As a Data Analyst, I work with a number of different clients. I check in on their performance daily, and join client calls to understand their goals and advise on strategy.
When Performance Max was rolled out, I was part of a smaller team of analysts who looked into integrating Google’s high-performance tool with our machine learning technology.
We’ve found that Performance Max is great at selling your best-sellers, but your lesser-known items aren’t served enough to win traffic and be profitable. So we found a way to improve conversion rate on Google Shopping using a hybrid Performance Max approach.
In other words, we give our clients the best of both worlds. If your bestsellers are doing well with Performance Max, let’s leave them there - if it’s not broken, don’t fix it!
As a general rule of thumb, 80% of your revenue is likely derived from just 10% of your products. Meanwhile, our machine learning technology will pick up bidding for the remainder of your inventory, finding the sweet spot between visibility and profitability on Google Shopping.
On top of that, you can still run Performance Max campaigns with other Google ad channels while managing Shopping campaigns separately.
So - with consent - I tested this approach with a client already using Performance Max before joining Bidnamic. And this is what we found:
Using Performance Max for all Google ad channels except Shopping helped the client’s products earn more traffic. Being able to reach their target audience on different channels around the web likely increased brand recognition and recall.
This meant that the volume of relevant, high-intent search terms on Google Shopping increased, driving more purchase-ready traffic through Shopping ads: ads with precise bidding to avoid overspending or wasting ad spend.
We also found that monthly conversions grew dramatically, around 1800% on average. One month’s conversions were even 2000% greater than the average monthly conversions before the change. Safe to say the test was a success.
What does this mean?
Performance Max’s wider portfolio of ads may be driving higher purchase intent traffic towards Shopping ads.
Meanwhile, our machine learning purchase intent funnel was able to determine search terms with higher purchase intent on Google Shopping and bid more aggressively to win that traffic.
If you run Performance Max campaigns alongside your own Expert Mode campaigns for the same product, Google will prioritise Performance Max campaigns every time (it’s their own tool, after all).
But removing the listing group from Performance Max means it won’t serve ads to Google Shopping, allowing you to take greater control over the search terms you target and the traffic you bid for.
It might be worth seeing how Performance Max could help to achieve your business goals on different channels. But, that doesn’t mean you must use Performance Max across the board, or that you should forego search term and performance data available on Google Shopping.
Checkout the data insights we share and explain with our clients in this short pdf.
Ethan is part of our Data Analysis team, where he keeps an eye on our clients' performance to help them make the most of Google Shopping. He also works on audits and provides the office with comic relief.