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What Is a Google Performance Max Campaign?

What Is a Google Performance Max Campaign?

What Is It?

The Google Performance Max campaign extends to consumers across all Google platforms. Those channels are Discover, Display, Gmail, Maps, Search, and YouTube. This powerful campaign utilizes Google’s automation technologies for audiences, bidding, budget optimization, creatives, etc.

What Are the Benefits?

The best benefit of this campaign is how it reaches out to customers on Google’s channels. From reaching more customers, one could only hope for more conversions. Another benefit is machine learning. This implementation allows more precise predictions about what ads, audiences, and creative combinations work best for you.

When monitoring this campaign, the reporting aspect of it is beneficial as well. The asset reporting is helpful as it shows which creatives are performing well and which ones are not, allowing you to optimize campaign creatives further. This could be either ad copy or the images/videos in the asset group.

Latest Features

There are new features now with the Performance Max campaigns:

  • Seasonality adjustments
  • Explanations
  • Optimization Score
  • Data Exclusions

The two that I believe are most useful are the explanations and optimization score. With explanations, it will make it easier for a user to identify problems. There will also be recommendations on how to improve the campaign performance. Optimization score is great to keep an eye out for too. This will show if there is any room for improvement.

When to Use It?

When you have a specific conversion that you are trying to accomplish, having SMART goals allows you to optimize the Performance Max campaign fully. A SMART goal is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based.

If you are wanting your ad to be shown across Google’s various channels, then this is the campaign for you. If you are designing your ad for just one specific avenue, this campaign is not ideal. Ensuring that you have the proper budget, time allocated, and overall resources to be successful will be crucial.

Google Smart Campaigns vs Google Performance Max

Should I Stop Running My Other Campaigns?

The simple answer here is no, especially since it coincides with Search campaigns. Having a Search campaign that is similar to the Performance Max campaign is significant. Depending on the user’s search query, either your Search or Performance Max campaign will be prioritized.

If the search query is identical to a keyword you have in your Search performance, that campaign will be prioritized. On the other hand, if the search query is not identical, the ad or campaign with the highest ad rank will be chosen. This is where the Performance Max campaign comes into play.

Is This Campaign Flawless?

Despite how great this Performance Max campaign seems; it is not perfect. Unlike other campaigns, there is not a section to review search terms. This means that we are putting trust into the algorithm to appear for the right audience. There is some information in the insights tab and with audiences, but it would be beneficial to view which search terms we are showing for.


To close out, read below some of the best practices for optimization for this campaign. There are plenty of benefits and cons to this campaign, but it is something worth trying if you have the necessary resources. A lot of faith is being put into Google’s algorithm to show your ads in front of the right people. 

Best Practices:
  • Campaign should run a minimum of 6 weeks to let the machine learning algorithm collect data
  • Use at least 5 variations of text assets (4 headlines and 5 descriptions)
  • Use at least 5 variations of image assets
  • Add audience lists as signals to help machine learning
    • Customer match, website visitors, and custom segment lists
  • Utilize the Final URL expansion tool
    • Allows you to find new converting search queries