Google Shopping

Uh oh. There was an error loading this page. Looks like you'll need to try again on a different web browser.

Sorry about that!

Your Performance Max checklist

Your Performance Max checklist

By Alia Binazzi, Account Strategy Lead and Zoe Lye, Account Manager, Google Shopping l Expertise Series [July 2022]

Performance Max is a new type of goal-based campaign from Google. It uses the platform’s best automation capabilities, allowing you to access your entire Google Ads inventory from a single campaign. Performance Max is designed to complement your keyword-based Search campaigns to help you find more converting customers across Google's channels, from YouTube, Display and Search, to Discover, Gmail, and Maps.

To help you build your Performance Max campaigns successfully, the Google Shopping (CSS) team designed a checklist with optimisation tips that you can find in this article. This step-by-step guide will take you through the following key Performance Max features, that the Google Shopping (CSS) team has identified as particularly important:

A. Budget and bidding

B. Campaign settings

C. Asset groups

D. Audience signals

E. Ad extensions & Account level settings

A. Budget and bidding

Setting your budget

A budget is a limit for how much you want to pay for your ads for a specific campaign, on average per day. For Performance Max, we recommend starting with a budget similar to an average 30-day spend for the products you are targeting. It’s important to ensure your campaign is not limited by budget, as this could limit your participation and the campaign’s learning.1

Setting your bid strategy

Based on your business performance goal, Performance Max will help you set the right bids for every auction and optimise the campaign to deliver optimal results. Performance Max provides two bidding options: Maximise Conversions and Maximise Conversion Value.

  • Use Maximise Conversions if you are looking at getting the most sale volume out of your assigned budget.

  • Use Maximise Conversion Value if you want the campaign to achieve the most revenue possible out of your assigned budget.

Key tip on Conversions and Conversion Value:

  • Conversions: You can select the checkbox for “Set a target cost per action (CPA)” if you have specific CPA to meet while maximising your sale volume.

  • Conversion value: You can also select the checkbox for “Set a target return on ad spend” if you have specific target ROAS you would like the campaign to meet while maximising your conversion value.



B. Campaign settings

When updating your campaign settings, we recommend turning on “Final URL expansion”.2,3 This replaces your Final URL with a more relevant landing page based on the user's search query and intent. It also customises a dynamic ad headline that matches your landing page content.

To allow your products to populate successfully in front of the right audience, ensure “country of sale” in the feed matches “country of sale” in the campaign.4

C. Asset groups

An asset group is made from the images, logos, headlines, descriptions, videos, and audience signals you add to your Performance Max campaign. You can create multiple asset groups per campaign.

How to start

Start by creating an Asset Group with assets that are all related to a single theme or audience. You can create multiple Asset Groups per campaign.

Ad strength

This will give you real-time feedback to help you create the optimal asset group for your campaign.2

Asset reviews and appeals

To keep ads safe and appropriate for different audiences, they need to comply with Google Ads policies and they are reviewed if they meet these criteria. In case one of your assets is disapproved or limited, you can use the ‘Self-Service Appeals’ to appeal the policy decision directly from your Google Ads account.2

Listing groups

Listing groups organise your listings by the attributes assigned to them in the Merchant Center and you can use them to manage which listings are included in your campaigns. You can create a group based on many different attributes, such as category, brand, item ID, condition, channel, or custom labels, like seasonal or bestseller.5

Video assets – best practices

You can add as many high-quality assets as you want (the more assets you provide, the more ad formats the system can create). Don’t worry if you’re missing an asset, such as a video; Google can automatically generate one video for you, using pictures from the asset group (when you have your own video ready, you can upload it to replace the auto-generated video). If you decide to upload your own video, please remember that it needs to be longer than 10 seconds and you are recommended to follow the best practices below:

  • Introduce the brand in the first five seconds – people who quickly skip the video will still see your brand.

  • Include audio to reach people who are only listening on YouTube as well.

  • Tightly frame the subjects and create memorable visual elements to grab people's attention.

D. Audience signals

Audience signals allow you to add audience suggestions that help Google Ads automation optimise for your selected goals. Although adding audience signals is optional, it's recommended to use them, as they can help you accelerate and guide the machine learning models to optimise your campaigns.2

Your data segments

You can use your own data segments to re-engage people who have previously interacted with your brand or services on mobile or desktop (note: your ads are shown to people in this segment as they browse Google or partner websites).

Custom data segments

If you want to find the right audience for you, custom segments automatically choose the audience that best fits the needs of your campaign. Based on your campaign goals and bidding strategy, the system will interpret all of those signals and choose an audience that's focused on reach, consideration, or performance.

Audience signals – best practices

If you decide to use audience signals for your Performance Max campaign, you may also ask yourself, how many audiences should I add? Will adding more audiences help my campaign perform better?

  • There is no indication that more audience lists will improve your Performance Max campaigns.

  • Use audience signals for audiences where data shows that they’re more likely to convert.

  • Add higher intent and more specific audiences – prioritise first-party lists like Remarketing, Customer Match, and Custom Audiences, as they allow you to provide your own customer insights.

E. Ad extensions & Account level settings

Ad extensions help your ads show up more prominently and also provide consumers with more helpful details about your business, including different ways they can contact you.

We recommend using all extensions relevant to your business goals, as this will help increase your visibility and engagement.2,6

If you need more control over where your ads appear, Performance Max uses the same brand safety settings you’ve applied at the account level. Simply go to your account settings to make the necessary adjustments.

Conversion goals

We recommend streamlining your conversion goals, so that they’re the same across all your performance campaigns (simply go to 'Tools and Settings', then click 'Conversions').2

Brand safety controls

You can add certain exclusions to your campaigns (either for content or inventory).

Key recommendation: follow the instructions in the table below to ensure your assets meet the required specifications for Performance Max campaigns.

1. Optimization tips for Performance Max, Google Ads Help Center.

2. Performance Max Implementation guide, shared by Google in the CSS Education Hub (2022).

3. Create a Performance Max campaign, Google Ads Help Center.

4. Create a Shopping campaign, Google Ads Help Center.

5. Manage a Performance Max campaign with listing groups, Google Ads Help Center.

6. About extensions, Google Ads Help Center.

This article was published by Google Shopping (CSS). Google Shopping is Google's CSS and a Premium CSS Partner.