Performance Max Campaign – Everything You Need to Know
Ever since the launch of the Performance Max (or, PMax) campaigns by Google in November 2021, there has been a lot of interest among online marketers about the update. PMax is all about helping businesses frame more result-driven and effective ad strategies – in order to boost lead generation, pull up queries and in-store visits, and bolster online sales figures. As per a recent case study from the search engine giant, a leading automotive marketing & sales firm managed to increase the number of qualified business leads by ~25%, with the help of PMax campaigns. The entire Google Ads inventory (across networks) can be utilised from a single Performance Max campaign. By availing the services of a top PPC agency in Kolkata and optimising PMax campaigns, businesses can increase conversions significantly (based on the set goals), and make online advertising more rewarding.
Powered by automation and leveraging machine learning (ML) capacities, Google Performance Max can well and truly bring about a transformation in the field of ad campaign management on the World Wide Web. Over here, we will take you through the most important aspects of PMax:
Understanding Performance Max
The conversion rates of regular search campaigns can remain on the lower side. Google has introduced Performance Max is a goal-based or results-based campaign that has the capability to appreciably boost conversions. This conversion increase should happen on all the ad channels of Google – so that brand presence is maintained across formats (i.e., on Display, Mail, Search, Discover, YouTube and Maps). With the PMax campaign, ad performance levels can be easily optimised on a real-time basis. Both local campaigns and smart shopping are set to be merged with PMax – making the latter an all-in-one campaign.
Key Features Of Google Performance Max
In the Performance Max campaign, advertisers can specify their precise conversion goals, and build campaign performance accordingly. Right from budget optimisation and bidding (Smart Bidding), to attribution, audience management and ad creatives – all features can leverage the powerful automation features of Google. Optional data feed can also be provided, if required.
Not all features of PMax are absolutely new, however. For instance, most advertisers are already familiar with things like ‘conversion-only bidding’ and ‘responsive advertisements’. There are certain unique aspects though – like ‘URL expansion’ and automatically generated videos. It is advisable to test out these features properly, before starting to use PMax for higher conversions.
Who Exactly Is The Performance Max Campaign For?
While Google’s PMax campaign can, in theory, be used by anyone – professionals from a digital marketing agency in Kolkata advise exercising a lot of caution. Advertisers who wish to get on the Performance Max bandwagon should be prepared to spend up to $100 daily, for the first 30 days or so. This is required for the requisite data-generation as well as format learning.
In terms of industry verticals too, PMax is, at least as things stand now, more suitable for eCommerce businesses. The campaign can be used for lead generation as well – but for things to work properly, advertisers need to make sure that they have the latest conversion tracking system in place.
Performance Max: Biggest Advantages
The Google Performance Max campaign makes the entire process of campaign launch to result-generation easier and quicker. Google Signals is responsible for speeding up the campaign management on an end-to-end basis. The performance of ads can also be compared real-time with the help of the reports generated on Google Insights.
The biggest advantage of PMax campaigns is that they help advertisers find and connect with the ‘right’ target audience, and create the best advertisements – right through all Google channels – to nudge people towards conversions. Since the new campaign type is fully goal-oriented, the exact marketing objectives of advertisers always remain in focus.
How Does Google Performance Max Work?
On the PMax campaign, advertisers have the option to choose from multiple conversion goals (lead generation, offline sales and online sales). The campaign leverages machine learning (ML) technology to ensure that people always come across ads that are relevant to them. As a result, the performances of the underlying campaigns are also maximised (particularly since the business goals get maximum priority).
The process in which Performance Max works is simple enough. After selecting the business objective, the advertiser needs to finalise the conversion goal(s) to attain that objective. The fully automated bidding and targeting feature of PMax ensures efficient ad budget allocation, and utilisation of the most fruitful opportunities.
As a rule of thumb, different goals and values should be assigned to a campaign, to maximise the chances of ROI-optimisation via automation.
Structure Of Performance Max
In order to get the best value out of Google Performance Max, it is important to get a hang of its overall structure. Advertisers need to, with the assistance of any reliable PPC agency in Kolkata, clarify all queries about the PMax structure, before starting to use it.
