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TPE #5: Pmax migration - initial results & learnings

Jul 24, 2022

Welcome back to the PPC Edge!

This is probably the most important issue to date, because I'm reviewing how the migration from Smart Shopping to Performance Max went in some of my accounts.

(with real data so you can learn from it for your own campaigns)

If you haven't already, I really urge you to start migrating your campaigns to PMax NOW before Google does it for you automatically.

Even though it's a forced migration, be early so you keep control and aren't left to Google's mercy (which can be ruthless).

With that being said: let's dive in and see how PMax performs compared to Smart Shopping!

(before we dive in, did you know I started a free Discord community for Google Ads experts? We're currently at 600+ members. We share knowledge, learn from each other and grow together. Join here for free.)

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We all need to migrate to PMax before September

As you probably know, all Smart Shopping campaigns will be automatically migrated to Performance Max.

Google has announced that they will start forced migration between now and September.

Let's set our emotions aside and take it for what it is.

You now have 2 options:

 

  1. Be reactive and wait until the end and let Google migrate for you
  2. Be proactive and start migrating NOW so you keep control over how it goes

 

My advice for you is to be PROACTIVE and migrate your campaigns yourself so you are ahead of the curve and have more time to learn and optimize.

I migrated most of my Smart Shopping campaigns to Performance Max in June/beginning of July.

Let's continue with insights on how that went and the impact on performance.

 

The migration has been surprisingly smooth

I have to say, Google has done and outstanding job in making the transition from Smart Shopping to PMax very smooth.

All you need to do is go to your campaign, hover over "Shopping Upgrade Available" and click apply.

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Ta-da: your Smart Shopping campaigns are now Performance Max campaigns.

The upside of using this migration tool: your historical data is transferred between campaigns so you have a limited/shorter learning period (which is actually a big deal).

 

Alright, so what about results?

As always, results vary. But so far, about 3 weeks in, I'm happy with what I'm seeing in most cases.

Below I'll share 2 case studies of how the migration went for 2 DTC brands.

Quick note: you can't A/B test so you have to do before/after tests which are always a bit difficult because of seasonality and randomization of results...

I look at:

  • If we were able to maintain similar performance
  • How key metrics perform week by week after migrating

 

Case study 1: seasonality impact skews data, but migration is successful

Brand 1: migrated to PMax with Shopping products only. Images and videos were added 2 weeks later.

Before (Smart Shopping):

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After (Performance Max):

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Notes:

  • Migrated on July 5th, right after a seasonal peak
  • Expected seasonal impact (going from high season to low season)

Important data:

  • CPA increased +20%
  • ROAS decreased -11%
  • Conversions dropped due to seasonality
  • Costs also dropped as we're pushing less during low season

Analysis & conclusion:

  • Performance dropped, but it was expected after a big peak
  • In terms of migration: PMax did a good job in keeping high spend
  • After adding images and videos, CPA and ROAS remained somewhat stable

 

It's very hard to do a clean before/after analysis because there are so many factors that impact performance.

The next step for this brand is to optimize the image and video assets and to see how we can scale Performance Max further.

The initial results are looking promising though.

On to the next case study.

 

Case study 2: uplift in performance after migrating to PMax

Brand 2: migrated to PMax on June 21st with Shopping assets only. We haven't tested images and videos yet (brand is not advanced enough yet but we will start testing in the future).

Before (Smart Shopping):

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After (Performance Max):

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Notes:

  • Migrated on June 21st, no seasonality impact so cleaner data than case study 1

Important data:

  • CPA decreased -11%
  • ROAS increased +15%
  • Conversions are somewhat stable
  • Costs decreased slightly but we're looking to increase spend

Analysis & conclusion:

  • Great initial results: higher ROAS, lower CPA and stable amount of conversions
  • ROAS increased 2-3X in the first few days after migrating (insane!)
  • After an initial boost, ROAS started to stabilize but is still higher than before

 

We're happy with these initial results. The migration tool has proven to me that Smart Shopping can upgrade to PMax seamlessly and there is not a big learning period.

Next steps for this brand: start testing image and video assets once we're ready.

 

Concluding thoughts: migration works well but there's still a lot to test & learn. Start upgrading now or be left to Google's mercy!

I'm happy with how we migrated from Smart Shopping to Performance Max.

I don't always like changes to the Google Ads ecosystem, but I have to give them credit here: they've made upgrading to PMax an easy and smooth process.

There's still a lot to test and learn, but I'm happy with how it's going so far.

I'm sure Google will continue to put a lot of resources behind Performance Max, which will make it an even stronger product in the future.

Here's my call to action for you:

If you haven't already, please start migrating to Performance Max NOW!

You have until September, after that your Smart Shopping campaigns will be upgraded to PMax automatically.

Or if you're unlucky, Google will upgrade them for you before that.

Start migrating and testing now, get some early insights, adapt, optimize and share what you've learned so we can all grow together.

That's it for today.

Thank you for reading the PPC Edge.

 


Thanks for reading, see you again next week.

 

Whenever you're ready, there are 2 ways we can help you:

1. Learn how to set up, optimize and scale Performance Max campaigns here (125+ students).

2. Join our free Discord community of 1.200+ Google Ads specialists here

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