Performance Max for travel goals onboarding guide

Performance Max for travel goals is a goal-based, multi-channel campaign designed to drive more direct hotel bookings. It uses the full power of Google AI to help hotels reach the right potential guests across Google’s full range of advertising channels and inventory with one simple setup.

Key features:

  • Use pre-populated creative assets (images, headlines, descriptions, and URLs).
  • Show on search results for property related queries.
  • Measure performance with property-specific reporting.
  • Use Travel “Made for you” Audience Hints recommendations for targeting.

This article is your guide to help users onboard and use Performance Max for their hotel ad campaigns.


In this article


Benefits

  • Find even more guests and turn them into converting customers. Performance Max for travel goals is designed specifically to help hotels drive traffic to their site and get “heads in beds.” It expands your reach by streamlining the addition of new ad formats, ad inventories, and using automated targeting to identify new potential guests looking for properties like yours, giving you a chance to meet potential guests that you didn’t even know you were missing.
  • Easy to set up. Google AI suggests messages, images, urls, and other elements for each property you’re planning to promote and gathers them into asset groups. You decide what messages and assets best represent each property, and you set your budget threshold and booking goals for each campaign.
  • Easy to maintain. It manages the details from automatic bidding, to how your ads are balanced between ad inventories, to selecting the best performing assets to serve to a potential guest — all while helping you meet your booking goals within your budget. Google AI also makes campaign and bidding details easy to scale without added work.
  • Easy to understand. Performance Max for travel goals provides you with only the metrics that matter to your business. You can use the simplified per-property reporting to track and share your campaign performance for each of your locations separately.

Where your ads appear

Performance Max campaigns appear across all of Google’s channels like YouTube, Display, Search, Discover, Gmail, Maps, and the Travel channel. For Performance Max for travel goals, we also use smart targeting of property terms on Search to provide incremental reach to existing campaigns.


Campaign creation steps

Note: The instructions below are part of the new design for the Google Ads user experience. To use the previous design, click the "Appearance" icon, and select Use previous design. If you're using the previous version of Google Ads, review the Quick reference map or use the Search bar in the top navigation panel of Google Ads to find the page you’re searching for.
  1. In your Google Ads account, click the Campaigns icon Campaigns Icon.
  2. Click the Campaigns drop down in the section menu.
  3. Click Campaigns.
  4. Click the plus button Add, then select New campaign.
  5. Select "Sales" as your campaign objective.
    • Note: Both the Sales objective and the Without a goals guidance objective will trigger the hotel selection module for Performance Max for travel goals campaigns, but the Sales objective is recommended as a best practice. Other goal types aren’t compatible at this time.
  6. Scroll down, then choose the purchase conversion goals.
    • Best Practice: It’s possible to have other goals in the campaign, for example, phone calls or leads. However, we recommend only using purchase goals in a Performance Max for travel goals campaign.
    • Note: Store visit goals are incompatible with Performance Max for travel goals campaigns.
  7. Click Continue.
  8. Select Performance Max as campaign type, then select Hotels in the “What are you advertising?” section.
  9. Select the preferred Hotel property feed source. The options for selecting hotel properties when creating Performance Max for travel goals campaigns are as follows:
    • Option 1: Selecting an existing data feed or creating a new data feed in the Google Ads campaign creation flow. This allows you to select hotels from our hotel picker.
      • Note: You're setting up a Performance Max for travel goals campaign without using a Hotel Center account, which means the hotel rates that are used for your ads are Google sourced third-party rates with limitations. Learn more About Google third-party rates for hotel ads
      • You can add up to 100 hotels per campaign.
        The "Create new data feed" window allows you to select hotels from the property picker.
    • Option 2: Hotel Center Linking (recommended if you have your own Hotel Center account)
      You can link Performance Max for travel goals campaigns to your Hotel Center account. In your Hotel Center account, you can select the properties you'd like to link (up to 100 properties allowed with different locations, images, and messages) and use them for your Performance Max for travel goals campaign. A few things to keep in mind:
      • “Use the hotels in your Hotel Center Account” is only available for advertisers with a Hotel Center Account linked to a Google Ads account. Learn more about how to link accounts.
      • If your Hotel Center account has more than 100 properties, you must select only up to 100 properties when linking the account to Google Ads, otherwise you won’t be able to use the linked Hotel Center account in a Performance Max for travel goals campaign.
      • You can connect multiple (different) Hotel Center accounts to one Google Ads account.
      • You can’t connect the same Hotel Center account to the same Google Ads account more than once.
      • Learn more about how to manage an established connection between a Google Ads account and a Hotel Center account.
    • Option 3: Bulk upload hotels with Google Maps URLs
      Hotel Advertisers who don’t have Hotel Center accounts to link or aren’t using the Google Hotel data feed source can also create a “Hotel properties feed” using Google Maps URLs. Learn more about how to create a Hotel properties feed using Google Maps URLs.
  10. Enter the Campaign name, then click Continue.
  11. In the pop up window, select a “saved draft” or click Start new to create a new campaign.
  12. Enter the “Budget and bidding” information for the campaign, then click Next.
  13. On the “Campaign settings” page, choose the “Locations” you want to reach, then select the language to target.
    • Note: We recommend having a single language target per Performance Max for travel goals campaign. If multiple languages are targeted, Google will use the first language entered for automatic text asset creation.
  14. Under Automatically created assets, we recommend unchecking the Final URL box if you have more than one property on your domain.
    • Note: If you have one property on your domain or are targeting all properties on your domain, we recommend leaving the Final URL Expansion box checked.
  15. (Optional) Underneath “More settings”, enter the “Start and end dates”, then click Next.
  16. On the “Default Logo” page, click + Logo to add a logo that can be applied as the default for any of the hotels in your campaign.
    Note: Skip adding a logo to your campaign at this level if you prefer. You can add or edit logos per asset group later in the campaign creation and post campaign creation.
    The user interface for setting a default logo in a Performance Max campaign.
  17. Click Save then click Next.
  18. On the “Asset groups” page, click Edit to make changes to any populated asset group.
    • In the pop up window, you can edit the name of your asset group and edit the landing page URL, videos, and other assets on the left panel.
    • Note: Google has image coverage for many hotels and advertisers can always supplement our images with their own. There may be cases where Google is unable to retrieve images. In scenarios like this, advertisers can upload their own images or scan their website and social media sites to pull in images.
    • Google AI will now include Travel “Made for you” Audience Hints for each asset group and you can edit them by creating a new persona and or switching to a previously created one. We will use Google’s existing hotel data (location, amenities, star rating) to automatically add audience hints for each of your selected properties to improve performance.
    • Learn how to Add additional asset groups.
      The user interface for adding asset groups to a Performance Max campaign.
  19. Click Save, then click Next.
  20. On the “Assets” page, add preferred extensions. Under More extensions, you can include lead form assets, structured snippets, prices, promotions, and callouts. Click Next.
    The user interface for adding assets to a Performance Max campaign.
  21. Review your campaign, then click Publish Campaign.
    • Note: If you miss any fields during the process, you’ll receive an error on the “Review your campaign” page.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Performance Max versus Performance Max for travel goals

