Are you not sure where to start when it comes to running Google ad campaigns or what Performance Max even is/how it works? You might be wondering how is this different from Google Smart Shopping? What do I need to know going into it? No matter what the reason, Performance Max might be just the campaign type your business needs. In case you haven’t heard of it before, let’s dive into what Performance Max is and what it can do to help your business.

What is Performance Max?

Google Blog

What if you could make ads and execute marketing campaigns with precision and accuracy? You can do all of this and more with a very limited amount of manpower and Performance Max. Performance Max helps businesses build and run ad campaigns. It does this with machine learning, your budget, your goals, as well as various media assets from you. It combines all of the Google networks (search, display, YouTube, Gmail, and more) and helps you put together ad campaigns that will appear on Google ad networks.

How Can I Be Successful With Performance Max?

In order to have your Performance Max campaigns be successful, you’ll need to input a few things:

  • Break out logically what you’re looking to do with the campaigns. So, separate the campaigns you run by the end goal you’d like to achieve from each one.
  • In order to get in front of your ideal audience, you have to have specific assets. These assets come from your Google Merchant Center Feed. You can also upload up to 20 additional images, logos, and up to five videos on Youtube. 
  • You need to have measurable goals.
  • You’ll need to keep track of the metrics and what’s happening with your ads to make sure you’re getting the results you want.
  • Upload as much media and content as you can. This will give Google more options and give you better ads.

Is It Worth Using Performance Max?

So, is Performance Max worth using? The answer is maybe. It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. According to The SEM Academy, it really depends on what your business needs. For example, they talk about search campaigns that mostly employ text. He mentions that if you’ve got a tight budget and need an immediate ROI, Performance Max might not be right for you. Whereas, Performance Max is great if you’re looking to reach an audience that might be buyers in the future. 

In other words, it can take time to see sales Performance Max. So, whether it’s worth using for your business depends heavily on your goals. It’s important to look at all of the campaign options, and weigh which ones are going to help you best achieve your goals.  It’s also important to consider that people tend to be more visual–especially those in a browsing mindset. So, think of the ads you’re creating as a sort of virtual window shopping. 

Another way to make using Performance Max more worth it for your business is to put in great quality media. We’re talking about videos, text, pictures, logos, headlines, descriptions, and more. If you just put in a few items here and there that aren’t great quality, you’re not going to get great results. As we talked about, Google will favor campaigns with more media options, and making sure they are of good quality is key too. Google can also tailor ads more to your audience if there are more media options. So, in this case, less really isn’t more. Make sure you’re filling Performance Max with all of the best quality media you have to put in.

One of the cons of using Performance Max, however, is that it sometimes dumbs down the data. So, you have to keep an eye on that and make sure you’re reading between the lines. So, keep this in mind as you consider using Performance Max.

How Is Performance Max Better Than Discovery Campaign Types?

You’re probably wondering why you can’t just run your own ad campaigns. After all, won’t that be better? Well, if you run your own ad campaigns, you’ll have more control. You might think this is better than what Google can do for you. However,  machine learning helps you to be more optimized in how you purchase. Google has years of data that is put into machine learning that will benefit you!  Try it for 60 days and see what it does. Don’t rule it out just because you’ve never used it before now.

How Do I Use Performance Max Campaigns?

Go to “create a campaign” like you normally would when creating a new Google Ads campaign, select “Create a campaign without a goal’s guidance” and then select “Performance Max.”. Then enter the budget you’d like to spend for each day and then simply choose your bidding strategy. You can then enter things like your target ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) or Target CPA(average cost per action). If you’re not sure what ROAS or a Target CPA is, read our blog here that details all of the key metrics you need to know, and how to calculate them.

Once you have all of this in, you’ll need to put in your creative items. These are the items we mentioned above. So, 20 images, logos, up to five videos on Youtube, headlines, descriptions, and more. With all of this information, Google will be able to bid on ad space and build ads for you. Then it will give you the metrics you need to determine your next steps.

Why Is It Important To Track The Metrics Behind Campaigns?

Metrics are so important when it comes to reaching your goals. However, it’s also critical to remember that numbers are tools. They tell parts of the story, but it’s also your job to read between the lines and change things as needed.

 For example, if one of your video ads doesn’t seem to be performing well, it might be time to replace it. Maybe a video is getting a lot of views, but it isn’t giving you clicks or sales. So, you might need to re-tool it to see success. It’s more tricky than “Are people viewing my ads and videos?” One huge drawback of Performance Max is that it doesn’t let you view these metrics. So, that can make things less measurable and more difficult for you to track. 

This can also be bad because you need to be proactive about how your budget is being spent. Keep in mind that machine learning requires time and some investment as well as data to see results. So, as the campaigns are happening, you need to make sure your money is being well spent and your goals are being met. Otherwise, you risk wasting ad spend. So, you’ll have to find other ways to track your metrics and goals to ensure you’re spending money properly with Performance Max.

Still not sure about utilizing Performance Max? We’d suggest taking it for a spin, and seeing what you think. It’s truly so unique for each business, that you really need to give it a try to truly see if it will work for you. It takes some time to get the hang of it and start getting data, but don’t give up. Give it some time before you decide whether to keep using it or not.