In November of 2021, Google ads launched an incredible new tool for advertisers and eCommerce businesses.
That tool’s name? The ‘Performance Max Campaign’ – or ‘Pmax’ for short.
This new feature was designed to automate basically everything when it came to Google Ads.
With Pmax, Google has removed nearly all potential for human error. You have very little control over these campaigns compared to other google ads campaign types.
The targeting, bidding, and delivery of your ad campaigns are all automated through machine learning.
Google’s algorithms also automate the ad creation process, based on the content you provide them with.
I know, it’s scary imagining your ad campaigns completely controlled by machines and algorithms (…you may already know how the movie Ex-Machina ends…).
But when optimized and set up correctly, Performance Max campaigns can help you broaden your reach, increase your conversion rate, and ultimately, grow your eCommerce business.
In the first 7 months since launch, eCommerce stores around the world have been seeing incredible success from Performance Max campaigns. Now, they are one of the go-to choices for ad campaigns across Google’s platforms.
The real big question is, have you created Performance Max campaigns for your eCommerce brand yet? And are they optimized so they can scale efficiently?
At Yoru Marketing, we have tested hundreds of different Pmax Campaigns for ourselves and clients over the past few months. We know what works for Pmax and what doesn’t.
Below, you will find our top 15 tips to help you scale your performance max campaigns and skyrocket your revenue to the next level.
How Performance Max Campaigns Can Scale your Ecommerce Store
In simple words, Performance Max campaigns allocate your ad budget to the highest-performing channels.
Whether that be Display, Search, Maps, Youtube, or Gmail, these campaigns will find the platform that your target audience is most likely to be on and put your ads in front of them.
This means you no longer have to go into your Google Ad account and update budgets on different campaigns.
Performance Max was designed to be a maximum-performing ad campaign (hence the name), and that is exactly what they have built.
It’s still in the early days here, but there are plenty of ways these campaigns can help you scale your eCommerce store. They can:
- Help you find your target market
- Put your ads in front of your target audience and increase conversions
- Maximize your reach on all channels
- Bring more qualified traffic and sales to your eCommerce store.
- Find new customers who have similar interests and demographics as your audience
- Uncover brand-new insights to optimize your ad campaign.
- Discover new audiences that will help you achieve your goals.
If you are still unsure as to what we are even talking about, it may pay to start with our Ultimate Tutorial on Performance Max Campaigns. In the tutorial, we cover Pmax campaigns in-depth, from pros and cons to a full step-by-step setup.
For those of you who are already familiar with Performance Max and want to take your campaigns to the next level, let’s do this! Our best tips are just below:
Our Top 15 Tips to Scale your Performance Max Campaigns to the MAX
Okay, ready to take your performance max campaigns to the next level?
Ecommerce store owners looking to get ahead of the game would be wise to see what performance max campaign types have to offer their business.
With such great results early on, Google will, no doubt, continue developing and adding new features in the future.
Here’s how you can take advantage of Performance max campaigns NOW:
- Set Clear and Actionable Goals
- Maximize the number of assets in your Performance Max campaigns
- Add Audience Signals to Improve Performance Max Campaigns
- Let your Performance Max Campaigns run
- Schedule your Pmax Campaign ads
- Decide on the Right Bidding Strategy for your Campaign
- Optimize your Ad Extensions to Dominate your Competitors
- Import Data About any Offline Conversions your Store Makes
- Location, Location, Location
- Don’t stop running your other successful campaigns
- Stay Up to Date With New Pmax algorithm changes
- Improve your Optimization score for Performance Max Campaigns
- Try the new Burst Campaigns Feature
- Add More Products to your Campaign.
- Adjust your Budget Weekly
1. Set Clear and Actionable Goals
As you continue to scale up your eCommerce store, you need to consistently review and improve your goals.
What worked for you when you were bootstrapping your business as a side hustle might not be the best advertising strategy anymore.
So, instead of being a one-time event, goal setting should be a regular activity. This will help you to adjust your advertising plan as your brand grows and changes.
The first stage in any ad campaign is clearly defining your goals for success.
