In our previous article, we explained what Performance Max campaigns are and what benefits these brand new Google Ads campaigns offer. Before we look at how to set up these campaigns, let’s briefly review the benefits.

What are Performance Max campaigns?

Performance Max campaign is a new type of automated Google Ads campaign that uses artificial intelligence to show responsive ads on major networks: Search, Content, YouTube, Gmail, Maps, and more.

With machine learning, Google optimizes your campaign for maximum performance according to your goal. This optimization takes place in real-time and across all channels. Your bids, budget optimization, audiences, creatives, attributions, and other features are optimized together based on your advertising goal, advertising materials, the optional data feed you provide, and your audience signals.

Setting up the Performance Max campaign

You must meet certain prerequisites before you can start creating a campaign with maximum performance.

Location selection

You should set up inventory checks for your account first. Go to “Settings” and then click on “Account Settings”.

Under the excluded content, check all the boxes that apply to your brand. This will block ‘sensitive’ Display Network placements.

Similarly, under Excluded types and labels, review any content labels that aren’t appropriate for your ads. Almost always select DL-MA and untagged content options.

Destination selection

In the next step, you can start with the Performance Max campaign creation.

Performance Max campaigns work with sales, lead, and website traffic goals.

Once you’ve selected a campaign goal, you should see conversion goal options. In most cases, you should choose all of them, but there may be times when you want to focus on a subset of your account goals. Once you’ve selected your goals, you should see the P. Max campaign type available.

Budget and bidding

Set the budget and bidding options that best suit your goals.

Your budget settings affect how quickly your campaign can be optimized for conversions. For campaigns with target CPA bidding, it’s recommended that you set a budget that is at least 15 times your target CPA. Use the table that is on screen in Google Ads to understand how long it takes to optimize your campaign based on your current budget.

Campaign settings

As with all campaigns, choose your geographic targets and languages. Google offers most of the common features here, but there are some limitations.

There are no advanced geo-targeting options. Google will therefore focus on presence and interest opportunities. Because Google Ads Editor doesn’t yet support P. Max campaigns, long lists of places can mean a lot of manual data entry.

Make sure you open ‘additional settings’ to reveal additional campaign settings. Here you can set campaign start and end dates, set up ad scheduling, and add a tracking template if needed.

Asset groups

In this section, we’ll create what we all know as ad groups. Each background group contains one responsive-style ad and one audience signal.

Audience targeting

You will not be able to target a specific customer segment with Performance Max campaigns. Instead, any audience list you add to this goal will be seen as signals to identify similar consumers who are likely to exhibit the same behavior and interests:

  • Custom Segments – Custom audiences that you have previously created based on search activity, websites visited, and applications you use.
  • Your data – uploaded customer lists and website visitors, ie remarketing lists
  • Interests and detailed demographics – by market, advanced demographics such as company size and life events
  • Demographics – Which age groups, gender, parental status, and income levels to target or exclude


This is the last step in creating a Performance max campaign.

Here you can optionally add all ad extensions that you consider appropriate for the campaign. In most cases, they will only run on search placements, but there are exceptions.


Performance max campaigns are great news that Google Ads has brought to help companies achieve greater profitability by placing ads for the ideal target audience.

Performance max campaigns are a great choice if you have a medium budget and want to expand your already effective search campaigns. Follow the best practices in this article and you should see incremental conversions and a nice increase in your company’s brand awareness.