11 Considerations Before Launching a Performance Max Campaign in Google Ads

Google Ads has been continually evolving to provide advertisers with better tools and features to achieve their marketing goals efficiently. One such addition is the Performance Max campaign, designed to maximize reach and conversions across various Google networks. Before taking the plunge into this powerful campaign type, it is crucial to conduct a series of final checks to ensure a successful launch and a robust campaign performance. In this blog, we will delve into the essential steps you should take before going live with a Performance Max campaign in Google Ads.

1. Minimum Spend for Lead Gen Accounts

When setting up a Performance Max campaign, the first consideration is the minimum spend required for different types of accounts. For lead generation accounts, it is advisable not to tinker with pmax unless you are significantly spending more than a couple of grand a month. This cautious approach ensures that your budget is allocated more effectively for lead generation campaigns, delivering better results and cost efficiencies.

2. Location Options

While Google recommends a default setting for location targeting, it may not always suit your campaign’s needs. The suggested option might pull in audiences from all over the place, leading to irrelevant traffic and higher costs. To address this, consider using a hidden setting for better location control, ensuring your ads reach the most relevant audiences and locations.

3. URL Expansion

Google typically recommends leaving URL expansion on. However, it’s essential to be aware that this allows Google to create entirely dynamic ad content, which may not always be ideal for your campaign. To optimize better, consider excluding less important or non-converting pages from URL expansion to achieve a more refined ad delivery.

When creating new Performance Max campaigns, avoid making significant changes initially. It’s advisable to start with higher Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) if your campaign generates fewer than 30 conversions per month or a lower Return On Ad Spend (ROAS) target if it receives fewer than 50 conversions per month. This approach provides the bidding engine more room to gather sufficient data before fine-tuning the campaign.

4. Ad Creatives

Your ad creatives play a crucial role in the success of your Performance Max campaign. Ensure you have five compelling headlines, descriptions, logo, videos, and images. Aim to create unique and relevant content that resonates with your target audience. To get inspiration, explore competitor offers and positioning to enhance your ad creatives effectively.

5. Template Creativity

Google’s Creative Studio can be a valuable resource when you need inspiration for your ad imagery and video content. While it may not be perfect, the templates offered are often better than automated alternatives. Utilize this free tool to refine your ad creatives and maximize their impact.

6. Audiences

Employ your own data to kickstart your Performance Max campaign effectively. Utilize customer lists, known converting keywords, and create one or two custom segments. Testing without audiences is optional but recommended for larger budgets and broader targeting.

7. Content Suitability Management

Google has introduced the Content Suitability Management feature, enabling account-wide exclusion of content keywords. This applies to Display and YouTube campaigns, where you can exclude sensitive content, parked domains, YouTube live streams, and more. By default, consider excluding live streaming and parked domains, as they can prove to be wasteful.

8. Follow Google’s Guidelines

Comply with Google’s guidelines regarding character limits in headlines, descriptions, images, and videos. Adherence to these specifications ensures that your ads are displayed correctly across various Google networks, optimizing your ad performance and maintaining a professional appearance.

9. Patience in Optimization

Once your Performance Max campaign is live, exercise patience during the optimization phase. Allow the campaign to accumulate sufficient data for at least four to five weeks, accounting for the conversion lag. Google recommends six weeks, but the timeline can vary based on your budget, volume, and conversion rates. Frequent changes can disrupt the learning process of the campaign, so hands-off optimization is advised.

10. Asset Group Bids and Exclusions

Currently, manual adjustments for asset group bids and exclusions are not available in Performance Max campaigns. Focus on improving poor-performing assets and creating compelling ad content to enhance overall campaign performance.

11. Reporting Limitations

While Performance Max campaigns provide valuable data, Google Ads reporting may not offer detailed insights into specific metrics, such as cost per asset group or network splits. To overcome this limitation, leverage Google Analytics attribution reports to gain deeper insights and make informed decisions about your campaign’s performance.

Final Thoughts

Launching a Performance Max campaign in Google Ads can significantly expand your reach and improve conversions across various Google networks. By following these final checks and best practices, you can set up your campaign for success. Optimize your ad creatives, target the right audience, and exercise patience during the learning phase. Google’s Performance Max campaign offers a powerful tool for advertisers, and with the right approach, you can harness its full potential to achieve your marketing goals effectively.