conclusions.

Ready to Upgrade to Performance Max?

Australian Internet Advertising is here to help you make a smooth transition from Smart Shopping campaigns to the automated Performance Max.

To get started, book a free strategy session with our team, and find out how Google Ads can help your business.


Billy P.

About The Author

William Polson founded Australian Internet Advertising in 2013 and has over 12 years of experience immersed in Digital Marketing.

With an in-depth level of digital marketing knowledge, William has been sort after by and worked for, many large national brands including Subaru, Blooms The Chemist, and Nova 96.9.

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