02 Aug Benefits of Google Performance Max Campaigns
If you’ve been keeping up with Google Ads (or running your own ads) lately, you’ve probably noticed there’s a relatively new option available for small businesses to utilize when setting up their ad campaigns. Named Performance Max campaigns, these “combination campaign” types give customers a wide variety of benefits when creating, managing and optimizing their pay-per-click campaigns with Google.
In this month’s blog, we’ll look at four reasons you should consider using Google Performance Max campaigns (and one why you shouldn’t).
And awaaaay we go!
1. Ease of Set-Up
First off, setting up a Performance Max campaign makes other campaign set-ups look clunky and outdated. It’s a breeze to set up a new campaign. You just upload your creatives, add your variable headlines and descriptions, create an audience signal and you’re all set. It’s fast, convenient, and doesn’t require a ton of background knowledge about Google Ads to create something that would be effective.
If you’re pressed for time, or just want a thirty-thousand foot view of the workings of Google Ads, Performance Max offers that in spades.
2. Automated Bidding, Learning & Optimization
One of the biggest hassles and most annoying parts of running a Google Ad campaign in years past has been the consistent need to tinker with it to make sure you’re getting the best optimization possible with your campaign. This included adjusting things like creatives, targeting, audience, and more. There were so many options that nailing down the one single variable to tweak for success got difficult.
Performance Max removes a lot of that frustration for you. Instead of relying on manual input, it “uses machine learning models to optimize bids and placements to drive conversions or conversion value for your goals, but you provide important inputs like audience signals (including your customer data), and high quality text, images, and video that can significantly improve your campaign performance.”
Did I just rip that description straight from Google’s Help page about Performance Max? You bet I did. And I don’t mind. It saved time, which is exactly what Performance Max offers.
3. Diverse Creatives
One of the most time consuming parts of creating a successful and diverse campaign in Google Ads was trying to recreate content for each of the various types of ads. You had to create a search campaign, a video campaign, a display campaign, and on and on.
With Performance Max, you enter all your content into ONE system, and the computer learning models put the best assets in front of the best audience to optimize your campaign. No more duplicated work, trying to split the budget between various platforms, or worrying about your visibility in one particular area. Performance Max puts you in all the right formats with just one simple set up.
4. New Audience Signals
Want to put your ads in front of the right customers? Google made it easy with their audience signals. No more brackets and quotation marks for keyword targeting strategy. Instead, you can hit your customers when their browsing history shows them as likely candidates for your product or service.
But don’t just take my word for it – here’s how Google explained it themselves.
Sir Isaac Newton said that for every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction. He may have been talking about force and motion, but it’s also true in tech and advertising. For every benefit that a new offering brings to the table, there’s always a trade off. In my humble opinion, the drawback to these new campaign types is this:
5. Less Control
Depending on your age, you may or may not remember when cars and truck almost entirely transitioned from standard transmissions to automatic. At the time, I remember my father being completely disturbed. He didn’t want a machine telling him when and how to shift – he wanted to be in control of it himself. He wanted to have his finger on the proverbial pulse, to feel the tuning of the engine and be completely in lock-step with its every move. He wanted to rev the RPM’s up when the situation called for it, and coast in neutral when he saw fit.
Switching to Performance Max campaigns is kind of like that. You get the ease and convenience of a lot of automation, but you also miss out on some of the fine tuning and customization. You get less detailed control of placements, and keyword targeting is a much more marginalized practice. You gain a lot more simplicity and some cool new features, but have to relinquish a little bit of that control in order to maximize it most effectively.
For many of the readers who check out this blog (hi, mom!), Performance Max campaigns will be a blessing. You’ll put your ads in front of a more diverse audience, spend less time doing set up, and remove “optimize Google Ads” from your daily to-do list (although, you probably still shouldn’t ignore it altogether. Even the best AI algorithms get things wrong now and then). They’ll make your life easier, your ads more effective, and your campaigns stronger.
However, for those who really want to customize their approach and feel more in-tune with the results, it’s going to feel like a watered-down, diluted approach. It’s going from that standard transmission Firebird to the fully automatic Toyota. You’ll feel like you’re missing some of the power and “feel” for the campaign, even if you are enjoying not having to shift 800 times during a single commute around town.