Updated on September 28, 2023 | 6 minute read
Setting up a Performance Max campaign is relatively simple.
To begin, sign in to your Google Ads account and select campaigns from the menu on the left, and from there create a new campaign. From there, you can select an advertising goal, which can be sales, leads, or local store visits and promotions.
Next is choosing your conversion goals - you’ll have a few options based on the advertising goal you chose. After this, you’ll select Performance Max as your campaign type, give it a name, and hit continue.
Setting your budget and bidding comes next: enter the average amount you want to spend on bids each day. Then, select a bid strategy. You have two options for this: you can select set a target cost per action, which will result in your campaign trying to meet a target CPA that you enter, or you can select set a target return on ad spend, which will make the campaign work to meet the target ROAS you enter.
Once you’ve set your budget, select next and you’ll be taken to the campaign settings page. From here, you can select the location you want to target with your ads. If you select enter another location, you can add more locations to target, as well as locations to exclude. If you want to target specific places within a location, select the nearby option.
Next, you can select which language(s) you want your ads to serve in.
The more settings page will allow you to set up your ad scheduling, final URL expansion settings, and campaign URL options. We’ll get into detail about these options below.
Next up is building your asset group. This is a collection of images, logos, videos, headlines, descriptions, as well as some other assets. These are used by Google’s machine learning algorithm to assemble your ads. We’ll go into more detail about asset groups later on this page.
All Performance Max campaign images have a maximum file size of 5120KB.
When building your asset group, you can set up audience signals which are audience suggestions that will help Google Ads automation optimise for your goals. This is optional, but it can help you to accelerate the machine learning process.
The penultimate step is to add any ad extensions that you want to link to your campaign. Ad extensions include useful business data below your ad and can give shoppers more reasons to click.
Finally, read through the review summary and select publish campaign when you’re happy.
You can select your budget, which will be the amount of money you spend on bids per day - you have total control over this figure.
In terms of bidding strategy, you can maximise for conversions, for value, and also set a maximum CPA. This will allow you to utilise target CPA and ROAS strategies.
You have the ability to select several locations for your campaigns to serve. However, you can only pick countries, not specific cities. Alongside this, you can exclude locations, too.
As with locations, you can select multiple languages for your ads to be displayed.
In your campaign settings, you can define your ad schedule, allowing you to select your most profitable times and avoid serving ads at inopportune times.
If you don’t change the settings for URL options, Google will choose the final URL that traffic clicking on your ads is sent to. You can turn this feature off and have your ads only send traffic to the URLs you have provided. Otherwise, you can allow Google to select what it deems to be the most appropriate URL (but you can still exclude specific URLs with this option).
The asset group associated with your campaign is a collection of creative components, all centred on your target audience. Your asset group will include things like images, videos, logos, headlines, and descriptions. These should all be tightly themed to your product or service and need to work to entice your target audience.
Google will create ads based on the assets you provide, and there are specifications for each different asset type. If you don’t provide a video to your asset group, Google will create one for you, so if you want full creative control it’s recommended you provide one of your own.
Performance Max campaigns do not have ad groups. Instead, each campaign only has one set of targeting. You can provide audience signals to give insight to Google on who your ads should be targeting.
However, this does not mean that your ads will only be shown to the suggestions you’ve provided: instead, Google will still try to show ads to shoppers it thinks are most likely to convert, based on behaviours and interests.
Final URL expansions will help you optimise for performance and are part of the setup process. The Final URL is the landing page that users will reach when they click your ad.
This feature allows you to replace your Final URL with the most relevant landing page based on the user’s search query and intent. This is then used by Google’s automation to create a dynamic ad headline and description, while also using additional assets that match your chosen landing page.
You can also create exclusion rules so that Performance Max won’t serve irrelevant landing pages, such as pages for discontinued brands or products.
Your campaign settings will automatically suggest extension formats based on the goals you’ve selected. You can also add price extensions, promotion extensions, and callouts, to name a few options.
When setting up your ad extensions, you can use preexisting account-level sitelink extensions, or select specific sitelinks for your Performance Max campaign.
In order to start testing Performance Max campaigns, you’ll want to include as many assets as possible. The good news is you can start with a small amount.
To begin, you’ll need to provide three 30-character headlines, one 90-character headline, and two descriptions. You’ll also need to provide four images of different sizes, and you can include a video, although that component is optional.
To get the most out of Performance Max campaigns, there are a few things you can do to optimise for performance...
Since you can supply a variety of different assets to your campaigns, it’s a good idea to take full advantage of this. The more assets you provide, the more combinations that Google can test out to see which is the most effective.
Make sure that your ads are scheduled for the most profitable periods based on your industry. You may find that shoppers are more likely to click and convert at certain times of the day, so schedule your ads for those times.
Ad extensions are useful for getting more attention from consumers. You can include information in your ads such as business location, call buttons, and extra links to drive traffic. If you identify specific questions that people may have when they see your ad, you can use an ad extension to put this in your ad.
Optimisation on Performance Max takes time. To see your performance improve, and to see what asset combinations work best for you, Google recommends running Performance Max campaigns for at least six weeks. This gives Google’s machine learning algorithm time to learn and collect behaviour data, which should in theory help your campaign target the correct audience more effectively.
Tom is a Content Marketing Executive, producing content and case studies to simplify the Google Shopping experience, and help our clients discover if Google Shopping is the right channel for them. With an MA in English Literature, Tom has a passion for writing and sharing information with the masses.