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Everything you need to know about Performance Max campaigns for eCommerce

In today’s technological world, we see new updates every day that aim at making the shopping experience easier for customers. However, not all these technical updates target customers. Some of them, for example, target the marketers and advertisers of eCommerce businesses and try to make it easier for them to reach their customers. 

For most eCommerce businesses today, Google Ads is one of the most effective and indispensable marketing channels on which they depend. The effectiveness of Google Ads comes from the fact that it allows you to market and advertises your eCommerce products using different types of campaigns and across different channels.

One of the most recently announced Google Ads campaign types is the Performance Max campaign. Google announced this campaign type in November 2021, and ever since then, the Performance Max campaign has been succeeding in replacing the Smart Shopping campaigns

Could the Performance Max campaign be the future of eCommerce advertising? In this article, we will walk you through everything you need to know about this new campaign type: what it means, how it works, why it should be used for eCommerce, and how.

Table of Content:

What are Performance Max Campaigns?

Performance Max CampaignsSource

Performance Max is a new goal-based campaign type in Google Ads that functions using automation, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. It aims at helping advertisers maximize the performance of their marketing campaigns, access all of their Google Ads inventory from a single campaign, and achieve their conversion goals.

Performance Max campaigns allow advertisers to leverage every single ad placement option on Google’s ad network at once. It also automates bidding using Google’s Smart Bidding and optimizes ad performance in real-time and across all channels to drive more conversions.

This new campaign type allows you to reach more converting customers and serve your ads across different Google channels, such as Gmail, Youtube, Display, Search, Discover Feed, Maps, and Shopping Ad Inventory. All this is done from a single campaign. 

Sounds too good to be true? Wait until you see how it works!

How do Performance Max Campaigns work?


The way Performance Max campaigns work is not that complicated. All this campaign requires from your marketing team and your advertisers to merely provide creative assets, select their marketing objective, choose the specific conversion goals that support this objective, and then let Google do its job. 

In other words, to set up a Performance Max campaign, you need to provide some inputs, such as Campaign goals, Creative assets (ad copy, text, images, videos, CTA), Audience Signals, Language and geo-tracking, Shopping feed, and Budget.

Once you provide the following inputs, Google will take care of the rest:

  • Ad Copy: Just like Search Ads and Discovery Ads, a Performance Max campaign requires you to add headlines and descriptions. The main difference lies in the number of headlines:

Performance Max campaign requirements

  • Images or Videos: You need to provide images and videos among your assets. You’ll need to add a maximum of 5 logos, 15 images, and 5 videos. However, you should take care of the format you are using. To better illustrate, the format of the videos should be the same format used for Youtube campaigns. As for images, there is a required number of formats, meaning that Google expects at least 1 square and 1 landscape logo and at least 2 to 3 images in the same formats.
  • Call-To-Action (CTA): It is usually automated by default or selected from a list. You are required to provide only one CTA.
  • Shopping Feed: If you do not already have a shopping feed, you will have to create one, import it into Google Merchant Center, which is a hub that connects your products feed to Google’s system, and then link it to your Google Ads account.
  • Audience Signals: Adding audience signals to your assets is considered optional, and in all cases, Google will target your ads beyond the audience signals you provide. However, providing some signals yourself can improve the results of your campaign. The signals you can add to your assets include custom segments, remarketing lists, interests, and demographics. 

Performance max campaign Audience SignalsSource

So, we have already covered that you need to identify your marketing objective, conversion goals, and a group of assets. Another important thing you need to decide is your budget and bidding, which you will find in a section called “Budget and Bids”. There are two different bidding options that you can choose from:

  • Conversions: here the campaign attempts to reach the target CPA that you enter.
  • Conversion Value: here the campaign attempts to reach the target ROAS that you enter.

After that, Google uses machine learning to utilize all your inputs and creates a mix of campaign types and ad formats to achieve your campaign goals. 

5 Reasons why you should use Performance Max campaigns for eCommerce

The Performance Max campaign has a lot of benefits for all types of businesses in general and for eCommerce businesses, in particular. The secret lies in the automation technology that this campaign utilizes, which facilitates for eCommerce businesses so many processes such as reaching customers and lead generation. 

The following are reasons why you should use Performance Max campaigns for your eCommerce business:

1- It maximizes your reach

The fact that this new campaign type shows up across all Google Ads inventory, channels, and formats is a great guarantee for the maximization of your reach, the unlocking of new audiences, and the generation of new leads. It helps you reach your customers or prospects wherever they are and whenever it is convenient for them. 

