Performance Max Campaigns – What Are They?

There’s often a debate as to whether automating your ads is something you want to fight against or embrace. A lot of the argument comes down to being able to control your ads performance. It can be difficult to relinquish control of your ads, but it’s not something that should be avoided. After all, there’s not a huge chance of a Skynet situation happening anytime soon… (ChatGPT anyone?).

Anyway, Google Ads’ automation is a handy tool that can be used to maximise the performance of your ads in a real-time way that no human could and there’s been a new campaign type going around recently called Performance Max campaigns. It’s one of the latest automated campaign types that Google has created and there are many positives to using it. 

What are Performance Max Campaigns?

In a nutshell, Performance Max campaigns are a way of having your ads shown across all of the channels in Google Ads Inventory from one campaign. At the same time, your campaign would be automatically adjusted to perform the best it can with Google’s automation.

Sounds great, you get the max reach for your ads all with only a few clicks. Let’s delve a bit deeper into why this is something to test out.

What are the Benefits of Performance Max Campaigns?

For a start, you can control exactly what Google will aim for. If you have a ROAS target you want to achieve, all you have to do is plug it in and the campaign will optimise towards this within the set budget. This also works for other goals like driving sales and leads, providing you with flexibility on what you want to achieve with your campaigns. 

Since Performance Max uses all of the available Google channels (such as Gmail, Maps, Youtube…), you’ll be able to expand the reach of your ads. This would be extremely helpful for both converting new customers over that you wouldn’t usually reach, and increasing your brand awareness by showing your ads in front of new audiences. Then the most important aspect of these campaigns – the ease of running them.

Once you’ve put in everything you need to, you can largely just leave the campaign to it and watch as Google automatically adjusts keyword bids, chooses how to show your ads effectively, and brings in results without you having to put in the effort of manually changing things. 

If you are experienced with Google Ads, you may have realised that this sounds pretty similar to the Smart campaigns that are already available. That’s because the Smart campaigns will be replaced in 2022 by Performance Max campaigns between July and September. They perform the same way, only Performance Max Campaigns have an edge in the results they bring home.

What are the disadvantages of the Performance Max Campaigns?

There are a couple of things to be mindful of with Performance Max campaigns, namely:

  • Visibility
  • Budget



The biggest complaint that has come from the new campaign style is that there are very few insights into what it is doing. Let’s say, for instance, that you don’t want your ads to show for certain searches because they are either unrelated or harmful to what you are offering. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to see what people are searching for to find your ad, so there’s no way to actively monitor where your brand is showing.

The data from the campaigns also offer very little segmentation, so it’s very difficult to know where your ads are performing well or where they are not. Of course, Google does test this, and it does so over a large number of locations. 


On top of the visibility challenge, if you don’t have control over where your budget is being spent, it can prove difficult to know why your campaign is or isn’t performing well. So, if you are data-driven, the new Performance Max campaign may be a difficult style to adapt to.

In Conclusion…

Whilst you don’t have entire control of Performance Max campaigns and can’t see exactly what’s happening, the automation they provide can prove beneficial. Ultimately, the benefits you can gain and the ease at which you can obtain them are too good to dismiss without at least looking into the Performance Max campaigns.

To see the differences between the Performance Max campaigns and the current Smart campaigns take a look at our article Supercharge your google shopping campaigns.

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