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What Are Performance Max Campaigns – The Advantages & Disadvantages.

  • PPC
  • 6 min read

Launched in November 2021 performance Max campaigns in Google Ads are a type of campaign that utilises machine learning algorithms to optimise ad delivery and targeting. In Googles own words:

Performance Max is a new goal-based campaign type that allows performance advertisers to access all of their Google Ads inventory from a single campaign. It’s designed to complement your keyword-based Search campaigns to help you find more converting customers across all of Google’s channels like YouTube, Display, Search, Discover, Gmail, and Maps.

Sounds great right?

More customers without doing any additional work, what is there not to like…

Keep reading and we will cover the advantages & disadvantages of Performance Max campaigns in Google Ads and give our recommendation of who should be taking advantage of them.

What Are Performance Max Campaigns?

As outline above, Performance Max campaigns are a type of campaign that utilises a range of insights & machine learning to optimise ad delivery, adjust bids & change targeting based on real time data. The changes will be made automatically within the account with the goal of increasing conversions and revenue whilst reducing costs.

With Performance Max campaigns, Google Ads uses machine learning algorithms to analyse data from past campaigns and identify patterns that indicate which ads and targeting strategies are most likely to lead to conversions. This data is then used to optimise the delivery of ads, bids, and targeting in real-time. For example, if the algorithm determines that a particular targeting strategy or ad is likely to lead to conversions, it will automatically increase bids and targeting for that ad, while reducing bids and targeting for ads that are not performing as well.

When To Use Performance Max Campaigns?

The best time to use this campaign type is in the following situations:

  • If you have specific advertising goals established. For example, lead generation or sales.
  • You do not have limitations over which channel your ads will show in.
  • If you are trying to take advantage of all Google channels easily within one campaign.
  • You want to gain additional conversions beyond keyword-based Search campaigns.

Advantages Of Performance Max Campaigns.

There are a range of benefits to taking advantage of Performance Max campaigns in Google ads.

Automated Optimisations: One benefit of Performance Max campaigns is their ability to automatically adjust bids and targeting in real-time based on a variety of factors such as user behavior, search queries, and device type. This allows for a more efficient use of ad budget and can lead to a higher return on investment (ROI) for the advertiser. Additionally, Performance Max campaigns can also help to identify new audiences and keywords that may not have been previously considered, leading to increased visibility and new business opportunities.

Machine Learning: Another advantage of Performance Max campaigns is their ability to use machine learning algorithms to analyse historical data and predict which ad variations are most likely to perform well. This can lead to more effective ad creatives and ultimately, better results.

Targeted Audiences: Another benefit of Performance Max campaigns is that they allow businesses to reach highly-targeted audiences, by using sophisticated targeting strategies such as in-market audiences and custom intent audiences. These targeting strategies allow businesses to reach users who are more likely to be interested in their products or services, which can lead to higher conversion rates and a more efficient use of advertising spend.

Channel Access: Access various channels using a single campaign, goal & budget.

performance max

Disadvantages Of Performance Max Campaigns.

Whilst Performance Max campaigns undoubtedly have a number of benefits, like all advertising strategies there are also disadvantages:

High Cost: While these campaigns can lead to higher ROI, they also tend to require a higher budget in order to achieve optimal results.

Lack Of Control: Since the campaigns are fully automated, the advertiser has less control over the targeting and ad delivery, which can lead to a lack of flexibility and customisation.

Large Amount Of Data Needed: Another disadvantage of is that these campaigns rely heavily on large amounts of data, which may not always be available for smaller businesses. This can make it difficult for these companies to compete with larger businesses that have more data and resources to work with.

How To Setup A Performance Max Campaign.

Assets Needed To Get Started:

Here is a checklist of everything you require to get started with the campaigns:

1. Google Ads Conversion Tracking

2. Recommend campaign timeframe: At least 4 weeks

3. Text

  • 3 x 30 character headline
  • 2 x 90 character descriptions
  • 1 x 90 character headline

4. Image

  • 1 x 600×316 landscape
  • 1 x 300×300 square
  • 1 x 314×314 square (for campaigns with Store Visits goal)
  • 1 x 128×128 logo
  • Recommended: 1200 × 628
  • Max file size: 5,120KB

5. Video (Recommended, but optional)

  • > 10 seconds in length

Alongside the assets listed above the following settings will be required to fully take advantage of all channels:

1. Marketing objective/campaign goal using the new Unified Goals framework

2. Assets – text, image, video (optional as it will auto-generate)

3. Feeds

  • Google My Business (optional)
  • Google Merchant Center (optional)
  • Dynamic Ads feed (optional)
  • Business data feeds (optional)

4. Signals

  • First-party Audiences, incl. Remarketing lists (optional)
  • Google Audiences, incl. custom audiences (optional)

5. Geo-targets

6. Budget

Should I Stop Other Campaigns?

In short, no. Performance Max campaigns can be run alongside your more targeted campaigns. If you have a campaign that is performing well then our recommendation is to continue to optimise this campaign and use performance max alongside it to identify new opportunities and expand your reach to new channels.


In conclusion, Performance Max campaigns in Google Ads can be a powerful tool for businesses looking to improve their online advertising performance. However, it is important to consider the cost and level of control that you are willing to give up in exchange for the benefits. Additionally, it is important to consider the type of business you have and whether it is suitable for these campaigns. Ultimately, it is important to weigh the benefits and disadvantages before deciding whether or not to use Performance Max campaigns in your Google Ads strategy. If you are unclear if this is the right approach for you then speak to our team today.