To get the most out of Performance Max campaigns, there are a number of things you can do to optimize for performance.
Google suggests running Performance Max campaigns for a minimum of six weeks. This is to give Google’s machine learning algorithm sufficient time to learn and collect enough data to compare performance.
Performance Max campaigns use asset groups (similar to ad groups in standard Shopping campaigns). These assets include things like text and images to better represent your inventory. Once your campaigns have been running and you’ve acquired enough data, it’s useful to split your asset group into multiple asset groups, each containing different assets, so that each group represents a different part of your product inventory. For example, you could have an asset group with the theme of ‘hats’, and a separate one for ‘shoes’.
Adding different versions (at least five) of both text and image assets will provide Google with more options for possible combinations for ads. This allows the algorithm to try to find the most effective combination out of your provided assets. On that note, providing as many assets as possible is suggested to improve performance - here are Google’s minimum asset requirements to get your content created and shown across the Google network.
Supplying your campaign with audience signals can help to accelerate the machine learning process and help to guide the campaign toward your target audience.
Google’s Smart Bidding algorithm will optimize the bidding for your campaign, but adding relevant data to audience signals will aid in overall performance optimization.
You can look at your calendar view to see if there are specific times or days when your Performance Max campaign is getting a low return for ad spend.
Once you’ve highlighted a pattern, you can edit the ad schedule to only serve ads at profitable times. This is a good way to help manage your ad budget.
On your Performance Max campaign page you can see how much your campaign is spending per day and make budget adjustments.
For example, if your campaign is spending your full budget every day, you could test out increasing your budget to help scale performance.
Performance Max can use ad extensions to help you expand your ad with information, such as additional links and your company’s address, making your ads more appealing.
This expands the size of your ad without it being intrusive to users. With your extensions, you should address common queries that users may be looking for. You can even include specific information about your products or any special offers that you’re currently running.
To avoid any potential drops in performance, Google recommends setting a similar budget for your Performance Max campaign as any existing Smart Shopping campaigns. This is to ensure that your Performance Max campaigns can capture previous shopping inventory.
If you’re still running Smart Shopping campaigns, then it’s recommended to stop them completely and allow Performance Max to take over and allow the machine learning algorithm to begin collecting data. It may take two to three days for your new Performance Max campaigns to fully take over your Smart Shopping campaign inventory.
As with any advertising campaign, looking at reporting and data is crucial. While Performance Max doesn’t give retailers access to all data, it does show you some actionable insights on how the automation is working. You can view consumer interest insights, audience insights, and search trends. This will be leveraged automatically by Google's AI learning process to better optimize campaign performance.
Be aware that Performance Max campaigns will be prioritized by Google over Smart Shopping campaigns that run the same products in the same account. This will cause spending in your Smart Shopping campaigns to significantly decrease, and Performance Max will increase in its place.