What is Google Performance Max : how to get the most out of it

What is Google Performance Max

Google Performance Max is an automated ad campaign from Google Ads that requires little or no specialist involvement. Give the algorithm the target audience data, the desired performance indicators, texts, images, videos – and voila! Google will create its own creatives, select an audience, automate targeting, and launch ads. Who should test a new type of campaigns and how to do it correctly, we figure it out together with the experts.


The first large-scale testing of Google Performance Max with real advertisers was carried out in June this year. Result: This type of campaign is capable of generating 22% more conversions. In early November, Google launched Performance Max for all advertisers, so don’t waste your time and explore and test a new type of campaign. Let’s start with the first step: we will study the features and benefits of a new type of advertising campaigns.

What is Google Performance Max (GPM) and what is its trick

The main difference between the new type of campaigns and the existing ones is increased automation : working with GPM requires minimal attention from the advertiser. However, this does not mean that now it is possible to launch only these automated campaigns and no longer work in advertising with “pens”. 😁 As advertiser tests have shown, Google Performance Max is most effective when a new type of advertising campaign is used as a source of additional conversions and increased audience reach.

We do not recommend ditching the old type of search campaigns entirely. Since you cannot use key phrases in Performance Max and Google selects suitable users by itself, there is a risk of losing an audience by momentary interests, which is currently looking for your or a similar product. As a result, there will be less reach and clicks.

We recommend running Google Search Campaigns and Performance Max Campaigns at the same time for good results. It is better to give a small share of the budget to the new type of campaigns first, tracking its effectiveness and the impact on the overall advertising results (CPA, CTR), and gradually increase the share of the budget for Performance Max, if it shows results.


Google has long established itself as one of the leaders in the creation of artificial intelligence. And in this context, Performance Max can be seen as another step towards the development of fully automated campaigns based on machine learning.

The job of the advertiser is to provide basic information (data on the desired audience and target performance indicators (CPA, ROAS)). Google analyzes the entered data and uses Smart Bidding (a smart bidding model) to independently select audience segments, automate targeting and ad serving. Google also automatically creates ad creatives based on images, videos, and ad text added by the advertiser.

Now for the benefits. The new Google Performance Max campaign type combines display and search ads at the same time . So, marketers get a single tool for working with different formats and placements: YouTube, Discover, Gmail, KMC, etc.

Another benefit: increased coverage . Google understands consumer intent and preferences in real time, plus analyzes the information provided by the advertiser about the target audience. As a result, Performance Max can offer new customer segments to advertise your product that you might not even have known about.

Another significant benefit is increased efficiency . Machine learning models are used to more accurately predict which audiences, ads, and creative combinations will work best for you. Then campaigns are optimized in accordance with this information, which leads to an increase in conversion.

Also in its article on Performance Max, Google mentions a new type of report - maximum performance indicators , which helps to understand which creatives and how they affect performance, and how best to optimize them to increase the ROI of campaigns.

Will Google Performance Max be useful to you?

Do you need to test a new type of ad campaigns? Yes, if:

  • You want to get the most out of Google’s advertising tools and set them up at the same time in a single platform. Performance Max can run ads on Search, Display Network, Gmail, Discover, Maps, and YouTube.
  • You know in numbers what you want to achieve with your ad campaigns: drive more leads, expand your reach, or simply increase your company’s revenue with ads. Set the metrics you want and the algorithm will optimize campaigns based on your goals.
  • You want additional reach and conversions beyond your keyword-based search campaigns.
Read Also: How to launch advertising on Telegram: instructions for use

Setting up an advertising campaign Performance Max: detailed instructions

Until June 2021, testing was carried out in a closed mode, now anyone can try the new tool. Let’s take a closer look at how to do this.

1. Go to your Google advertising account

Previously, Performance Max was only available in test mode upon request. Now it is available to all users of the advertising system.

2. Choosing the goal of the advertising campaign

At the moment, the system offers to choose one of the proposed options:

  • Attraction of new clients;
  • increased online sales;
  • development of offline sales points.
What is Google Performance Max

As we can see, other goals will be available in the future: “Engagement”, “Promotion of mobile applications”, “Brand awareness”, etc.

3. Choosing a budget and setting a betting strategy

We indicate the amount that we plan to spend on the Performance Max advertising campaign. We recommend starting with small values ​​and gradually increasing your budget. The main strategy is to choose between maximum conversion or conversion value. You can set limits for a large number of parameters (ROAS, CPA and others).

4. Choose the location, show time and language

If you want to specify multiple geolocations, select “Enter another location”, then import the list of geolocations using the “Advanced search” link. Next, specify the language, the time of displaying the ads and the date of its holding.

5. URL parameters

The system independently determines the relevant URLs. By default, this option is activated. In the settings, you can remove links to which Google is not required to direct traffic.

Performance Max does not track specific ads across multiple sites. Thus, customization is available exclusively at the campaign level. Tracking templates can be added through the appropriate section.

6. Setting up ads

At this stage, you need to create one or more ads. The advertiser has text, pictures, video at the disposal of the advertiser. During editing, the system shows exactly how the ad will look on specific Google sites.

What is Google Performance Max
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7. Setting up automatic targeting

As noted earlier, Performance Max does not include manual targeting options. The system does this automatically. For the convenience of the user, a special tool has been developed – audience signals. They interact with Google’s algorithms, and information is transmitted about who the advertising campaign is being launched for.

Dmitry Lobanov, Account Manager, MediaNation Agency

Simply put, audience signals describe the target audience for your ads. Setting the correct parameters will speed up the training period for the campaign and improve the quality of automatic targeting. The settings indicate the age, gender, interests and behavior of the desired audience. Based on the information obtained, the algorithms select the right people who use Google services.

An important factor is the constant training of the system. This allows you to optimize algorithms and gradually increase conversions.

8. Adding extensions

In accordance with the goals of the advertising campaign, the system will offer to set the appropriate extension formats. For example, let’s take the most popular goal – lead generation. Based on it, you will be prompted to create an extension in the form of a feedback form. In addition, you can include prices, special offers, phone number and other additional information in your ads.


Every year, Google developers strive to make the use of Google Ads even more convenient and efficient, using machine learning and other tools related to artificial intelligence. What does this mean for advertisers? Simplification of the promotion of goods or services, as well as new opportunities for expanding reach and increasing the number of conversions.

Google Performance Max is a logical extension of Google’s line of smart advertising capabilities, in which a specialist is provided with search engine assistance in preparing creatives.

There is definitely a trend towards replacing manual labor in setting up and managing advertising campaigns with artificial intelligence. This means that PPC professionals should think about their future in the medium term and, perhaps, shift the focus of their skills from collecting semantics, writing ads and placing bids towards strategy development, omnichannel, analytics, usability, A / B testing. , that is, on a set of works that surround the purchase of traffic in search engines and complement it.

Earlier, at a webinar at Ashmanov and Partners, I talked about the tendency in both Yandex and Google to reduce the manual control of advertising campaigns. At the same time, there is an upward trend in the automatic management of advertising systems using machine learning. 

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