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Google Ads Performance Max New Updates

Google has been making strides to position its Google Ads Performance Max campaigns as the next big thing, replacing Smart Shopping and Local ad campaigns later this year. This means advertisers will need to get comfortable with the relatively new Performance Max features, including the new updates Google plans to roll out throughout the rest of the month.

Explaining the New Features

Despite rolling out Performance Max quite recently (November 2021), Google has already made announcements for three new features, namely a new customer acquisition goal type, new insight tools, and a new one-click upgrade tool for existing campaigns.

Delving Into New Insights

Customer Interest Insights are a new metric of insights being added to the Insights page on Google Ads. As implied, the idea here is to provide advertisers more actionable data on similar or relevant searches that are leading to conversions by customers or target audiences in your goal group.

Google is also adding Asset Audience Insights. These will be focused on providing you with data on how well your images and videos are performing. The best way to improve your Performance Max ad campaigns, at this point, is to improve the quality of your images, video, and text assets – this new insight should help with that.

Finally, Google will be adding Diagnostic Insights to Performance Max campaigns. These should help identify any problems that are keeping ads from being shown to users.

Setting a New Goal Type

Goal types are an important way to establish what Google Ads Performance Max should be doing to serve ads to users. Existing campaign objectives include higher website traffic, generating leads, driving sales, promoting local store visits, or creating brand awareness, for example.

The goal type Google is adding next is actually a migration from Smart Shopping: the customer acquisition goal type. This goal type helps advertisers look for customers who are similar in profile to existing customers, and focus on obtaining new customers only, rather than trying to entice repeat business.

Upgrade Tool

Since Google Ads Performance Max will be taking over Local and Smart Shopping campaigns, Google will be rolling out an upgrade tool to help convert campaigns in just one click. The rollout for the one-click upgrade tool is starting with Smart Shopping campaigns and will be available for Local ad campaigns in June.

What are Google Ads Performance Max Campaigns?

Google Ads’ new Performance Max campaigns are smart campaigns generated by Google based on your target audience or campaign goals, and asset groups established and provided by you through image and video material.

In other words, Performance Max is Google’s latest in a line of automated ad tools, alongside Responsive Search Ads and Smart Bidding.

What sets Performance Max apart from previous iterations is that it’s incredibly versatile and works really well. Rather than limit itself to a handful of ad types during testing, Performance Max takes the assets given to it and distributes ads to users across all Google platforms, including YouTube, Search, Gmail, Maps, Display, and Discovery, all from a single campaign.

Google Ads Performance Max utilizes user cookies to match your campaign material to any relevant user’s current search experience, creating customized ads that are context-sensitive and appear differently on YouTube than they might on Google Maps or Google Search – while taking away all the leg work involved in personally handcrafting each ad per platform.

No more individualizing your campaigns and putting different teams in charge of different Google channels. No more headaches deciding what graphic to use for what campaign. Simply feed Google what you’ve got, and it will decide how to use your material optimally.

While Performance Max is still a relatively new feature, Google has shared a lot about how it works, and how to make the most out of it.

Performance Max Does Not Let You Choose Channels

First and foremost, it is important to note that Performance Max will match what is given to the type of content it can provide users. This means you cannot choose whether your ads will appear on YouTube, Search, and Maps, or only YouTube and Search.

However, you can artificially limit and control how and when your ads show up based on what assets you feed Performance Max. If you do not want to run any ads aside from shopping ads, for example, you can “manipulate” Performance Max into displaying shopping ads by connecting your merchant feed to it and providing no other text, video, or image assets.

On the topic of shopping ads, Performance Max is taking over and effectively cannibalizing your shopping campaigns. This means if you are running a Performance Max campaign in addition to a shopping/Smart Shopping campaign, Performance Max will take precedence.

Users have made note of this as soon as the new campaign started rolling out, but Google has clarified that this is intentional. It also means that your shopping ads will be rolled out onto other Google channels whenever they are relevant to any given user’s search query or browsing experience.

Performance Max and Search Campaigns

Performance Max is designed to be run alongside existing search, display, and YouTube campaigns. So, while Performance Max will be used as an adjacent upgrade or straight upgrade from the shopping/Smart Shopping campaigns, and will take precedence over those, it will not take precedence over other campaigns.

This means, that if all things are equal, keywords targeted via your search campaigns will take priority over Performance Max campaigns.

Google Ads Performance Max is Data Sensitive

Because Performance Max relies on the data being fed into it, Google has been making note that advertisers need to be careful about distinguishing between leads and conversions, as well as providing further context for the value of a conversion by adding data for repeat customers and returning sales (especially in an eCommerce context).

Accurately reporting conversion data helps Performance Max determine better, more accurate goals, and target users that are far more likely to turn into conversions, rather than just leads. This means less money wasted, a greater ROI, and greater user satisfaction (for both potential conversions and advertisers alike).

What This Means for You

Performance Max represents a new kind of automated ad campaign, and a push away from individually crafted ad campaigns per channel towards goal-oriented fine-tuning to create the kind of campaign you want.

Because the tool is still relatively new, it will take a little longer to establish best practices and identify ways to improve effectiveness. Google will be eager to please with its new feature, however, so it is highly encouraged to give it a try for your campaigns, with your existing or new video and image material.

If you need help navigating this, or any Google Ads features, please reach-out to Sachs Marketing Group and our team of Google Ads experts will be happy to assist you.

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