What is a Performance Max campaign?

The improvement of services and the development of new tools have always been at the center of Google’s strategy. Regularly, new functions are offered to users, professionals and individuals. Recently, the web giant’s ad network has evolved to allow advertisers to take advantage of more effective campaigns by targeting new audiences. The goal is for them to get more results… and therefore continue to use the control room.

Called Performance Max, this new Google Ads service is the replacement for Smart Shopping ads. Based on automation, it gives access to so-called smart campaigns. And as its title suggests, it allows advertisers to improve the performance of their ads. First offered in beta (and after successful testing), Performance Max campaigns have rolled out globally and are open to all advertisers. At Powertrafic they are part of our day to day as we support our clients in the creation and optimization of their advertisements. And after several months of use, we are convinced by the possibilities offered by this campaign, which we are going to present to you.

What do you need to know about this type of intelligent and automated campaign?

Accessible from the Google ad network, Performance Max differs from other campaigns by its broader reach. Thus, this tool allows an advertiser to broadcast the same campaign on various channels, including Search, Show, YouTube and Discover. This avoids creating several and having to manage them separately.

Similarly, through automation, an advertiser’s goals and audiences are analyzed to generate higher-performing ads and better target Internet users. The most relevant distribution channels are also identified, always taking into account the objectives and initial audiences.

This automation, which works through a “machine learning” model, is the main difference between this type of campaign and the others available in Google Ads. Therefore, the metrics: cost per click (CPC), click-through rate (CTR), quality score, conversion rate, etc. – are no longer managed by the advertiser, but by the Performance Max algorithm. On the other hand, it is still up to the advertiser to create the campaign:

  • define your objectives (sales, prospects, traffic to the site, for example);
  • provide the necessary assets, such as titles, descriptions and images;
  • indicating auditory cues.

So, it is Google who works mixing these different elements to find the most effective and relevant associations, the channels that best adapt to the distribution of the campaign and that have the best conversion rate. In short, Performance Max does not focus on the searched keywords, but on the audiences.

Performance Max, what advantages for an advertiser?

For an advertiser, the use of Performance Max has several advantages. Of course, you must accept that an algorithm manages the ads. However, this advertising tool that offers better conversions, by not controlling all the time of a campaign, seems definitely a minor concession.

more conversions

With Performance Max, ads become more attractive and their targeting is improved. Therefore, the traffic is more qualified and the targeted Internet users are more willing to buy products and services. And its participation, when carried out on various platforms, multiplies the possibilities.

Similarly, the algorithm based on a “machine learning” model, learns and adapts to the objectives of a campaign. For example, you may decide to position yourself in auctions where competition is high to reach the highest converting and spending Internet users. You can also target consumers based on their preferences and intentions. The goal is to increase conversions.

more complete information

Performance Max provides advertisers with detailed reports, which are invaluable tools for identifying the most compelling creatives and search trends. These reports also help to understand the behavior of the audiences and therefore adapt the campaigns accordingly to improve their results and benefit from a better ROI.

Improved visibility on the Google network

Because Performance Max campaigns run across multiple Google channels, they get better visibility. This also applies to the advertiser (ie, the brand, the company), who is an asset in getting new prospects and, in particular, internet users who would not have been possible to target with other campaigns. But also in case of launching new products or services, or when a brand decides to invest in another market.

Improved campaign profitability.

The Performance Max algorithm determines the best associations between ads and audiences, and the most relevant delivery channels that deliver the best results. And since you have a fairly large volume of data, you can identify the creations that have the greatest impact on audiences and generate the most conversions, and then distribute them throughout the network. Specifically, this translates into an increase in the conversion rate and the average basket, and in a better profitability of the ads.

When is it useful to bet on Performance Max?

Before creating a Performance Max campaign, an advertiser must first consider its usefulness. This tool is especially recommended:

  • in case of specific advertising objectives, such as increasing sales in an online store;
  • focus on a single campaign, which will be broadcast on several channels, and improve its performance;
  • to increase conversion value and ad coverage without being limited to a search network.

Performance Max is also ideal for advertisers who don’t have time to personalize their ads.

The rules to follow to have quality campaigns

With Performance Max, automation is at the heart of campaigns. This has advantages, but there is also a limit that is important to specify: the advertiser has less control over his ads. In fact, it only provides the basics to Google. Then the algorithm takes care of the rest. It can be practical, as a destabilizer. However, once this aspect is taken into account, it is possible to take advantage of the multiple advantages of this advertising tool. And like any service created by Google, there are good practices to follow to use it correctly. Thus, it is necessary:

  • carefully choose the conversion goal so that it is relevant;
  • set a daily bid budget and the geographic locations that campaigns target;
  • indicate enough assets and update them based on the reports provided by Google Ads;
  • specify audience signals that help the algorithm target ads;
  • maintain control of the URLs by filling them in and therefore not letting Google choose them.

It is also necessary to be patient because the expected results do not come in a few hours. You have to give the algorithm some time so that it can correctly evaluate the performance of a campaign.

With Performance Max, an advertiser benefits from a smarter campaign based on automation, with better conversions. This is therefore a real advantage. However, this also means that it must be configured upstream so that Google’s algorithm can optimize it later. For this reason, at Powertrafic we support our clients in the configuration of their campaign and offer them solutions adapted to their objectives.

Link to Google explainer video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghM5eKVVdOo

Performance Max campaigns: general concepts
Google Ads YouTube Channel!

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