Read Our Insights from Successful Ad Campaigns
Performance Max campaigns are highly automated so they need a lot of data to become optimized. Does this mean they’re only for big companies with huge ad budgets and a high volume of ad traffic? Here’s what we’ve learned so far from running Performance Max campaigns for small businesses.
Two Case Studies from Our Agency
At devEdge we’ve started using Performance Max campaigns for several of our small business clients. We share what we’ve learned in the following two case studies.
Our first foray into Performance Max was an effort to generate more leads for one of our long-standing clients. We wanted to reach more potential leads through additional channels, so Performance Max seemed like a good complement to the search campaigns we were already running.
At the time of writing, we’ve been running the campaign for about four months. It got off to a slow start as the algorithm took time to learn.
Performance improved significantly when we updated the audience signals after the first two months. The key was to add our remarketing list and a custom segment, which is basically a set of keywords. The campaign generated about 85% more leads in the two months since these updates as it did in the two months before.
We’ve been happy with the results of the campaign so far. The lead volume and cost-per-lead is in the range we wanted.
The most important lesson from our first Performance Max campaign was to give Google enough information (audience signals). The algorithm learns much faster if it has more data to work with, and actual ads and analytics data seem to work best.
Our second case study deals with an eCommerce client who wanted to increase their online sales. We were already running several Google Ads campaigns for the client. One of these was a Shopping campaign that wasn’t producing the results we had hoped to see. We decided to shut down the Shopping campaign and transfer its budget to a new Performance Max campaign.
We’ve seen good results from the new Performance Max campaign after running it for about 60 days. The campaign has slightly exceeded Google’s projected ROAS even in that short amount of time and with a budget lower than what Google suggested we would need. This point is especially important for small businesses with limited advertising budgets.
We are pleased with the results from Performance Max, which is making online sales with a ROAS that’s more than 5 times higher than what we were getting from our shopping campaign. Does this mean Performance Max is universally better than shopping? Of course not!
Performance Max worked better for us than shopping ads because we could include the product feed with other assets and show ads on a wider variety of channels at once. Most importantly, we were able to feed our Google Ads conversion data to the new campaign’s algorithm right from the start.
Something to watch out for: Google will take images from your product feed and line them up side-by-side to create display ads. If you have product variations with similar images, you may end up with a lot of repetition in your ads. You will not have much control over how the ads look.
A lot of the sales are probably repeat business. This aligns with our goals for the campaign, but the results may have been much different if we optimized the campaign to bid on new customers only.
Tips for Starting a New Performance Max Campaign
Based on our experience, we can offer some advice for anyone thinking of creating a Performance Max campaign for a small business.
What You Need to Get Started
Above all, you need a clear idea of your goal and months of conversion data you can feed to the machine learning algorithm. If your goal is not conversions, if you cannot track conversions, or if you have no historical conversion data, then Performance Max is not the right tool for you.
Setting up an audience signal makes a big difference. Number 7 in this list of Performance Max tips explains how to do it properly. Expanding the audience signal for our lead generation campaign really improved its performance, and we think our eCommerce campaign got off to a strong start thanks to its audience signal.
You will need all the creative assets you would use for responsive search and responsive display ads. You should also have a video, otherwise Google will create one out of the assets you provide.
How to Monitor Your New Campaign
Performance Max deserves its reputation for being more difficult to monitor than search or display campaigns. It’s possible to see a basic overview, but it’s harder to find out details about campaign performance.
The insights page provides some useful information. The consumer spotlight section of the insights page shows information about search terms and can tell you whether your conversions are coming from branded or non-branded keywords.
Overall the insights for Performance Max are not as useful as the data provided for a search or display campaign.
We recommend these articles, which helped us set up and optimize our campaigns:
- Performance Max Tips (Wordstream)
- How to Set Up Performance Max Campaigns the Right Way (Search Engine Land)
- Everything We Know about Performance Max (Search Engine Journal)
Need a Competitive Edge for Your Small Business Ads?
You can count on devEdge to maximize the reach of your ads. Get in touch and tell us about your business goals. We’ll use our Google-certified advertising expertise to choose the right strategy for you and optimize everything from keywords to copywriting.