Performance Max Google Ads Strategy (Advanced)


Set up your performance max campaign even if you’re not a Google Ads expert. Here’s an informative guide to help you along the way. Follow the tutorial with the YouTube video of Ted explaining the process in the most straightforward ways! 

This is a tutorial for you if: 

  • You’ve never set a performance max campaign before 
  • You have a performance max campaign, but you’re not hitting any goals
  • You want to scale a good campaign and make it great 

In this tutorial, Ted talks about the following:

  • Strategy Overview
  • Performance Max Campaign Types (Audience Signals, Listings Groups) 
  • Settings
  • Scaling/Optimization


Strategy 1

Note: Profit margin is the measure of your business’s profitability. 

The Pros

  • Easy setup, low effort, and no future optimization strategy. However, it’s difficult to optimize your asset groups here. 
  • Asset group signal is not specific to any one product or service type. 
  • There’s no way to optimize and scale. 

Strategy 2

This method is excellent for campaigns with specific product categories. 

The Pros

  • It’s a simple set-up
  • You can diversify based on products/brand
  • One asset per campaign so you have an idea of what’s working and what’s not.

The Downsides

  • There are no specific goals of the campaign. However, the goals are not unique to the products or services.
  • You may only need a handful of data for better organization and categorization. With this strategy, however, you may end up with overall diluted data from too many campaigns. 

Strategy 3

The best strategy among the three is where you have your performance max campaign based on your consumer margins.

The Pros 

  • In-depth setup constantly changes, and thresholds 
  • It helps hit business objectives most accurately 
  • It’s the best for seasonal types of campaigns 
  • Asset groups are there-based on high audience needs.


What is an asset group?

An asset group is a collection of creatives centred on a theme or related to a target audience.


→ The creatives of your asset group are used to assemble all of your ads and build inventory for all applicable ad formats for your advertising objectives. 

Asset Group Structure

The asset group structure depends on the campaign and your strategy. Make sure that you have core asset groups. 

Things to consider: 

  • Separate asset groups by product categories 
  • Replicate all asset groups per audience signal that you are testing six categories and six signals. This gives you a total of thirty-six asset groups. 
  • The more asset groups you have, the longer it takes to optimize the campaign. 
  • Start with 5-10 asset groups depending on your product and budget 
  • There are fluctuations when you are testing different networks 
  • Use insights to create new asset groups.

Asset Group Types Examples

There are three types of asset groups: 


  • Assets: Images + video
  • Products: all
  • Audience signal: all


  • Assets: Images + video
  • Products: all products
  • Audience signal: all-purchasers


  • Assets: Images + video
  • Products: brands
  • Audience signal: all purchasers

What is an Audience Signal?

An audience signal is how you tell Performance Max who's most likely to convert. A signal can include your data (formerly remarketing and Customer Match list) or customer segments (formerly customer audiences). Performance Max uses your signal to look for new people with a similar or stronger intent to fins conversions across Search, Displate, Videos, and more.

Signal Information you can get:

1. Data

  • This includes your email or a reactivation list of consumers who haven’t bought for the last six months. 
  • Best customers 
  • All buyers
  • Email list - Segment your list >1200 users as narrow as possible for brands of product types.
  • All website visitors  
  • Cart abandoners
  • Purchasers
  • Category page visitors

2. Custom Segment

These are signals that you’re giving Google based on the searches you’ve done in the past or sites you’ve visited. You can check the following here:

  • Competitor’s customer intent
  • Best keywords 
  • Supplier websites
  • Past converters similar to yours
  • Brand keywords

3. Interests & Detailed Demographics

It’s the broadest data.

  • It’s best to layer onto winning asset groups.
  • Not advisable to start with unless you have trouble spending your budget
  • This is the least targeted signal 
  • Go for obvious and non-obvious signals
  • When targeting your audience, go for specific targeting


It holds your product and product groups. There are a few ways to segment your products. 

  • By Brand
  • By product types
  • Bestsellers
  • Low sellers
  • Sale 
  • Seasonal 

Note that there are different listing groups, which should be created with different messaging and creatives.


When creating an asset group, always think of the angle you want. This marketing angle is a method of conveying information about your offer to potential customers. Your assets must have images, videos, and headlines. 

It’s essential to ensure that your assets hit different angles specific to the audience signal. For example, if it’s remarketing, talk about your discount or why they should buy now. Another tip is to test send traffic to the final URL or URL expansion to see how it works.


When you want to optimize and scale, it’s best to test various images. 

  • Text vs. no text: Try using images with low or no text
  • Test various images so that google can rotate through 

Headlines & Descriptions

Google recommends that you have different styles for your performance max campaigns. It’s critical to have a variety of headlines. Consider the following:

  • Online availability 
  • Shipping and returns 
  • Benefits of the actual product 
  • The call to action
  • Pricing and fees
  • Promotions and discounts
  • Location-specific 


Make sure your videos match your audience signals and products. It’s best to test voice-over videos as they’re cheaper to make. Video attribution isn’t great on Performance max because it’s a click network. The attribution lets you choose how much to create each ad interaction for your conversions. 

Videos should be longer than ten seconds for all Performance Max Campaigns. However, if you don't upload one, Google may generate a video for you from other creatives. But the generated videos aren’t that good, so it’s still way better to do your videos. 


It’s a critical step in your Performance Max Campaign. Even if you’ve set up everything but the settings are off, it will kill the campaigns outright. Here are some tips for remarkable settings. 

Customer Acquisition

You can bid for new customer acquisitions. The key is to bid for new customers than for existing customers via the New Customer Value Mode. Only bid for new customers. It’s difficult for Google to know who the new customers are vs the returning customers due to data privacy laws.

This isn’t the best option unless you already have a bunch of data. It’s better to use audience exclusions to let you focus your audience targeting and ensure that you don’t waste ad revenue on users who do not need to see particular ads. 

Value Rules

This option allows you to set conditions, such as audience or location. Furthermore, it lets you adjust conversion values based on your customers’ attributes and their relative value to your business. Only one rule can execute for each conversion event.

Budget and Bidding

It’s best to set a budget benchmark. It depends on the industry, products, and strategy you use. Typically, start with a $100/day budget. As for bidding, it’s recommended to begin with maximize conversion rule and don’t set a target until week-6 after running the campaign. 


Use the language of the target country that you have. 


Here are things that you can do: 

  • Increase the budget to winning campaigns
  • Wait for two weeks before increasing your budget to 20%
  • Wait for six weeks before setting a tROAS goal
  • Don’t turn off asset groups if you are hitting goals, as this could be your TOF builder
  • Look at CPCs to figure out what networks you are on. Lower CPC means that you’re in the Google Display Network and Discovery 
  • Add more high-performing assets and test combining multiple audience signals. It’s also recommended to look at the themes with those combinations and create new asset groups. 
  • Review Google Analytics audience data to improve ad performance. 

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About the Author

Ted is the founder of TGQ Marketing a PPC, Analytics and CRO agency focused on client results.