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Performance Max Campaign - Advantage, Best Practices, Reporting

Over the past few years, Google introduced many automated tools such as Smart Campaigns, Responsive Search Ads. Performance Max campaigns are the latest addition to their advertising automation tools. This article explains about the Performance Max campaign, best practices to follow while doing it, and puts a glance on its reporting section.

 Perfomance Max Campaign Mini Guide

Performance Max is a new goal-based campaign type that lets you advertise across Google’s inventory in a single campaign.

This means your single ad campaign gets shown across:

-Search Network: search results, Maps and Shopping, partner search sites

-Display Network: YouTube, Gmail, Discovery, partner websites

Performance Max focuses on achieving specific business goals like conversions and sales.

“It’s a new goal-based campaign that aims to increase online sales, generate more leads and drive more store visits to physical business locations,” said Rodney Ip, global product lead of Google Ads.

  • Unlike other Google Ads campaigns, Performance max campaigns rely heavily on machine learning.

  • It does automated bidding and targeting, data-driven attribution, and creates tailored ads.

  • It is built for cross-channel automated advertising with less need for human intervention.

Performance Max Campaign Advantages

Source: Rodney Ip

  • If your ad objective is “Sales”, “Leads”, “Website traffic“, “Local store visits and promotions” or creating a campaign without a goal’s guidance, you can choose Performance max as a campaign type.

  • Your audience is not limited to a particular ad channel

  • You want your ad to appear across all Google’s channels in a single campaign

  • You want to get more reach and conversion value

Since performance max campaign works on automation, there are few things advertisers have control over. Performance Max lets you add your expertise in setting up things like: conversion goals, budget, audience signals (custom audience) and creative assets.

1. Conversion goals:

Since Performance Max works on specific advertising goals like increasing sales and generating leads, choose this campaign type only if these are your primary business goals.

2. Budget and bidding:

Allocate a bit more budget when you’re launching a performance max campaign. This gives Google the flexibility to go for more reach. More data creates more scope of learning for Google’s machine learning, which gets you better results, quickly.

Performance Max Best Practices

Your bid strategy must align with your business objective.

  • For instance, if a call lead gives you a $100 business while an in-store sale—$50, then you can set a conversion value to let Google know what brings you more business. Accordingly, it optimizes your campaign.

  • This bidding strategy lets you prioritize your business goals.

  • Based on your previous conversion campaigns (from the last 30 days), you can even set a target cost per acquisition (CPA) or return on ads spend (ROAS)

3. Final URL expansion:

  • Google recommends using final URL expansion. It lets Google dynamically select a relevant landing page based on the user’s search query and intent. This helps your ad appear on more searches that have a high chance of conversions.

  • Performance Max Campaign URL

  • Google also states that Performance Max should run with your keyword-based search campaigns. Performance Max campaigns don’t overlap with search queries from your existing Search campaigns. So, your ad appears on new, relevant search queries.

4. Campaign Duration:

Google recommends you run campaigns for at least 6 months for it to understand what works in your campaign. This helps stabilize your campaign performance.

5. Assets:

  • Your ad images, video and text need to be of high quality and relevance. You can create asset groups like other Google Ads campaigns.
  • Performance Max Campaign Assets

  • Like GDN, Performance Max automatically combines assets into ad formats based on your goals. This means tt can create a video out of your uploaded images.

  • Providing more assets helps Google create a wider range of ad formats. This helps you appear on various Google Ads inventory.

  • More assets help machine learning work better and create more creative combinations, driving more conversions for your business.

6. Audience Signals:

  • You can select the custom segments, interests and demographics to guide the campaign’s automated targeting.

  • Performance Max Campaign Audience

  • However, the best audience signal you can provide is from your customer data, and website visitor lists—since these audiences have a higher chance of converting.

7. Ad Extensions:

Add ad extensions like callouts, sitelinks and lead forms. They provide consumers with more details about your product/service, increasing the chances of conversion.

8. Campaign Evaluation:

  • Check your campaign status to see if it's impacted by a limited budget. If that’s the case, raise your budget.

  • Check your asset performance to see what’s working and what’s not.

  • If need be, you can adjust the conversion values and actions. Besides, you can update the priority of your business goals as well.

  • Use the best performing audience segments in your other Google Ads campaigns like Search and Display.

Google is slowly adding more reporting features. Right now, the options are pretty limited. Performance Max campaigns give an overview of your campaign performance similar to Search and Display ads campaigns.

Performance max Campaign Reports

 Performance Max campaign Overview

Recommendation: Google recommends ways to optimize the performance of your campaigns.

Performance Max Recommendations

Asset Group: You get to see the top combinations of your creative assets and the ad strength.

Performance Max Campaign Asset Group

Like smart display campaigns or responsive ads, you can see the performance of your headline, long headline, image, video in terms of good, best, pending and poor. There is really not much that you can see in terms of performance data.

Performance Max Report Section

Extensions: You can see where it is applied and its approval status but you don’t get to see performance of individual extensions. For example, you don’t get to see how your sitelinks or callouts are performing, unlike a Search campaign where you can. >

Insights: Get top performing audience segments, their type, share of conversions in your campaign, and index--that tells you how strong the affinity there is between this audience and the audience that converts as compared to the general audience.

As you can see, Performance Max campaigns have given relatively lesser control levers to advertisers. You have to test things out and trust the cross-channel automation features provided by this campaign type.

Here’s a case study by Google.

Fintech service provider MoneyMe focused on driving new funded loans for personal loans. It started with an automated bid strategy to establish a baseline CPA. Later, it switched to a target CPA bidding strategy to increase profit.

Performance Max Campaign Case Study

It further used offline conversion imports to measure and optimize for online application completion.


To get conversions across the entire Google own advertising properties, it is hard to say that Performance Max campaigns will not work. They are automated and utilize the power of machine learning. The earlier you test out these campaigns, the better will be your learnings and opportunity to get ahead of the curve.

Learn how to set up a Performance Max Campaign here.

Even though Performance Max works on automation and machine learning, businesses do require expertise to pull it off.

At Mediaqart, our experienced Google Ads experts can help you get the best out of your Performance Max campaigns.

Get a free consultation today.