What do you want your Performance Max Campaign to achieve?
As always, we want our ad campaigns to primarily bring in more sales at a profitable rate.
And that is exactly what the performance max campaigns focus on.
The campaign constantly learns better ways to get you conversions according to the goals you set.
But it’s extremely crucial you don’t become too strict with goal setting. One of the easiest ways to destroy Performance Max campaign results is by adding a strict TROAS target.
On an ad account that barely has 50 conversions.
Set clear and directed goals but also keep in mind that a Pmax campaign is algorithm based; it can only work off the past, present, and future data. It doesn’t hurt to be lenient in the beginning and become stricter as time goes on.
2. Maximize the Number of Assets in your Pmax Campaigns (SOMETIMES).
Take full advantage of the fact that Performance Max campaigns allow you to add a variety of assets to your ads.
I can not stress how crucial this tip is.
The more assets Google has to use, the more it can test and the more it’ll be able to pinpoint that perfect combo.
Once you add your assets to the Performance Max Campaign, Google’s algorithm will instantly create ads with the assets you offer.
The assets you can include are different images, logos, headers, and ad descriptions.
In any given Performance Max Campaign, you can add up to 20 images.
I recommend uploading between 15 and 20 images per performance max campaign. This allows Google to test which images work best on which platforms and which images bring the highest conversion rates.
I also recommend testing four to five different headers and descriptions for each ad campaign.
Giving your Pmax campaign more data and assets to test will help Google learn what the best combination of assets is to convert your customers.
However, I also ONLY recommend this if you have a big budget to spend on testing and if profits within a certain time frame are not needed. If your ultimate goal is to get profitable as soon as possible, do not upload any assets at all.
This will force the Performance Max campaign to act like a smart shopping campaign and only be directed towards the shopping listings.
Note: Stick to one logo. This will help your audience become more familiar with your brand. You want them to recognize your Logo amongst the crowd of competitors, and the best way to do that is through repetition. Changing your logo on every ad will not benefit your campaigns.
3. Add Audience Signals to Improve Performance Max Campaigns
Inside the ‘Audience Signal’ section, Google lets you add your past audience data. This provides Google with rich insights as to who your current audience is and who they should aim your ads at.
Performance Max Campaigns strive to consistently show your ad to the people most like to convert and bring you closer to your goals.
Providing audience signals allows you to speed up the optimization process and scale your performance max campaigns even faster.
We recommend creating the following audiences and using them for “observation based” targeting:
- Site Visitors
- Shopping Cart Abandonments
- Product Viewers + many more
- Affinity segments
You can upload this information and Google will use it to find ‘Signals’. These signals indicate what type of behaviors and interests your target audience has.
Your next step is to add any Interests and Detailed Demographic to the audience signals segment. These factors can include things about your audience such as:
- Marital Status
- And much more.
By including their interests and demographics, you give Google a chance to find new users who have similar interests to your current customers.
This step is crucial to set up a thorough and detailed foundation for your Performance Max Campaign to begin firing in the right direction.
Without it, Google will just be guessing as to who your audience is. While they may eventually find them, it will cost you your hard-earned dollars and months of automated testing to get there.
It’s extremely crucial that you know exactly who your audience is before choosing the demographics here. If you’re completely unsure, it’s best to leave this section blank as it can lead to an audience not fit with your ideal persona.
4. Relax & Let Your Performance Max Campaigns Run
Now obviously, not every Performance Max campaign is going to be the one you scale.
But, unlike Google’s previous ads, these ad campaigns will increase their effectiveness over time thanks to the machine learning algorithms.
If your campaign isn’t generating the results you want to see immediately, be patient. Give it some time to really work its magic.
Based on our experience, we recommend leaving the Performance Max campaign for at least 2 full weeks before coming to a conclusion. This gives it enough time to collect a large enough pool of data and insights about your audience and for it to actually make sense.
At the end of 2 weeks, you can re-assess the ad’s effectiveness and either re-optimize or pause it.
I know, I know, you want to scale fast, and you want to scale now.
