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Performance Max

How To Setup A Performance Max Campaign In Google Ads

Performance Max is a new campaign type in your Google Ads account. You create it in the same way that you create other campaigns like Search, Display, Video and so on.


This campaign type allows you to drive conversions across all of Google networks with a single campaign. So, it is a combination of all Google networks and platforms.


This is an automated campaign that uses machine learning to find conversions where and when they happen across the Google network. Using the goals you’ve set in your campaign, it will find potential customers including new ones across Google. So, it saves you a lot of time with its efficiency, and effectively drives sales or leads by doing the heavy lifting for you.


As a goal-based campaign, it is designed to complement your keyword-based Search campaigns to help you find customers across Google channels like YouTube, Video, Display, Search, Discover, Gmail and Maps.


Performance Max Objectives


Performance Max is available for sales, leads, website traffic and local store visits and promotions objectives. You can also create a Performance Max campaign without goal’s guidance, but you will not get recommendations based on an objective.

Campaign Goals


Performance Max Benefits

These are some of the main benefits of running Performance Max campaigns

  1. Unlock new audiences across Google’s channels and networks
  2. Drive better performance against your goals
  3. Get more transparent insights
  4. Simplify campaign management and easily optimise your ads


When to use it


Like Search campaigns, Performance Max is best used when you have specific advertising goals such driving online sales or lead generation.


Also, if you want to maximise the performance of your campaign but don’t want to limit yourself on the channels to advertise on, then this is the campaign type for you. With other campaign types like Search, Display and Video you can choose the exact channels and placements to advertise on. So, with Performance Max you want to easily access all advertising channels from a single campaign.


Campaign inputs


Performance Max uses machine learning capabilities to set bids and place your ads on the channels and placements that will drive the best conversion and conversion value for your business. However you’ll still need to provide some inputs like ad text, images, video and audience signals including your customer data.


Budget and bidding


For your budget, think about how often you want to appear and how many visitors you want to bring to your website. A higher budget usually leads to better performance overall because you’re able to get more impressions and clicks. And you’re likely to get more conversions from better performing searches, placements and audiences because you’re casting your net wider.


In the budget section, enter the average amount you want to spend each day. You won’t pay more than your daily budget times the average number of days in a month, 30.4 days. Some days you may spend less and on some you may spend up to twice as much when there is opportunity for your ads to perform better.


Google Ads Budget


After entering your budget you will see an estimated weekly conversion count for your Sales objective. And if you have any conversion history in your account, this influences the estimates that you see here. If not, the estimate is based on other advertisers’ history and provides a reference for how your campaign may perform.


Performance Max Bid strategy


Performance Max uses Smart bidding and drives performance based on your goals, by delivering conversions and value in real-time.


For a Sales objective you’ll have access to two bid strategies: Maximise Conversions with the option to set a target cost per action and Maximise Conversion Value with the option to set a target return on ad spend.




There are three main options to setting up your location targeting and they are:


Location Targeting

⁃ All countries and territories – if what you are offering is relevant to people across the globe whether it’s a Software-as-a-service (SaaS) or you ship products to all countries, then this could work for you. However, it’s usually best to break down campaigns by regions and countries so you can tailor messages and languages to those countries including shipping costs. So, this one should be avoided by most advertisers even some who want to reach customers in all countries and territories.

⁃ The country that you are targeting – by default this will be for the country that your account is primarily targeting. In this case as the image above shows is the United Kingdom. Country targeting is one of the most popular options in Google but you can narrow it to specific locations in the country.

⁃ Enter another location – use this option if you want to target another country, city, region or postcode. And you can target multiples of these too by entering one location at a time and then clicking the ‘target’ link. This option also allows you to exclude countries, cities, regions or postcodes that you don’t want to advertise in.

⁃ Advanced search – this option allows you to use advanced features like radius targeting and adding bulk locations. Adding a radius around a location like a city or postcode helps you to target people within a radius of that location, like 20 miles for example. And with bulk locations, you can add many locations to target in one go, saving you a lot of time. And the map shows you which areas you’re targeting and which ones are excluded.

Advanced Location Targeting



Add the languages that your prospects speak.


It’s important to note that many people are multi-lingual and that the language they set for their browser settings is not the only language they speak. For example, some Spanish speakers will set their browser settings to Spanish but will search for products or services in English and so it would be a good idea to add both as languages to target.

Language Targeting

In the box, start typing or select a language from the list that is relevant for you.  You can select All languages or choose the specific languages that you want to target. There are about 50 languages to choose from in the list.


