Setting up Performance Max Campaigns for Holiday Success 2022

Maddie Tovar Written on December 1st, 2022, Last updated on October 10th, 2023

Unlock holiday sales across channels via Performance Max campaigns 

It has been almost a year since Performance Max campaigns were made available to all marketers worldwide to aid in boosting conversions across the entire spectrum of Google’s ad channels and inventory, and we’ve already seen some impressive results.

Simply put, who doesn’t want their ad campaigns to convert as many potential customers as possible?

With Performance Max, you can leverage a goal-based campaign that focuses on achieving the performance objectives that matter to you with automation and machine learning. The automation technology serves the right ad at the right time to the right audience, according to your marketing objective.

Plus, Performance Max serves the best inventory across Google to reach customers where they are more efficient and at scale.

Based on early testing, advertisers who upgrade Smart Shopping campaigns to Performance Max see an average increase of 12% in conversion value at the same or better return-on-ad-spend (ROAS).

Holiday optimizations for Performance Max campaigns

If there’s one time of the year when it’s most important to leverage all the marketing tools at your disposal to reach shoppers – it’s the festive season.

The economic slump and other macroeconomic issues have also caused a number of changes in consumer behaviour this year, making this holiday shopping season unique. But this doesn’t mean that consumers are no longer shopping. 

Customers are looking for brands that provide value and omnichannel experiences. Plus, they’re shopping for gifts even earlier this year, so it’s vital to set up your campaigns as soon as possible. 

Adjust Performance Max campaigns prior to the peak holiday season to best reach customers and capture their demand throughout their holiday purchasing journey. However, don’t make changes last minute.

Google suggests allowing a few days after changing bids or budgets and uploading new creative 2 weeks ahead of the holidays. In our experience we’ve found this campaign type to be volatile after implementing larger scale changes, so be sure to do these well in advance (ideally 4 weeks!).

Here are Bind’s top tips for maximizing Performance Max during the holiday season.

Optimize ad copy and budgets

When shoppers are on the hunt for holiday bargains, they don’t want to have to search high and low to find your holiday offers. With that in mind, put your offers front and centre of your ad copy and graphic design. Update your ads to make sure they give consumers the best overview possible of your holiday deals. 

Another simple way to increase your conversion rate is to raise your campaign budgets to make sure you aren’t capped or restricted. Google says this is the quickest way to start to see results from your campaigns.

In terms of your holiday setup, Google suggests making adjustments with at least two weeks of ramp-up time for each new campaign that you set up and preparing four to six weeks ahead of your peak period.

Put promotions front and centre

Whether they’re shopping for gifts before the holidays begin, or looking for discounts in the post-holiday retail rush, shoppers want discounts. 

If your online store is offering deals and discounts, don’t be afraid to put them front and centre of your marketing campaign. You can do this by adding promotion extensions in the Merchant Centre as part of your Performance Max Campaign.

The Merchant Centre allows you to add the following types of promotions:

  • Amount off (a monetary discount)
  • Percent off (a percentage discount)
  • Free gift (a free gift based on an item purchase or amount spent)
  • Free delivery

With free shipping having an influence on purchasing for 75% of shoppers, and discounts dissuading shoppers from looking elsewhere, it’s well worth advertising your promotions to increase your conversion rate.  

Make the most of first-party data

First-party data includes data you collect directly from your customers, through methods like email signup lists and tracking. By leveraging first-party data, you’ll have more options for locating potential new clients. The more you know about existing customers, the more you’ll understand future customers. 

Although Google’s autodetection technique will always be used by default, we strongly advise using Customer Match when uploading audience lists. Using the most recent information aids Google in understanding who your newest clients are. You can increase new customer conversions and generate longer-term revenue for your company with the new customer acquisition target.

We also recommend adding Product Viewers in the last 7-14 days. 

Utilise Google’s own insights

To help advertisers further, Google curates data on the Insights page with trends across Google to help streamline their daily performance monitoring workflow. There are several different Insights available for Performance Max campaigns which will help you achieve success:

  • Auction Insights: This helps you understand whether shifts in the visibility of your competitors above or below you on the SERP may have impacted your performance.
  • Performance Drivers: Show which asset groups and, if relevant, product, product groups, and product types, are driving performance changes.
  • Consumer Interest Insights: Surfaces themes for search terms you show an ad for.
  • Audience Persona Insights: Surface Google audience segments which are overrepresented in conversions when compared to the targeted population.
  • Search Trends*: Shows emerging trends and growth opportunities related to the products and services you’re advertising for.
  • Demand Forecasts*: Surfaces upcoming demand related to your business.

*Available at Account level.

Screenshot of the Insights tab for P. Max campaigns on Google Ads

The bottom line

With Performance Max Campaigns proving to be such a valuable addition to Google’s ad offerings, take advantage of the customization offered to supercharge your online store’s sales, but be sure to do these well in advance!

Make sure your ad copy and imagery are in line with your holiday offers and add promotions to your Merchant Centre, and make sure to implement seasonality adjustments. Having your campaigns optimized for the festive season can be the differentiator that makes consumers choose your products over your competitors. 

We hope this helps you achieve your goals for this holiday season. Feel free to reach out to our team, otherwise, we’ll see you in the New Year for more tips on maximizing that all-important conversion rate!



Maddie Tovar Hiya, I’m Maddie 👋 Brand Marketing Executive at Bind Media. Started my career within PPC four years ago, however, did a 180 and now my day-to-day consists of SEO, content creation and social! Fun fact: I’ve got an obsession with making weirdly specific playlists on Spotify and talk in TikTok references only.

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