Performance Max Best Practices

In 2020, Google disclosed plans for a new goal-based campaign type, Performance Max (PMax), designed to help advertisers streamline their campaigns across all Google Ads channels. This innovation was officially rolled out in November 2021. This campaign type quickly gained popularity and changed the game for advertisers. But what exactly are the benefits of PMax, and can it really boost online performance?

Performance Max allows advertisers to use a single campaign to reach users across Google’s range of advertising channels – YouTube, Display, Search, Discover, and Gmail – to achieve their business goals, whether it be leads, sales, or traffic. It is really incremental, especially for businesses with limited budgets, and is highly automated, relying primarily on the Google algorithm. However, this means that we can do more than just set up the campaign, and it will generate the desired results. We can talk a lot about optimising this campaign type, but today, the focus is on the creative aspect, specifically banners and text messages.

As PMax can reach your customers across all of Google’s channels, we must consider and carefully select the creative materials needed for the set-up. The first and most crucial step is identifying our target audience based on interests and demographics.

Next, it’s time to set up our asset group. Three types of assets need to be added, and we will discuss each and every type, along with its best practices.


Similar to display campaigns, in PMax, we have to fill in short and long headlines, as well as descriptions.

Text requirements:

  • Headlines: 3-15 headlines, with a limit of 30 characters, without using punctuation marks such as question marks or exclamations.
  • Long headlines: 1-5 long headlines, with a limit of 30 characters, considering the same punctuation requirements as with short headlines.
  • Descriptions: 2-5 descriptions, with one of up to 60 characters and the rest of no more than 90 characters.
  • Business name: 1-25 characters.

Best practices for text assets in Pmax

  • Enhance text assets. Diversify the text messages to reach a broader audience. Users have changing behaviours and habits. 
  • Use the maximum number of text assets. Using as many text assets as possible allows the algorithm to find the best combination for each user.
  • Unique selling proposition. What sets your business apart from the competition? Remember to emphasise it, as it’s the surefire way to grab the target audience’s attention.
  • Grab attention. Holding the user’s attention is becoming increasingly challenging. Doing so in the first few seconds is essential to generate better results.
  • Optimise texts if needed in case of low performance.


In Performance Max campaigns, there are a total of six image assets available:

  • Landscape image
  • Square image
  • Portrait image
  • Square logo
  • Landscape logo

Formats need to align with the following specifications and requirements:

  • Landscape format (1.91:1) – minimum size 600x314px, recommended 1200x628px.
  • Square format (1:1) – minimum size 300x300px, recommended 1200x1200px.
  • Portrait format (4:5) – minimum size 480x600px, recommended 960x1200px.

The maximum number of banners is 20, and the maximum file size is 5120 KB.

  • Logo

The logo is used separately and can be in:

  • Square format (1:1) – minimum size 300x300px, recommended 1200x1200px.
  • Landscape format (4:1) – minimum size 512x128px, recommended 1200x300px.

The maximum number of images of your logo is 5, and the maximum file size is 5120 KB.

Design guidelines for your target audience

  • Emphasise the product or service that you promote in the banner.
  • Avoid using too much text. The inventory screen available on some display networks could be tiny. Therefore, long messages with small fonts can be challenging to read.
  • Engage your audience. We are bombarded with product banners daily, and users often ignore them until they encounter something engaging that triggers their emotions.
  • Unique selling proposition. It is crucial to highlight what sets you apart from your competitors. If you run ads for a shoe store, for instance, you should highlight the essence of what makes your product or service better.
  • Perform tests. Experimentation is crucial in advertising. What types of assets can you test with? Use, for instance, a banner with promotional text and one without it – the results may surprise you.
  • Automatic overlays. Avoid adding call-to-action buttons at the bottom of your banner since they could be overlayed with the automatic CTA buttons from the platform. 
  • Avoid uploading photo collages or images with complex compositions.

Although campaign set-up and targeting are essential, banners also play a significant role in optimisation. Be sure to monitor your Pmax campaign, as Google Ads will start to provide information about your creative performance a few days after the campaign begins. Feel free to replace banners with low ratings instead of solely deleting them.


As mentioned earlier, with PMax, you can advertise on YouTube. There is a single type of video asset with the following requirements:

  • Ratio: horizontal, vertical or square.
  • Length: 10 seconds.
  • The video must be uploaded to YouTube.
  • Suggested quantity: up to 5 videos added to your Pmax campaign
  • When you do not add your own video, one may be generated for you by Google Ads.

 *If you don’t have your own videos uploaded to YouTube, you can now create such within the Google Ads interface using your banners. There are ready-made templates to help you in the process.

Creating a compelling video

  • Use audio in your videos. Many people only listen to videos, especially with the picture-in-picture** feature, so engaging them with sound is crucial.
  • Use different formats. A new YouTube format – YouTube shorts – is gaining popularity. Adapting your videos to these formats will bring you additional reach.
  • Capture attention in the first 3-5 seconds while the “Skip ad” button is not yet visible.
  • Highlight your competitive advantages.

**Picture-in-picture (PiP) is a feature found in TV receivers, PCs and smartphones, consisting of a video stream playing within an inset window, freeing the rest of the screen for other tasks.

Performance Max campaigns are an excellent way to maximise results and explore the engaged audience. However, careful selection of materials according to your product/service specifications and target audience, as well as occasional optimisation, are crucial.

Follow our YouTube channel and see how to create a new asset group in a PMax campaign. Watch the video here.