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Google Shopping: Performance Max Campaign Guide

Google Shopping: Performance Max Campaign Guide

October 19, 2022

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Online stores are constantly working to reach their target customers at the right time. To make their job easier Google has unveiled the Performance Max Campaign. By combining machine learning with a vast ad network that reaches over 90% of online shoppers. Google enables online businesses to get the most from cross-channel promotion in a single advertising campaign which is called Performance Max.

Google announced that the Smart Shopping campaigns will automatically be upgraded to Performance Max Campaign.  

There are many questions about what it is and how it works.

In this post, we will make clear what the Performance Max campaign is, how it works, when you should use it and its benefits.

Let’s start. 

What is Performance Max?

Performance Max is a goal-based campaign type that lets online merchants increase their conversion rates across Google’s range of advertising channels such as Google Search, Display, Discover, Maps, Gmail and Youtube. 

The difference between the Smart Shopping and Performance Max is that, for Smart Shopping you needed to create several types of campaigns. But the Performance Max combines smart bidding and targeting features into a single goal-driven campaign.

 You can set your own conversion goal and then use it in automated bidding adjustment. 

This campaign type offers more conversions by optimizing the ad performance in real-time by using smart bidding. It’s Google’s AI-driven bidding just like in Smart Shopping campaigns. 

How to Create Performance Max Campaign?

  1. Confirm Your Goals


    Performance Max allows you to include multiple goals in one campaign. This new feature offers more flexibility to mix & match your goals.

    Google uses your account-level conversion goals under the same Conversion Source, Action Optimization which you can find in the conversion tab. Google uses it by default.

    It’s recommended to choose the right category to give Google the right signals and get the best out of your campaign.   

  2. Set Your Budget & Bidding Strategy


    Next, you need to set your daily budget and adopt a bidding strategy. Bidding strategy options include max conversions and max value or max CPA, target ROAS or improving Google Shopping ROI

    Setting the right daily budget might take some of your time. Remember that it’s wise to set a budget and bid strategy that are complementary to each other. Consider following how Google spends your daily budget here

  3.  Choose Your Location


    You need to select your locations. Performance Max is currently not supported by Google Ads editor. Therefore setting up your targeting can take more time than most campaigns. 

    If you are targeting a lot of locations, choose ‘’enter another location’’ which will then show you ‘’advanced search’ link for the option to import locations.  

    You can also choose languages, your ad schedule and your campaign run dates.

  4. Upgrade to Advanced URL Options


    The URL options are important. By default, Google defines its own URLs except if you toggle the option off.  

    According to Google, your URL may be replaced with a more relevant landing page and headline for the best performance based on customer intent. 

  5.  Set Up Your Asset Groups


    Then you will be directed to set up an asset group section which is effectively an ad and it’s similar to responsive display assets. This section is called asset groups because it acts as an asset to all platforms your ads perform. 

    Remember that your assets are the information you have provided to Google such as your logo, product title, images, descriptions and campaign data. Remember that your campaign will work with the assets you provide so try to offer as rich data as possible. 

    Consider providing high-quality, optimized data to Google. You can review every single product to ensure that you are uploading ideal data.  

  6.  Select Your Audience


    Your campaign has one set of targeting. Select your target audience to give helpful insights to Google for your targets. 

    Google states that: ‘’Your ads will automatically be shown to people who are most likely to convert for your goals. You can speed up optimization by providing audience signals.’’ This means that your campaign may not appear in front of your target audience.  

    Therefore, Google is looking for consumers based on your assets. It tracks users’ data to identify similar consumers that are likely to exhibit the same shopping behaviors and interests. 

  7. Add Your Extensions


    In the final step add your extensions by opting to use existing account-level link extensions. Or you can select and create specific links for the Performance Max campaign. 

    When you set up your campaign Google will suggest extension formats based on your goals. For example, if your goal is to do lead generation, the campaign will suggest creating a lead from the extension. 

When to Use Performance Max?

  • Specific goals: for conversion, lead generation, CPA or ROAS you should consider working with the Performance Max campaign. 
  • Easily access all of Google’s ad channels: using a single campaign, Performance Max is what you’re looking for. 
  • Get additional reach & conversion value: beyond keyword-based search campaigns, Performance Max can be helpful.

What are the Benefits of Using Performance Max?

Increase in Online Leads and Conversions

The goal-based campaign type is focusing on maximizing performance. By using the power of machine learning and upgraded reporting capabilities you can increase your leads and conversion values. 

Based on early testing, advertisers who upgrade Smart Shopping campaigns to Performance Max see an average increase of 12% in conversion value at the same or better return on ad spend (ROAS).

Since Smart Shopping is not currently available, you can directly get the benefits of the Performance Max campaign. 

Discover New Audience Segments

Google allows you to have campaign success in a world of automation. The assets you provide will give audience signals to help you optimize your campaigns faster and help find additional customers. Find more converting customers in Performance Max which is also one of the best practices of Google Shopping lead you to hit your targets. 

As Google learns more about your target customers and their shopping habits, the campaign will automatically adjust the bidding strategy in line with your goals.  

Concluding Remarks

If you are looking for an automated solution to Google Shopping management you should consider Performance Max campaigns. We have detailed how it works and the possible benefits of using this campaign.

Performance Max allows retailers to show on Google Maps and Discover, giving your ads more visibility, unlocking new audiences and leading you to hit your specific goals. You can use the advantage of automation and machine learning which are the biggest factors that separate Performance Max from other Ad campaigns. 



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