With Performance Max, you can create a single campaign that gives you all the basic features that you already have with DSA. Performance Max also allows you to promote your products or services across all of Google's ad channels and inventory.
This article covers important details about how to self-upgrade your DSAs to Performance Max, and answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs).
Benefits of upgrading DSA campaigns to Performance Max campaigns
- Performance: Advertisers who upgrade DSA campaigns to Performance Max see an average increase of over 15% in conversions or conversion value at a similar cost per action (CPA) or return on ad spend (ROAS)(Source: Google Data, Global, Ads, December 2022 - January 2023.
- Additional coverage across Google Ads channels and inventory: In addition to Search, which DSA already runs on, Performance Max campaigns also run on YouTube, Display, Discover, Gmail, and Maps to help you drive more conversions. See how you can drive better performance by switching from single-channel campaign optimization to cross-channel optimization.
- Google AI technology: Search keywordless AI technology, plus Google AI innovations for bidding and creative automation help you optimize your budget across channels in real time and quickly adapt to fast-changing consumer trends.
- Robust insights: Performance Max provides insights that show where your campaign is helping you find new and valuable search categories and terms. Learn more about Understanding Performance Max results with the Insights page.
- New features: Performance Max includes new features, such as inventory-aware serving, which improves performance by excluding landing pages from your website while a product is out of stock, taking the work out of managing those URL exclusions manually. Performance Max also uses automatically created assets to help you create more relevant text ads that better match a user’s intent, and offers more control by allowing you to soon view and remove any headlines and descriptions you don't want to serve.
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How the self-upgrade works
Eligible advertisers will get a notification in their Google Ads accounts when they have the option to self-upgrade from the Recommendations page. You’ll need to set up a new Performance Max campaign for each DSA campaign that you want to upgrade.
The original DSA campaign remains and historical data can be accessed in the “Campaigns” table and by finding your original DSA campaign. A new Performance Max campaign takes up to one week to fully ramp up.
To ensure a more complete picture of performance, also consider conversion lags or delays when you’re assessing results. Where possible, Google learns from your original DSA campaign to help maximize performance from the first day your new Performance Max campaign is active.
Note: You’ll need to provide the minimum asset requirements for a Performance Max campaign to complete the self-upgrade. Add as many versions of text, image, and video assets as possible including different image sizes and video orientation. Providing a wide range of creative assets helps you maximize results by allowing your campaign to create more ad formats to serve across more relevant types of inventory.
For example, advertisers that included at least one video of each orientation (horizontal, vertical, and square) to their Performance Max campaigns delivered 20% more conversions on average in YouTube compared to horizontal videos alone.
Source: Google data, Global, November 2022
The following criteria determine whether a DSA campaign is eligible to upgrade and the features that will and will not be carried over to the new Performance Max campaign:
- In order to be eligible for the upgrade, a campaign must have:
- Up to 100 enabled ad groups
- Campaigns with Smart Bidding enabled
- DSA ad groups in a Search campaign that does not contain keywords
- Enabled DSA creative
- Campaign without a running trial
- You’ll also find that some settings that were a part of your DSA campaign will look identical in your Performance Max campaign, including:
- Bid target
- Geo-targeting settings
- Language settings
- Page feed exclusions
- Account-level negative keywords
- Some features and settings from your DSA campaign will be carried over in a slightly different way to your new Performance Max campaign, such as:
- Audience signals
- URL rules (page feeds will automatically be created)
- Bid strategy (may be slightly different depending on multiple factors outlined below)
- The Insights page, in place of the Search Term Report, offers reporting for Performance Max including Search term insights and more.
- You’ll find new functions in your upgraded Performance Max campaign:
- More assets
- Brand exclusions (optional)
- Inventory-aware Serving
- Some features from your DSA campaign will not be supported in your upgraded Performance Max campaign:
- Campaign-level negative keywords (Learn How to use brand suitability features in Performance Max)
- Some DSA negative targeting (for example, page title contains, page content contains)
- Asset group tracking templates (Performance Max supports campaign level tracking)
Instructions to self-upgrade DSA to Performance Max campaign
You can self-upgrade your DSA to Performance Max campaign directly in 2 ways.
- From a notification in your Google Ads account
- From the Recommendations page
- From your Google Ads account, click on the notifications icon in the top-right corner.
- Click on the “Upgrade campaigns” notification.
- In the notification, click Apply.
- In the confirmation, click Apply all to confirm.
- In your Google Ads account, click the Campaigns icon .
- Click Recommendations.
- Click View Recommendations and select the checkbox next to each campaign that you want to upgrade.
- Click Apply all in the “Upgrade to Performance Max” recommendation to upgrade all campaigns in one click.
- In the confirmation modal, click Apply all.
- From a notification
- From the Recommendations page
Select campaigns with sufficient conversion volume and budget will be eligible to A/B test the impact of upgrading Dynamic Search Ads campaigns to Performance Max. The experiment will split the traffic 50% for the DSA campaign and 50% for the Performance Max campaign. Learn more about setting up an experiment and evaluating your test results.
Upgrade process FAQs
For most campaigns, you can expect a new Performance Max campaign to take approximately one week to start learning and ramp up. We use learnings from your original DSA to help maximize performance, from the first day your new Performance Max campaign goes live.
If you run an experiment, we encourage you to re-check the results in 6 weeks. Then, fully launch your Performance Max campaign if the experiment performance is similar or better compared to the original DSA campaign.
Even if you already have a similar Performance Max campaign, we recommend upgrading from DSA to a new Performance Max campaign. This is because:
- If you have the option to run an experiment, we recommend A/B testing to understand the uplift in conversions/conversion value you would get from upgrading.
- Manual upgrade (simply moving budgets from one campaign to another), is an error-prone process if campaign settings and configurations aren’t carried over consistently and correctly. This could cause performance changes that are difficult to diagnose
- Having multiple Performance Max campaigns is acceptable, especially if they have different settings, conversion goals, bid targets, or other differing configurations. If you’d still like to consolidate your campaigns to simplify management and maximize results from a unified, agile budget, proceed with caution and ensure that your campaign settings are configured correctly to maintain consistent performance. There might be some movement in reporting between campaigns. However, performance at the account level should not be negatively affected.
Product features and settings FAQs
If your original DSA campaign was in a portfolio bid strategy with many other campaigns, your upgraded Performance Max campaign will be pre-populated with the bid strategy, and targeting that will allow your Performance Max campaign to perform on-par with how your DSA campaign was performing within the portfolio bid strategy. Be sure to check that the recommended bid target works for you and make changes as appropriate.
Your original DSA campaign will remain in the portfolio bid strategy.
In Performance Max, you can do URL targeting in 2 ways:
- URL expansion ON with optional URL exclusions (campaign-level)
- URL expansion OFF with optional URL rules (asset group-level)
The upgrade tool will map your original DSA campaign into one of the above setups that best matches your DSA campaign setup. If the setup does not work for you, you can change URL rules and settings while or after you complete the upgrade.