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What is a Performance Max campaign in PPC?

Performance Max is a goal-based PPC campaign type that allows digital marketers to access all of their Google Ads inventory from one campaign. The aim is to help advertisers boost conversions and increase engagement across Google’s’ channels; Search, Discover, Display etc.

How does it work?

PPC marketers can set their own conversion goals to be used by the automated bidding technology. Ultimately the difference between this campaign type and others, is how we use automation. With Performance Max campaigns, Google automates the creation of PPC ads based on assets provided by you.

It’s then Google’s job to serve the highest performing and most relevant combination of assets to increase campaign performance. These assets could be images, videos etc, and will be tested by Google’s machine learning tools to work out which combinations work best for your business and PPC campaign.

What are the benefits of Performance Max?

This campaign type promises advantages over others, i.e. increased leads and conversions through the use of automation. The automated optimisation of PPC bids and budget could potentially be more efficient than a generic search campaign.

Google uses real-time data on user intent and preferences, meaning Performance Max campaigns could help you to to discover new audience segments that you were unaware of. This can then help you to get your PPC ads in front of highly relevant shoppers who are more likely to have an interest in your product or service.

This campaign type does rely on creative assets provided by marketers. The good thing about this, is that you can create assets that best reflect your audience. This essentially means you still have control of your PPC ad campaign, despite automation playing a big part too.

What are the potential cons of Performance Max?

One less positive aspect of this PPC campaign type is that you don’t receive all the data that could be used to help with campaign optimisation. This is similar to Smart Shopping campaigns that operate with a ‘black box’.

We’ve mentioned the ability to have single-campaign optimisation across various Google marketing channels. This definitely has its advantages, but there is a downfall. Single-campaign optimisation means you gain less visibility on channel-specific performance. What this means, is that it can be tricky to see how each individual channel is performing.

Another downfall is that Google is yet to implement device modifiers or share device-specific performance data. Again, this can make it difficult to test campaigns to their fullest, as you cannot compare performance across devices, i.e. desktop and mobile.

When should you consider Performance Max?

Performance Max can work well for businesses that want to appear on multiple Google marketing platforms and access multiple data sources from one single campaign. Smaller businesses may also want to consider running a Performance Max campaign as they won’t have to delve as much into PPC strategy (although a human approach is still key for best performance).

However, Performance Max doesn’t always offer the same opportunities for business growth as other campaign types. This is because there may be times when Google’s automated bidding tools miss out on valuable and relevant campaign data that could help you to really stay ahead of the competition.

What is the difference between Performance Max and Smart Shopping?

To make sure many of the valued existing settings remained the same, Performance Max campaigns were essentially built off of existing Smart Shopping and Local campaigns. Google brought a few updates with Performance Max, including new automation insights and ad inventory.

Ad inventory was introduced across Search, Discovery sand Youtube Google networks. Performance Max campaigns also cover Google Maps and Discovery, unlike Smart Shopping. This can help to increase PPC ad visibility and reach new audiences.

Performance Max campaigns do have the same basic and foundational features provided by Smart Shopping. The newer campaign type (Perfomance Max) doesn’t always provide total transparency, in the sense that not all campaign data is accessible (as mentioned above). This can mean that it’s not always the best option for retail businesses.

Get in Touch

Do you need help deciding which campaign type is best for your business? Or do you want somebody to step in and help maximise the results from an existing PPC campaign? If you have any questions or want to arrange a chat with a London PPC agency – get in touch with our digital marketing team today.

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