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Andrea Duffy-CabanaApril 17, 20242 min read

How to max out Performance Max campaigns for B2B

Google released Performance Max campaigns back in November of 2021, and they continue to be an important campaign type for search marketers. Performance Max campaigns are described by Google as a “goal-based campaign type” that allows performance advertisers to access all of their Google Ads inventory from a single campaign.

The idea is that these campaigns can help find more converting customers outside of traditional search campaigns and across the Google ecosystem, including YouTube, Display, Search, Gmail, and Maps. This sounds like a win-win for both marketers and Google, but the lack of control leaves much to be desired for many.

This is especially true for the B2B industry. B2B tends to have more niche targeting than traditional direct-to-consumer marketing. Although, after two and a half years in the market, it’s clear Performance Max was not designed with B2B in mind, there are still many use cases where this all-in-one campaign can be useful for B2B marketing.

When launching and managing a Performance Max campaign for B2B, keep these tips in mind:

1. Don’t turn it off over the weekends

The B2B industry is understandably asleep on Saturdays and Sundays… and all major holidays. Decreasing marketing spend on the weekend is a great way to save budget that can be best optimized Monday through Friday, but in some cases, we do not recommend this approach.

Performance Max campaigns rely heavily on machine learning and by shutting it down every Friday it will take 1-2 days to get it back up and running properly. Let Google learn that weekends are down times based on the traffic. If not, you may miss out on capturing conversions on your top performing days early in the work week.

2. Test the limits of ‘limited by budget’

One of the biggest mistakes a marketer can make when launching Performance Max is increasing the budget too much. Google will change your campaign status to “Limited by budget” in big red letters to convince you that you are missing out on potential conversions. This could be completely valid, but in my experience, it is not always accurate.

Because Performance Max campaigns have so much inventory across all Google placements it can start to feel like an endless pit of impressions. Keep your budget in check by only increasing by small increments until you start to see diminishing returns. A big indicator that your budgets are set too high will be that your CPCs will start to jump 30-50%. That’s a sign that the quality of your impressions are declining.

3. Use more signals

Performance Max does not rely on audience targeting to find conversions. However, it does allow for audience ‘signals’ to be added to the campaigns to help aid the campaign in finding the right customer. Think of signals as a nudge you can give the campaign to go in the right direction. These can be demographics, interests-based, in-market, or remarketing audiences. The best nudge you can give Google is your exact customer in the form of first-party data. B2B has narrow audiences, so don’t let Google guess who they are, tell them!

Performance Max can be hard to navigate with its lack of insights, but these tips should help to improve performance.


Andrea Duffy-Cabana

Read posts from Andrea Duffy-Cabana.