Keeping Up with Google Performance Max in 2023

January 19, 2023

Last year proved to be a challenging one for any business looking for a quality return on their marketing spend. That only got more difficult with Google’s Q3 transition from Smart Shopping to Performance Max (PMax) campaigns. We hope our guides helped you to make the change smoothly. 

Whether you’re up and running with Google Performance Max campaigns now or you’ve been waiting out the storm, we’re here with an updated guide to get you rolling in 2023. In this article, we’ll discuss the latest Google shopping trends you can expect to see in 2023, along with ways to use them for kickstarting or improving your new Performance Max Google Ads.

Why Performance Max Campaigns are the New Standard

Using Google Performance Max, advertisers can now run one campaign under one budget to a broad range of services. This has made it easier to manage, update, and report on ad performance, as well as reach your target audience—where they are most likely to convert.

“It’s designed to complement your keyword-based Search campaigns to help you find more converting customers across all of Google’s channels like YouTube, Display, Search, Discover, Gmail, and Maps,” (Google Ads Help).  

Google already knows which customers are interested in the types of products you sell—and because they can now appear on your audience’s YouTube feeds and in their Gmail—customers are already being introduced to your ads before they actually begin any search queries. Therefore, your ad strategy in 2023 really needs to focus on making sure your ad copy, imagery, and product feed is clean, optimized, and targeted to the consumers you’re hoping to convert.

Screenshot of Google Performance Max ad types
Google knows best: Provide your own assets, and let Google decide where to display your ads for you.

How Performance Max Campaigns Have Performed So Far

When Google first announced its new Performance Max campaigns in 2021, many retailers were slow to test it out. According to one search engine marketing company, three in four of their digital retailers continued to use Smart Shopping despite the early availability of Google Performance Max in the first few months of 2022. So, when Google forced the transition in Q3 of last year, many were left wondering how it would go.

Now, the word is in: the switch to Google Performance Max continued to show the same strength in clicks, conversions, impressions according to spend, regardless of the sharp uptick in adoption.

In other words, there was hardly any noticeable change in the quality of leads from advertising with Smart Shopping versus Google Performance Max. And according to Google, Performance Max campaigns are already reporting an increase of 13% in conversion and value by being able to find new customers, get deeper insights, and increase your automation ability.

Google Shopping Trends in 2023 You Need to Capitalize On

While Smart Shopping served any ads you inserted, they couldn’t necessarily learn. Now they can.

The room for automation has increased substantially with Google Performance Max, as it creates ads using the content you provide in your asset groups [e.g., headlines, images, descriptions, videos, etc.], then automatically mixes and matches these assets to generate top-performing combinations, based on which channel your ad shows up on. 

As impressive as it is that brands can now control all things in one campaign, it does bring with it some pitfalls in the form of campaign transparency and level of control. It is going to be super beneficial to have an agency (like us!) helping to manage the confusion.

With this in mind, here is our list of Google shopping trends in 2023 you’ll want to capitalize on:

  1. More of a concentration on goals, conversions, and acquisitions, and less of a focus on clicks
  2. Heavier focus on the customers’ conversion journey for each ad, which requires not trying to optimize for every stage of the funnel at once
  3. Larger emphasis on lookalike marketing with all the power of Google’s search engine behind it
  4. Budgeting for more marketing up front to allow Google’s A.I. to collect more data and further optimize each campaign
  5. Higher investment in PPC expertise to ensure you don’t miss a step or inadvertently hurt your marketing with Google’s automation efforts

Performance Max campaigns are meant to save you time by allowing you to create a single campaign that takes less work to set up and manage versus trying to create separate campaigns for each of Google’s channels. With it, however, comes the need for you to follow some guidelines to ensure you’re unlocking its full potential. To see some of the Best Practices you should follow, be sure to check out our previous article.

Screenshot of a Google Performance Max Ad on YouTube
Preview your assets across all of Google’s different platforms. Here is a screenshot of an ad we ran for a local jeweler.

Get Up and Running on Google Performance Max with Brandography

By executing your Performance Max campaign strategy right, you’ll have more of a chance to effectively hit a larger audience with better Cost Per Click (CPC) and conversion rates. Additionally, understanding the latest Google shopping trends for 2023 will ensure you’re meeting your customer’s needs and expectations for a quality buying experience.

We hope this updated guide for 2023 has helped you to begin charting your course for your PPC marketing this year. For additional help, including a consultation to see what Brandography can do for you this year, we invite you to reach out today.

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