How can I make the most of Google’s Performance Max campaigns?


Google’s ambition is to constantly improve advertisers’ performance on its advertising platform. Performance Max campaigns are completely in line with this approach. With this new function, the company offers an insight into the future of digital marketing and advertising, with automation as a lever for reaching new audiences and boosting conversion rates. However, this additional layer of automation, which relies on machine learning to create better-targeted and more effective campaigns, also forces advertisers to relinquish some of their control. To get the most out of this Google Ads lever, and place automation at the service of performance, it is essential to maintain control over your campaigns. Here’s how.

What are Google’s Performance Max campaigns?

Max Performance campaigns are a new type of Google Ads campaign which places greater emphasis on automation when creating adverts and, above all, when choosing the distribution channel (on Search and/or on the Google partners network).

The campaigns combine several automation technologies, in particular machine learning (namely progressive learning based on algorithms), which act on bidding, audience targeting, creations, and the most appropriate attribution method. In essence, advertisers enter basic data at the start of the campaign (text, images, and CTAs), and Google (on its own) adjusts the variables in order to optimise the distribution of ads and achieve the goals defined upstream – lead generation, engagement, conversions, sales, as well as cost per action and ROAS.

In this way, Performance Max campaigns help you improve your performance in real-time on all the relevant channels with the help of intelligent bidding strategies. These take account of the targets you have defined, the basic data, and also the attributes entered in your product catalog – including via additional sources.

What are the benefits of Performance Max campaigns?

There are three main benefits to using Google Performance Max campaigns in terms of conversions, value, and insights:

  • More conversions, thanks to largely automated campaigns that allow you to reach new audiences simultaneously on all distribution channels, meaning greater visibility and a higher number of visitors to your online store – some of them more qualified and, therefore, ready to make a purchase;
  • More value, by focusing efforts on the points of contact with the best performances. The machine learning models used in the frame of Performance Max campaigns help predict the most relevant ad combinations, identify the most effective creations and target the most qualified audiences – all thanks to a large volume of reliable and well-used data;
  • More insights, obtained through dedicated reporting on search trends, graphic design, and audience behaviour. This helps to optimise campaigns and maximise ROAS, and also better understand the functioning of automated models with a view to perfecting your campaigns.

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How to get the most out of Performance Max campaigns?

There is one downside to using automation models to optimise ads: it implies a significant loss of control since it requires an extensive delegation of how the ads are configured. This is precisely the case with Performance Max campaigns. Despite the undeniable benefits, it is important to maintain control over the most important aspects of your SEA strategy.

Thus, although the algorithm manages your Performance Max campaigns on its own, it is necessary to provide it with data upstream that is essential for optimising your Google Ads. What do you need to change to maintain maximum control over your campaigns?

  • As a first step, make sure you use your business data in your Google campaigns monitoring. With a feed manager such as Lengow, integrate your own data such as the inventory, seasonality, competitor prices, margin, etc. with our additional sources to create a complete product catalog in line with your company’s specific features. Next, use Google’s automatic rules, segments, and custom labels to easily define which products to distribute, at what price, and at what level of bidding, etc. That way you can ensure detailed advertising strategies based on reliable data!
  • Indicate your conversion targets. Note that Performance Max allows you to define several targets for one sole campaign, a function that makes the process more flexible.
  • Configure your daily budget and your bidding strategy (CPA, target ROAS, optimisation of ROI on Google Shopping, etc.). No hurry, it takes time to determine the ideal daily budget. Also, this budget should be defined in line with the bidding strategy. You can base your decisions on your business data, as seen in the first step.
  • Select the geographic target for your campaigns, as well as the language used.
  • Keep control of URLs. By default, Google defines the URLs for your ads itself with a view to improving their relevance.  But, it is best to suggest your own URLs according to your strategy. These URLs can be imported automatically through your product feed. 
  • Suggest your own creative assets: at least five — namely four titles and five descriptions. This variety allows Google Ads to test a large number of ad combinations for better results. Also, add visual assets (high-quality and optimised) and CTA.
  • Share your audience signals so that machine learning can take account of your existing audiences and refine its targeting so as to reach audiences that you feel have the greatest value. With this in mind, import similar audience and remarketing lists into the platform, which will help speed up the tool’s learning process.
  • Ask yourself whether Performance Max campaigns are really for you. This is the case if you have specific goals (in terms of conversion, lead generation, cost per action, ROAS, etc.), if you want to be able to access all Google Ads channels with one sole campaign, and if you aim to target new audiences and increase the value of your conversions.

Remember that the algorithm is constantly learning and that it needs time to perfect its understanding of your campaigns. On average, it takes about 6 weeks before you see the results.


In conclusion, Performance Max campaigns offer advertisers an interesting approach. Based on machine learning models, these campaigns help conquer new markets and optimise the performance of SEA acquisition strategies. However, they require a more thorough and precise configuration upstream. This helps you maintain maximum control over your campaigns!

Make the most of Google’s Performance Max campaigns!

Sofia Carvalho e Pereira

Sofia is a language enthusiast with an academical background in Linguistics and Strategic Communication and PR. Before joining Netrivals' and Lengow's e-commerce content team, she worked in diverse sectors as part of their marketing departments.

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