Google Performance Max (PMAX): What’s the verdict so far?

Neil, 
eCommerce Account Strategist, 
Google Performance Max: What's the verdict?

Over the last few months our search team have all adapted to Google Performance Max (PMAX) campaigns. It is a new way of working where Google takes back a lot of control to drive higher efficiency (in theory).

Whether it is Google or META an increase in automation is coming regardless, so we are focusing our energies on those factors that we can control and still have an impact on including; creative and cross channel strategies

That said, our team have been testing around the edges of PMAX and trying to find a compromise between setting-up and letting it run itself, and those factors we can still control.

Typically we would set up a fairly broad campaign for lead generation with the best keywords we know convert, in market audiences, images that are working on our remarketing banners and a strong video (if we have one), set to our target CPA with a low sensible budget initially and let run. The same is done for eCommerce but with a ROAS target.

However, I have taken some learnings from META and applied the logic to PMAX. I am currently A/B testing a PMAX campaign where we optimise for a higher funnel event – product views conversion goals (without the product feed)

The hypothesis, since PMAX is served across Google’s placement and includes display and Youtube it can deliver cheaper traffic so optimising for a higher funnel event will bring in qualified traffic at a cheaper CPC.

The results thus far – a 40% reduction in CPC and it is delivering a higher ROAS but the only caveat is that the spend is lower. We are looking into further opportunities to scale it up and will report back on our progress.

One thing to note, If your conversion goal is page views, you need to work out what your acceptable cost per page view is before being able to truly optimise. You can work it out by using your profit margin and conversion rate.

We are testing it on a customer whose conversion rate has been very stable over the past few years so it makes sense to aim for a higher volume of traffic to see if it holds.

You heard it from them – our Search strategist provide us with their key takeaways on PMAX

“It’s not a huge game changer in incremental traffic, but it will help get your existing traffic a little more cheaply”
Peter

“No matter how you set it up it gets results, but when you dig deeper you can find optimisation opps as it will waste money on landing pages and products that do not convert (which the AM needs to monitor and block).”
James

“Focus on what you can control – what are your inputs into the campaign and does it achieve your overall goal for the campaign?”
Neil

 

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