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In late September 2022, Performance Max (PMax) officially replaced Google Smart Shopping. Performance Max campaigns give advertisers the ability to manage all Google Ads inventory from one campaign, with the ability to advertise on YouTube, Display, Search, Discover, Gmail, and Maps.

The best part? Performance Max campaigns have a 12% higher conversion value than Smart Shopping campaigns at the same or better ROAS!

We’ll be keeping this article updated with the latest and most noteworthy news about Performance Max campaigns, reporting, and more to ensure you’re set up for success with the new platform. Bookmark this article and keep checking back for more updates!

March 9

New PMax features from Google

On February 23rd, Google announced four new features for Performance Max that make it easier for advertisers to manage and optimize campaigns. The new features include the ability to:

Let’s dive into each of these in a little more detail.

PMax’s new feature to optimize your results from Search inventory involves using enhanced keywordless AI technology to make search query coverage even better. Google calls the combination of Search and PMax the Ads Power Pairing because of the technology’s ability to maximize your coverage and multiply your results through Smart Bidding and other AI functionality.

With this Ads Power Pairing, PMax can analyze your landing page content, assets, and product feed to detect and act on new opportunities to hit your goals. For example, it can find new high-converting queries and create highly relevant text ads that match the searcher’s unique intent.

This new feature also includes the ability to add account-level negative keywords and campaign-level brand exclusions. Advertisers will also be able to add page feeds to PMax campaigns in order to specify which URLs are most important or should be matched to by the AI.

Google is also adding the ability to use experiments to measure incremental conversion lifts, which provides extra visibility into how you drive conversions and conversion value through PMax. You can even compare a Standard Shopping campaign to a PMax campaign to see which would perform better.

Another exciting new capability in PMax is a video creation tool for YouTube campaigns. Advertisers can upload any number of (hopefully high-quality) images and create videos using a wide range of templates and formats. Google’s AI will choose the best video based on the user’s demographics and other context.

Google suggests uploading as many assets in as many different formats as you can in order to give the AI more to work with and improve your chances of getting in front of your ideal audience. The best part about this feature is that it’s now available directly from the Performance Max campaign workflow.

Lastly, Google will soon add asset group reporting and budget pacing insights so that you can better understand your PMax campaign results. This means that advertisers will be able to see conversions, conversion value, cost, and more for asset groups, as well as insights and projections for ad spend and performance. These recommendations can help you allocate your marketing budget appropriately to get the highest return.

The transition to PMax has been a daunting undertaking for many brands, but with these new features, hopefully the platform is easier to use. With new campaign types, there’s always a risk of making costly mistakes with precious advertising budgets. If you think your business could benefit from partnering with a group of PMax experts, send a message to our team today.

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February 23

Leveraging target ROAS to maximize your Performance Max budget

At the onset of an impending recession, saving money and spending your marketing budget strategically are top-of-mind for every ecommerce business. With CPCs already high, growing profitably through paid search channels like Google can be a challenge.

In today’s update, we’ll cover some of the biggest things you need to know about Performance Max budgets and how you can set up your PMax campaigns to have a high return through smart Target ROAS (tROAS) bidding.

When setting up your Performance Max bidding strategy, you can select Maximize Conversions or Maximize Conversion Value. The key to making this choice is to know what your conversion goals are. Ask yourself what you’re trying to accomplish with your campaign.

If you want to maximize the number of purchases users make on your ecommerce site, you can select Maximize Conversions to maximize the number of times users make a purchase. With this option, you can set the target amount you want to pay for a conversion with Target CPA Micros.

If you want to focus on certain high-value conversions (e.g. purchases of a particular product), Maximize Conversion Value can help you maximize the value of your conversions based on values assigned by you. With Maximize Conversion Value, you can set up Target ROAS to determine what your Performance Max budget will look like in Google. Let’s dive a little deeper into tROAS.

Target ROAS bidding utilizes Google Ads Smart Bidding to predict the conversion value of a user searching for your product, and will automatically increase your bids in real-time for users who are likely to make a purchase that you’ve deemed as high value. That means that users who are not likely to make a high-value purchase will receive lower bids, effectively maximizing your return by not spending more of your ad dollars on users who are unlikely to convert. The extent to which a user is considered high value is determined by you.

Because tROAS utilizes intelligent predictive analytics, it needs some data to learn from before it can give you the best return. The number of required conversions that a campaign needs before you can utilize the Target ROAS feature depends on the campaign type:

Campaign TypeMinimum Conversions Required for tROAS
Display15 conversions in the past 30 days
App10 conversions every day, or 300 in 30 days
Discovery75 conversions in the past 30 days, including 10 in the past 7 days
Video Action30 conversions in the past 30 days

You’ll want to be cautious to set the right baseline tROAS to avoid poor performance, low scale, and wasted ad spend. It’s critical that your tROAS is low enough that you still get traffic to your ads, but high enough that your traffic is high value. Historical data can be a huge resource to determine the best tROAS value. Partnering with a digital marketing expert agency can help ensure your baseline tROAS levels are optimal for your Performance Max budget.

You can create a tROAS bid strategy for a single campaign or multiple campaigns (as a portfolio), but for the best performance, Google recommends running fewer, larger campaigns that are aimed at getting more conversions.

PMax also offers an average target ROAS metric, which averages the changes you’ve made to your target ROAS over a date range and reveals what your strategy was optimized for during that time period.

We’ve created a series of resources to help you navigate the new campaign type with confidence. Peruse our PMax content library below:

We know that setting your Performance Max budget to boost your profitable growth can be a complicated and daunting task. At ROI Revolution, our paid search expert teams are passionate about helping large brands accelerate profitable growth through proactive and strategic marketing. As Google Premier Partners, we stay on the cutting-edge of the latest developments to ensure our clients are positioned for success – not just right now, but for years to come. To explore the untapped opportunities that we can discover for your business, send a message to our team today.