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  • Writer's pictureMartin Roberts

Say Goodbye to Google Smart Shopping Campaigns with Performance Max Campaigns!

Performance Max campaigns have taken the advertising world by storm since they launched in November 2021. In September 2022, all Smart Shopping campaigns were replaced by Performance Max campaigns.

This post will explore how Performance Max campaigns can revolutionise your e-commerce business.

performance max campaigns

What is a Google Shopping Performance Max campaign?

Performance Max is a campaign that allows advertisers to show their ads across multiple Google networks. It is an advanced version of the standard Shopping campaign. It's designed to maximise performance by using machine learning to optimise real-time bids and placements.

Performance Max uses automated bidding strategies and machine learning to target users likely to buy. Advertisers can reach potential customers across all of Google's platforms, e.g. Search, Display, and YouTube.

Advertisers must have an active Merchant Center account to create a Performance Max campaign. The products they want to advertise should be uploaded to the Merchant Center. Once the product data is uploaded, advertisers can create a Performance Max campaign in their Google Ads account. Once the campaign is active, it optimises bids and placements in real-time to achieve the best possible results.

Performance Max campaigns are an effective way to maximise your reach and drive more conversions. Performance Max campaigns have advanced bidding strategies and machine-learning capabilities. Performance Max helps advertisers get the most out of their shopping ads campaigns.

How do I start a Performance Max campaign?

If you want to start a Performance Max campaign on Google, you'll be glad to know that the process is relatively straightforward. Here are the basic steps you need to follow:

Set up a Google Ads account

To start a Performance Max campaign, you must have a Google Ads account. If you don't have one, you can easily set one up by visiting the Google Ads website and following the prompts.

Create a new Performance Max campaign

Once you have set up your account, navigate to the Campaigns tab and click the blue plus sign to create a new campaign. From the list of campaign types, select "Performance Max" and give your campaign a name.

Set your campaign goals

You must select your campaign goals when setting up your Performance Max campaign. You can choose between generating website conversions, driving store visits, or combining the two.

Set your budget and bids

Next, you'll need to set your daily budget and bids. Your bids will determine how much you will pay for clicks on your ads. You can choose between manual or automated bidding.

Create your ad groups

After setting your budget and bids, you'll need to create your ad groups. Ad groups allow you to group your ads based on specific themes or products.

Create your ads

Finally, you'll need to create your ads. You can create a variety of ad formats, including text ads, responsive search ads, and image ads. Make sure to include compelling ad copy and high-quality images to grab the attention of potential customers.

Once you have completed these steps, you can launch your Performance Max campaign and drive traffic to your website.

When should I use Performance Max campaigns?

When you want to maximise your reach

Performance Max campaigns can help you expand your reach to new audiences. Performance Max campaigns can be a great option if you have a large inventory of products and want to showcase them to more potential customers.

When you want to simplify your advertising

Are you tired of managing multiple campaigns for your shopping ads? Performance Max can simplify the process by automatically optimising your bids and budgets.

When you want to improve your ad performance

If your shopping ads are underperforming, Performance Max campaigns can help. These campaigns use advanced targeting options and bidding strategies to help you reach your goals.

It's important to note that Performance Max campaigns are unsuitable for all businesses. If you have a limited budget or a small inventory, you may be better off using other types of campaigns.

Google Shopping Performance Max Pros and Cons


Increased Efficiency

With Performance Max, you don't need to manually adjust your bids or targeting, as the campaign does it for you.

Enhanced Reach

With Performance Max, you can reach a wider audience across Google Search, YouTube, and the Google Display Network.

Better ROI

Performance Max can help you increase your return on investment (ROI) by optimising your shopping campaigns. This is because the campaign is focused on driving high-quality traffic and conversions.


Limited Control

Performance Max gives you less control over your campaign than traditional shopping campaigns. While this can be a benefit in terms of automation, it also means that you can't manually adjust your bids or targeting.

Higher Cost

While Performance Max can be more efficient in time, it can be more expensive than traditional shopping campaigns. This is because the campaign is focused on driving high-quality traffic and conversions, which can lead to higher costs per click.

Learning Curve

If you're new to Performance Max, it can take time to understand how the campaign works and how to optimise it for your business. This can be a learning curve, especially if you're unfamiliar with automation and machine learning.