  1. Can advertisers run Performance Max and Performance Max for travel goals campaigns together?

It’s technically possible to run both a Performance Max campaign and a Performance Max for travel goals campaign targeting the same location and language, however, we strongly discourage this. The campaigns would compete against each other and behave in unexpected ways. Advertisers can add asset groups to a Performance Max for travel goals campaign that are not property specific, and they will function identically to a Performance Max campaign.

It’s OK to have Performance Max and Performance Max for travel goals campaigns running together targeting different locations or languages.

Campaign setup best practices

  1. How many campaigns should an advertiser create?

    The number of campaigns should be determined by:

    • If properties have separate, custom budgets or separate ROI targets
    • If the campaigns are serving in different languages
    • The number of asset groups required. There’s currently a limit of 100 asset groups (properties) per campaign.
  2. How should I run campaigns in top performing and key markets?

    It's important that the Performance Max for travel goals campaign has enough volume to get meaningful results. It’s recommended to include markets and hotel properties with current traffic and performance near advertiser expectations.
  3. I do not own my own Hotel Center account. How can I confirm if conversion tracking is set up properly and triggering for the properties I am promoting?

    Advertisers should double check that clicking through the booking link URL presented in the hotel tab does cause conversions to correctly trigger. If conversion tracking is not set up properly the campaign will not perform optimally.
  4. When creating a new or editing an existing Performance Max for travel goals campaign, can I copy over asset groups from a different Performance Max for travel goals campaign if we plan on using the same properties?

    Unfortunately, no. You can do either of the 2 scenarios:

    Scenario 1: If the advertiser is creating a new campaign, the advertiser can either use an existing hotel properties feed or create a new one to create asset groups.

    Scenario 2: If the advertiser is modifying an existing campaign, learn more about how to Add additional asset groups (hotels) to your Performance Max for travel goals campaign.

Reviewing performance

  1. When should I start reviewing my Performance Max for travel goals campaign performance?

To ensure the system has enough data to target and optimize your campaigns, we recommend waiting a minimum of 6 weeks before reviewing performance. Learn more about Optimizing campaigns for Performance Max.

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