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Google Ads Smart Shopping & Local campaigns upgraded to Performance Max

Google Ads Performance Max is right around the corner with an expected forced go-live date in August. This is going to be a significant change for many digital marketeers as the new campaign type looks to encompass multiple existing campaign types to help users hit goals whether this be sales, leads or store visits. 

It’s expected that performance max could give a 20% uplift compared to the separate campaigns and this has been corroborated through our inhouse testing so far. However, there’s a few things that need to be checked off before you get started. 

  • Are you setup with conversions and conversion values? 
  • Have you implemented Enhanced Conversions? (Although not mandatory now, it will be later this year) 
  • Do you have video and image content that is ready to share?  
  • Have you uploaded your 1st party data into the platform? (Although not mandatory, any new campaign is going to benefit from this data, especially when it’s all levels of the marketing funnel.) 

Unless you’re creating a new account, it may be ir with your current campaign setup until Google launch their Smart Shopping conversion tool. This will allow you to keep your historical campaign data and ease the transition rather than starting from scratch. Similarly, any new ones created now will have priority over your existing Smart Shopping campaigns so if you’re testing them make sure to set budgets accordingly. 

It’s also worth remembering that Performance Max campaigns will be showing your ads across new inventory if you don’t currently use display, local or smart shopping. Therefore, it’s worth making sure imagery and ad copy make sense outside of the Google Search platform. 

With more automation comes less manual tweaking of settings and keywords, this does leave more time for creating better ad copy, imagery and video content which will need to be regularly tested and rotated to ensure you’re showing the highest performing version of your ads to customers. 

As with shopping campaigns, it is advised that you supply a product feed to the Google Merchant Centre which can then be used to populate your Performance Max ads with specific product imagery relevant to the person seeing the ad. It’s also worth checking out the new short titles column you can add to your feed which means you won’t end up with incomplete titles on certain platforms. 

There’s a lot to do in the run-up to the forced migration to performance max but with a few months before it happens and the potential of improved performance and more inventory, we’re likely going to see marketers jump before they’re pushed. 

If you need any support getting ready for Performance Max then send us an email at and we’ll be happy to help.

Tom Pickard - Modo25
Tom Pickard
Tom Pickard - Modo25
Tom Pickard

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