What Is Performance Max Google Ads?

Performance Max campaign in Google Ads is the newest campaign type that is designed to take over Product Listing Ads (PLA’s), also known as Google Shopping, Smart Shopping Campaigns and Local Search Ads.Performance Max ads combine search campaigns, shopping campaigns, display campaigns, discovery campaigns and YouTube video campaigns and place all of those creative assets into a single campaign.

Where Do Performance Max Ads Show?

Since performance max ad campaigns combine all the creative assets across Google Ads formats, performance max ads uses Google Ads inventory to display your ads pretty much everywhere Google Ads are available.  This includes Google searches, YouTube, GMail, and even Google partner sites.

Are Performance Max Ad Campaigns Right For My Business?

Before you go out and set up a bunch of Performance Max ad campaigns there are some things you should know.First off, in order for your Performance Max ad campaigns to show, you must have at least 1 video included in your campaign.  If you don’t have a video for your campaign, you will need to create one.Second, it’s important to understand that Performance Max campaigns are goal based.  This means you need to have your conversion goals in Google Ads and on your website set up properly.(If you need help setting goals on either your website or in Google Ads, we can help.)Essentially, every business should be tracking goals on their website.  For e-commerce websites you obviously want to track your sales but you may also want to track email subscribers, add to carts, abandoned carts and so on.  For lead generation and local business websites you are going to want to track lead form submissions, phone calls, email subscribers and so on.

Businesses Who Should Consider Performance Max Google Ads

No matter what type of business or website you have, you may want to consider Performance Max ad campaigns if your business:
  • Lacks the time and resources to optimize each type of Google Ads campaign (Search, Shopping, Display, Video, Discovery)
  • Wants exposure in all of Google Ads inventory but has a limited budget
  • Has an unlimited budget and wants to reach out to new audiences across the Google network

Businesses Who Have No Choice But To Use Performance Max Google Ads Campaigns

Google Shopping Campaigns

If you run Google Shopping campaigns, or PLA’s, you have until September 2022 to transition your smart shopping campaigns over to Performance Max.  This means you may want to start creating new images and videos for each product you wish to advertise on Google.

Local Campaigns

Local campaigns will also transition to Performance Max campaigns in September of 2022.Again, you may want to start creating new images and videos now so you can prepare for the upcoming changes.

How To Optimize Performance Max Google Ads Campaigns

Optimizing your first Performance Max campaign may seem pretty straight forward.  However, here are some things to pay attention to that can drastically improve your campaign.

Campaign Settings

For Ecommerce websites, during the campaign objective setup of your Performance Max campaign is where you will want to connect your Google Merchant Center so you can promote your individual products for sale.When setting up your first Performance Max campaign, the first setting to pay attention to falls under the campaign setting → locations → more settings → final url expansion option.  By default, this option is set to send traffic to most relevant urls on your site.  This means you are basically giving Google Ads the authority to advertise every page on your website and send users to the most relevant page based on their intent.Performance Max Final URL ExpansionAlthough this may be a great option if your intent is to promote your brand, you will likely want to check the option that sends traffic to provided URLs only.  This will allow you to control the messaging of your ads and send users to relevant pages on your website that you want to promote.

Asset Group Settings

Your asset group settings is where you will be creating your ads for your Performance Max campaigns.For Ecommerce stores, the first thing to pay attention to is the listing groups where you can choose to advertise all of your products or specific products you have for sale on your website.Google Merchant Center ConnectionIf you choose to send traffic to all URLs on your website in the campaign settings, advertising all the products for sale on your website will help you reach the most potential customers online.If you choose to send traffic to provided URLs on your website, you can create specific messaging in your ads to help reach your marketing objectives and drive online sales.Next, the assets section is where you are going to add your images, videos, headlines and descriptions.  You will want to use up all the asset space Performance Max allows in order to get the best results.To get the most out of your ad group, you need to upload a video!  We have found that Performance Max campaigns will not display if there are no videos uploaded.  Granted, it does say that Google will create videos automatically when possible but we have yet to see a Performance Max campaign receive an impression when no videos are uploaded.Perfromance Max Video UploadsThe last section in the asset group is the audience signal.  Do not skip this step!  If you do, a lot of your budget will go to waste.Performance Max Audience SignalThe audience signal tells Google Ads who your audience is based on segments, demographics and data provided from automatically generated audiences and custom imported audiences in your Google Ads Audience Manager.The section in audience signals to pay attention to is custom segments.  Creating a new custom segment gives you the ability to add your keywords and target users who visit specific types of websites and apps.Google Ads Performance Max Custom SegmentsOnce you have your asset groups set up, all you need to do is choose the right extensions for your ads and review your ad in the summary.  It generally has taken anywhere from 24 to 48 hours for Google Ads to review your ad group before your ads start showing up across Google properties.


Google Ads Performance Max campaigns give you the ability to advertise across the various channels Google has to offer.  Understanding how to set up your Performance Max ad groups properly will ensure your ads are giving you the best return on your investment.Reach out to us today if you need help setting up or managing your Performance Max campaigns.