Google Performance Max;

How to target your audiences with Google ads

Google Performance Max is a new ad product from Google ads that allows you to target your audiences more specifically than ever before. You can launch them from within the Google Ads platform, and the targeting works based on what people have searched for on Google in the past. Your ads will show up next to relevant search results, and you can use a variety of creatives to get your message across. The part of the marketing funnel that these ads serve is typically earlier on, so they can be a great way to introduce people to your brand. However, it’s important to note that Google performance max should not be run by itself – it should be used in conjunction with other forms of online advertising.

Google Performance Max

What is Google Performance Max?

Google Performance Max Audience TargetingIt’s the latest type of ad campaign from the Google ads platform.  It flips everything we know about Google ads on its head with no keywords being used.  Google has snuck in and got really good at audience-only targeting.  With audience targeting vs keyword, you no longer need to spend hours gathering all the ways that someone searches for you.

The fact is Google already knows that and they have developed ways to target by audiences. The other item it does is give you the opportunity to advertise on all of Google platforms, which is a lot.  It mixes creative assets with text ads to be there when someone is searching for your product or service or if they are just hanging out on the internet but are in your ideal client demographics.

The Google Performance Max is just one of the many types of campaigns that you can run inside the Google ads platform.  It’s often thought that Google ads are just keywords and search but it has evolved way past that stage. With it being already in the same platform everyone is familiar with there is no need for your Google ads agency to set up a new platform.  They can just set up a new campaign and manage your Google ads all in one place. But don’t get us wrong there is still quite a bit of setup.

How does the targeting work for Google Performance Max?

The first item your Google ads agency will need to investigate is the strategy of your audience targeting.  There are many different options that are available for targeting.


These are a little broader but have been described as what people are passionate about. Remember Google knows how you search and where you hang out on the internet. They know what your interest and behaviors such as banking and finance and Cooking enthusiast.  Check out this spreadsheet with more audience targeting ideas. Google Audience Targeting

Custom Audiences;

This type of targeting has a lot of subsets.  You can set up to target if someone has been to any of your competitor’s websites, specific keywords they have searched for, and much more.

Life Events;

Google knows when you have important life events coming up such as; moving, getting married, graduating from school, and so forth.


This type of targeting allows you to target people who have recently searched for your products and services.

Your audience data;

You can import an email list that you have t target just those emails? Think about targeting both a prospect list or letting existing clients know you have a new product or service.

Remarketing Audiences;

You can target people who have been to your website before! Don’t let that 95% that don’t buy on the first pass of your website escape.

Similar Audiences;

These are audiences built with Google’s machine learning that target people who are similar in attributes and search behavior to those who have already been to your website.

Detailed Demographics;

With this targeting, you can get to your basics like age, and sex but also more detailed like income brackets.

Where do my ads show for Google Performance Max?

A Google performance max can be seen from any of the following: Search, Gmail, YouTube, Display, and Discovery.

Yes, that read right you can target on the Google search results by audiences! You are getting to take care of all of the available places that you previously had to set up separate campaigns for all in the same campaigns. Another key benefit is that Google performance max optimizes for where you are showing for and what it shows for my going after conversions.  When you set up your original campaign you told google what your conversions were or desired action you want someone to take.  Google has this information and uses its data to target the right place at the right time.

What type of creatives do I need with Google Performance Max?

Since Google is using all of its property you are going to need more than your basic assets with Google ads. Let’s start with the basic text ads where you have up to 5Google Performance Max Ad Creative headlines (30 characters), up to 5 long headlines ( 90 characters), up to 4 descriptions (90 characters long), a Business name, a landing page, and a call to action.

The next are images, you need 3 landscape images, 3 square images, portrait images, a landscape logo, and a square logo. You can have a maximum of 15 images and 5 logos.

Then we move on to video, let’s not overthink it here. You need a video longer than 10 seconds but simple videos go a long way.  We are living in the day of short video content.  These videos do need to be loaded to youtube.  They can be made private so you only see them with ads.

That’s all you need for assets but you really think about who you are targeting with the assets, and what will speak to them.  But don’t forget you need a good landing page to land on for your google ads as well. Also, think about what part f the funnel are they in.  Remarketing ads and first impression ads are vastly different imagery and marketing messages.

What part of the funnel does Google Performance Max serve?

Speaking of funnels, where is Google Performance Max Campaigns in your marketing funnel? Well, it depends on the targeting that you use above and the ad strategy that you have developed.  When we are using in-market ads they are hot and ready to buy so your messaging and creative should match.  When we are remarketing you are looking to close the lead or sale. But if we are using an affinity-type audience we are higher up in the funnel.  This is because affinity-type audiences are the perfect demographic audience but they are not already searching for what you are offering.  This also all depends on how much ad budget you have spread around.  Your Google ads agency might run a more general messaging campaign if you don’t have enough money to allocate to different audiences. Remember that these campaigns are using machine learning to find your audience and those who are willing to convert.  It’s not just blanky putting ads out of Google properties but it’s optimizing for those who will convert to phone calls, form fills, or sales!

How do Google Performance Max Campaigns Compare to Facebook Ad Campaigns?

Here is one of the most important reasons why you need to try the Google performance max campaign now. They are beating Facebook ads.

Why is that? When Apple cut off all apps with their IOS14 updates and privacy restrictions all apps lost the ability to track data outside of the app they are in.  They lost the data that Google has.  Google runs on safari and on desktop and is not an app.  Well, they have an app but most searchers don’t use the actual Google search app.  So all the audience targeting that apps like Facebook had, Google still has it!

The other really good reason the Google performance Max campaigns are better is because of remarketing.  Apps like Facebook have really limited remarketing capabilities now with at least 80% of people opting out of tracking.  They lost that tracking but Google didn’t.

Should you run Google Performance Max by itself?

No, actually you shouldn’t.  It’s recommended that you run regular search campaigns alongside Google performance max campaigns.  They are meant to be a supplement to these campaigns.  In general marketing advice, you should not be running just one type of campaign or one type of platform.

Today’s consumers hang out in many places and putting all your eggs in one basket is dangerous.  Algorithms are always updating and you don’t want your Google ads agency to be left holding the bag.  Also, the different ad platform functions at different parts of the funnel.  We go through here how to build an ad strategy and decide your total ad budget. Omnichannel marketing is always the way to go!

There are many intriguing aspects to the Google Performance Max Campaigns.  We expect Google to evolve more and more into the audience targeting and be the dominant player they are right now in this arena.  With any campaign, your Google ads agency needs to stay on its toes and test and try out new features!