For lead generation, the ‘conversion goals’ should ideally be forms, calls, and such other. eCommerce businesses need to select ‘purchases’ as the goal. ‘Asset Group(s)’ has to be selected, to club together all creative assets and messages. ‘Location Targeting’ can be used – and after finalising the target locations, the ‘Presence’ option under Target needs to be selected. For finding potentially rewarding leads, the ‘Audience Signals’ (which include Custom Intent, Customer Match, Web Visitors, Interests & more) deliver the goods. ‘Bidding Strategies’ should be based on conversion maximisation or conversion value maximisation. The performance of PMax campaigns also hinges crucially on the ‘Data Feed’ used in the Google Merchant Center.
Note: For advertisers looking to acquire new leads, the ‘Exclusions’ feature can be used to exclude existing customers from the targeting.
When Should Google Performance Max Be Used?
Once again, there is no hard and fast rule regarding when and how the Google Performance Max Campaigns should be used. However, PMax is likely to be particularly useful for advertisers who wish to access & leverage all the ad channels of Google through the same campaign. The campaign is also ideal for managing ads that do not have any particular channel-related restrictions AND proper conversion goals are already in place. In general too, PMax assists businesses display their ads to more people – thereby pulling up conversions automatically.
Tracking The Potential Pitfalls
Optimisation across the different ad channels of Google through a single campaign is definitely a big advantage of PMax. However, there is very little data or visibility regarding performance on individual channels. As a result, it becomes very difficult to change campaigns to impact their performance. There is no way of knowing for certain that other search campaigns are not being cannibalised by PMax. In the absence of device modifiers, it also becomes problematic to compare campaign performance on mobile and desktop. As PMax becomes smarter in the foreseeable future, it is expected to generate more data for advertisers to refer to.
Smart Shopping Vs Performance Max
Google’s Performance Max has been framed to take over from Smart Shopping this year. In fact, Smart Shopping campaigns were automatically converted to PMax this year. In PMax, Google Discover and Google Maps are both included – unlike what was the case with Smart Shopping. While the foundational characteristics of PMax and Smart Shopping are similar, the new campaign type will offer more data inventory and insights to advertisers (although all campaign-related data is not available). Going forward, data access on PMax is expected to grow.
Role Of Automation and Machine Learning In Performance Max
Seamless automation, together with machine learning (ML) lie at the core of Performance Max campaigns. ML models help in the optimisation of ad placements and bids – so that conversion values, or conversions, are pulled up. Through smart automation, the audience are served ‘relevant’ ads, their bids are determined on the back of data, and campaign performance levels are boosted. PMax is, truly, a ‘new way to buy Google ads’.
Tips To Get The Best Value Out Of Ads Performance Max
Once advertisers familiarise themselves with all the technical nitty-gritty of Google Performance Max, they need to start using it to drive comparisons. For this, following these broad pointers should be handy:
Manage the URL expansion feature with care. URL expansion is activated by default in PMax campaigns.
Pay attention to conversion tracking. This is particularly important due to the key role that automation plays in PMax.
Add video asset(s). They are required since a diverse array of inventories are covered in PMax campaigns.
Implement Performance Max for clearly-defined conversion goals.
Create Audience Signals and review the Insights tab regularly.
Avoid using the same elements as Image Assets and Merchant Centre Feed.
While PMax does not yet have all the reporting options of Google Ads, maintaining a PMax segment inside Google Analytics can be helpful.
In addition to paving the way for increased conversions, Google Ad Performance Max also brings down cost per conversion (CPC) – thereby enhancing the overall online advertising ROI. However, unlike other Search Campaigns, PMax does not use keywords – and that’s precisely why experts from any leading digital marketing agency in Kolkata typically recommend running PMax along with the other campaigns (at least until the former has collected sufficient data). In other words, PMax can be viewed as a ‘marginal tool’, that should be ideally used as a part of the overall advertising spectrum – and not as a one-stop tool. Advertisers also need to be prepared to wait for 6-7 weeks, before PMax campaigns start delivering stable & noticeable results. For local campaigns, Google started to automatically roll out PMax from earlier this year – and this all-new ad campaign, when implemented correctly, can add more value to PPC marketing indeed.
From better ad optimisation and campaign management, to connecting with a larger audience pool across the entire Google network – the promised benefits of Performance Max are manifold. Unless you optimally leverage it, you might fall behind in the paid marketing game!