May 17, 2022


Latest Software News and Hacks

Google Performance Max—One Campaign to Rule Them All

Google Performance Max—One Campaign to Rule Them All

Have you ever wondered if there was an easier way to create and optimize Google ads that showed up everywhere at just the right time you wanted them to with less work?

Look no further than Google Performance Max.

Haven’t heard of it before? PMax is like the PDiddy of the Google world. Can’t nobody hold this campaign down.

We picked the brains of our digital marketing masterminds here at Ardent and we’re happy to share what we’ve learned.

What is Google Performance Max?

Think of it as an all-in-one, goal-based campaign that helps you maximize your reach of consumers most likely to convert through Google’s entire ecosystem. According to Google, Performance Max is designed to complement other campaigns and helps you reach your goals much quicker. Automation in the design makes it easy to find conversions across all of Google’s channels like YouTube, Display, Shopping, Search, Discover, Gmail and Maps.

Source: Google

What’s Different About Google Performance Max?

This is pretty exciting news. Google goes to work for you by automating the targeting and delivery of the campaign based on the data you provide. Forget tedious and time-sucking manual campaign creations for each channel. Performance Max drives better results based on your goals and looks for the highest ROI-conversion opportunities, across the entire inventory of Google ads. In one single campaign.

How does PMax work?

This next stat we’re going to share might either make your digital marketer’s heart gleeful or make you want to chuck your phone in a lake.

Let that sink in.

Google knows what you fear, what you don’t know, what you covet, and what you love/hate.

It knows whether you like funny cat memes, what videos you share, and which ones you hide.

It also knows what sites you visit, how long you stay, and what action you take.

Overreaching or just an example of deep learning?

In one story that’s passed around our office, Google will even know if a woman is pregnant before she gets a positive result.

Science or wizardry? A marketer’s dream or a privacy nightmare?

According to Google ed, PMax can find in real-time more converting customers based on user intents and preferences. In other words, Google goes looking for your customers on the web, knows which ones will most likely buy your product or service, and serves them your ads at just the right timing.

Is the power of all of that data collection coming together for you now?

“Taking into account Google’s knowledge of everyone’s personal information to the deepest of levels along with its technical superiority in AI and Machine Learning, Google PMax has the potential to be the most powerful marketing platform the world has ever seen.”

James Canington – Director of Digital Marketing

What Can I Control with Performance Max?

If it sounds like you’re giving Google Performance Max all of your campaign information and it utilizes machine learning to perfectly create, optimize and target without you doing much work, you’re absolutely right.

Still a bit of a control freak and want to pilot this ship? Here’s what you can (and should) still control:

Conversion Goals

Since PMax is a goals-based campaign, it’s crucial that you set very specific objectives and tell the Google Ads system exactly what you’re after. For example, don’t be too vague and state you just want leads, when it’s really leads+customers you’re after. How well Performance Max performs for you will depend on whether or not you established a strategic and appropriate goal from the get-go.

Creative Assets

New to Performance Max are assets versus ad formats. Assets are a group of creative pieces you give to the campaign that Google will mix and match for you based on the Google Ad channel. Namely, you provide 15 images, 5 logos, 5 headlines, 5 long headlines, 5 descriptions and 5 videos. Videos are optional but highly recommended by the Ardent staff. Check off those boxes, and well… Google will do the rest.

Pro tip: From our experience, we’ve learned that the more high-quality creative assets you provide, the more ads created and the more inventory the ads will appear on. You can also create different asset groups to test different assets and different in-market or affinity audiences.

Warning: if you don’t add your own videos, Google will auto-generate its own. This is where humans+machines > machines. Trust us: You don’t want Google to auto-generate a video for you.

Audience Signaling

Performance Max is powerful at unlocking new customer segments you may not have realized before but you get to jumpstart the Performance Max campaign by utilizing audience signaling. You alert Google which segments to go after and if Google anticipates poor performance through them, the algorithm readjusts the audience itself. But by continually monitoring your PMax campaign, you can steer Google toward the audience signals you think are appropriate to reach and that will maximize your ROI.

Should I Stop My Other Campaigns?

OK, all of this sounds pretty amazing. Should I stop my other campaigns?
Absolutely not. Google education has said itself that you should not stop your existing campaigns but continue running and experimenting to see what works best. Now, a word of caution: all of this neat-o automation can come with some stumbling blocks if you aren’t sure how to manage it well. Google may prioritize your PMax campaign over other campaign types. We’ve learned a few tricks along the way to keep that from happening. Curious to learn our hacks or want help implementing them? Reach out—we’d love to discuss more.

How Does Performance Max Actually Perform?

After one month of running Performance Max for a variety of clients, we were pretty impressed with the results. Compared to other existing search campaigns, we saw cheaper costs per clicks (20 to 40% of search), website traffic doubling, and 2 to 4x the amount of conversions.

Here is a case study of one of our clients enjoying the benefits of Performance Max. If you track down the chart, you can see how the analytics of PMax stacks up over Search.


Now that you know a little bit more about Google Performance Max, you’ll have to decide for yourself if it’s truly a one-in-all campaign based on your specific digital marketing objectives. If you do decide PMax is for you, we strongly suggest getting in early for the biggest ROI on your campaigns.

If you have any questions about how to utilize Google Performance Max or ways you can automate your digital marketing campaigns, reach out to us today. Let’s connect.

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Author Of this post: Sally Loisel
Title Of post: Google Performance Max—One Campaign to Rule Them All
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