If you’re using Performance Max campaigns, are you getting the most out it?
Here are a few reminders of what you can still do to maximise effectiveness and gain insight into your Performance Max campaigns:
- Do you know who your competitors are? Are you looking at the difference between your search and shopping competitors?
Using auction insights in Google Ads is a useful way to compare your performance with other competitors who entered the same auction, across both search and shopping. Performance Max provides insights at the account and campaign level, allowing you to filter for specific campaigns and see how your competitors differ across search and shopping.
Useful for tracking specific competitors, staying aware of how competitors may change across different PMax campaigns (if you’re running multiple), and gaining insight into areas where there may be opportunities to scale or where costs have increased. By looking at Impression Share, you can also get a better understanding of how your ads are performing in relation to your competitors’ ads.
- Do you keep track of which google signals and trends are driving results? Deep dive into the insights tab to keep on top of this and optimise your set up.
The Insights tab in Google Ads is a useful tool for analysing the performance of Performance Max campaigns. It provides a range of data and information about your ads and campaigns, including insight into performance trends, search term categories that your ads appeared against, audience segments and asset insights.
Understand who your customers are, what they’re interested in & searching for and what categories are growing and declining throughout the year.
Regularly review and adjust your campaigns to make the most of the insights available.
- URL expansion – are you aware of the impact this can have, both positives & negatives, and where it fits in to modern search?
This feature is automatically enabled, when creating a PMax campaign, and can direct users to different landing pages of your website, other than the final URL that’s been set in the campaign. Think of this feature like Dynamic Search Ads, where you can increase your reach by matching to new relevant search queries, that your regular campaigns wouldn’t capture, and direct users to more relevant landing pages to increase conversions.
However, the main difference is that with dynamic ad groups you can set website categories, specific URLs or define URL rules that you want to target. With Performance Max you can only set exclusions – it works in the same way when you flip the logic but is a bit more time consuming to ensure you’ve properly excluded the landing pages you do not want to target (e.g. non-commercial pages or sections of your website).
Start with defining what will work best for your website to understand if using URL expansion is the best course of action, for example:
- can a user convert on all sections of the website – enable URL expansion
- can a user only convert on specific sections of the website – enable URL expansion and set exclusions
- is there only a single page to conversion – turn off URL expansion
- Are you using reports to their full potential for your Performance Max campaigns? Understanding how your campaigns are performing and identifying areas for improvement can be crucial for maximising their effectiveness.
Let’s start with understanding where your ads are serving. By accessing the Performance Max campaigns placement report in the Predefined reports section of Google Ads, you can see a table listing out all the placements where your PMax ads have appeared. While it can only give you an overview, and the impressions against each placement, it can still be useful in creating a placement exclusion list to ensure that you drive visibility on the right apps and sites. Monitor placements on a regular basis to keep your exclusion list up to date.
Another valuable report is the Shopping MC ID report, which allows you to filter for your PMax campaign and view the top-line results. By comparing this report to the overall results for your PMax campaign in the Google Ads UI, you can see how your shopping and non-shopping activity, within PMax, is performing. This includes conversion metrics such as CPA and ROAS, giving you a better idea of the performance splits between the different campaign types. While you can’t necessarily change or influence how the algorithm is driving these results, you can test including or excluding certain assets (such as headlines, images and videos) from an asset group to see how it affects campaign performance. Keep in mind that if you choose not upload your own video, Google will generate its own.
Make sure to regularly review these reports and use the information they provide to refine your strategy and drive better results for your business.
- Are you maximizing the potential of all asset formats and inventory in your Performance Max campaigns? Reviewing performance on a regular basis and replacing poor performers, including search extensions, can be key to driving better results.
When it comes to asset formats, PMax offers a variety of options to choose from, including headlines, long headlines, descriptions, logos, images, and videos. By including all of these formats in your campaigns, you can ensure that the right ad type is being used across the available inventory. Each asset that you include will receive a comparative rating (low, good, or best) once it has accumulated enough data. It’s important to note that you can only compare assets of the same type together – for example, a “low” rating for a headline is not the same as a “low” rating for a video or image.
In addition to optimising your asset usage, it’s also important to include search extensions in your campaigns to maximize all opportunities. Reviewing the performance of your search extensions and replacing poorer performers can help improve the overall effectiveness of your campaigns.
Replacing poor performing assets with other high performing assets can be a crucial step in improving performance. Check out the asset/combination report to regularly review your performance and take action to optimize your strategy. Test what works for your campaigns & your business – this could also be testing not using certain asset types and seeing how it could affect results and what inventory you appear on.
- Are you getting the most out of your product offerings in your Performance Max (PMax) campaigns? Reviewing product performance on a regular basis can help you identify which products are performing well and which may need more attention.
To review product performance in PMax, you can navigate to the listing group, within an asset group, and view specific product groupings and products and how they’re performing. This level of granularity is important because it allows you to exclude poor performing products or products that don’t support your business goals enough.
Keep in mind that Google tends to favour certain products, which can limit the visibility of other products. It’s important to consider your approach to products within PMax based on your daily budgets and business goals. For example, you might consider splitting out product groups or price points (based on product type or custom labels in the feed) into multiple PMax campaigns, having one campaign and tailoring assets and signals within multiple asset groups, or running with a single campaign and asset group but ensuring that all products are pulled through to assess performance.
Checking and optimising your products on a regular basis is key to the success of any shopping campaign.
- Are you maximising the potential of your PMax campaigns by implementing best practices for your product feed? Reviewing your feed on a regular basis can help you identify opportunities to improve the quality and relevance of your products, which can ultimately lead to better performance.
Here are some key areas to focus on when optimising your feed:
- Product information: Make sure that all products have a GTIN, ID, and correct prices and shipping information. This will ensure that your products are eligible to appear in search results and that customers have accurate information when making a purchase.
- Product images: Use high-quality images that accurately represent your products. Avoid using images with sticker overlays or promotional text, as this can cause products to be disapproved.
- Product titles: Use standardised colours, clothing or product sizes, etc… to make your products more discoverable and relevant to customers. Including the name of your brand can also help with brand recognition and trust.
- Product descriptions: Use keyword-rich product descriptions to increase the chances that your products will appear in relevant search results. Avoid using the same or generic descriptions for products in the feed as this won’t add value.
- Google categories: Set your Google categories to the most granular level possible to ensure that your products are appearing for the most relevant search results.
- Product types: Organise your products into logical, consistent categories, using relevant keyword to match back to search queries and to make it easier to filter products within campaigns.
- Custom labels: Use custom labels to categorise your products based on availability or business goals, such as stock levels, margins, pricing tiers, best sellers or best/worst performers. This can help you prioritise and optimise your product selection.
By following these best practices, you can improve the quality and relevance of your products, which can lead to better performance for shopping campaigns.
Even though we may not have complete control over PMax campaigns, it’s still important to actively optimise and test to ensure the best possible results. By constantly evaluating and adjusting approaches, we can help guide the algorithm towards our goals. Providing the algorithm with high-quality data, we can increase the chances of driving better results.