Latest Insights Into Performance Max Updates in Google Ads

Updates to Google Ad feature Performance Max offers marketers a way to enhance their search and digital ad campaigns.

Google Ads has been available to marketers for 22 years — if it were a person, it would be a sophomore in college. Yet changes to Google Ad features over the years has sometimes left marketers feeling as they needed a college degree to understand the feature benefit.

In recent years Google has looked for ways to simplify the campaign workflow so that the benefits from the features were clearer. Its latest update is a goal-based campaign, Performance Max. It aims to simplify the decision-making behind managing campaign assets and reach so that marketers can stay focused on the messaging that sets up a great customer experience.

What Is Performance Max?

Performance Max is a Google Ads feature that streamlines campaign adjustments in all Google advertising channels. With Performance Max marketers can access their Google Ads inventory from a single campaign. Doing so eliminates the need for specialized ads for specific channels, reducing the planning time and organizing the workflow with the ad inventory in mind.

Performance Max ad campaigns are selected in the Google Ad account. Analysts navigate to the marketers, provide the ad copy and its associated headline, logo, image and video assets. Using smart bidding based on the marketer’s goal, Google applies machine learning to create a combination of the ad assets into an ad copy. The ad is then served across all the Google main channels: search, display, YouTube, maps, Gmail and discover.

Google rolled Performance Max out of its beta last November, adding Performance Max features to Google Ad Editor. Marketers naturally start a campaign in the editor, then select conversion goals settings. Each setting is meant to refine how Performance Max adjusts the campaign. The settings are meant to account for potential triggers where an ad may have a best chance for gaining a click — where the offer may lead to conversion. For example, there is a location-based setting.

Related Article: How Google Improved Data Blending in Google Data Studio

New Performance Max Settings

Since the emergence from beta, Performance Max has introduced additional settings. The newest four Performance Max settings were just released in July — Data Exclusion, Optimization Score, Seasonality and Explanations. Data Exclusion is a diagnostic indicator, identifying dates in which conversion issues were encountered within Google Ads. This allows the analyst to better address conversion rate accuracy during a critical campaign period. This is especially important if the data is exported for an advanced analytics model because data errors erode predictive models.

Seasonality allows marketers to make atypical adjustments for seasonal campaign bidding (I explain how to consider seasonality marketing in this post). Smart bidding already accounts for seasonal campaigns in its ad campaign settings. But marketers should stay alert to adjust when unusual real-life events may coincide with a seasonal campaign already planned. 

Optimization Score gives an indicator for improvement in ad performance. It is meant to reveal recommendations that lead to better results. The fourth new setting, Explanations, notes fluctuations in campaign performance.

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