Google Performance Max: Everything You Need to Know

2 Years Later, What Have We Learnt About Google Performance Max?

Whether your advertising goals are store visits, web traffic, sales leads, completed sales or all of the above, Google advertising has been providing businesses with maximized PPC ad performance through Google Performance Max since its release in November of 2021.

Now over two years later, we have a better idea of where this cohesive service was meant to enhance business’ Google Ads initiatives and where the company wants to take Google Ads with it.

Here’s everything you need to know about this all-in-one advertising campaign type, why it’s still worth bidding on, what could be improved upon by Google and what else is coming our way this year in terms of Google-based advertising.

What is Google Performance Max?

Using artificial intelligence and access to your Google inventory, Google Performance Max combines Google Ads’ typical individual campaign types – Discovery Ads, Display Ads, Local Ads, Search Ads and Shopping Ads – and self-determines in real-time with machine learning the which and where of the ad types to maximize the performance of your business advertising. 

Upon execution, Google Performance Max campaigns are seen across Google’s various networks, including, but not limited to, Search, Youtube, Display, Gmail, Maps etc. 

In a nutshell, GPM means no more having to pick and choose individual ad types and locations across multiple campaign attempts on the fly and then blowing your marketing budget playing advertising eenie, meenie, miney, moe. 

Who Should Use Google Performance Max Campaigns?

Nearly anyone with a product or business to offer can take advantage of Google Performance Max advertising. Customers reached by these ad campaigns’ active placements can take advantage of your online services, products, promotions and other offerings.

More focused on brick and mortar? These ads are just as beneficial for your offline goals with their integration of previously independent Local campaigns which focused on getting engagement on call buttons, store directions and visits to stores. 

Additional goals worth running Google Performance Max campaigns for could be loyalty or subscription sign-ups, quote requests, appointment bookings, and other forms of lead generation. 

How Do Google Performance Max Campaigns Target Customers?

There are two main determinants that Google Performance Max ads integrate into its targeting across the Google network; goals and your audience targeting set.

Simplifying demographic targets by leaving out ad grouping, these campaigns target consumers with known behaviours, interests and habitual cues that are most aligned with your selected conversion goal and the target audience provided during campaign creation.

Plus, through machine learning, Google Performance Max campaigns can read, target and report new customer discoveries in real-time quickly and efficiently, especially having all Google platforms in one campaign to choose intelligent advertising landscapes from.

Photo credits: Cameron Casey

What are the Pros of Google Performance Max?

One major pro of Google Performance Max is of course the use of machine learning to boost performance and conversion rates as the campaigns are still running. No starting and stopping campaigns, or just starting over, to get display networks, audiences and demographics right.

Plus, with Google Performance Max taking advantage of displays across multiple Google networks, you’re reaching a wider target audience with a single campaign. In addition to this, Google Performance Max knows how to take advantage of your existing customer data and creative assets. 

Want to only target new customers? Give it access to Analytics and any mailing lists and it won’t target people who already know who you are or what you have to offer. Have lots of pictures but no video? It’ll take the assets you do have and produce new creative fit for its displays automatically. 

What are the Cons of Google Performance Max?

We have already talked about no platform being perfect and even an advertising service as comprehensive as Google Performance Max is no exception. Noted cons by marketers and industry experts include but aren’t limited to:

What’s Coming to Google Ads in 2023

This past August and September, Google Ads initiated a period of allowing accounts still using Smart Shopping and Local campaigns to “self-upgrade” to Google Performance Max; something that’s irreversible once complete.

Avoiding the winter holidays, to not disrupt the biggest advertising time of the year, Google pushed automatic upgrades to 2023 for any remaining accounts still using the former campaign types. No specific date has been announced but advertising businesses will be sent notifications before any automatic upgrading begins.  

This year, Google will also introduce audio ads, to be presented to Youtube listeners of music and podcasts, specifically – very similar to Spotify advertising solutions. You’ll also be given the capability to add new voiceovers to existing video ads, cutting out the need to go back and re-edit the video content itself.

Don’t have a narrator or can’t stand the sound of your own voice? 8 Google voices will be made available for scripting. 

To find out how you can best increase awareness, sign-ups or boost sales with Google Performance Max, drop us a line.

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Author avatar
Thomas Charisis
Thomas has worked in digital marketing for 11 years in client, agency and client-side roles. Former Senior Growth Marketing Strategist at Ladder (Publicis, UK), Thomas now spearheads Digital Strategy at Massion. Technology & data science enthusiast, Thomas has recently acquired an MSc in Data Analysis & Decision Making.

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