Google Performance Max Ads Explained: Are They Better?

Posted On: 12th August 2022
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Read Time: 8 Minutes
Google Performance Max Ads Explained

Google Ads are switching Smart Shopping with new Performance Max campaigns. But what do these changes mean for your PPC campaigns? Are you likely to see an impact with conversions? Will the new ads make your campaigns easier to create and manage?

We’re looking at how you can get your Performance Max ads to work for your online business and reap the benefits. We’ve included a case study of one of our clients to share our expert insight on the new campaigns.

Let’s prepare for the Performance Max takeover!

What is Performance Max?

Performance Max is a new type of Google Ad campaign which is set to replace Smart Shopping. With Performance Max, you can access all of your Google Ads inventory from a single campaign, including Search, Display, Discover, Maps, Gmail, and YouTube.

This new goal-oriented campaign type should make it easier for your business to increase its online presence – with more channels to explore from one interface.

What does Google say?

Changes will apply to all Smart Shopping campaigns by the end of September 2022 and will automatically switch over.

So, as Google is throwing out the old and inviting digital marketers everywhere to embrace the new, let’s take a look at what the Performance Max takeover means.

Google claims that Performance Max is bringing an average ‘13% more total incremental conversions at a similar cost per action’. This means there has been a positive increase in desired business outcomes. This includes brand awareness, web visits, conversions, revenue, profitability, etc.

How have Google Ads results been affected?

With Google claiming that Performance Max ads are bringing in plenty of success for businesses, we thought we’d put these claims to the test.

We’ve rolled out the new ads for our ecommerce clients with some excellent results. Back Care Online, for example, has seen a significant increase in the return on ad spend. The Performance Max campaigns outperformed both Search and Shopping campaigns. The company reported a higher ROAS, much higher revenue and conversion rate. In fact, the conversion rate increased by 250%!

Performance Max vs Shopping

Google Ads Table showing ROAS

What can your business do right now to prepare?

As we know that all campaigns will be transferred to Performance Max, we recommend preparing by following the steps below. As the saying goes, the early bird catches the worm.

  • Utilise audience signals
    You should utilise audience signals within existing campaigns. This will help you gather data on who is more likely to convert, such as those who engage and ‘similar audiences’. You can then add this into the Performance Max campaign to help Google get a good start on potential customers. These indicators will help Google figure out who is interested in your products or services.
  • Check all tracking
    You’ll want to make sure all your tracking is working correctly across your website.
  • Set up Google Merchant Center (if you haven’t already)
    Have an online shop, but aren’t set up on Google Merchant Center? As a platform that fuels Google Shopping Ads with product data, you should make the most of it. Now is the time to get started in case of any development delays or issues with Google Merchant Center itself.

Best Practices for Performance Max

Focusing on strategy, understanding your audience and working on how to hook people in are all good places to start. With Performance Max offering more channels and content formats, it’s important to know your way around multimedia ads and how best to engage your target audience.

Echo top tip

It’s important to add a video where relevant. If not, Google will create one for you. On the surface, having Google create a video for you might sound like an ideal time-saver. However, their examples are mediocre at best and won’t let your ads shine. Watch an example of a Google generated ad below so you can see for yourself why it’s better to create your own.

  • Focus on strategy
    Performance Max is a goal-based ad campaign. To get the most out of your ads, it’s important to think about the end goals. What do you want to achieve with your PPC campaigns? This should impact who you target and what call to actions you choose.
  • Understand your audience
    All content should have a specific audience in mind. But you should also understand what your audience responds to – what their needs and wants are. You should also figure out where your audience is most likely to be – do they binge-watch TV and YouTube through connected apps? If so, video ads could work well. Or, if they like retail therapy, Google search could be a good bet. Google is expanding your media options, so you should be thinking outside the basic image and text ad formats when planning your creative work.
  • Get creative to encourage conversions
    Make your ads stand out. You’re not just competing for people’s attention, you want them to click through to your website and complete a desired action. Google will only show what website, products or creatives you have – so make sure these are epic! Whether you want them to buy, sign-up or make contact, make sure you win your audience over with enticing creative material that’s on-brand. Copy, call-to-actions, images, graphics and video must all be engaging. Yawn-inducing content is a big no-no.

How are the upgrades better?

Let’s start by taking a look at the key differences between Smart Shopping and Performance Max ads:

  • More automation – less work for you
    For starters, there’s more automation. What makes this better than the traditional shopping campaigns? High-end machine learning will help to get the most out of your campaigns. Google uses algorithms to decide which combination of your assets is the most likely to convert.
  • Easier access to all ad-based platforms
    One of the key improvements is that you will no longer have to login to separate platforms. All Google Ad-related assets – including Search, Display, Discover, Gmail, YouTube, and Maps – will all be available in one place. Essentially, this means that you will use one goal-based campaign.
  • Experimentation still puts you in control
    Google has also announced they will introduce experimentation tools. This will give you more control and help you scale up your campaigns. If you find one type of ad copy, image or CTA that generates better results than another, you can switch to the better-performing campaign. This will include location-based experimentation.

Ready to get your Performance Max ads off to the best start?

You may be happy to dive in and go. But, if you’d prefer the help of a Google Ads specialist from a Google Partner, Echo can help. Get in touch with our PPC specialists in Peterborough today to discuss your business marketing goals. It’s important to have a specialist, such as Echo, create and manage the campaign properly to bring out the best results.

Contact Us Give Us A Call
Leah Brown at Echo Web Solutions
Leah Bull
Digital Marketing Manager
A real keyword geek at heart, Leah has over 4 years experience in SEO, PPC and CRO now working as the team lead at Echo. She loves trying and testing new techniques and strategies and sharing them for others to enjoy too.

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