If you are not yet using Performance Max (Pmax) campaigns in your Google Ads accounts, we advise you to give them a try.
Now that we are aware of this latest campaign type (see more here), in this article, we will look at the improvements throughout the past year and a half and what our colleagues at the office think of the new Performance Max campaigns.
A campaign with a vast reach
Your Performance Max campaign can show ads on YouTube, Google Display, Google Search, Google Shopping, Google Discover, Gmail and even on Google Maps. This way, performance advertisers can reach all their Google ads inventory in a single campaign.
Google confirmed that Performance Max would replace Smart Shopping by September 2022.
Performance Max is the next step in the evolution we’ve seen in the past few years. With this campaign, Google machine learning takes more control over what your ad looks like, when and to whom it is shown.
What happened in the last year and a half?
Performance Max now offers information about the search terms triggered in your campaigns. Under Insights, you will find categories of groups with the highest search volume.
Google Ads also launched a Placement report. Thanks to it, you will see exactly where your ads appear in the Google ecosystem and how many impressions they receive.
Firstly, this helps optimize performance. If ads aren’t showing on a particular platform, you can investigate why that might be. Knowing this will help your business with the rest of your active campaigns.
Secondly, it is essential from a brand safety perspective. After all, no business wants their ad to appear among inappropriate or controversial content. As a business, you want to appear among the best content possible and avoid controversy.
Despite being optimistic about this feature, one disappointing note is that the report only shows information regarding ad placements and impressions. Those looking to measure performance are out of luck because this type of data isn’t available. In other words, you cannot get click-through data.
Here we share some feedback from our colleagues at the office about working with Performance Max campaigns
Paola Pavlova: “Performance Max is a great new format! It gives results for projects of any nature and saves time and budget from creating other campaign types with complex ad visualizations in the rest of the Google channels. With so many advantages, we can close our eyes to shortcomings, such as the lack of negative words.”
Magdalena Tsvetkova: “For this year and a half, in which we have been working with Performance max campaigns, we can see the efforts that Google is making to improve transparency.
We remember the times when virtually no information existed on the platform, Insights practically did not exist. In addition to information on audiences and changes in performance, we now have basic statistics and search terms insights..
More recently, we’ve been seeing a lot of exciting information about how individual titles in Asset groups perform against audiences and which ones resonate with which audience.
The Auction Insights tab is also new.
A significant issue, however, remains the extent to which we can harness this information into action within the campaign scope.
We currently have no tools to exclude keywords, audiences, or anything else that may often conflict with our overall strategy and account structure. As we understand, performance data insights by channel are also not part of Google’s plans.
For each PPC specialist, it remains to answer whether the campaign is not “too independent” for the goals they have set and whether the benefits and results of it compensate and exceed the shortcomings. And there are definitely benefits.”
Inna Popova: “For each PPC specialist, it remains to assess whether this campaign is not “too independent” for the goals they have set and whether its benefits compensate for and exceed the disadvantages. Because indeed, there are benefits.”
Mariya Atanasova: “I like this type of campaign because I can manage to advertise in the entire inventory of Google. For me, it brings a relatively low cost per click and a higher e-commerce conversion rate compared with other campaign types. “
If you haven’t launched your first Pmax campaign yet, here are our best practice tips:
Use multiple assets to find out what works best for you
Performance Max campaigns allow you to combine different assets in your ads, so that you take full advantage of it. Google’s machine learning algorithms automatically create ads with the assets you provide, so the more assets it has access to, the more it can test and determine which ad combinations are most effective.
Pmax campaigns include as well video ads on YouTube. If you don’t have a video among your assets, it will be automatically created for you by Google. Although a machine learning algorithm can fine-tune video over time, you can’t be sure that it will feature your product or service the way you want it to. Therefore, you should upload your video from the start of the campaign.
Set up your conversions correctly
Google says Performance Max is primarily a campaign type which helps you drive performance based on your specified conversion goals. Like any other automation tool, it makes decisions informed by the conversion data you feed into the system.
Therefore, when setting up a Pmax campaign, be sure to consider the type of conversions that are relevant to your business. Instead of measuring a new lead as a conversion, consider reporting a conversion only when this lead converts into sales. If you are an e-commerce business, you could track sales while measuring lifetime value, which considers your customers’ repeated purchases. Google recently introduced enhanced conversions for leads, making it easier than ever to report high-quality conversion data.
Add audience signals
In addition to providing assets, Google recommends feeding it with audience signals. According to Google, “Audience signals guide Google’s automation algorithm to optimize for meeting your selected objectives.” Although audience signals are not essential to Pmax campaigns, they are a good practice recommended by Google that will likely affect your overall optimization score.
Whenever a new ad feature is released, it’s always important to look at the change from the perspective of your project goals. Along with announcing this new feature, Google said it was an exciting step for advertisers. A company representative shared it was a step in the right direction for campaign transparency.
We see the gradual development and focus on providing advertisers with the necessary information to make the right decision. It is a fact that Pmax is the type of tool that works great for any project with a clear strategy for measuring and tracking conversions.
If you need assistance, our agency specializes in managing results-oriented campaigns. For any questions, contact us so we can arrange a chat for an online meeting.