Performance Max Migrations in Google Ads

So, many of you might have had Smart Shopping campaigns running in Google Ads that have been automatically migrated by the Google system to the new Performance Max (PMax) campaign type. You can find these campaigns pretty quickly, as Google used the same naming convention for those Smart Shopping campaigns that were migrated over to Performance Max. They are named PMax: Campaign Name.

At first glance, everything might seem fine. This new PMax campaign is running normally, and impressions, clicks, and conversions are coming in. Great. Everything is hunky dory. And you didn’t have to do anything! You just let it migrate and run.

However, when you look a little closer into these migrated PMax campaigns, you will see a whole lot of potential is being missed. We often see something like the screenshot below, where the migrated asset group is lacking in images, logos, headlines, long headlines, and descriptions.

In addition, we also see below where no Audience signals have been added to the migrated PMax campaign.

To realize the full potential of Performance Max on Google Ads, you will want to flesh out all the additional details you can utilize in a PMax campaign.

First, you should at least add one image for each of the three accepted ad sizes for Performance Max campaigns:

  • Landscape Image – 1200×628
  • Square Image – 1200×1200
  • Portrait Image – 960×1200

You can now load up to 20 images per asset group (up from 15), so if you really want to take advantage of the power of the Google smart bidding algorithms, you will want to add all of the 20 images allowed. This will give Google a greater variety of images to choose from and allow the system to test a greater combination of images/ad copy to find the variations that convert the best for your business.

As for logos, we sometimes see zero logos being migrated, so you’ll want to check that as well. You can add up to five logos, but you certainly want to add at least one square logo and one landscape logo for your business.

  • Logo Square – 1200×1200
  • Logo Landscape – 1200×300

In addition to the lack of images, we also see a dearth of ad copy in these migrated PMax campaigns. We often see only one headline, one long headline, and one description coming over in the automated migration. And more often than not, the one Description line that is being migrated over is being put into the Short Description entry field that only allows for a maximum of 60 characters – and quite often, this migrated Short Description exceeds the 60-character limit, so the line is flagged by Google as being an inappropriate entry for that Short Description field.

Ideally, you want to use the five Headline slots available (30 characters), the five Long Headline slots available (90 characters), and the five Description slots available (again, one of these is a Short Description field that only allows for 60 characters, while the other four Description slots allow for the normal full 90 characters). Note: there is an update coming where you can enter 15 headlines; we’ve just not seen it yet.

The Call to Action in the Asset group settings often defaults to Automated, which could be fine if you are okay with that. However, especially if you are an e-commerce business, you might want to change that to the Shop now option.

You should also double-check your Sitelinks to make sure they are the ones you want for the particular PMax campaign. Also, check your Promotion, Price, Structured Snippet, and Callout extensions. They might not be set up as you expected them to be, so you should take a few minutes to double-check those.

Finally, do not miss the opportunity to provide Google with Audience signals. This is where you can help guide the Google smart bidding algorithms toward the kinds of customers you want to attract to your business.

Using audience signals, you can tell Google which keywords you consider to be important for the campaign, which audiences you want to add to the mix, and whether they are a subset of your past customers/visitors and/or in-market audiences. You can even pick competitive websites to give the Google algorithm an idea of where else your customers might shop. In essence, these are not filters dwindling down your audience – these are just additional layers of guidance you are providing to the algorithm.

The more images, headlines, descriptions, sitelinks, and audience signals you give Google in your Performance Max campaigns, the better the system should work and get your ads in front of customers who are truly interested in interacting with your business.

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