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In late 2021, Google rolled out its latest Ads experience, named Performance Max (or, PMax). Designed to work alongside your existing search campaigns, Performance Max was billed as a “comprehensive solution that works for all advertisers across a wider range of marketing objectives.”
In short? It aims to generate more conversions across the Google network at a lower CPA. But how does it work, and is it for everyone?
Keep reading to find out!
How Performance Max Works
PMax is a goal-based tool that uses artificial intelligence to optimize bids and select the ad placements most likely to convert. Working from a single campaign source, advertisers can customize goals and let Google learn in real time how best to meet those goals. Rather than building campaigns for specific Google networks, PMax allows advertisers to show their ads across the Search and Display networks, YouTube, Gmail, and Discovery.
The main difference between PMax and typical Google Ads campaigns is how heavily automation and machine learning drive results.
Here’s an example:
Instead of customizing different ads for each channel you want to advertise on, you can provide Google with only a handful of creative elements, and Google’s machine learning will mix and match them in the display combinations most likely to convert.
Key Components of Performance Max
PMax’s asset groups consist of up to 20 images of various sizes, and up to five each of logo images, YouTube videos, headlines, long headlines, and descriptions.
New to the PMax platform, the Audience Signals feature lets you tell Google’s algorithm who your ideal audience is. Not to be confused with actual audience targeting, it helps guide Google to the audiences you already know are the most likely to convert.
When creating your Audience Signals, it’s best practice to include at least one Custom Segment, such as a keyword-based audience, and one audience from your data, such as a remarketing list. Additional interests and demographics also assist Google in honing in on your ideal audience.
Who Performance Max is For
Performance Max is designed as a one-size-fits-all tool with limited channel optimization. That said, it may not be the best solution for advertisers wanting a deeper level of customization into specific channels — say, primarily using YouTube or Display.
But it can be the best tool in your overall strategy if you:
- Have specific conversion goals
- Need to spread a small ad budget across several channels
- Don’t have channel limitations (i.e., advertising everywhere except YouTube)
- Want more than what keyword-based campaigns can offer
Online merchants can use Performance Max to enhance their online sales, and non-sales advertisers can use it to drive leads and traffic. There’s something for just about everyone!
The Benefits of Performance Max
Compared to traditional Search campaigns, PMax offers several noteworthy benefits.
You’ll spend less time designing your ads for each different channel, and the designs you do use are automatically adjusted for maximum performance for those channels. Curious about what those winning combinations are? You can find those transparent insights right in your dashboard.
In summary, Performance Max offers a strong opportunity for advertisers to generate additional leads at lower CPAs while working hand in hand with your current search campaigns.
Performance Max in Action
TechArk’s lead generation experts have been hard at work incorporating the Performance Max campaign tools! So far, we’ve seen promising results for our clients across a myriad of industries, including:
152% decrease in cost per conversion compared to search campaigns.
93% decrease in cost per conversion compared to search campaigns.
- Next Door K9 Solutions (dog training)
51% decrease in cost per conversion compared to search campaigns.
Even better news? Google is still improving the tool based on advertiser feedback. For example, they recently created the option to add Negative Keywords.
Want to Experience Performance Max for Yourself?
We expect PMax to become even more effective as Google continues adjusting it through user feedback. And while no advertising product is “perfect,” we believe it’s a promising tool that’s worth adding to your Google Ads efforts.
Have questions about it? We’re happy to help. Schedule a quick chat with us and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about your online advertising.