Performance Max is one the most significant shifts in automation we’ve seen at Google. How can we make it work for the holiday shopping season?

It is a good idea to have everything prepared in advance.

Black Friday is in less than 30 days! If you are just beginning now, you are already behind.

Here are some ways that you can still make it happen.

1. Audience signals

This is Performance Max’s most important, but often overlooked.

Google allows you to input signals about who the system should target. Upload customer and email lists, compile top keywords, make use of interests, etc.

The following audience signals have been a success:

  • Customer match

    • Customers with high-value products
    • 2021 holiday shoppers
    • Email subscribers

  • Custom intent

    • Names and URLs of competitors
    • High-intent (bottom-funnel) keywords

Tip – Use the Klaviyo or Google Ads integration.

2. Asset groups

It’s important to not shock the system with drastic changes when using PMax. It is better to make incremental and smaller changes.

These are some of the options:

  • Create a new asset category for promotional items.
  • Add new promo creative and extensions.

You should create a new asset group within the same campaign if you want to use product-level historical performance.

Take your time and be patient as it takes data to accumulate and ramp up. It will take some time.

It is not recommended to create new Performance Max campaigns for BFCM because it takes too much time to ramp up.

It’s best to add new asset groups to existing Performance Max campaigns, or layer on promotional assets with current asset groups.

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3. Datafeed

Datafeed is vital all year, but it is especially important right now!

Google Shopping and Performance Max don’t allow you to target based upon keywords.

The system uses your product data to determine which search queries should display your ads.

4. Ad extensions

Promos can be launched easily with ad extensions (assets).

Promo extensions can be and should be added in two places

  • Google Merchant Center for Shopping
  • Google Ads for Search, YouTube, etc.

You’ll need to ensure that Promotions are enabled in Google Merchant Center (GMC) under Growth > Manage Programmes.

Once you’ve selected the option to create promotions, go to marketing > Promos and click the big blue button.

Note GMC promotions are finicky and require manual approval. Make sure you do this correctly. It is especially important to choose the right product. (Step 2 below.)

Take your time and submit all promotions in advance.

Step 1: Type of promotion
Step 2: Setup promotion

Google Ads allows you to add promotion extensions (assets), at the account or campaign level. Click the Assets tab to add new.

5. Budget and bids

Allow to be performed, but shouldn’t make any drastic changes.

We recommend increasing budgets and decreasing tROAS targets incrementally. Don’t shock the system.

You can force the system’s ability to find new audiences by increasing the budget. It may take some time for the algorithm find a new audience that will perform well.

Keep in mind, however, that your ad costs will likely increase as your budget increases.

6. Smart Shopping Style

Performance Max can be run without assets by using only your product datafeed. This makes Performance Max run in a similar way to Smart Shopping, but with more placements.

This is a great way of capturing high-intent traffic on a large scale.

7. Paid social style

You can also run Performance Max without a Datafeed. This will exclude Shopping placements and allow you to run display ads only.

This can work for you if you have success with Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok.

You can also make sure that you understand the basics of PMax reporting, setup, and optimization by reading the following articles.

  • How to set up Performance Max campaigns in the right way
  • Performance Max: How to Maximize Insights
  • How to optimize your Performance Max

Search Engine Land’s first article, How to Maximize Performance Max for the Holiday Shopping Season appeared first on Search Engine Land.