Suppose you're one of the many online retailers who used Google Smart Shopping and its intelligent ads to reach customers between 2018 and 2022. In that case, you'll likely already know about its successor - a new ad campaign service from the platform called Google Performance Max.
For those new to the Google service, it's an innovative type of goal-based advertising campaign that uses AI to help businesses convert customers across Google's entire suite of channels, like Display, Search, Maps, Gmail, Discover and YouTube.
So, How Does Performance Max Work?
Performance Max (PM) leverages Google's AI technologies across budget optimization, audiences, bidding, and more to complement your keyword-based search campaigns. Your specific advertising aims guide the process, such as the need to achieve a particular Cost Per Action (CPA). The critical difference between PM and other types of Google ads is automation.
Advertisers manually upload a range of assets to the appropriate channel, such as videos and other creatives. Google's machine learning algorithms determine which combinations deliver the best campaign results.
Let's now look at some of those campaign elements in greater focus.
Budgeting & Bidding
After connecting the relevant store locations and product feeds, users set their budget and the finer details of their bidding strategy, such as max conversion and max value limits. Additionally, it's possible to set a maximum CPA or target conversion/value, allowing marketers to benefit from Target Return On Ad Spend (ROAS) and Target CPA strategies.
Users can toggle their final URLs on or off, and these options are crucial, as the more targeted they are, the better the performance you can expect.
Ordinarily, Google automatically sets the final URL, sending traffic to the links it feels are most appropriate. Excluding links can also be implemented, ensuring Google's bots ignore specific URLs during traffic redirection.
Ad Schedules, Language, Location
Users also need to select geographical locations, which, up until recently, involved a somewhat laborious targeting setup process. The main reason was that Google Ads Editor did not support Performance Max. However, that changed as part of their last update, and full support is now available.
Furthermore, uploading locations in bulk can be carried out swiftly by clicking 'enter another location', which opens a new window. This action provides access to an advanced search link and lets you import as many locations as you need and choose your ad schedule, languages and campaign dates.
Manually Directing Google's Automated Targeting
Every campaign you run with Performance Max features a single set of targeting - meaning no ad groups. Although with the Google platform, you can choose specific audiences to provide insight into whom Google should target.
Generally speaking, Google automatically shows ads to the people who offer the highest likelihood of conversion, but you can accelerate this optimization by manually providing audience signals. Google then uses this data to locate consumers with similar interests/behaviors.
The Benefits of Running Performance Max Campaigns
There are many advantages to using Performance Max for your advertising campaigns, and they all relate to finding and converting more customers.
Reaching More Customers
Google's new campaign approach lets you customize your goals based on what matters most to your business and maximize conversions or their value. As such, Performance Max enables you to:
- Engage with customers across all Google channels
- Understand buyer intent & preferences in real-time
- Discover new customer segments
When combined with your input via audience signals, it's possible to unlock and reach entirely new audiences, allowing you to drive better performance across your goals.
Obtaining Rich Campaign Insights
Another compelling reason to employ Performance Max campaigns is the rich insight it provides to online advertisers. Its asset reporting allows you to better understand which of your creatives have the most significant impact, enabling you to optimize them for increased ROI.
Consequently, advertisers gain access to valuable insights like emerging trends that inform your broader business strategy.
Driving More Value
An online retailer's conversion rate (CVR) is crucial to its success, and Performance Max offers data-driven attribution to hone your most incremental touchpoints that turn browsers into buyers.
Platform users can employ machine learning models that accurately predict which audiences, ads and creative combinations deliver the best return.
Who is Performance Max Best For?
Businesses with specific conversion and advertising objectives stand to gain the most from using Performance Max for their online advertising. For example, a company may want to boost its lead generation efforts or simply increase sales - something Google's machine learning algorithms are adept at delivering. Other use cases include:
- Anyone wanting to maximize ad campaign performance when there's no restriction relating to which channel the ads appear on.
- Advertisers looking for a simple and stress-free way to easily access all of Google's advertising channels using a single campaign.
- Business owners seeking to improve conversion rates and gain additional reach over and above keyword-based search campaigns.
Performance Max helps advertisers laser-target their campaigns, leading to more traffic and conversions from people who intend to buy.
Growing Your Business With Google Ads Automation
With 2.1 billion monthly active users, YouTube alone offers a wealth of targeting opportunities, and that's before we consider the rest of Google's platforms. Business owners looking for a way to improve their ROAS need seriously consider Performance Max and its benefits.
Leveraging the considerable power of machine learning, Performance Max enhances your efforts by optimizing placements and bids that allow you to hit your conversion goals.
Factoring in the ability to add audience signal inputs for even more precise targeting, you can be sure that the most interested people are seeing your ads. The upshot is more sales, revenue and ultimately, a healthier bottom line, something every entrepreneur can get behind.