Performance Max Campaigns in Google Ads – The Basics

SocialB Digital Marketing Blog Last modified: 14 Jun 2022 by Pooja Shevade
Digital Strategy | Ecommerce | Paid Search (PPC)

Google Ads is introducing Performance Max Campaigns in 2022. All Smart Shopping campaigns will be upgraded to this new campaign type in July 2022. In this article, we will cover the basics of Performance Max Campaigns and highlight the pros and cons to help you decide if this campaign type is right for you.

What Are Performance Max Campaigns?

Advertisers can use a single campaign to access all of their Google Ads inventory using the Performance Max Campaigns. This campaign type is goal-based and works in tandem with your Search Campaigns to help you convert customers not only on Google Search and Shopping but also on other Google networks like YouTube, Display, Search, Discover, Gmail, and Maps.



Google’s Smart Bidding and Performance Max feature helps you optimise your conversions and conversion value in real-time, based on your advertising objectives. Google takes into account signals from your product feeds, audiences, creatives, etc. and uses this information to automate bidding, budget optimisation, attribution, and other areas, to help you meet your advertising goals.


What are the Pros and Cons of Using a Performance Max Campaign?


Overcoming the barrier to start. Easy for new advertisers who prefer to set up one single campaign to manage all their assets and advertising.

  • Automation of bids and budgets across all Google Platforms to optimise conversions (E.g.: sales) and conversion value (E.g.: revenue.). Google’s Machine Learning optimises the ads, audience and creative combination that would work best for your conversion goals
  • Increase customer base by reaching out to newer audiences using Google’s real-time data on shopper intent and preferences
  • Create and use high-quality and targeted assets to best suit your audience for greater impact and more control of your campaigns.
  • Identify assets that help drive more ROI


  • Similar to Smart Shopping Campaigns, Google gives you access to some data (e.g., Audience segments) but not to all your campaign data. This means that you are limited in terms of what information can be used to optimise your campaign.
  • Although, the Performance Max campaign makes it easy to manage all channels through a single campaign, optimising for each channel is not an option. You cannot slice and dice data at a granular level for each channel to make impactful campaign changes. Cross-channel cannibalisation is also difficult to visualise and interpret.
  • No control over device optimisation like Device-level bid adjustments or access to device-specific data.
  • If you do not have clear conversion goals for Google to optimize for, then your Performance Max campaigns will not perform the way you want them to. You need to provide high-quality assets and well-defined goals for Google’s AI to work its magic.


When To Use a Performance Max Campaign?

Performance Max would work well for smaller businesses, looking to set up a simple Google campaign to evaluate if it is a good fit for their business goals. It could also work for advertisers who want to appear on all of Google’s advertising platforms but have access to all of this through a single unified campaign.

Based on the cons mentioned in the above section Performance Max may not be the best option for retailers looking to fully optimise their advertising efforts or those who need a greater control on their campaigns compared to the ease of use of automated campaigns.


According to Google, Performance Max is the best option to use when:

  • You have specific advertising and conversion goals (for example, driving online sales, lead generation, and others).
  • You want to maximise the performance of your campaign, and you aren’t limited by which channel your ads appear on.
  • You want to easily access all of Google’s advertising channels using a single campaign.
  • You want to get additional reach and conversion value beyond keyword-based Search campaigns.



What happens to the search campaigns? Should you stop them?

NO!!! You must run the Performance Max Campaign alongside your core campaigns. Keep investing in your Search campaigns and running them with Performance Max to see the best results. This will help you ensure the reach of your campaigns. Search campaigns would give you more control on keywords but also give you more visibility in terms of data and a higher control in optimising your campaigns. Running performance max alongside your core standard campaigns would be the ideal strategy to help you reach your advertising objectives. As it’s best not to put all your eggs in one basket 🙂

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