It’s no secret that Performance Max campaigns present limitations in terms of data and insights we can pull from them. As a result, understanding the causes of their performance fluctuations can be difficult.
I’ve created an in-depth 44-point checklist for ecommerce businesses in this article to make accomplishing that task easier for you.
Of course, you don’t need to go through every single one of these points. Just go over the ones that are relevant to your business.
I also discussed some of these points on PPC Town Hall with Frederick Vallaeys and Mike Rhodes. You can watch the full video here:
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Performance Max 44-point evaluation checklist for ecommerce businesses
- Estimated conversion reporting delay.
- Average days to conversion from first ad interaction (account-wide and campaign-specific).
- Conversion tracking and recent changes to conversion actions.
- What “normal” PMax performance fluctuation looks like for the account (if appl.)
- Recent changes to budget, bid strategy type, Asset Groups, and Listing Groups
- Google Merchant Center product disapprovals and warnings, account issues, and feed issues.
- Changes to the site (e.g. navigation/checkout, plugins, hosting, page designs)
- Changes to in-stock products, especially best sellers.
- Changes to pricing, customer shipping costs, and promotions listed or previously listed on the site.
- Extremely negative reviews on and off the site
- Google Search Console for “Failing” URLs
- Changes in relevant search and buying behavior via the Insights section of your PMax campaign and your account as a whole, Google’s Keyword Planner, Google Trends, your site’s search feature (if appl.), Best Sellers section of Google Merchant Center (if appl.), and Microsoft Ads (if appl.).
- New competitors in the market or competitors who are changing their level of competitiveness within ad auctions you compete in.
- Major changes in other marketing and site traffic channels outside of Google and Microsoft Ads (e.g. Facebook Ads, email automation, affiliates, third-party remarketing channels)
- Major changes in on-site shopping behavior (e.g. cart abandonment, check-out abandonment, sessions with transactions)
- Shifts in Shopping network-specific performance for PMax.
- Top Bidding Signals report for optimization changes recently made by automated bidding.
- Performance shifts of landing pages PMax ad clicks are being sent to.
- Major changes made to non-PMax campaigns that may have impacted the performance of PMax.
- Major shifts in the performance of high-volume or high-performing search terms, geographies, devices, days, days of the week, hours, audiences, match types, or campaign types in non-PMax campaigns.
- Performance metric outliers for the campaign pre and post-major increases or decreases in performance.
- Performance metric outliers for the products advertised in the campaign - at the campaign-level and Asset Group-level.
- Performance metric outliers for the Listing Groups in the campaign.
- Asset Group assets or Ad Extensions with Eligible (Limited) or Disapproved status.
- Seasonality Adjustments not being added for major promotions, or for other major expected spikes or dips in conversion rates.
- Improperly added Data Exclusions, or for instances where Data Exclusions should have been added but were not.
- Scripts or Automated Rules that made changes to the account that may have had an impact on Performance Max.
- Account changes by other users who are not the primary account manager.
- Auto-applied recommendation changes made by Google.
- Customer match list additions, removals, or edits.
- Custom Experiments recently ended in the account.
- Value rules or conversion value adjustments were added, edited, or removed.
- “Best” rated assets inside top performing Asset Groups had a recent change in rating.
- High-performing or high-volume search categories or terms shifted away from a high-performing or high-volume Asset Group.
- Edits made to a Business Feed or Custom Variable that affected any non-PMax campaigns.
- CRM integration issues.
- Negative Keyword List was added to the PMax campaign being evaluated per the request of another user.
- Negative keywords were improperly added to a Negative Keyword List that is applied to the PMax campaign being evaluated.
- YouTube ads were opted out of by another user.
- Mobile app placements not owned and operated by Google had major increases or decreases in impressions.
- Mobile app category exclusions were applied at the account or campaign level.
- Location or Ad Schedule exclusions were added or removed for the PMax campaign being evaluated.
- Improperly setup Performance Max URL Exclusions.
- Auto-generated YouTube videos were added by Google to the PMax campaign being evaluated.
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This is a guest post by Cory Lindholm, Founder of Ads By Cory.
About the author: Cory is a paid search expert in Google and Microsoft Ads. He has helped countless brands grow their businesses with advanced paid search strategies for nearly a decade.