Google Ads Introduce New Goal in Performance Max Campaigns

May 12, 2022
Posted in Paid Search
May 12, 2022 Jen Lopez

Google Ads Introduce New Goal in Performance Max Campaigns

If you’ve been following our updates on the new Performance Max campaigns (Pmax) in Google Ads, which will ultimately take over Smart Shopping and Local campaigns in the coming weeks, then you’ll be excited to know that more features for PMax campaigns are rolling out! While a few features help advertisers better understand asset and diagnostic insights, the most exciting is a New Customer Acquisition Goal built for advertisers looking to reach new users.

In the world of more manual PPC management, far before Smart Shopping and Performance Max, we as marketers would have to decide how important new customers were to our the business and revenue goals of our clients, and adjust our campaign targeting accordingly. For some businesses, where multiple purchases are typical (food/bev companies for example), we didn’t want to focus our campaigns on only reaching new customers, since some of the best customers were loyalists, purchasing often. For other businesses (maybe B2B software, for example), a customer would only purchase a subscription once and maybe need to be restricted from seeing ads so that they aren’t clicking our PPC ads to “login” to their customer portal or hit the website to grab a customer service number.

Similarly, we’ve managed PPC for clients who have popular blogs, and often one-time customers would revisit the site frequently to learn through the articles on site, but weren’t particularly valuable to us as marketers since they had already made their purchase. In order to target or exclude previous customers, or send them down a funnel of more specific ads, we often used first-party Customer Match lists and Google Ads conversion tag events. PMax campaigns will operate similarly but with another interesting add-on as well.

Working alongside the above methods, Google will also be using their autodetection method to determine if the user on the receiving end of an ad is a new customer. The autodetection method is called “Google detected” and is currently a feature used in Smart Shopping campaigns. Now, Google detected is built on a newer machine learning model to predict how likely a user is to be a new or existing customer.

For advertisers who chose to set their PMax campaigns to the New Customer Acquisition goal, it means you will be allowing Google to use first-party signals, conversion data, and their auto-detection to best figure out how to target new customers. It does not mean Google won’t be doing any retargeting in those campaigns – to edge a user closer to conversion – but it does mean that they will work to focus on bringing in new customers harder than existing ones.

As a special note, brand searches trump the above. So, if a user is searching for a brand term, the PMax campaigns will not weed out customers to exclude them from seeing your ads on branded terms. In order to do that, you will have to contact your Google rep for a manual negative keyword insertion.

As with all new Google campaign types, we recommend running tests on this for a minimum of 4 weeks and analyzing the various data points that Google provides with these campaigns to see if this strategy is a good fit for your business and your goals.

Want to learn more? Get in touch with us here to revamp your current search strategy.