We love how many folks are asking us about Google Performance Max. If you’re hearing about it for the first time, think of Performance Max as a relatively new goal-based campaign type that lets advertisers push results across all Google Ads channels from a single ad using a mixture of text, video, and images.

It works by creating campaigns that use machine learning models to optimize bids and placements in order to drive conversions and reach specific goals and ad sets, including: 

  • Google Search
  • Google Display
  • Google Discovery
  • Gmail and YouTube placements

Performance Max also uses Smart Bidding with attribution technology to determine the best campaign type and bids on the auctions with the highest probability of converting. Nevertheless, you won’t be a fish out of water here if you’ve made Smart campaigns or dynamic ads. 

Let’s move forward by explaining why we’re excited to use Performance Max at our digital marketing agency and why you should embrace it. 

The Benefits of Performance Max for Marketers

Performance Max simplified campaign creation and increased ROI by automating ad placement and targeting through Smart Bidding.

We’re big data nerds and love any paid media service that helps us optimize ads or discover new audiences, especially when a service takes a one-size-fits-all approach to campaign creation. 

After testing Performance Max on a higher education client, the results spoke for themselves. We saw 23% of our paid advertising leads come from those ads and a significant boost in top-of-funnel metrics. After running ads for an outdoor brand, Performance Max campaigns also accounted for about 11% of total leads.

Results aside, we also found that Performance Max simplified campaign creation and increased ROI by automating ad placement and targeting through Smart Bidding. That means these ads offer paid media marketers big payoffs because it streamlines the process of reaching your targeted audience, allowing you to: 

  • Create custom segments based on searches, app use, or visited sites. 
  • Gain first-party data from site visitors or customer match lists.
  • Access detailed demographic and interest data based on in-market segments, affinities, or life events. 
  • Attain a full scope of deep demographic data, including location, income, gender, and age. 
  • Automate multichannel ad placement and type through machine learning to maximize budgets.
  • Access reports that allow you to make data-informed decisions. 

Should You Use Performance Max? 

The simple answer is: maybe. And while we ride high on Performance Max for the reasons above, creating a single campaign presented across several channels isn’t always the best approach. For example, it’s essential to know: 

  • It’s only accessible to advertisers with a Google Merchant Center account.
  • Automating ad sets comes with certain risks. 
  • Budgets are 3x the average CPA compared to alternatives. 
  • Machine learning is at its best when using first-party customer data. 

Performance Max budgets are 3 times the average CPA compared to alternatives.

Still, Performance Max is undoubtedly beneficial for any digital marketer looking to prepare themselves for an inevitable cookieless future. If you think you’re ready, we generally follow Google’s criteria when deciding if these fit our goal-based campaign needs by asking: 

  • Do we have specific advertising and conversion goals in mind? 
  • Will our campaign benefit from an automated, multichannel approach regarding budget and presentation? 
  • Is it time to move beyond keyword search campaigns to convert and reach leads? 
  • Will these ads help us get new customers? 

Google Performance Max Best Practices 

We understand how confusing it is to hop into a new Google ad set. So, we asked our paid media team to provide their favorite Performance Max tips to make things easier. Here’s what they offered: 

Use your budget wisely: Use smart bidding to control costs or set a maximum conversion value based on funding. 

Make goals: Consider whether your ad will benefit from increasing online sales, generating leads, or encouraging folks to visit your store in person. 

Get creative: Let Google decide which creative works best by producing a variety of video, photo, and text ads. 

Use audience signals: Performance Max will direct your ads to the right leads through Customer Match, lists, site visitors, and segments. 

Optimize your campaigns: Update creative and budgets that align with your goals. Remove unsuccessful ads if necessary. 

Test your ads: Compare different CTAs, visuals, or ad types to maximize results. 

Monitor performance: Review ad performance and budgets to ensure performance is on track. 

Ready to Maximize Ad Spend with Performance Max? 

Performance Max provides a consolidated and simplified solution to delivering multiple ad sets through one campaign. And while it has the potential to streamline some paid media efforts, it’s essential to arrive with experience. 

If you’re new to the paid media game, wish to swap Performance Max success stories, or simply want help choosing a digital marketing agency, let’s connect. Drop us a line and a Mad Fish Digital team member will be with you ASAP.