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    5 Must-Have Tips for Google PMax Campaigns

    Ad PlatformsGoogle AdsPPCPPC BasicsShopping and Pmax

    If you haven’t tried Google Ads Performance Max Campaigns – you should definitely start. The new Performance Max campaign type allows performance advertisers to access all of their Google Ads inventory from one campaign. You can use it to target all of Google’s channels in condensed into a single campaign, including YouTube, Display, Search, Discover, Gmail, and Maps. 

    Table of Contents

    Google’s Efforts & Pitfalls

    Google is putting a lot of effort on PMax campaigns; since its launch in 2021, they have made a lot of improvements on both the smart algorithm and the user interface, helping advertisers to achieve better results.

    The idea is simple, you provide Google with assets and landing pages, and Google’s PMax algorithm does all the rest, targeting your top converting audience with the top converting offering and landing pages.

    The problem with PMax campaigns is that it’s literally a black box. Google shares almost no information about how they target and optimize the campaign, leaving you to grasp in the dark for clues on how to improve the campaign results. Another problem is that this kind of campaign is very aggressive. Once you go live with PMax, it immediately has a negative affect on other campaigns, such as Shopping, Own-Brand, Remarketing & more. 

    What’s happening is that the PMax campaign is now competing with all other campaigns targeting the same audience. Therefore, you might initially see the campaign going well, but at the end of the month, you might not see any change in your bottom line.

    5 Must-Have Tips

    At Adcore, we tested PMax campaigns for multiple time frames, conversion types, businesses, and geo-locations. Through this testing, we have established 5 tips that help provide immediate results at the account level, helping you get more conversions or reduce your CPA.

    While each of these tips proves to be vital, we’ve prioritized them in order of the influence it will have on the campaign behavior.

    1. Exclude Your Own Brand Terms

    You might not know it, but PMax campaigns are targeting your own brand searches. These keywords generate a high conversion rate due to the audience looking at your brand to make a purchase. So if you have an existing campaign for your own brand or if you don’t want to to spend top money targeting your own brand (this is not recommended, but it might happen), then you’l need to contact your Google representative asking to exclude your own brand terms. They will ask you to provide the list, and then they can exclude it on their end.  

    2. Exclude Website Expansion

    If you’ve created an asset group for your last-minute deals page, but for some reason when you look at the insights, you see irrelevant searches, and even worse, you see traffic leading to irrelevant pages. 

    The reason is probably due to the campaign is using Final URL Expansion. Final URL Expansion enables Google to use different landing pages instead of the one you have provided, automatically updating your ad headline. This is bad if you’re looking to promote a specific deal, landing page, or product. Even worse, it leaves you with no control, meaning you may be spending too much money for no reason.

    You can handle it very simply by limiting the Final URL Expansion option.
    Once you create the campaign, go to Settings → Final URL Expansion and change the default to “Only send traffic to the URLs you’ve provided.

    must have tips for google pmax campaigns

    At Adcore, we tested PMax campaigns for multiple time frames, conversion types, businesses, and geo-locations. Through this testing, we have established 5 tips that help provide immediate results at the account level, helping you get more conversions or reduce your CPA.

    3. Use Video Assets

    The basic guideline with PMax assets is simple, the more, the better. By providing Google with more assets, you help Google to diversify its ads, audience, and channels. Google uses your text and images to automatically create GIFs and short videos and chase after high-converting audiences with different messaging. This proves that Google video assets can lead to an incremental rise in impressions and decreases your CPM because of those same reasons.

    Do you want to promote a flight to Barcelona and don’t have any videos? You can find a video you like on YouTube and add it as an asset!

    4. Use Product Feed

    If you are managing an e-commerce business and have an active Google Merchant Center account that is linked to your Google Ads account, you can skip this one.
    If not, this is definitely for you. 

    A dynamic product feed can help Google target remarketing audiences with the same products and offerings they have looked at on your website. Implementing a product feed is easy. Just go to the Settings → Dynamic Ads feed, click the checkbox and enter the feed URL.

    If you don’t have a product feed, you can create one by using Google Drive or 3rd party tools such as Feeditor – which enables you to edit and optimize it on the go.

    5. Use AdGroups to A/B Test Landing Pages

    Tip #2 was excluding website expansion, but what if you’d like or need to target several landing pages? In this case, we recommend creating several adgroups targeting each landing page on a different adgroup. 

    What we don’t recommend is splitting the budget for several campaigns unless you have different performance goals for every landing page.

    The consolidation of all landing pages under one campaign can help the Google PMax algorithm to optimize your daily budget as well as help you maintain and monitor the overall performance, editing, and optimizing your asset groups to help achieve great results.

    2 Bonus Tips 

    We’ve also added these tips you definitely should try out, but keep in mind these might not be relevant for everyone:

    1. PMax for Lead Generation 
      • Try to target remarketing only audiences for the first couple of weeks. It can be an excellent boost for the campaign
    2. PMax Target Bidding 
      • In some cases, it is better to start with Max conversion rather than target ROAS. It gives the algorithm a little more space for experimenting and learning if you have the ability

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