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Find out more about Google’s Performance Max

Performance Max Campaigns

You can deliver ads across all Google channels from a single campaign by using Performance Max. Currently, it’s likely that you run campaign types separately, such as Search and Display for example. Google’s Performance Max campaign uses automation to deliver ads and drive better performance with the goal of converting more customers by utilising all of Google’s advertising channels, it covers: 

  • YouTube
  • Search
  • Display
  • Discover
  • Gmail
  • Maps

Google have also recently replaced (upgraded) Smart Shopping and Local campaigns with Performance Max campaigns.


When should you use Performance Max campaigns?

If you don’t want your ads to be limited to a specific channel, then you should start using Performance Max now. Google describes Performance Max as a ‘new goal-based campaign type’, which is the main driver in why advertisers are switching to this campaign type and away from tradition. You can cover multiple conversion goals by using Performance Max, so ultimately saving you time, and delivering better-quality results.  

Performance Max campaigns use audience targeting which is more beneficial than only reaching those actively searching. If a user is interested in your product or service, they are likely to match with audience signals and targets that you provide to Google. Google uses this insight to identify consumers likely to exhibit similar behaviours and interests and show your ads to people who are most likely to convert. Essentially, the more insight you can provide, the better campaign optimisation and output will become.

How to get the most from a Performance Max campaign.

Performance Max campaigns are designed to make managing multi-channel campaigns easier, saving you time to give more focus to high-level tasks and decisions. To strive for getting the most from Performance Max campaigns here are some tips to be aware of before jumping in:

Know your goals 

On the introduction of Performance Max campaigns back in November 2021, Google claimed that advertisers using this new campaign type ‘see an average increase of 13% total incremental conversions at a similar cost per action’. 

Performance Max campaigns are centred around the conversion goals that you identify so it is crucial that you select the goals that matter to you from the very beginning. This will allow each campaign to push for improved delivery on conversions whether it’s leads being generated, sales numbers or general brand awareness campaigns that you are running.  

Link your data  

Utilising third-party data allows your Google Ads account to reach better audiences, potentially saving you a lot of time and money. Rather than relying on AI to tell you who your target audience is, Google can learn from a customer list and match potential users with characteristics and behaviours similar to your existing customers, making these users more likely to convert.

Get on your asset game 

When creating a Performance Max campaign Google will ask you to create asset groups which consists of a range of available assets to deliver the best ads to the audience. You should add a mix of everything to allow more testing for what works best to help your audience convert. An asset group is made up of various creative types:

  • Images (up to 20 in total. Ratios include 1.91:1, 1:1, and 4:5) 
  • Logos (up to 5 in total. Ratios include 1:1 and 4:1) 
  • Videos (up to 5 in total. Aspect ratios include 16:9 and 4:3, and must >=10 seconds length) 
  • Headlines (up to 5 in total, 30-character length) 
  • Long headlines (up to 5 in total, 90-character length) 
  • Descriptions (up to 5 in total, x1 60-character and x4 90-character lengths) 
  • Business Name (1, 25-charatcer length) 

The more types of assets you input, the better the output.

What are some of the limitations to Performance Max campaigns? 

Like anything, if you didn’t already have it and it was never there, you may not feel any different. However, we will highlight in this section some tools you may have got used to that are no longer available or have changed when it comes to Performance Max campaigns. 

Negative Keywords  

Adding negative keywords to your campaigns is an ongoing optimisation task, they help us to exclude search terms that are not relevant to our audience. Unfortunately, there is currently no option to add negative keywords to Performance Max campaigns, although Google say this feature will soon be available.  

Search Terms 

A search terms report provides us with insight into what keywords users are searching for that trigger our ads to appear. Within a Performance Max campaign this feature has been renamed to ‘search term insight’ which adds search terms into categories and then drills down further by revealing what your customers are searching for, the words they use to search and what categories are growing and declining. Although this sounds like what is available now, the report data has been branded as ‘limited’ when compared to what was available from the likes of Shopping and Search campaigns. Also bear in mind that not all accounts have this feature from the get-go. It could take longer for accounts with low spend to gather this insight before it is available to view. 

Losing Control 

Many criticisms of Performance Max campaigns are attributed to the level of automation on offer. Those advertisers who like to have control over finer details within their Google Ads account do not necessarily have the same when it comes to Performance Max. Equally with automation, machines do not always get it right and so for well-known brands, this campaign type may not yet be suitable in protecting their image. 


Along with every new development that Google release, advertisers need to take time to test new strategies and not simply move away from traditional, proven campaign strategies overnight. As we know with existing campaign types, some would never be applicable to a brand and others would. The same can be said for Performance Max. What will ensure success is that we test and learn by using this campaign type and creating proven strategies once again.

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