But, with a Pmax, you want to scale very slowly. Do not go overboard changing the campaign around frequently because if it de-optimizes, it will take 2-4 weeks to get back to where it was originally.
I repeat. Scale your Performance Max Campaigns, slowly.
Let it optimize itself and gather more data about your audience. Within a couple of months, your Pmax campaign will be a powerhouse and ready to scale further!
5. Schedule your ads
Ad Scheduling is a helpful option that can help you improve the effectiveness of your Performance Max campaign.
After running your performance max campaign for a while, you might discover that your ads perform better at particular times of the day. To add a bit more control, you might benefit from running your Pmax campaign only during certain times of the day.
Check your campaign’s overview and narrow it down to a single day to see if there are any times of the day when your advertisement is working exceptionally well.
Do this over several days, and if a pattern emerges, go to the “Ad Schedule” page and modify the times your ads will run to reflect the most successful ones.
6. Decide on the Right Bidding Strategy for your Campaign
When setting up your performance max campaigns, make sure you select a Google Ads bidding strategy that will bring you closer to your goals.
“Maximize conversions” and “Maximize conversion value” are the two options that Google allows for these campaign types.
If you decide to maximize conversions, you’ll first be asked to input your target CPA (cost per action). As it begins to run, Google will run your ad to meet that CPA as closely as it can within your budget on each interaction.
If you decide to maximize your conversion value, you must enter your desired ROAS, (return on ad spend). This may result in a lower overall value per order than the “Maximize conversions” option, but it will most likely hit your target ROAS value consistently.
If you’re just starting a Pmax campaign, we recommend not providing any type of value for the TROAS or TCPA. As it begins to optimize and get results, you’ll be able to become much more stricter with the targets.
Note: You can use the Target CPA and Target ROAS techniques by setting a maximum CPA or a target value or conversion.
7. Optimize your Ad Extensions to Dominate your Competitors
Ad extensions are an underutilized tool that can help your ads capture the attention of your target audience.
Ad extensions enable you to add more information to your ads, such as your company’s address, additional links, and buttons that help customers get in touch with you right away. This helps your ad take up more area on the screen and also means your competitors get less room.
This tool helps your ad campaigns dominate your competitors and increase click-through rates by more than 10%.
Ad extensions work best when they immediately address typical questions that viewers may have after seeing your ad. This could be your address or phone number for regional marketing.
This could also be additional details about your products, promotions, or delivery costs for eCommerce campaigns.
When you set up your ad extensions, you have the option of choosing and creating individual site links for the Performance Max campaigns or using the pre-existing account-level site link extensions.
Based on your goals, the campaign will recommend ad extension forms.
For instance, the campaign will recommend developing a lead form extension if your major objective is lead generation. Structured snippets, pricing extensions, promotion extensions, and call support are further options.
8. Import Data for all Offline Conversions
While having an online presence is extremely crucial in today’s modern world, it’s not the ONLY way to get sales and make revenue. Many of the eCommerce brands we interact with have a physical location along with an online store they use.
However, when you run ads, there are good chances someone could actually come in to shop. And of course, if these conversions aren’t tracked, you might think your Google ads campaigns aren’t functioning properly.
Thankfully, Google ads already has this covered.
You can now import your data about offline conversions and Performance Max campaigns will measure these alongside your online conversion data.
By providing this data, your Performance Max Campaign will promote greater audience quality across channels – which means more conversions for you in the long run.
9. Location, Location, Location
The next step to scaling your Pmax campaigns is to select the locations you want your ads shown.
You want your ads shown in every country where you have potential customers and can ship your products to. However, you also want each campaign running to only one location at a time.
This ensures that the algorithm associated with your ad account doesn’t get all messed up trying to cater to a 100 different countries with a 100 different styles of searching for the same thing.
In addition, targeting one location per campaign is considered as best practice to ensure that the data can be then used to further scale the brand.
10. Don’t Stop Running your Other Successful Ad Campaigns
One major question we always get asked is “If performance max campaigns are so good, should I stop running my other campaigns?”
And the answer is always the same: 1000% not!
