How to Maximise Google Ads Performance using Performance Max with John Horn of the Stub Group

Also available as a Podcast.

In this week’s podcast, Trevor talks to John Horn from The Stub Group about how to Maximise your Google ads performance. Google has been increasing the automation of its ads programmes, recently introducing the highly automated Performance Max format. 

What is Performance Max

Performance Max campaigns use machine learning to try and achieve a retailer’s goals. They are highly automated and do not require the advertiser to specify any targets. To create a PM campaign,  a retailer must specify

  • Product feed
  • Performance goals
  • Audience signals
  • Ad creative

Google takes this info and finds customers for your business within your target.

Benefits to retailers

PM campaign is a massive time saver; in John’s experience, they outperform standard shopping campaigns.

In my experience (Trevor), whilst it is possible to beat automation in the short term, in the long term, performance is steadier.

Optimising Performance max

Optimise product feed

The data you submit to PM is your biggest lever when optimising performance. Areas to optimise:

  • Images
  • Title
  • Attributes
  • Video content


Creating attractive and relevant ad assets will help Google understand your products and promote them more effectively to potential customers.

Audience signals

With privacy becoming a more significant issue online, companies like Apple have stopped shaving customer data with advertisers. To help Google learn faster, submit audience data to Google, e.g. customer emails.

In my experience (Trevor), adding audience data makes a massive difference to performance.

Performance Targets

Carefully choose your performance target. The most aggressive a target, the harder Google will find it to find customers at that price.

Other ad types

Whilst PM campaigns do support text ads, John recommends running text ads alongside. These ads types can drive significant traffic for some advertisers.



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