How to improve Performance Max Campaigns

Published at Sep 14, 2022

How to improve Performance Max Campaigns

How to improve Performance Max Campaigns

There is a lot of chatter regarding PMAX campaigns and their efficiency and/or Return on Ad Spent [ROAS].
Truth be told, there is some misinformation out there regarding what you can and can’t do.
I will try to provide some information about the current state of PMAX campaigns and my own experiences managing multiple PMAX campaigns for eCommerce clients.

Let’s start with the basics.

An asset group is a set of creatives that will be used to create an ad depending on the channel it’s being served on.


Final URL
Long headline
Business name
Call to action
Display URL path

Square logo
Landscape logo
Maximum number of images: 15
Maximum number of logos: 5
Formats accepted: JPG or PNG
Maximum file size: 5120KB
Image safe area: center 80%

Duration: longer than 10s
Maximum number of videos: 5

Truth[s], and misconceptions

PMAX campaigns work on all of Google’s networks. This can be a problem for advertisers that want to maintain control over the exposure of their ads.
For example, some advertisers don’t want to have exposure to Search Partners Network.
With PMAX campaigns, you don’t have the luxury of choice.

PMAX can and will generate video for your ads. This will prove beneficial for advertisers that don’t have the luxury of media production.
For brands that have the luxury of exceptional media production and want control of their visual identity, this will be an undesirable effect.

PMAX does not allow for negative keyword lists and/or negative placement lists. That said, it will honor negative placement lists found at the account level.

PMAX will not cannibalize your campaigns as long as your campaigns have a good enough ad rank. Do note that ad rank is not available in every type of campaign.

Re cannibalization: In Search, when a query exactly matches (including spell corrected queries) an exact, phrase or broad match keyword within a Search campaign, that will be prioritized in serving over Performance Max. IOW, your Search keywords trump Performance Max

PMAX requires at least 2 days in order to approve an ad. That said, it can take everything from 2 weeks to up to 8 weeks in order for the campaign to exit the learning period. This translates as hyper volatile results, and you should avoid making significant changes to your PMAX campaigns.

PMAX campaigns do not allow for text pinning. This means that your text ads and the text on your other ads will rotate based on searchers’ queries. You should create text ads [assets] that allow for multiple variations while also being factual.

PMAX does not allow for audience targeting. Instead, audience signals are used in order to guide the system to meet your goals.
Also, no, you can’t really use PMAX campaigns solely for remarketing purposes.

PMAX allows for combining product sets with asset groups. This allows you to create better ads for your products. In order to do that, you will need to create new asset groups and select the product set inside the listing groups.

PMAX allows for extensions as of now. More precisely, allow for some extensions with the promise of adding more in the foreseeable future. The extensions that are available now are: sitelinks, call, and locations. You should be using the sitelinks extensions in my opinion.

PMAX has started to share some audience insights. The insights will differ depending on the data found in the account and/or if the PMAX was upgraded from smart shopping campaigns. This might be beneficial for some advertisers because it will show search terms and audiences that responded favorably to your ads ie converted.
Also, PMAX will inform you about how audiences responded to your assets eg luxury shoppers are interacting 1.1x more with this Text.


That said, PMAX is a fairly new thing in the advertising marketplace, and you should be adding it to your PPC strategy, if you have the data and the proper conversion tracking. If you don’t have the data, then PMAX will find it extremely hard in order to get you conversions. If you don’t have the proper tracking then PMAX will also have a hard time getting you conversions.

That said, you shouldn’t rely solely on PMAX in order to drive conversions for your accounts. Instead, you should add PMAX alongside other campaigns such as Search, Display, Discovery, and YouTube.
You should also be mindful of ad rank in order to better understand how your other ads are performing. You should also be mindful of the assets inside PMAX campaigns.
This means that you should choose text, images, and videos that match well together in all ad variations, placements, and networks.

In brief, if you want to optimize your PMAX campaigns, you will need to check the following options

  • check your location targeting
  • check your language targeting
  • check your assets [text]
  • check your assets [image]
  • check your assets
  • check your audiences
  • check your insights
  • check your listing groups
  • check your asset groups
  • check your segmentation
  • check your customer acquisition tactics
  • check your bidding strategy
  • check your Final URL expansion settings
  • check your extensions
  • check your budget

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