Google Performance Max: how to maximize the effectiveness of your advertising campaign

Publication date: 17.02.2023

Google Performance Max — is a relatively new type of advertising campaigns based on artificial intelligence. Google shows the most effective campaigns on all possible resources (Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps, Google search, various websites of Google partners), analyzing the performance and effectiveness of each of them.

Google is currently working on showing its users the most relevant information. And this type of advertising confirms the transition of Google Ads from contextual to media-relevant traffic. The name “performance max” speaks for itself: these advertising campaigns are designed to bring as many conversions to the advertiser as possible. At the same time, if you do not understand the intricacies and peculiarities of setting up, the results of their launch may not meet expectations. Since Performance Max is powered exclusively by artificial intelligence, you need to understand that successful results require a lot of input information that can only be obtained from the statistics of previous campaigns.

The final transition from Google Smart Shopping to Google Performance Max took place in August 2022, when the latter’s performance quickly went up.


According to the portal Search Engine Land, By the end of August, two-thirds of Smart Shopping advertisers had fully switched to PMax campaigns. Only a small share of brands received traffic from Smart Shopping until mid-September.

Google Performance Max is suitable for almost all types of businesses: B2C, B2B, SaaS, e-commerce. The only exception is mobile app advertising, for which Universal app campaign is the best solution. However, as Google competes for advertisers and constantly improves its advertising tools, we can expect that Performance will soon show results for mobile apps as well. Currently, every 2-3 months, new features appear in the Performance Max campaigns settings, which improve the performance of this type of advertising every time.

Effectiveness Performance Max is confirmed to be fresh research by Lebesgue Academy, who analyzed the advertising campaigns of more than 5,000 e-commerce advertisers and obtained the following average Performance Max scores:


Therefore, if you are just thinking about launching this type of campaign and are wondering what results you can get with Performance Max, you can safely focus on these indicators

The same research shows that well-known brands have prioritized Perfomance Max campaigns in their marketing strategies. For example, the Spanish insurance leader Allianz used Performance Max campaigns to achieve maximum results within its marketing budget. Allianz used Performance Max to increase the number of qualified auto insurance leads by 15% at a lower cost than typical search campaigns.


“Performance Max has helped us activate a complementary full-funnel strategy. Thanks to the advanced machine learning capabilities, we were able to increase our reach and conversion very efficiently,” comments Inmaculada Lestayo Campos, Digital Marketing Manager Allianz.

What are the benefits of Google Performance Max?

  1. It attracts all Google platforms at once, which is why saves time because you set up only one advertising campaign.
  2. All processes are automatic. The algorithm system independently optimizes ads to ensure that they are seen by the maximum number of target audiences. On the other hand, you can’t change anything on your own.
  3. In working with the audience, it covers all stages of the sales funnel.
  4. It is focused on lead generation and conversion, not just brand awareness.
  5. It has a good effect on search advertising.
  6. Adds Google’s total trust to your ad account.
  7. Automatically generates remarketing, showing ads primarily to visitors of the advertiser’s website, i.e. the most relevant audience.
  8. It uses “trigger events” as signals to the audience. For example, now your ads are seen by those who have visited your competitors’ websites.
  9. Works well for E-Commerce via Merchant Center data feed. It automatically takes into account any changes in price, availability, and visuals.
  10. Automatically generates dynamic creatives from all available input data. The ones that resonate the most with the audience are included in the rotation. You can follow this in the Object Groups/Combinations section.
  11. Target price for conversion. This is a new betting strategy in Performance Max, which is relatively easy to work with using the CPA model.

What are the disadvantages of Google Performance Max

  1. It is still difficult to understand the effectiveness of each channel because artificial intelligence does not provide these statistics. Perhaps in the future, the ability to track statistics will be expanded.
  2. To launch, you need to have a previous successful advertising history. Google Performance Max requires a minimum of 15 conversions within the last 30 days. But in fact, more is needed for good results, and each type of business needs its own specific amount.
  3. It requires a large budget, as it uses all Google platforms, so it will not be possible to launch a large number of such campaigns at the same time without an appropriate advertising budget. Moreover, launching such campaigns requires a plan prepared in advance that takes into account budgets and the number of products or services to be advertised.
  4. The training period can last several months, and results can be expected even longer.
  5. In the early stages, you may get a lot of low-quality leads, and you can’t change that because the campaigns are automatic.
  6. Requires the creation of a large amount of static content (banners). The rule here is that the more information artificial intelligence has, the better.
  7. Requires the creation of video content, which requires additional resources. If you don’t create your own video creatives, Google will automatically create videos from uploaded images that not only don’t improve your results, but also harm them. Therefore, we recommend deleting automatic videos using appropriate scripts.
  8. It is quite difficult to scale. Simply increasing the daily budget is not enough, because it will most likely increase the cost per conversion, not the number of conversions. For successful scaling, you need to develop the “architecture” of performance campaigns from the very beginning.
  9. In some cases, it is necessary to add auxiliary conversions that are not usually taken into account in the optimization to ensure that Performance reaches the required number of events and continues to work. Additional marketing tools such as a callback button on the website and call tracking.
  10. Sometimes, when there are not enough targeted events, a Performance campaign may stop. This point should be monitored and returned to the settings again.

What you need to know before setting up Performance Max

When launching Performance Max, just like any other Google ad, you should take into account all targeted actions of the audience on the website. After all, quite often a user sees an advertisement and calls to clarify certain details such as delivery, availability of the required size, discounts, etc. After the conversation, he can order the goods or return for a purchase later. Google cannot record such an order and may decide that the advertising campaign was ineffective. However, if you don’t take this into account, you may give up a channel that could potentially bring you sales. To prevent this from happening, you should track calls coming from advertising sources using call tracking. This tool tracks calls with keyword drill-down, which allows you to optimize and make your advertising campaign even more effective.


