Performance Max (PMax) campaigns have recently gained popularity among eCommerce businesses.
However, relying entirely on Google through PMax can result in issues like budget concerns and conversion issues.
That's why it's essential for eCommerce businesses to be aware of key considerations when using PMax, which we'll outline in this guide.
PMax may not always send traffic to the correct pages
While PMax's highest-converting sources are typically shopping and dynamic product ads, there can be instances where PMax campaigns do not send traffic to the product pages.
Engagement can be quite low on the pages where PMax sends the most traffic. To understand this, looking at the bounce rate can be very valuable.
Visitors coming from PMax may add to the cart but not convert
Examine the relationship between the cart addition data and the conversion rate for visitors coming from PMax.
In case incoming visitors are not adding items to their cart, it's essential to check for any issues on the product page, such as size, slow loading, or technical problems.
Your product may be in a category that the visitor is not interested in.
For example, even if the prices of children's products seem reasonable, visitors might click on the item and leave the page upon realizing it's a children's product if there are no clear indications of it being for children.
Low engagement may also be due to outdated assets created within PMax. For instance, if a PMax campaign with assets related to discounts continues even after the discounts have ended, it can have high clicks but low actions.
Since Google receives the highest ad engagement from these assets, it continues to display discount-focused assets.
PMax may stop spending
PMax works to achieve a given target, but if the target is too high or too low, it will result in the underutilization of its potential.
If PMax is currently running at a 3-to-1 ratio for every 1 you put in, and you set a target of 20-to-1, PMax won't spend on a target it can't achieve.
Well, if PMax can exceed your given target by a significant margin, but you don't change the target, this can also be a block that prevents PMax from achieving better results.
Finding the sweet spot is critical here, but as the account grows, the sweet spot may change, so it's beneficial to monitor such situations.
Changes in bidding can also affect the budget. Even if ROAS is OK, if you have a specific budget, you can consider increasing the target as an option to cut expenses and not exceed that budget.
Your products may not be suitable for PMax
When Google operates based on target ROAS or value, it tends to prioritize your highest-priced products. The reason for this is to meet its target and encourage you to increase your investments in this area.
You need to consider whether the product promoted by Google is genuinely one you can sell through online marketing or if it is a product you sell to more VIP customers.
For example, if your average cart value is $100 and the most promoted product is priced at $1,000, something might be going wrong.
Determining which products to display in PMax
If your budget is being spent on products that don't bring conversions instead of those with the highest conversion rates, trying to display all products in PMax may not be the right approach.
If your campaigns are working based on target ROAS, you can try grouping similarly priced products and setting a suitable ROAS target for them.
Alternatively, you can use tools like heybooster to find critical products for you, separate the ones that bring good conversions, and focus your budget on these products. Read the full story of how heybooster saved 200.000+ paid traffic in Perfomance Max campaigns here.
In this case, you should look at products with good conversion rates and those with average or higher revenues. The reason is that a product may have an excellent conversion rate, but it's priced at $1.
Although the sales number is high, its contribution to revenue is low. In such a situation, it cannot be your prominent product.
However, if the conversion rates are good and the revenue they bring is within a reasonable range, these products can be considered the top/best products.
✅ Separating these products in PMax campaigns and opening a separate campaign for them could be an option. Using these products on different channels could also be an option.
Using PMax for Retargeting
PMax is actually very suitable for functioning like a retargeting!
That is, PMax can play a critical role in attracting visitors back to your site and triggering a purchase by continuously showing them the product they viewed on your site or very similar ones.
However, for this to happen, the Dynamic Remarketing integration for Google Ads must be done correctly.
When your user views a product, adds it to the cart, or performs different potentially significant events, you should provide feedback to Google by specifying which product(s) they did this for.
Improving Retargeting: Signals and PMax
Especially if we have set up the PMax campaign with a focus on ROAS-targeted remarketing, adding signals positively affects performance. Audience signal is a direction you give to Google to show where you want to target; you can add competitors here.
You can add relevant keywords based on your asset group as well.
If you are already using a keyword in your search ads and are happy with its performance, targeting that keyword again here won't make much sense.
Targeting your brand keyword while having a brand campaign will also not be correct. Additionally, you can even exclude your brand keyword from your PMax targeting by messaging Google support to understand the real performance.
Maximizing efficiency with PMax while having a ROAS target
Especially if you have a ROAS target, you should run PMax in the remarketing channel with target CPA and target ROAS.
However, Google sets a limit for using this strategy. You can switch to this method if your campaign has at least 15 conversions in the last 30 days.
If you don't have the operational capacity to separate products based on their profitability or to group products with the same business objectives, the common practice would be to have separate campaigns and asset groups for your best-performing categories.
To analyze them separately, it may be more meaningful to create separate campaigns for each main category instead of opening asset groups within a single campaign. This way, you can see how much you've spent for each category.
Last but not least
Performance Max can be somewhat of a black box, with Google handling budget allocation and incorporating all types of campaigns within a single campaign.
While it generally works well for brands, providing above-average results, a more detailed analysis can reveal better alternatives. This insight shows us which campaign type the spending is allocated to, where the conversions are coming from, and which campaign type has better ROAS.
Some of heybooster users have seen better results by identifying that search campaigns needed to be allocated more budget, and they have launched separate search campaigns for specific keywords they want to be present for.
Similarly, brands aiming to increase their branding have allocated separate budgets for YouTube and managed that aspect independently, achieving better results.
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