Scaling your eCommerce brand requires a collective approach from all sides and angles. It’s like saying raising a child requires that you feed it consistently.
While it’s true that you need to feed your baby to ensure it grows up properly with proper nutrients, that is only a part of the growth process. The baby still needs to learn how to communicate or how to read.
Similarly, to successfully scale your eCommerce store, we suggest utilizing Performance Max in addition to your other ad campaigns.
Run the performance max campaigns alongside your current successful ad campaigns. This will help the Pmax improve and optimize at a quicker rate.
The performance max campaign will learn what is working for the other ad campaign, and use that audience data to make itself more efficient.
If you exclusively rely on Performance Max, you’ll compromise the effectiveness of your campaigns and actually negatively impact performance.
11. Stay Up to Date With New Pmax algorithm changes
Think of Performance Max campaigns as a newborn baby – something that has just come into this world and is trying to get a better idea of things.
While Google ads has laid out many strategies and tactics around these, they’re still extremely new. And this also means it’ll take them quite some time to get to working order.
Simply put, Performance max campaigns will continue to receive regular algorithm updates for years to come. And one great way to scale them is to keep up to date with these updates.
Staying ahead of the game with Pmax is as simple as utilizing any new major update as soon as possible before your competitors do. Or find yourself a Google Ads Agency that spends all day studying Google’s Algorithm changes.
Below, I will cover some of the new changes that Google has made to the Performance Max campaigns already and how you can take advantage of it to grow your eCommerce store.
12. Improve your Optimization score for Performance Max Campaigns
Google has increased the level of automation with this feature by including automated optimization advice for Performance Max Campaigns.
Ecommerce store owners and advertisers can now see how well optimized their ad campaigns are for success. Google will give you a metric that looks something like this.
The higher your optimization score, the better chance your campaign has for success.
To discuss ways to improve your optimization score and scale your eCommerce brand, book a free call with me today.
13. Try the new Burst Feature when it Launches
Google announced at their latest ‘Google Marketing Live’ event that they would include new features this year to support store sales goals.
With the use of a new “burst” option in Performance Max campaigns, advertisers will be able to run advertisements for a predetermined amount of time in order to meet in-store goals.
This feature will allow you to reach more users over a short period. A perfect way for eCommerce stores to optimize their marketing efforts around the holiday season.
Google expects the burst feature to be available later this year.
14. Add More Products to your Campaign.
Most eCommerce store owners get too caught up on the campaign level to notice other opportunities.
And one of the easiest opportunities to scale your Performance max campaign is to add more products to it.
Don’t make the classic mistake of just combining random, unrelated products together. The products you add should all be within a related niche or collection.
Go all in here! Source as many new products that you can inside your niche or industry, and use this as the main key to scaling your store.
Every product has a lifespan online, and once it dies out it needs to be replaced. This will automatically happen if you add more products to your campaign.
15. Adjust your Budget Weekly
As we have mentioned, you have limited control of what you can change in your performance max campaigns. That means it is not always easy to go into your campaigns and scale them how you want to.
Inside the ‘Settings’ tab of your performance max campaign, you can adjust your budget strategy.
My recommendation for adjusting your budget is to increase it by 10% to 20% every 7 days. Don’t go too crazy here, it won’t benefit you to adjust it any earlier than that.
Pmax campaigns take a little bit of time to start seeing the best results initially, so just reassess on a weekly basis for now.
Are Performance Max Campaigns Right for your Business?
Google’s Performance Max offers more than 10% increase in conversions while costing the same or less than other campaigns.
These campaigns have already eliminated the need for Google’s Smart Shopping, Gmail, and most other campaign types. At this rate, other campaign methods may also be phased out.
Take advantage of Pmax early; start utilizing them now and you will be well ahead of your competition.
We have covered an enormous amount of topics here to help you scale your performance max campaigns. If you are finding it overwhelming or are getting frustrated by your performance max results, get in touch with our team today!
If your eCommerce store is doing $30,000 or more in sales per month, we can work together to scale your Performance Max campaigns. Book your free consultation with Shri today and we will discuss ways you can scale to the next level!
Lets scale together!