For Google Ads, it is important that Performance Max receives as much statistical data as possible for the best possible optimization. Therefore, it is worth using all the functionality of virtual telephony: auto-callback, feedback button, widget of popular messengers, etc. This way, all data about targeted actions on the site will be collected, which you can analyze, evaluate the effectiveness, and eventually allocate the advertising budget correctly.

When creating an ad campaign in the Object Groups section, don’t forget to add audience signals: interests and behavioral data. These are the very “trigger events” that Google believes precede the execution of a targeted action by the audience. For example, a user is going to buy a car and is looking for information about a specific model or visits aggregator sites. Or when a person visits resources about interior design, websites of new residential complexes, and then the pages of construction hypermarkets, you can assume that they are going to buy an apartment and make repairs. Audience signals are a field for testing hypotheses, and perhaps the main section of this type of advertising settings. So use the audience’s cues to the fullest. For example, you can create several audiences and test them.


Add details in the Special Segments section. Enter all possible titles, descriptions, and add as many illustrations of your product or service as possible.

Choose the target url addresses of your website to which your ads will lead. If this is not done, the system selects the page itself, and the user can end up on the team’s description, delivery terms, or blog. This way, you can lose some customers who will not search for the right product or service on the website on their own. Ideally, an ad with a product should lead to a website page with its photo and description.

The headlines in your ads are important and must include keywords about your product or service. Headlines should be specific and simple, so that when reading them, it is immediately clear what you are selling or offering.

How to optimize Google Performance Max ad campaigns

Based on keywords, Performance Max complements Google Ads search campaigns. However, if a user’s query is a perfect match for a Performance Max campaign keyword, the search campaign will take precedence, unless

– It has an insufficient budget,

– low volume of keyword searches,

– all creatives or landing pages for ads were rejected,

– all the conditions for targeting an advertising campaign are not met.

If the settings are correct, Performance Max Google Ads enhances the performance of search campaigns: the number of conversions increases, and leads are of higher quality. This can be tracked by the Google Ads tag.

Monitor the performance of your search campaigns while running Performance Max. If they have started to generate fewer conversions or stopped altogether, they may need to be optimized. There are several ways to do so:

  1. Add new creatives (images and videos).
  2. Add and/or change the audience (audience signals, search queries, etc.).
  3. Increase the daily budget and/or the target price per conversion (this method is used, but in our experience, it is not very effective).
  4. Duplicate the campaign and re-launch it (in our experience, this method is the most effective).

Analyze the audience that comes. In the Auction Statistics section, you can view the campaigns you are competing with in the auctions and see and check which audience your ads are crossing paths with. If there are competitors that do not belong to your industry, the signals of the advertising campaign may have been selected incorrectly, or the artificial intelligence algorithm may have chosen a cluster of audience that is not your target and optimized in the wrong direction. Review settings, analyze text and images. Perhaps people have a different perception of them.


Talk to managers, listen to recordings of conversations using the corresponding function included in the IP-telephonyWhat users say and what clarifying questions they ask. Based on this information, develop an action plan for the new audience-specific settings.

Periodically analyze groups of ad objects and their combinations. In the Object Groups section, click View Details and see which objects have low scores. You may need to replace the text or image somewhere to make the ad work.

Also, don’t neglect Google’s campaign optimization recommendations. Later, when artificial intelligence has accumulated enough statistics, it will offer you options for titles and descriptions.

Analyze the locations of your advertising campaign. You can view them in the Reports section. If you think some of the sites are not relevant to your product or service, add them to the exclusions in your account settings. In addition, it is advised to disable the display in applications. To do this, go to the Tools and Options section.

Instead of conclusions

Although Performance Max doesn’t yet have the full functionality that marketers and PPC specialists want, it’s a tool that can make a difference in the results of your Google campaigns.

We’ve been working with Performance Max for almost a year now, so we can give you some tips:

  1. Collect an array of input data, ranging from historical statistics to all variants of description titles, ads, and extensions.
  2. Focus on the content. Performance Max allows you to use 20 images and 5 video creatives. Make the most of these slots.
  3. Test different hypotheses about your audience. Create a variety of segments and keep the ones that get the best response.
  4. Let us reveal a little secret about scaling Performance Max. The main rule is that there should be one advertising campaign for one group of objects and one audience. So if, for example, you have two products: plaster and wall paint, then in this situation, create a separate Performance Max ad campaign for each product.
  5. Don’t spare your budgets. For Performance Max, you need to get at least 3-7 conversions per week. Knowing the cost of a targeted conversion, you can calculate how much you need to successfully launch one campaign. If you don’t have enough budget, it’s better to postpone the launch of Performance Max until better times.
  6. Performance Max campaigns are all about additional reach. That is, if your account already has successful search campaigns, launching a performance campaign will not affect their results. And if there is an overlap of audiences, it will be very minimal.
  7. Implementing a CRM system is a must-have for any business, as this tool allows you to determine the quality of leads and control the return on advertising spend (ROAS). In practice, it is quite common for an advertising campaign to generate leads at an acceptable price, but most of the applications were not converted into sales.

And finally, remember that the more events you have to optimize Performance Max, the more chances you have for a successful campaign. Use modern features to increase the number of conversion events IP-telephony, такі як автопередзвон, кнопка зворотного дзвінка, а також не забуваємо про integration of the CRM system with the ability to record phone calls to make your call center more productive.