“Smart Shopping campaigns are upgrading to Performance Max starting July 2022”

If you advertise with Google, you may got the above email from them yesterday. If you are still non the wiser or have never heard of Performance Max then we can enlighten you now. 

Traditional advertising through Google involved having a variety of campaigns allowing you to deliver different types of advert:

  • Search Text Ads
  • Shopping
  • Smart Shopping
  • YouTube
  • Gmail

You controlled all of these from within the Adwords Manager as individual campagins. This new announcement is a roll out of something completely new, Performance Max Campaigns.

What is a Performance Max Campaign? 

The idea being to roll all of the benefits of Smart Shopping campaigns into one. You can control your advertising across all of Google’s platforms in a single place. The Performance Max Campaigns are Goal Based, this can vary from Leads Generation to Sales and Local Store Visit. All of which are measurable by combining the power of Google Analytics and G4 Analytics. 

Performance Max combines Google’s automation technologies across bidding, budget optimization, audiences, creatives, attribution, and more. They’re all empowered by your specific advertising objective (for example, if you have a CPA or ROAS target) and the creative assets, audience signals, and optional data feeds you provide.”

Google Support:


How do you set up a Performance Max Campaign?

Setting up a Perfomance Max Campaign couldn’t be easier in our opinion. Campared with the old style adwords, it is an intuative process that if you understand the goals can be done in half an hour. 

Go to Google Ads sign in and select all campaigns. Then click New Campaign. You will then be asked for the name of the campaign and the goal you want to achieve. 

How to add images

You are then asked to add assets to the campaign. This is the important bit, you can add images, video and text. The images are your choice and you should include images that can be suqare and rectangular. This is important so they don’t get cropped when displayed on different devices and platforms. 

How to add Video

The videos can be auto generated by Google. We wouldn’t recomend this, the Google videos are slide shows and come with dreadful music. You can create your own slideshow or proper video which should last 15 seconds. This will be displayed before Youtube videos. The videos will be used from YouTube. So upload them to your account and add in the links. 

How to add text

You will then be asked for headlines. These are only 30 characheters long and therefore short and sweet. Something attention grabbing like the brand name and a USP.  You can add up to 5 headlines. 

Long Headlines are 90 chrachters long and you can add another 5. These give you the chance to go a bit deeper into the product and give a few more usps or reasons to buy. As you type you will see examples of the adverts coming up in the preview box on the right hand side. 

Finally you are asked for descriptions, these are the longer bits of text at the bottom of the adverts. More cahnce to get across the selling points. Check out what the adverts look like by clicking on the different ad icons on the top right hand side of the preview. 

Performance Max Campaigns

Choosing your audience and CTA

You now get to choose your Call to Action. You can add your own or select automatic which is controlled by Google. We would recomend selecting automatic. You can now choose your audience. This is where it gets interesting and you can choose by interest and demographics. We would suggest letting it run to whole of UK to start until it has learnt enough to report back to you on the results. 

Which Products to Advertise

Your product feed will come from the Google Merchant Centre. If you don’t have this set up then you won’t be going very far. Do get in touch with us to find out more. You may want to start with All Products, but the system will let you add and remove certain products by name or brand. This can come in handy when you want to split out campaigns. 

What happens next?

Once you have completed the set up of your campaigns, you need to set the daily budget. This should be enough for Google to experiement but not so much you break the bank. Google will then begin its learning process which takes 16 days. It is advisable not to edit anything in this period and have the patience to let it run. Google now tests combinations of text, images and video to find the best performer. It will also be trying out different audiences and times of day to see what works best. You will see the “under review” warning on your assets and will start to receive reports on performance. 

Just the same as other Google advertising campaigns you can drill down to see how much you have spent, how many clicks, Conversion rate and cost per conversion. 

So far this has been excellent for us and we have seen a drop in cost per conversion of 30%. We would love to know what happens  to you. 

Useful Links:

Search Engine Journal – What we know about Performance Max Campaigns.

Google Support

Google Blog

Search Engine Land- Google Performance Max Campaigns

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