Moreover, by providing audience signals, the Performance Max campaign leverages these inputs and utilizes them to create campaigns customized to each audience segment, which helps in attracting potential customers.

The campaign can also use Google’s real-time understanding of customers’ preferences, combine it with the audience signals you provide, and unlock new customer segments that may not have been expected by you.

Performance Max campaign reachSource

2- It helps you in your omnichannel marketing

Omnichannel marketing for eCommerce is all based on the idea of offering your products or services across different channels, platforms, and devices in an integrated and synchronized way in order to provide customers with a seamless shopping experience. 

By giving you the chance to promote your eCommerce store across the entire Google network, which includes several significant channels, the Performance Max campaign is helping advance your omnichannel marketing. 

3- It increases conversion and online sales

Another benefit that the Performance Max campaign offers for eCommerce businesses is that it increases conversions, which in turn, maximizes sales and revenues. To demonstrate, the Performance Max campaign uses something called “conversion-focused optimizations”, which is a technology that can predict which messages work best for converting users. 


4- It gives you more insights 

The Performance Max campaign has a reporting system that can enrich you with very useful insights. For example, it can help you figure out which ad creatives are positively affecting performance and which are not so that you can optimize your campaign. Other informative insights can include new search trends for instance. 

5- It provides you with a high level of automation

Aren’t you just tired of doing things manually? 

Well, automation is the most obvious benefit offered by the Performance Max campaign and one of the reasons why you should start using it in your eCommerce business.

When you are creating a manual campaign, there are so many things that you have to decide and specify yourself; however, with the Performance Max campaign, Google handles almost everything. This definitely saves a lot of time and effort. 

Some people even say that the automation provided by this campaign type solves a problem that Google calls the “Messy Middle”. The messy middle is the center of a consumer decision-making model formulated by behavioral science experts. This model tries to show how consumers decide what to buy. At the center of this model exists the “messy middle”, which is a complex space between triggers and purchases, where customers are won and lost.

The automation offered by the Performance Max campaign allows your eCommerce business to reach its customers in the “messy middle”.


Best practices to use the Performance Max campaigns for your eCommerce business

Well, we have already covered how the performance max campaign works. Now, let us tell you about some practices that will make your eCommerce business get the maximum benefits from this campaign type:

1- Put careful thought into your inputs

The more effort and time you dedicate to choosing your inputs, the better the results of the campaign will be. You should:

  • Stick to the requirements of the texts, images, and videos.
  • Choose your audience signals carefully and incorporate the data of your eCommerce brand’s customers. 
  • Make sure your shopping feed has enough structured product data.
  • Run a profitability analysis for your eCommerce advertising campaigns in order to properly determine your budget.
  • Do not let go of your Search Campaigns

The huge amount of benefits of the Performance Max campaign does not mean that you should let go of your Search campaigns. In other words, the Performance Max Campaign does not replace existing Search campaigns as much as it complements them and respects your keyword targeting. 

2- Take advantage of the “Final URL Expansion” feature

The “Final URL Expansion” feature is automatically turned on in the Performance Max campaign. It is a technology that uses different landing pages on the advertiser’s website as a kind of experiment for campaign optimization purposes. 

3- Set up Ad Extensions

Ad extensions are extra pieces of information that you can include with your ads. The Performance Max campaign allows you to set up ad extensions, which is a feature that you should definitely take advantage of. For example, adding an additional link to an informational page on your eCommerce website or adding a link to your blog will indeed help you connect better with your customers. 

4- Constantly evaluate your assets

It is true that the Performance Max campaign relies on automation. However, you should not forget that there are still some inputs that you provide and that these inputs should be regularly reviewed and evaluated. 

Speaking of automation, today, there are automation marketing tools that can help you double the benefits that you are getting from the Performance Max campaign. ConvertedIn is a very effective automation tool that will make it easier for you to:

  • Segment your target audience, which will help you provide accurate audience signals among your inputs to the campaign. 
  • Reach your customers across your different channels by building, customizing, automating, and launching personalized ads, SMS, and email marketing campaigns effortlessly. This will go hand in hand with the Performance Max campaign in making your omnichannel experience more successful. 

What are you waiting for? Book your Demo now and enjoy this marketing automation system that will do it all for you.