What Is Google Performance Max And How To Get Started

Alice Tavernese
By Alice Tavernese
By Alice Tavernese,
Aug 4, 2022
What is Google Performance Max

Google has announced that their shopping ads are a thing of the past! Reports are suggesting that as of the end of September 2022, all Google Shopping Ads will be combined into their new Performance Max Campaigns.

What are Performance Max Campaigns?

So, what are Performance Max Campaigns, you may be asking. Well, they utilize the vast Google Networks (Youtube, Display, Email, Shopping and of course Search) to find you new potential customers and achieve your set campaign goals. Performance Max Campaigns will automatically show your ads to people who match your goals and guide them to your ads for faster results. This campaign type can also automatically test and generate ads for each specific network to build top performing ads!

What are the differences between Performance Max and Smart Shopping?

There are a few differences between Performance Max and Smart Shopping, we've created a comparison between the two below:

Difference between Performance Max and Smart Shopping

In summary, Google Performance Max campaigns are basically an upgraded version of Smart Shopping campaigns, providing new ad inventory across all of Google’s networks along with giving you new automation insights.

How To Switch From Smart Shopping to Google Performance Max?

There are a few different ways to upgrade your existing Shopping campaigns to Performance Max.

The first way is through the notifications on your Google Ads account. By clicking on the top right hand corner button titled “Notifications”, you may already see that an upgrade is available for certain campaigns. 

Account upgrade

Another way to get your campaigns to upgrade is from the Recommendations tab on the left hand sidebar. Through the Recommendations, the upgrade will be made available to any applicable Shopping campaign.

Account upgrade through recommendation panel

And finally, you can manually select which campaigns you would like to upgrade directly from the Campaign Manu. Select the Shopping campaign you wish to upgrade, click “Edit” and from the menu select “Upgrade to Performance Max”.

Upgrade directly in campaign menu

With any of the above methods, your campaigns will be upgraded within 24 hours and you will receive a notification when the upgrade is complete.

How to set up Google Performance Max Campaigns

All is not lost if you currently have Shopping Campaigns running, you can actually use your current Google Merchant Center feed to set up a Performance Max Campaign. The best type of goals for this campaign would be sales focused, i.e Sales or Leads. When selecting Performance Max as your campaign type, you can then add your Merchant Center to the campaign as well.

How to set up Google Performance Max Campaigns

When using the Google Merchant Center for any ads, make sure all your product data on your website is up to date! It is important for both your website and Google to display the correct information. You should also review the Google Shopping Ad policies, which dictate what products can and cannot be sold through Google Shopping.

Why use Performance Max campaigns?

If your current Google Ads set up is daunting, and you have several convoluted campaigns running at once, then Performance Max campaigns can help with just a single campaign! Because they encompass all of Google’s advertising platforms, you can easily access all of these channels from a single Performance Max campaign. This will help by combining the budget into one focused campaign, and you still get the added benefit of advertising to all channels at once.

Why use Performance Max Campaigns

In addition to all the added value of the Performance Max campaign, you are also able to use a new Google feature called “Audience Signals”. Adding this feature in your campaign allows you to create audience suggestions (such as Demographic, Location, Life Events, Affinity, etc) that help with Google Ads automation and machine learning for your selected campaign goals. Although using audience signals is optional, we highly recommend taking time to input them into your campaigns to further help guide machine learning on the ideal way to optimize your campaign for the best results.

In Conclusion

With all the added value that you are getting from the new Performance Max campaigns, it’s a no-brainer to try and give them a chance, but how do they stack up against your regular campaigns? Our Growth Partners here at Shoelace aim to test just that over the course of the next few months. We are looking forward to sharing our Performance Max Campaign results with you in the near future, stay tuned!

If you are still feeling unsure about Google Performance Max, our knowledgeable Growth Partners are happy to answer any questions you have! Connect with us here to learn more about how we can help.

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