An Extremely Detailed Performance Max(Pmax) Ads Tutorial (with 8 FAQs)

Pmax Advertising Super Detailed Tutorial

Overview of Performance Max (Pmax)

Pmax ads, or Performance Max ads, are a type of Google ad series. Smart Shopping Ads (SSC) have been completely replaced by Pmax ads. We can no longer make Smart Shopping Ads in the back end of our ad account, and all of the old Smart Shopping Ads have been automatically upgraded to Pmax Ads. Pmax ads can occupy nearly all of Google’s existing ad space, and this ad type is primarily intelligent and automated; all we need to do is add the ad material and set the ad targeting.

Through machine learning and big data analysis, Google can help us make our ads better without us having to do anything. This ad type has significantly reduced the threshold for Google ads, and it is possible that this is also a means and method for Google to increase its market share. In any case, the advertising results we’ve seen thus far have been positive, and it also lowers the cost of maintaining our ads.

Performance Max Campaign Type

After using Pmax ads for a while, I think the biggest difference between them and other Google ad types is that this ad series type uses all of Google’s resources and gives us different ad formats and cross-channel optimization based on the goals we set. The table below compares Google’s main ad types for e-commerce customers, allowing us to see the differences between different ad types up close.

Ad solutionsPmaxSSCVACSearchDisplayDiscovery
InventorySearch, Shopping, Display, Discovery feed, Video partner, Gmail, Maps, YouTube, Inventory of App ReengageShopping, Display, YouTubeVideo Partner, YouTube, DV360Search & Search partnersDisplay, YouTubeDiscovery feed
Device TargetNo, but support conversion value rule for deviceNoonly -100 bid adjustments for in-streamDevice bid adjustmentDevice bid adjustmentNo
Audience TargetingNo, but support conversion value rule for audienceNo, but support NCA goal.YesYesYesYes
BiddingMax conversions (optional tCPA) & Max conversion values (optional tROAS)Max conversion values (optional)tCPA, Max conversionstROAStROAStCPA, Max conversions tROAS (open beta)
FormatText, Image, Feed, VideoText, Image, Feed, VideoVideoText, ImageText, ImageText, Image

Please keep in mind the importance of Pmax campaigns versus other campaign types; the table below compares the importance of common campaign types to Pmax campaign types. When we place different campaign types and measure campaign performance, we should fully consider the impact of ad priority. For example, if we see that a campaign spends less, we can take the priority factor into account.

Campaign 1Campaign 2Participating bidding campaign
exact match triggered Search CampaignPerformance MaxSearch Campaign
broad /phrase match triggered Search CampaignPerformance MaxCampaign with higher ranking
Standard Shopping Campaign (PLA)Performance MaxPerformance Max
dynamic remarketing Display CampaignPerformance MaxPerformance Max
Video CampaignPerformance MaxCampaign with higher ranking
Discovery CampaignPerformance MaxCampaign with higher ranking

Please note: This table is only applicable when campaigns are located under the same customer ID (ad account) and there is overlapping targeting (e.g., product, geographic location, etc.)

Performance Max Pmax Ads

Performance Max Evaluation

How do we assess the effectiveness of Performance Max? Those who are familiar with Google Ads understand that the nature of Google Ads is relatively stable, and the advertising system requires some learning time to optimize our ads. So, how long should you wait to evaluate Pmax ads? According to Google’s official recommendations, we should leave our ads up for at least 6 weeks so that the ad system can learn how to optimize them. We must also consider the duration of our conversion delays. You can verify this by going to “Attribution” > “Path Metrics” > “Avg. days to conversion”. Please choose “Measure from the first interaction.” The exact number of days depends on the account.

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Here is an example timeline for the evaluation of the campaign.

January 1, 2023

Create Performace Max

Successfully finished the process of creating the Performance Max campaign.

January 1, 2023
January 1, 2023

Learning Period

Learning time for advertising ranges from one to two weeks.

January 1, 2023
January 14, 2023

Stable Period

After 1-2 weeks of learning the ad, it enters the stabilization period; therefore, if you need to evaluate the ad’s effectiveness, please begin with this period.

January 14, 2023
February 14, 2023

Conversion delay time

You can check this by going to Attribution > Path Metrics > Avg. days to conversion. Please select “Measure from first interaction.” The actual number of days depends on the account.

February 14, 2023
February 15, 2023

View and evaluate performance

Please assess the effectiveness of advertisements after the one-month ad stabilization period following the conversion delay time.

February 15, 2023

Performance Max Optimization

As was already said, Pmax ads are smart and automated, and Google doesn’t let you report a lot of data. How can we make our Pmax ads work better? All you have to do is swap out the bad content in the ad material rating on a regular basis.

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Performance Max FAQs

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