6 Google Performance Max Optimisation Tactics

Google Performance Max campaigns are a powerful tool to help you maximise the Performance of your Google Shopping ads. But you must optimise these campaigns effectively to get the most out of them. Here are six tactics to help you optimise your Performance Max campaigns:

Focus on high-performing products

Performance Max campaigns automatically adjust bids based on the product's Performance. So focus your attention on your top-performing products to ensure they receive maximum exposure.

Use negative keywords

Use negative keywords to exclude irrelevant searches from your ads, ensuring they appear only for relevant searches. This will improve your click-through rate (CTR_ and conversion rate.

Leverage innovative bidding strategies

Intelligent bidding strategies, such as Target Return on Ad Spend and Target Cost Per Acquisition, can help you optimise your bids and improve Performance.

Segment your product groups

You can adjust bids and tailor your ad copy to specific products or categories by segmenting your product groups. This can help you maximise the relevance of your ads and improve your conversion rates.

Test different ad creatives

Try out different ad creatives, including headlines, descriptions, and images. This can help you improve your ad click-through rate and conversion rate.

Monitor and adjust regularly

Regularly monitor and adapt Performance Max campaigns based on data analysis. Fine-tune bids, ad copy, and targeting for improved performance.

Google Performance Max Results

Performance Max is a powerful tool for online retailers looking to boost their Google Shopping campaigns. It promises to improve ad performance, increase conversions, and drive sales. But what kind of results can you expect from a Performance Max campaign?

The answer depends on several factors, including your industry, target audience, and marketing budget. But generally speaking, Performance Max has been shown to deliver some impressive results.

Performance Max campaigns can increase conversions by up to 50% because they use machine learning to optimise your ad. This ensures your products are shown to the right people at the right time.

Performance Max campaigns have been shown to drive more traffic to your site. This is because the ads are shown in more places across Google's advertising network, including on YouTube and Gmail.

Performance Max has been shown to lower cost-per-click (CPC) and cost-per-acquisition (CPA). By optimising your ads for maximum Performance, Performance Max helps you get more out of your marketing budget.

Google Ads Success Story

Scaffolding Direct, a scaffolding supplier based in the UK, achieved remarkable results with Google Shopping Ads.

With targeted campaigns and optimised product listings created by North Wales Digital, the company experienced a significant increase in traffic and profits.

By reaching a specific audience actively searching for their products, Scaffolding Direct achieved a remarkable 1500% return on ad spend (ROAS). This success showcases the power of Google Shopping Ads when implemented correctly.

Tips for Making Google Performance Max Campaigns Work Well

Provide detailed information

Make sure you provide accurate details about your products. This helps Google show your products to the right people when they search for something.

Use eye-catching images

Choose high-quality pictures that show off your products in the best way. People who see attractive images are more likely to be interested and buy from you.

Write catchy titles and descriptions

Create exciting and relevant titles and descriptions for your products. Use words that people might search for and highlight the best things about your products to get their attention.

Try different bidding strategies

Experiment with different ways of setting your bids to see what works best. Intelligent bidding strategies like Target ROAS or Target CPA can help you get more sales while controlling costs.

Group your products

Divide your products into groups based on what they are and who might want them. Then, adjust your bids for each group. This way, you can show suitable ads to the right people and increase sales.

Keep an eye on your campaign

Regularly check how well your campaign is doing and make changes based on the information you get. Look at how many people see your ads, how many click on them, and how many buy something. This helps you improve your campaign and make it more successful.

Try different things

Be open to trying new ad formats, designs, and ways of showing your products. Test them out and see which ones work better. It's like a fun experiment that can help you sell more!

Keep learning and improving

The world of digital advertising is constantly changing. Stay up to date with the latest trends and features. Keep refining your campaign to stay ahead of competitors and maximise new opportunities.


Performance Max is a huge step forward in the evolution of e-commerce advertising. It delivers higher conversion rates than its predecessor, Google Smart Shopping.

If you're looking for a way to stay ahead of the competition, use this cutting-edge technology to grow your business. Ready to take your Google Shopping Ads to the next level? Let us help you optimise your campaigns, reach your target audience, and maximise your return on investment. You can get in touch here!

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