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TPE #3: 7 tips to get better results with Performance Max

Jul 10, 2022

Welcome back to the PPC Edge! Every week, you’ll get 1 actionable tip to scale your e-commerce Google Ads campaigns to the next level.

In this week’s issue, I’ll give 7 tips to get better results with Performance Max.

I think PMax is still a hot topic. Lots of brands are transitioning now from Smart Shopping to PMax.

Even though PMax campaigns are easy to set up, they are harder to optimize than you think.

Here are my 7 tips to get bet better results with Performance Max.

Let’s dig in! 

1: Understand Google Ads' history and what PMax really is

If you understand the history of Google Ads, you understand PMax better. Let’s take a look at Google Ads’ history:

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You might want to zoom in a bit... 

As you can see, Google has been automating everything for the past 5-6 years. Performance Max is here to stay. I think we’re going to see even more automations and less insights in the future.

Google wants to make it easier for brands to start advertising, even without a seasoned professional to manage the campaigns.

PMax is supposed to be the ultimate all-in-one solution for small brands, but bigger brands will benefit too.

Just be cautious that you’re not over relying on PMax - make it a part of your wider Google Ads strategy (more in tip 7).

Now that you’re up to date with Google Ads’ history, let’s dive into the second tip to improve PMax performance.

2: Adopt a testing mindset and test everything

I’m developing my own framework based on data I’m getting from spending thousands per day on PMax across my clients.

There aren’t a lot of best practices yet (that are based on practical experience).

For now, since everything is still relatively new, all you can do for yourself is:

Test, test, test!

 Set your assumptions and test them.

Some ideas to test:

  • Creative tests
  • Product title tests
  • Audience signal tests
  • Campaign structure tests 

Let’s move on to tip #3 that shows the importance of data.

3: Use crystal clear data 

Without crystal clear data, your Performance Max campaigns aren’t going to perform well. 

I’ll keep it simple, 2 things here:

  1. Know what your goals are (i.e. ROAS of x% etc.)
  2. Have crystal clear data in Google Ads for conversion tracking & audiences 

Use the Google Ads conversion tag so you can measure view-through and engagement-based conversions.

Do NOT use an imported goal from Google Analytics.

4: Choose (and test!) your winning campaign structure

There are many different campaign structures to choose from.

Draft what makes sense for your brand and start testing.

Here are some example structures to inspire you:

  • No PMax at all (probably not advised)
  • All-in-one PMax (everything in 1 campaign)
  • Different campaigns structured around product types
  • Different campaigns structured around profit margins/ROAS targets

I’ll dive deeper into this on a later post. It requires more time to explain in detail, and I’m still testing what works best for my clients at the moment.

5: Use and optimize assets to drive maximum results

I’ve spoken about this many times before but asset optimization is going to be your edge.

When everybody is using the same tech, how do you stand out?

Your creatives. 

The worst thing you can do is connect a few images and videos, and then never check in on the performance.

You should continuously check in on how your assets are performing and replace bad performers for new ones, even if insights are limited. 

Again: test, test, test…

And test fast! 

Which brings me to the next tip: 

6: Use data to optimize your account holistically

Use data from your other campaigns to feed into PMax and vice versa:

- Use best performing videos from YouTube campaigns

- Use best performing headlines/descriptions from text ads

- Use best performing images from Display/Discovery campaigns

- Use best performing audience segments to fuel Performance Max

- Use best performing audience segments in PMax on other campaigns

All your campaigns are supposed to work together.

7: Don't rely fully on PMax but make it a pillar in your wider account strategy 

Even though PMax CAN be an all-in-one solution, don’t rely too heavily on it.

Rather: make it part of your wider account strategy.

In most cases, I recommend to ALSO run additional campaigns for Search, YouTube, Display and Discovery. Standard Shopping is optional and depends on the complexity of your product catalog.

That’s it for today’s issue. A quick TLDR recap:

  1. Understand what PMax really is
  2. Adopt a testing mindset and test everything
  3. Use crystal clear data to make informed decisions
  4. Choose (and test!) your winning campaign structure
  5. Use and optimize all assets to drive maximum results
  6. Use data to optimize your Google Ads account holistically
  7. Don’t rely fully on PMax but make it a pillar in your wider strategy

In a future edition, I’ll dive deeper into creative/asset optimization for your images, videos and product feed.

Thank you for reading and see you next week!

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Thanks for reading, see you again next week.

 

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