5 Tips to Optimize Performance Max Campaigns

5 Tips to Optimize Performance Max Campaigns

For some, Performance Max campaigns are a relatively new tool for expanding the reach to potential customers and driving conversions, and they can be tricky to get right.

In this guide, we’ll cover a range of areas to help improve your Performance Max accounts, including information from your insights tab, custom reports and scripts that will help you identify where you can improve your efforts

Whether you’re new to Performance Max or have been using it for a while, these tips will help you to get the most out of your campaigns and achieve your business goals. So, let’s dive in and learn how to optimize your Performance Max campaigns!

#1 – The Insights Tab

For those not familiar, the Insights tab is a feature within Google Ads that provides valuable data and insights on your Performance Max campaigns. The tab displays a range of metrics and data that can be used to understand how your campaigns are performing, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions.

The Insights tab includes several sections, such as Search Term Insights, Audience Insights and Asset Insights. In here, you’ll find information on how your efforts are performing in your campaigns. You’ll have access to these if the campaign meets the following conditions:

  • Your campaign is currently compatible with a given insight type.
  • For search trends, demand forecasts, and search terms insights, Google Ads has found categories related to your business that are significantly trending.
  • For performance shifts, auction insights, and change history insights, Google Ads has found significant changes in your performance.

Search Terms Insights

Although the insights may not provide a complete picture, they can give an idea of the keywords and terms customers are using to find your website and make purchases. It is recommended to regularly check this page and consider adding them to your existing search campaigns using exact match, which will provide further metrics not available in Performance Max campaign types.

Performance Max Campaigns

Audience Insights

Performance Max does not use traditional audience targeting, but it can provide valuable information about the audiences that Google associates with your potential customers. It breaks down these audiences by type, share of conversions, and the index value. The index value represents the share of conversions coming from an audience segment, and a higher index indicates that the audience segment is more engaged than the rest of your targeted population.

While you don’t need to add these audience segments to your Performance Max campaign, it can also provide new audience segments that you may not have thought about, which can be added to other campaigns to improve performance through ongoing bid adjustments.

Performance Max Campaigns

Asset Insights

The Asset insights section can provide valuable information about how your text, images; and video assets are performing for specific customer segments. Similar to the index in audience insights, this section can give insight into how your content resonates with your target market and provide ideas for creating new combinations based on their individual performance.

Performance Max Campaigns

#2 – Customizing Your Efforts

Customized reports and scripts can save you time, and effort, when looking for opportunities to help your Performance Max campaigns. By providing more detailed and accurate data, and automating repetitive tasks; they can help you to make data-driven decisions and achieve better results.

Here’s three customised areas you can implement now to start learning more about your Performance Max campaigns.

Is Your Landing Page Converting?

If you want to understand which landing pages are converting; there are two ways to do this: one at the campaign level and the other through a custom report.

Option 1 is straightforward, you can navigate to All campaigns > Landing pages, filter by campaign and select the Performance Max campaigns. Once displayed, you can customize the columns to the metrics you want to review.

Option 2 is through creating a custom report for your Performance Max campaigns. To build this report, start with a blank report page, add Landing Page to the main row; and populate the metrics that are available to review in the Column area. Then, through the filter, select the Performance Max checkbox from the Campaign Type list.

*Quick Tip – Don’t forget to save the report for ongoing use

Performance Max Campaigns

Where Are My Ads Showing?

It’s helpful to know which sites or apps your Performance Max campaigns are showing on; and Google has provided a report for this purpose. You can access it by going to Reports > Predefined reports (Dimensions) > Other > Performance Max campaigns placement. For placements not relevant to your target audience, you can put a stop to that through the Exclude Placements under Content options.

Performance Max Campaigns

Where’s The Money Going?

It can be difficult to determine where the money is going in Performance Max campaigns; as their introduction and lack of transparency may lead to Google filling placements that would not normally have high demand. Unfortunately, there is no direct support for this information. However, the Google community has many individuals with the same goal of transparency who may have found ways to provide this information.

One of the most useful options is a script created by Mike Rhodes that provides an overview of your spend across three main advertising networks: Shopping, Video, and Other. The Shopping data is sourced from Listing Groups, and Other can include networks such as Search, Display, Gmail, Maps & Discovery. Although it’s not perfect, it’s an incredibly useful tool that provides additional information to help optimize your account.

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Other Areas To Review

While we know that Performance Max campaigns can be a powerful way to reach potential customers and drive conversions, it’s essential to find areas to optimize them for maximum results. One of the key ways to do this is through the use of negative keyword lists; asset group themes and product feed optimization.

#3 – Does Your Product Tell A Story?

The Google Product feed attributes are incredibly important for a number of reasons. First and foremost, they provide Google with the information it needs to accurately match your products to relevant search queries and display them to the right audience. For example, if you provide detailed information about your products such as brand, manufacturer part number (MPN/SKU); and GTIN, Google will be able to match them more easily to search queries that are looking for products just like yours.

Additionally, providing a more granular Google Category to your products can help to better define who Google will show your products to. This can help to increase the relevance of your products to potential customers; which in turn can increase the likelihood of a purchase.

The product titles are also important, as they provide Google with the information it needs to accurately match your products to relevant search queries. Be descriptive as possible, providing information that is going to be relevant to your potential customer. 

Performance Max Campaigns

Overall, the Google Product feed attributes are incredibly important for ensuring that your products are matched accurately to relevant search queries, displayed correctly across the Google network, increasing your chances of a purchase. It’s essential to provide as much information as possible; and to make sure that the information provided is accurate and up-to-date.  

#4 – Do Your Asset Groups Make Sense?

When building themed ad groups in the past, it ensured that all creatives; ad copy, and landing pages align best for the intended audience search. The same applies to Performance Max, which is advertising across multiple networks including display text, video, and display ads. Depending on your product categories, you may be able to bundle similar products into a single Asset Group.

For example, an online bike store may have various variations of regular bikes that could easily share imagery and ad copy, directing people to a general bike category page on their website. However, including electric bikes in the same Asset Group could send mixed signals; with a potential shopper seeing your regular bike assets while looking for electric bike options; and in turn, clicking on a competitor that has a more relevant match.

#5 – How Do I Add Negative Keywords?

A common question when Performance Max campaigns arrived on the market was “where do I add negative keywords?”. Initially, this was not the case for many Google Ads managers. As time went on, and the cry to have them became too great; they allowed some accounts the ability to ask your Google service representative to add specific terms, usually branded terms.

With the demand growing, it was clear that something had to give and we are now blessed with two options on implementing negative keywords to the campaign:

Option #1: Continue to work with your Google representative; formally supplying them a list of keywords to add to a specific campaign.

Option #2: Create a new negative keyword list and, similar to the above; email your Google representative to add this negative keyword list to the campaigns you nominate. Once added, you can start manually adding poor-performing keywords to each list, as you would for any other campaign.

Performance Max Campaigns

There is one caveat, though.

As Performance Max campaigns are designed to reach a broader audience; limiting the scope of the campaign can make it less effective and in some cases, have caused a negative impact. Furthermore, Performance Max uses machine learning to optimize and make decisions; and adding negative keywords can interfere with the algorithm’s ability to make accurate decisions; so bear all this in mind when you take these steps.

From these areas of review above, you should be equipped with enough valuable information to make informed decisions; improve your campaigns performance and move you closer to achieving your business goals.

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