What is Google Performance Max? Everything You Need To Know.

January 10, 2022

3 minute read
  • Digital Marketing

In the ever-changing world of Digital Marketing, Google always seems to be one step ahead of the game. That’s no different with the latest update to Google Advertising methods, when they introduced a new campaign type called Performance Max.

What is Performance Max?

From Google themselves, Performance Max “is a new goal-based campaign type that allows performance advertisers to access all of their Google Ads inventory from a single campaign”.

What does that mean?

Performance Max – or P-Max – isn’t an advertising channel like Google Search or YouTube, rather it’s a new type of targeting strategy that Google introduced that spans across all of their advertising channels. It’s purpose is to go hand-in-hand with your keyword-based search campaigns to find more customers across multiple channels.

Performance Max campaigns can serve ads on:

  • Google Display Network
  • Google Search
  • Google Discover
  • Gmail
  • Google Maps

Keep in mind that running a Performance Max campaign requires a variety of assets built out in advance – including:

  • Static Images
  • Search Headlines
  • Long Headlines
  • Search Descriptions
  • Long Descriptions
  • YouTube Videos
  • Logos
  • And more…

With all of these campaign assets grouped together, Google dynamically combines them to serve the most optimal combo to the right audience at the right time across any of their existing channels.

This is all happening in real-time, with machine learning algorithms optimizing performance to deliver more conversions at greater value using Smart Bidding.

What are the benefits of Performance Max?

  1. Unlocks new audiences across Google’s vast array of channels and networks
  2. Drives better performance against your goals
  3. Gives you more transparent insights into campaign performance
  4. Steer the automation/machine learning with your campaign inputs
  5. Simplifies your campaign and easily optimize your ads

Now that you know what Performance Max campaigns are and what Google needs to start the campaign, let’s take a look at some of the important things to consider when launching a campaign.

  1. You (the user/media buyer) can not control Performance Max bids, they are strictly optimized through AI/Machine Learning algorithms
  2. Performance Max campaigns do not target specific audiences or topics. They can be given a starting audience or customer match list to start learning from, but they are entirely bid on by Machine Learning algorithms

What do these two points mean?

This means that Performance Max campaigns need time to search for the right audience, so it’s entirely possible that your spend will be slightly inflated early in the campaign lifecycle when the audience and bids aren’t as honed in. Simply put, the longer you let a Performance Max campaign run, the better your results will be (most likely).

When Should You Use Performance Max?

Performance Max campaigns tend to work best when you have specific conversion goals (ex: driving a sale, generating a lead, getting a click). Without a specific conversion goal, Google’s Machine Learning will have trouble generating a “result” without a specific goal in mind. Performance Max also is smart to use when you want to maximize your results without caring which channels your ads run on. If the Performance Max campaign is performing 10x better in Gmail instead of Search, the AI will push a majority of spend to that top-performer.

All in all, Performance Max campaigns are relatively new so best practices and strategies will likely fluctuate throughout the next year or so, but they are certainly something worth testing today.

For a full comprehensive explanation of everything Performance Max related, read Google’s breakdown here.

If you want to get started with running your own Performance Max campaigns and don’t quite know where to start, fill out our contact form and we’ll get in touch and help set you up for success.

(Photo courtesy of Firmbee)