Essential Things to Do Before You Launch a Performance Max Campaign: Your Pre-Launch Checklist

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    albert somlith

    Co-Founder of PPC Ad Editor. I am a leader in digital marketing, specializing in strategic planning, implementation, and optimization.
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    Launching a Performance Max campaign? Perfect your prep with our essential checklist of things to do before you launch a Performance Max campaign. Items include defining your campaign goals, auditing tracking systems, refining creative assets, and more. This guide provides straightforward, critical steps to ensure your Performance Max campaign is primed for performance from day one.

    Key Takeaways


    Understanding Performance Max Campaigns


    Performance Max campaigns are a versatile tool in the Google Ads universe, offering a comprehensive solution for managing Google Ads campaigns, including search campaigns. With Google Ads Performance Max, they combine the strengths of existing campaign types such as:

    • Search

    • Display

    • Shopping

    • Video

    • Gmail

    • Discovery

    The magic lies in the automated processes powered by advanced machine learning, which minimizes setup and maintenance. This makes Performance Max campaigns the go-to choice for advertisers aiming for specific conversion goals across various channels. But what makes these campaigns truly stand out?

    Performance Max campaigns offer enhanced reach to potential customers, improved conversion rates, and the power of Google AI for real-time bid optimization across various Google channels. Now, that’s a potent trio of benefits that can propel your campaign performance to new heights!

    Setting Clear Campaign Goals


    Performance Max campaigns are designed for conversion-based objectives, laser-focused on driving sales or leads. Clear conversion goals like store visits, call clicks, or direction clicks are key for these campaigns to yield results. Assigning conversion values to these goals will guide Google’s AI to optimize ad spend and target new customers more accurately.

    For businesses with physical locations, defining campaign goals to drive offline visits and sales is crucial. This includes:

    • Linking your Business Profile and selecting affiliate locations

    • Enabling Google AI’s optimization efforts

    • Targeting new customers using data from past online sales and existing customer lists via Customer Match

    Set clear goals and watch your Performance Max campaign hit the bullseye!

    Auditing Your Conversion Tracking


    Steering a ship without a compass? That’s a challenging proposition. That’s precisely why regularly verifying that all tracking codes are correctly implemented and functioning in your Performance Max campaign is so important.

    Reviewing the ‘Conversions’ section in Google Ads can help troubleshoot conversion tracking for the status of conversion actions and utilize the ‘Summary’ page for suggested actions. An ‘Active’ status indicates correct functioning of conversion tracking, while a ‘Needs Attention’ or ‘Not Recording’ status indicates issues that require immediate action.

    Furthermore, proper linkage between Google Analytics and Google Ads is vital for comprehensive conversion tracking. Remember, defining conversion actions within Google Ads to match specific business goals can optimize the desired outcomes, while also tracking lead quality to maintain clean data.

    So, keep your compass in check and sail towards your goals with confidence!

    Crafting Compelling Creative Assets


    Every captivating story has compelling characters, and in the realm of Performance Max campaigns, creative assets play those characters. They are:

    These elements bring your campaign to life and engage your audience.

    Video Assets Must-Haves


    Engaging video ad for Google Ads

    Think about going to a movie theater where the film only has sound, no visuals. Strange, right? Similarly, a Performance Max campaign without a video asset is like a movie without visuals.

    Your video should:

    • Be short and engaging, ideally 15 seconds or less

    • Start with a strong hook within the first 5 seconds

    • Feature clear branding

    • Focus on benefits

    • Be crafted using high-quality footage and professional editing

    • Optimize your video content for both sound-on and sound-off scenarios, including using closed captions and on-screen text.

    Leverage storytelling to connect emotionally with viewers, and maintain multiple versions of video ads to test different messages and creative approaches, using performance data to optimize. So, roll out the red carpet and let your video assets steal the show!

    Image Specifications and Best Practices


    Image specifications and best practices for Google Ads

    Images are critical to your Performance Max Campaign, embodying the adage ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’. Original imagery without alterations ensures the main message of the ad is clear and focused. Clarity is key, with overlays of logos, text, and buttons minimized to ensure effectiveness and legibility, especially on smaller screens.