Ad schedule


Choose the days and hours that you would like to run your ads on. The default setting is that your ads will run on all days. This works for most advertisers and there may be little need to change it. It also helps to see which are your best days and hours and later you can adjust the ad schedule to run the ads then only.

Ad Schedule

Your ad schedule settings are based on the account time zone that you set when you created your account. So, if you’re targeting multiple countries for example, you should be aware that your audiences may see the ads in times that you’ve not intended.


Performance Max Asset group


With Performance Max, your ads can appear across the web on Google-owned and operated platforms like YouTube, Gmail, Search, Display and Discover. Your ads will appear there automatically to help you get as many clicks and conversions as possible.


As you create your asset group, you’ll be able to see what your ads will look like on each of these platforms for both desktop and mobile users.


First, start with naming your asset group. Make it something relevant to what you’re promoting so that you and others managing your campaigns will easily identify it when looking at reports.


Next, provide each of the assets below :


Final URL – add a landing page to send visitors to when they click your ad. There’s an option to send traffic to the URL that you provide only. However, the default option for Final URLs for Performance Max campaigns is that the system will send traffic to the most relevant URLs on your website. So, Google will automatically update the headline for each ad to match search intent, and drive to the best landing page for conversion.


Final URL Assets


Images – you can add up to 15 images in landscape, square and portrait image sizes in jpg, png and gif formats. And the system gives you a list of the recommended sizes for each of these. It’s also important to note that the maximum file size for any image is 5120 KB.


Logos – you can add up to five logos that relate to your brand. So, you can add your logo in different sizes and formats in jpg, static gif and png formats.


Videos – Google allows you to add up to five videos. These should be available in YouTube and all you need to do is search for the videos or add the video URL and the system will find them and you can add them. If you don’t have any videos, Google will create videos automatically, when possible.


Assets Performance Max


Headlines – you can add up to five headlines with a 30 character limit for each. The headlines are one of the most visible of all features in your ads, so they should be impactful and include your main benefits and features. These will be combined with your other assets to create your ads.


Long Headlines – the long headlines can be up to 90 characters each and appear instead of your short headlines in larger ads. They may appear with or without your descriptions and the rendered headline will depend on the website it appears on.


Descriptions – you can add one 60-character description and up to four other descriptions of 90 characters each. The descriptions allow you to go into more detail about your products or services. So you can write full sentences and add some great benefits and features and a call to action. Like other assets they won’t all appear at the same time but the system will create combinations to match the context.

Performance Max Headlines and Descriptions

Call to action – a call to action is the action that you want people to take from your ads and website. There is a list of calls to action to choose from including:


Learn more

Get quote

Apply now

And many others


The action that you choose should align with your goals or you can use ‘automated’ which allows the Google Ads system to choose the most relevant call to action for you.


Business name – add your business name so your potential customers know instantly they are looking at your ad.


Google tests different combinations of your assets to create high performing ads across the formats and networks that will help you achieve your goals.

Performance Max Business name and Call to action




At this time, there are about seven extension types you can add and there are three primary extensions that you should aim to have. These are listed below and they enhance your ads by showing other relevant information like a phone number, links to other important pages on your website and a lead form extension for people to fill out their details and submit.


Call extensions – add a phone number so that people can call you directly from your ads. This is a quick way for people to make contact.


Lead form extensions – you can capture leads directly from your ads with a lead form. This appears under the main part of your ad and allows visitors to submit details like their name, phone number and website address, or any other data you want to collect.


Sitelink extensions – sitelinks point to other pages on your website that are relevant to what people are looking for. If you’re an ecommerce business for example, you may benefit from adding links to pages like your delivery page or payments accepted. People who are interested in seeing these details can click through to these pages and get the information they need instantly. This is especially important if people are familiar with your products or perhaps have been on your website before and want additional information without having to search for it on your website.




Performance Max is a powerful new campaign type that automates much of your advertising efforts in Google Ads. By following the best practice tips listed above, you’re sure to create a targeted campaign to promote your business. And you can test it initially to see how it performs for you and adjust the assets to test different features.


Get in Touch


Need help setting up a Performance Max campaign in Google Ads to promote your products or services? I’d be happy to help. I’m a Google Ads specialist and PPC freelancer with over 13 years experience. Use the form below to contact me to discuss.


    I'm a Certified Google Ads Expert and Marketing Author and in this blog I share my latest tips and secrets on how to promote your business successfully on the web and increase customer loyalty, retention and advocacy on Google Ads.

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