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Demystifying Performance Max Campaigns

by Celeste Caraker | May 6, 2024, 14:23 PM

The world of Google Ads can quickly become a maze of help articles and not much straightforward advice. Let’s be honest–have you ever gotten ahold of an actual person at Google when you got stuck? It’s not likely that you have unless you have a larger account. That means you have to be completely self-reliant when crafting your Ads campaigns. It also means you’ll have to spend your budget wisely to maximize your results. 

Luckily, we have Google Ads experts at BoxCrush who are willing to give you some key tips on Google Performance Max Campaigns. 

What is a Performance Max campaign? 

A Performance Max campaign, sometimes called a PMax campaign, consolidates all of your efforts in one place. You put all of your Google Ads assets into one campaign that gets pushed across the full Google Network. You may be thinking that this means more work on your end, but it’s the opposite. The purpose of a PMax campaign is to set it and (sort of) forget it. Google uses AI to automate everything once you enter your campaign’s parameters. 

What are some pros and cons of a Performance Max campaign?

Any Google Ads campaign will have some easy wins and more difficult elements, so here are a few about PMax campaigns. 


  • Beginner-friendly

  • Maximum use of ad assets

  • AI-enhanced ad creation and targeting

  • Smart Bidding across the Google Network to optimize spend

  • Intentional conversion goals


  • Less control over campaign elements

  • No previous Ads experience could make this a more costly venture

  • Limited assets could make your campaign less effective

  • Limited time to devote to, or limited understanding of, campaign insights

How do I set up a Performance Max campaign?

Google is powerful and has remained powerful for a reason. They know what they’re doing and do it with intention, so it’s a smart move to use their guide for setting up your campaign. They have a full guide to create a Performance Max campaign. However, there are a few tips you can use at each step to make it not only a seamless experience but also an impactful one for your campaign results. 

We also recommend using a traditional Google Search campaign alongside your PMax campaign. They make a perfect complement to each other. Your keyword-based Search campaign provides powerful insights into your audience and a great launching point for details to include in your PMax campaign. Your PMax campaign helps you find more converting customers across Google’s channels: YouTube, Display, Search, Discover, Gmail, and Maps. 

Step 1: Choose Your Goal

This is essential. There’s no reason to start a campaign until you know what you want to achieve. When you choose one, clear goal, you can stay focused throughout the rest of your campaign creation. It can also save you from disappointment. If your campaign isn’t focused and intentional, you’re less likely to see the positive results you want. 

Step 2: Select Conversion Goals

Unfamiliar with marketing terms? No problem! A conversion goal is an action you want users to take that results in something positive for you. A good example is making a call or a purchase. Choose a conversion goal that aligns with your initial campaign goal. If you’re focused on sales, a conversion goal would be to make a purchase. If your goal is to increase website traffic, then a conversion goal may be to click a link to your website. 

Step 3: Choose a Campaign Type

It may seem obvious to choose “Performance Max,” but all of your time will be wasted if you choose the wrong one. It’s also important to note that a Performance Max campaign may include assets from other campaigns, but you have to set up a new PMax campaign and re-enter all the details, including assets. 

Step 4: Bidding Setup

If you’re making an investment in a PMax campaign, it will require a strategic budget. Only spend what makes sense for your business, and then select a bidding strategy. Again, ensure this aligns with your goal and conversion goals. 

Step 5: Campaign Settings

Time for details, details, details! There are several substeps in the campaign settings. Take time with each one, including locations, ad schedule, languages, and more. These each will have an influence on who sees your ads and when. 

Step 6: Create Asset Groups

Sometimes, more is more. That’s definitely true of asset groups. Include options for logos, images, videos, headlines, URLs, and descriptions. When you offer more assets, Google has more to work with. Google’s machine learning will create different combinations of assets and narrow down which ones your target audience responds to most. 

The Secret Step: Audience Signal

There’s a sneaky little section at the bottom of the page for Asset Groups. It’s called Audience Signal, and this is where you can add some powerful information about who you want to target. You can include demographic information, keywords your target audience may search that relate to you, and also websites that are similar to yours and relate to your campaign focus. You could skip this step and let Google do the work for you, but that could take more time (and therefore more budget). If you’re already investing in a PMax campaign, you should invest wisely! 

Step 7: Review and Launch!

Take a final look at your PMax campaign and everything you have included. Does it make sense from start to finish? Have you dug into every detail to maximize your chance of higher returns? 

Here are some additional questions. Did you skim over some steps? Were you unsure about which locations to target? Is it confusing to choose a goal because you work in a niche market, like specialty manufacturing? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you can talk to BoxCrush

We are certified Google Partners and have team members certified in Google Ads and can help you create PMax campaigns that reach the right people at the right time. Our Ads team is supported by experts in SEO, design, development, and other marketing strategies. We put together customized campaigns and have experience in multiple industries. Contact us to learn more. 

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