Google Performance Max Shopping vs Standard Shopping Campaign
Google Shopping is a service from Google that allows users to search, compare and buy products from various sellers who have paid Google to advertise their items online.
In this article, we’ll have a look at shopping campaigns and detail important differences between Performance Max and a Standard Shopping campaign.
- How Does Google Shopping Work
- What Is a Standard Shopping Campaign?
- What Is Performance Max?
- Differences Between Google Performance Max Shopping and Standard Shopping Campaign
How Does Google Shopping Work
Imagine you want to buy a 4k TV. The easiest way to do this is to go to Google and type the keyword “4k TV” into the search box.
Google generates search engine results pages (SERPs) filled with listings of 4k TVs with relevant information such as images, descriptions, prices, and brand names. I would like to note that in addition to the block with product cards, text ads will also be shown.
Here is how it looks in product listings ads:
Google Search Ads:
Google Shopping tab:
What Is a Standard Shopping Campaign?
This is the campaign required to create Product Shopping ads. Product Shopping ads let you include an image, title, price, and your store or business name inside your ads, without the need for you to create unique ads for each product you sell.
The key points you should know about the Standard Shopping Campaign:
- More time-consuming setup.
- Requires manual testing of ads (image and text combinations).
- Full control over every aspect of your campaign, but it takes more time to manage the ad campaign.
- You can disable online placements.
- You can manage location targeting.
- You can add negative keywords.
- You can add multiple landing pages to test ads.
- Shows only in search results and in the shopping section.
What Is Performance Max?
Performance Max (PM) is the type of automated campaign that works to achieve goals, pay for results and find customers wherever they are located.
Performance Max has replaced Smart Shopping and Local campaigns.
The main feature of PM campaigns is that they allow you to search for customers at all placements. The algorithm selects the placements itself. Ads can appear in search, networks, recommendations, Gmail, YouTube and Google Maps, and Discover. Placements cannot be excluded.
A campaign with maximum effectiveness is available for four targets: Sales, Leads, Website traffic, Local store visits and promotions.
What Tasks Does Performance Max Do?
- It covers more types of campaigns: PM campaigns use many different advertising formats. So, PM can be useful to you If you are going to promote your offer across multiple channels in different formats.
- This is full automation. Increase the number of conversions and the value of conversions. The smart algorithm automatically optimizes budget and channel rates to maximize conversions in real-time, across all placements. Machine learning models help predict more accurately which ads, audiences and ad object combinations will yield the best results.
- Receiving detailed information about the work of an automatic campaign. The advertiser can monitor how well the automatic campaign is performing. Information is displayed in the “Overview” section and “Insights”.
Performance Max Standard (Without Product Feed)
PMax is a versatile and flexible tool. Moreover, it is suitable for most businesses. Often advertisers do not have a Merchant Center product feed, but PMax can work without it, this is not a critical factor.
If you don’t have an online shop, check out our article “Google Performance Max Guide” to learn about Performance Max running without feed.
Performance Max for eCommerce (Shopping Only)
The main advantage is that the system will take data on products and their prices directly from the product feed.
The steps for setting up a campaign are the same as for Performance Max without feeds.
The main difference is only in the connection of the data feed. To learn more, check out these available materials from Google:
- Create a Google Merchant Center account:
Once you have linked your Google Merchant Center and Google Ads accounts, you can create Performance Max Google Shopping.
The differences appear when you set up the item group. Here the advertiser can set up item groups. That is, select the products whose images will be used in ads.
To do this, click on the sign of the pen in the section “Listing groups”:
Then we define the parameter by which we want to select goods. You can select by category, brand, item ID, condition, product type, channel, custom label:
Next, we set up audience signals and extensions as we described in the “Google Performance Max Guide” article, and launch the campaign.
Differences Between Google Performance Max Shopping and Standard Shopping Campaign
The main difference between Performance Max and Standard Shopping Campaign is certainly in automation and simplicity of settings.
Below we have prepared a comparison table that clearly shows the key differences between the campaign types.
Quick and easy setup
Shows on all placements
Automatic tests of ads
Plenty of landing pages
Detailed reports of search queries
Disable search partners
Accurate targeting by audience
Add negative keywords
Performance Max Shopping
You will ask WHAT? How do I add negative keywords in Performance Max if there isn’t even such a section?
Nice bonus for those who have read to the end.
This is a hidden feature, but can be accessed. You can ask our team for help.
You can find many examples that will tell you about the effectiveness of Performance Max, such as how it raises revenue by 40% or ROAS by 45%.
Examples from Google:
But do not forget that Performance Max is not a panacea and not all projects will show its effectiveness. It is worth conducting tests, and only by running different variants of Performance Max can you achieve success.
So we can say that Performance Max is needed as a tool for scaling, moreover, with a quick startup. The disadvantage is obvious, and this is a limitation due to automation, which does not allow you to influence the advertising campaign in all aspects.
Performance Max is like a black box. So you have to choose: control and transparency vs. ease of management and coverage.
Both Performance Max and Google Standard Shopping Campaign have their pros and cons, so choose what works best for your advertising campaign, line of business and marketing strategy.
We have extensive experience in running PPC for eCommerce businesses. If you have questions about the differences in shopping campaigns, or which type of shopping campaign to choose, don’t hesitate to contact our team.
What are the pros and cons of PPC automation?
- Automation saves much of your time and money.
- With fast data analysis, errors are identified and corrected more quickly.
- Automation of routine tasks (e.g. keyword research) lets you focus on more important areas of your business.
- Automation is a black box, and this lack of transparency leaves you without valuable insights that would help you optimize your ad campaign.
How to create Google Shopping Ads?
There are 3 main steps:
- The first thing to do is sign up for a Merchant Center account.
- Create a shopping feed.
- Link your Google Ads and Merchant Center accounts.
After completing the last step, you can start creating and launching Google Shopping Ads.
Can you add negative keywords to Performance Max campaigns?
Yes, you can do that, but there is a special condition for accessing this feature. You need to be a Google Partner to add negative keywords. Contact our team for a free consultation.
What’s the difference between Smart Shopping and Performance Max?
PM completely replaced Google Smart Shopping in autumn 2022. PM campaigns give your advertisements more visibility by covering Google Maps and Discover platforms. Foundational features remain the same.
Is Performance Max worth it?
PM is the best choice for those advertisers who have limited resources for optimizing various channels. Also, it’s an opportunity to unlock new customer segments. So, we can conclude that PM is really worth it and if managed properly, brings positive sales growth and improves ROAS performance.
Performance Marketing Specialist working with PPC. I love working with customers from all over the world and solving problems I’ve never faced before. When not working, I read up on marketing to develop my skills.