What you need to know about Google Performance Max campaigns

In 2022, Smart Shopping was phased out and replaced by Google Performance Max campaigns. Understandably, businesses had plenty of questions about Performance Max, how it differs from Smart Shopping and, most importantly, what were the additional benefits of using it.

Read on for our insights into Performance Max and the benefits it can offer your digital marketing strategy and your business.

What is Performance Max?

Performance Max, also known as ‘PMax’, is Google’s Smart Shopping ‘upgrade’.

Promoted as a new, goal-based campaign type it gives digital advertisers access to their entire Google Ads inventory via a single campaign, increasing conversions across every digital advertising channel.

From YouTube and Search, to Gmail and Maps, Performance Max ads run across the entire Google Network and are designed to maximise your conversions from keyword-based Search campaigns.

Performance Max features

Performance Max relies on visual or creative content, which means marketers and advertisers can create specific assets that appeal to their online shopper persona(s), giving them more control of the campaigns.

Here’s a few more PMax features:

Embrace AI-powered search

It’s no surprise to see AI making an appearance. PMax utilises AI-powered Search to discover new converting queries aimed to maximise campaign conversions across the entire Google Network.

Experiment for free

 ‘Experiments’ is just as it says: a nifty way to experiment or test-run a PMax campaign and find out if adding it will improve your conversions / conversion values.

Create eye-catching video

The video creation tool (in the Assets section) means you can create all that unique, high-quality visual content we mentioned earlier, to power your PMax campaigns.

Take control of your brand

You have control of the brands your PMax campaign matches with – and those it doesn’t. Account-level negative keywords mean you can exclude terms from Search and Shopping that aren’t relevant to your campaign. This way, you can focus on the things that are important to your online audience.

What are the benefits of Performance Max campaigns?

With so many swish new features, you would think using Performance Max offers some benefits (and you’d be right to think that – clever you).

Put your goals front and centre

Using PMax, you can customise the type of conversions that matter to your business and prioritise them over others. Want to increase online sales or generate new leads? Tell PMax your goals and it will help you work towards them.

Time-saving automation

PMax allows you to simplify campaign management, effortlessly working its (AI-assisted) magic across the Google Network. From YouTube to Google Maps, every advertising channel is reached and easily optimised – saving you valuable time.

Real-time data

Using real-time data gathered by Google on shoppers’ intent and preferences, PMax helps you discover more audiences for your campaigns that you may not have been aware of before.

Information rich insights

The reporting generated by PMax includes useful insights such as rising search trends, helping you to create future strategies alongside your current campaigns.

PMax generates real-time data that helps you see where your campaigns aren’t performing as well as they could be. You can then adjust and optimise your campaigns accordingly, generating maximum ROI and audience satisfaction.

Performance Max updates

Since rolling out Performance Max, Google have announced several improvements to the tool. One
of these is an AI update to its image generation models, allowing users to generate lifestyle images
of people in action, and the ability to easily create multiple variations of these images.

As time goes on, the diversity and quantity of your assets will play an important role in determining
the Ad Strength of your Performance Max campaigns. Having multiple variants and a variety of
assets will meet the needs of different customers and formats, further improving the strength and
performance of your ads.

We’ll help you get the most out of Performance Max

Optimised correctly, Google’s Performance Max is a powerful tool for online retailers to enhance their digital ad campaigns. Need some help getting your head around it all? Contact us today – we’ll work with you to make Performance Max work for you.

Increase sales with targeted PPC campaigns.

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Our industry expert

Matt Park

Paid Media Executive

Matt got his first digital role around 12 years ago and hasn’t looked back since. He is a huge asset to Cognique and our clients. From creating eye-catching campaigns to analysing their performance, Matt’s work is vital to creating winning marketing strategies.

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