Google Updates Performance Max Best Practices Guide

Google has updated its best practices guide for Performance Max campaigns to include new strategies tailored for retail marketers.

The guide outlines how retailers can create and optimize Performance Max campaigns, transition from Smart Shopping and Local campaigns, and leverage reporting to gain insights.

After reviewing and comparing the updated Performance Max best practices guide to the previous version, I spotted numerous new sections and advice.

Here’s an overview of what’s new.

More Context On Performance Max Benefits

The updated best practices guide underscores how Performance Max campaigns can help retailers optimize ad spending across Google’s search, display, YouTube, and other inventory.

In short – Performance Max utilizes AI to present customers with the most relevant combination of ad creatives across devices and marketing channels.

More Guidance On Budgeting & Bidding

The revised guide includes a section dedicated to leveraging Google’s Performance Planner for optimizing budgets and bids.

Performance Planner gives retailers suggested budget and bid adjustments to help campaigns achieve better performance for the same spend.

Additionally, the guide offers tips on demand forecasts to understand predicted trends relevant to your business.

A/B Testing

The guide encourages marketers to experiment to measure the uplift in conversion value from switching to Performance Max.

“If you are running Standard Shopping campaigns, you can run an experiment in order to measure the uplift in conversion value from switching to Performance Max.

… If you’re satisfied with the results of your A/B experiment, you can then continue running your new Performance Max campaign to replace your Standard Shopping campaign.”

Strategic Targeting Around Major Events

The guide provides tips on strategies like lower ROAS targets to increase visibility for high-priority products leading to significant retail moments.

Google states:

“For example, you may want a campaign for holiday merchandise, a campaign for high-margin products, and a campaign for everything else. Setting a lower ROAS target can also help maximize visibility for these products…”

Setting a more aggressive ROAS goal pre-holidays can help ensure you don’t miss out on sales from shoppers researching purchases.

Updates to the guide also cover scheduling tools to activate seasonal or promotional creative assets at strategic times to align with sales events.

Streamlining Campaign Structure

To help Performance Max campaigns learn faster, Google advises consolidating campaign structures where possible.

Google suggests:

“When setting up a new Performance Max campaign, you should consolidate your campaign structure where you can. Google AI works best when it can optimize performance across channels using a unified budget. “

However, the guide notes that separate campaigns make sense in some instances.

The guide details when to use multiple campaigns versus asset groups to optimize different products and promotions.

More Ways To Reach High-Value Customers

With the latest Performance Max capabilities, retailers can optimize for acquiring high-value customers.

Google highlights:

“New Customer Acquisition with High Value optimization is also now available in beta to help you optimize for new customers with high predicted lifetime value.”

This new goal helps you maximize revenue from new shoppers while getting sales from existing ones.

This section also covers measuring in-app conversions for retail apps and using a retailer’s first-party customer data.

New Insights & Reports

The guide concludes with a thorough review of reporting and insights, focusing on using retail-centric reports.

New reporting features include:

  • Asset group metrics
  • Performance change explanations
  • Creative strength assessments
  • Product-level insights

Google urges retailers to utilize product and category insights on the Products page to optimize performance based on market potential.

In Summary

Google’s updated Performance Max best practices guide offers retailers new tips and strategies to optimize ad campaigns on Search, YouTube, Display, and more.

The revised guide covers A/B testing, budgets and bidding, targeting major retail events, streamlining campaign structure, and acquiring high-value customers.

It also touches on new reporting features to glean product-level and category insights for driving better campaign performance.

Featured Image: DANIEL CONSTANTE/Shutterstock