Performance Max explained

With Google automatically upgrading Smart Shopping campaigns to Performance Max, it’s more important than ever to ask what is Performance Max and should my business use it?

What Is Performance Max?

Performance Max is an innovative new goal-based campaign type that will help you find more converting customers across all of Google's channels like YouTube, Display and Search. Simply give your ad creative and Google will use automation and machine learning to determine the most efficient delivery and placement of ads across their entire inventory. Smart Shopping and local store visits campaigns are being automatically upgraded to Performance Max. If you were previously running any of these campaign types, it is vital to understand Performance Max in order to maintain and increase performance for your business.

Should I Use Performance Max?

The combination of all the different platforms, Google’s machine learning and the limited ad creative that’s needed can create a campaign that is easy to set-up and profitable for your business. Performance Max expands your reach considerably as it can reach across Google’s ad inventory. This can help you not only deliver conversions, but brand awareness as well. In terms of ad creative, at minimum you just need to provide 4 images, 4 headlines and 2 descriptions.

For one ecommerce client that we look after, ROAS increased by 26% and purchases increased by 24% YoY with using Performance Max compared to Smart Shopping.

However, there are limitations to using Performance Max. One of the biggest is the lack of data, you can’t see which platform or device is converting the best to optimise for it. You also cannot add any negative keywords so you are completely relying on the accuracy of Google’s algorithm. Overall, using Performance Max can have very positive results for your business, utilising machine learning and Google’s algorithm across different platforms. While the lack of transparency may be frustrating, we would still recommend setting up a Performance Max campaign to replace smart shopping campaigns and in addition to search campaigns for lead generation.


What goals can I select for Performance Max?

Sales, leads, website traffic, local store visits & promotions.

Should I stop search campaigns after launching Performance Max?

No, if a search term matches both a Search campaign and Performance Max - Search will take priority. Performance Max can also reach platforms that Search cannot.

Can I see on which platforms my Performance Max campaign is serving?

You can see the independent websites and apps your Performance Max campaign has served by impressions. For Google platforms you cannot see which individual channel your campaign served. There is no conversion data by platform.

Where can I find the creative assets needed for a Performance Max campaign?

Google’s creative requirements can be found here.

Can you disable videos being automatically created?

Currently there is no way to disable out of the automatically created videos.

Does Performance Max cannibalise brand search campaigns?

No, when a query matches a keyword in a brand search campaign, the search campaign will be prioritised over the Performance Max campaign.

Is Performance Max only available for ecommerce businesses?

No, performance max campaigns are available for lead gen businesses as well.

Let's chat. Tell us a bit about your project.

If you prefer to speak with someone, call 01202 203160 or if you'd like to book a 30 min meeting to see if we can help just let us know and we'll arrange a call with one of our Directors.