    High-resolution images with unique, simple designs enhance the ad’s visual appeal, improving engagement and the likelihood that the ad shows in relevant searches. So, paint a thousand words with your images and let them speak volumes about your campaign!

    Writing Engaging Ad Copy


    The characters and visuals of your story are in place; now, it’s time for the script. Your ad copy is the script that tells your story, communicates your value proposition, and guides your audience to the desired action. Use action-oriented phrases like ‘Shop Now’ or ‘Learn More’, and phrases indicating urgency like ‘Few items left in stock!’ to incite immediate responses from potential customers. Leverage promotions such as discounts and special offers, along with power words and emotive language, to differentiate your ad and tap into the customer’s emotions.

    Targeted and personalized ad copy using specific numbers for credibility, addressing the target audience’s pain points, and showing how the offered products or services can resolve those issues is the cherry on top. So, craft your script with precision and captivate your audience with every word!

    Optimizing Your Google Merchant Center Feed


    Consider your Google Merchant Center feed as the pantry of your campaign. It’s where you store all your product data, and just like a pantry, it needs regular checks and updates to ensure everything is in order and up-to-date.

    Complete and up-to-date product data in the Google Merchant Center feed is crucial to match search queries and drive better performance in your Performance Max campaigns. Here are some tips for optimizing your product data:

    • Ensure that your titles are detailed and accurate, including relevant keywords and product attributes.

    • Use feed rules to transform data, such as adding brand names to product titles or updating attributes, to address any warnings and errors.

    • Regularly review and update your product data to keep it current and relevant.

    By following these tips, you can improve the performance of your Performance Max campaigns and drive better results.

    Organizing products into listing groups by categories, product types, or custom labels, and ensuring unique identifiers for each product, contribute to efficient bid adjustments and more insightful ROI analysis. So, keep your pantry well-stocked and organized, and watch your campaign performance soar with smart shopping campaigns!

    Refining Audience Signals


    In a Performance Max campaign, understanding your audience, reflected in your audience signals, is half the victory. Utilizing data from past buyers, behavior from Google Analytics, and your own remarketing lists can inform Google’s AI, enabling it to find audiences with similar interests or characteristics.

    Detailed demographic information, like:

    • age

    • gender

    • household income

    • industry interest

    Dynamic search ads can help you create custom segments to precisely target audiences, ensuring relevance to your product and optimizing ad spend.

    Continually adjust and analyze these audience signals with insights from Performance Max’s insights tab, including testing different segment combinations and refining your strategy. Know your audience, refine your signals, and target with precision!

    Reviewing Campaign Settings


    In a Performance Max campaign, the campaign settings define the route for a successful journey. This includes the budget allocation, bidding strategy, and ad scheduling.

    Budget Considerations


    Budget considerations for Performance Max campaign

    Allocating a budget for your Performance Max campaign resembles packing your bag for a trip. Too less, and you might run out of resources; too much, and you might waste valuable resources. Your initial budget should be based on historical conversion data, aiming for an average daily budget that is at least three times your CPA amount.

    Establishing a baseline for comparison, such as mirroring the budget of your previous successful shopping campaign during the first month of your new Performance Max campaign, can provide valuable insights. If the campaign is budget-capped, consider a budget increase of at least 30% to evaluate the potential uplift in results.

    A well-allocated budget can enhance account performance, particularly in conversion rates and ROAS, so pack your budget bag wisely with the right asset groups!

    Selecting the Right Bidding Strategy


    Selecting the appropriate bidding strategy for your Performance Max campaign is akin to choosing the right gear for a trip. The ‘Maximize Conversions’ bidding strategy focuses on achieving the highest number of conversions within your budget.

    On the other hand, the ‘Maximize Conversion Value’ bidding strategy aims to generate the most conversion value possible given your budget, potentially placing higher bids for more valuable conversions. ‘Maximize Conversion Value’ can be coupled with Target ROAS to steer your campaign towards achieving a specified return on ad spend while optimizing for conversion value.

    Your strategy should align with your conversion goals, so choose your gear wisely and gear up for success!

