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Google Performance Max campaigns: What marketers should know

More and more marketers are turning to Performance Max, Google’s goal-based ad campaign format that helps target customers that are most likely to convert. Its automation capabilities have made it an inviting option for those looking to enhance their search campaigns.

“It’s a new goal-based campaign that aims to increase online sales, generate more leads and drive more store visits to physical business locations,” said Rodney Ip, global product lead of Google Ads, at SMX Next. “It’s designed to run alongside keyword-based search campaigns so you can easily drive more conversions across the full range of search, display, YouTube, Gmail, and Discover formats, all from a single campaign.”

“Performance Max puts your business goals front and center, and prioritizes these above other signals by inputting your specific conversion goals,” he added.

Performance Max is designed to complement keyword-focused search campaigns through automated bidding and targeting. Marketers looking to expand their customer reach and place a greater emphasis on goal completions won’t want to ignore all that these campaigns have to offer.

Automated bidding and targeting through cross-channel optimization

“Users help Performance Max understand what conversions matter most to your business,” Ip said. “Thanks to this focus on goals, Performance Max campaigns will leverage automated bidding and targeting technology, data-driven attribution, and automatically tailored ads to help you find more customers wherever they are across Google Ads.”

“Automation can help you invest your budget more effectively and dynamically allocate spend where the highest ROI opportunities are,” he added.

Performance Max automation cycle
Source: Rodney Ip

Ip illustrated the benefits of cross-channel automation by using a fishing analogy: fishing in multiple ponds versus fishing in the ocean. Using single-channel campaigns is much like the former; you may catch a big fish but it’s difficult to know if you’re missing other big fish in the other ponds.

“Cross-channel optimization in Performance Max is a lot more like fishing in the ocean,” he said. “With all of Google Ads’ inventory combined, you can use automation and Performance Max to cast a wider net in one body of water where you can easily catch all of the biggest fish. Use Performance Max to find new customers wherever they are and simplify your campaign management.”

Here’s what marketers should have on hand to ensure the Performance Max campaign automation sticks to their goals:


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Performance Max conversion best practices

Ip noted a few best practices to help marketers improve conversion quantity and quality. These can help marketers get the most out of their campaigns.

Choose actionable conversion goals. Not all campaigns will have the same goals, so marketers should make sure those they input are valuable to their organization.

“For example, if lead farms, phone calls, and store visits all contribute to your sales, make sure the Performance Max campaign is targeting and optimizing toward these specific goals,” Ip said. “This results in being able to maximize your marketing outcomes.”

Set conversion values. Ip recommends using value-based bidding strategies to help determine the worth of conversions wherever they occur.

“Set values to represent the relative importance of different conversion goals,” he said. “This helps Performance Max automation understand and prioritize the conversions that are most important for your business.

Import offline conversions. Many conversions take place in offline spaces. Performance Max campaigns allow you to import these and measure them alongside online conversions.

“For lead gen advertisers, you can also pair Performance Max with offline conversion imports,” said Ip. “Providing this data about which leads result in sales will help Performance Max drive higher lead-quality across channels.”

Performance Max highlights the shift to automation in digital advertising. Marketers looking to get ahead of the game would be wise to see what these campaign types have to offer.

“We will continue investing in it and building new features to make it even easier to understand and manage your campaign to drive better results,” Ip said.

Watch the full SMX Next presentation here (free registration required).


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About The Author

Corey Patterson is an Editor for MarTech and Search Engine Land. With a background in SEO, content marketing, and journalism, he covers SEO and PPC industry news to help marketers improve their campaigns.

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