    Planning Ad Scheduling


    Scheduling your ads is similar to mapping out your travel itinerary. You want to ensure that your ads reach your audience at the right time, just like visiting a tourist spot at the right time for the best experience.

    During periods of expected high engagement or specific seasons, you can apply seasonal bid adjustments to supersede smart bidding strategies for improved campaign control. To ensure the most effective use of your advertising budget, follow these steps:

    1. Experiment with ad scheduling to refine the timing of ad delivery.

    2. Identify peak user engagement periods.

    3. Apply bid adjustments during these periods to maximize your campaign’s performance.

    By implementing these strategies, you can optimize your ad delivery and make the most out of your advertising budget.

    So, plan your itinerary wisely and enjoy a successful journey with your Performance Max campaign!

    Preventing Campaign Overlap


    Campaign overlap might occur in the overlapping area of two circles in a Venn diagram., a situation where your Performance Max campaign competes with other campaigns for the same audience.

    Account-level negative keywords can be used to prevent Performance Max campaigns from targeting undesired search queries, protecting keyword based search campaigns from overlap. Brand exclusion lists can avoid campaign overlap by preventing Performance Max campaigns from displaying ads for branded search queries targeted by existing campaigns.

    Regular monitoring and adjustment of performance metrics like conversion rate, cost-per-acquisition, and return on ad spend can manage and reduce overlap between Performance Max and other campaigns. So, avoid the overlap and ensure your campaigns have their own space to shine!

    Final URL Checks and Landing Page Optimization


    Landing page optimization for Google Ads

    The final URL, where your audience lands after clicking on your ad, is the endpoint of their journey., and it needs to be the most relevant landing page based on search intent. Landing pages should be accessible without requiring login and reflect the same product details as in the feed for a seamless user experience. Advertisers can opt out of Final URL expansion and exclude specific non-relevant or non-commercial URLs to refine the focus of their Performance Max campaigns.

    A well-optimized Business Profile can serve as an effective landing page alternative, particularly when integrated with tracking for user actions. Ensure your audience lands at the right destination, and they’ll be more likely to take the desired action!

    Pre-Launch Campaign Review


    Just as it’s vital to review your travel plan before a journey, you need to inspect all campaign structures and settings before launching your Performance Max campaign. to ensure they align with the desired outcomes.

    Refreshing creative assets regularly and removing low-performing assets can maintain a high-performing campaign. If no video assets are provided, Google Ads will create them, which may result in lower quality. Therefore, it’s advised to upload a custom video to maintain brand consistency.

    Insights from top-performing discovery creatives should be used to inform the strategy of a new Performance Max campaign. So, review your plan, make necessary adjustments, and embark on a successful journey with your Performance Max campaign!



    Congratulations, you’ve made it to the end of your journey! You’re now equipped with a wealth of knowledge about Performance Max campaigns. You’ve learned how these campaigns leverage the power of Google’s AI and machine learning to achieve specific conversion goals, the importance of crafting high-quality creative assets, how to optimize your Google Merchant Center feed, and so much more. Now it’s time for you to take this knowledge and apply it to your next Performance Max campaign. Bon voyage!

    Frequently Asked Questions


    What do you need for a performance max campaign?

    For a performance max campaign, you will need various types of assets, including texts, images, videos, and ads, to create a comprehensive asset group for the campaign. Utilizing these assets effectively is crucial for a successful campaign.

    What are Performance Max campaigns?

    Performance Max campaigns are a type of Google Ads campaign that blend features from existing campaign types and use automated processes to manage ads across different Google placements, ultimately improving reach, conversion rates, and bid optimization with Google AI.

    How can I set clear campaign goals?

    To set clear campaign goals, confirm conversion goals like store visits or call clicks and assign conversion values to guide ad optimization.

    What are the key considerations for crafting compelling creative assets?

    When crafting compelling creative assets, it’s crucial to include images, logos, videos, headlines, descriptions, and calls to action that align with campaign goals. Additionally, it’s essential to have at least one short, engaging video with clear branding.

    How can I prevent campaign overlap?

    To prevent campaign overlap, use account-level negative keywords to avoid targeting undesired search queries and implement brand exclusion lists. This will protect keyword-based campaigns from overlap.

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