Upgrade your Display campaigns to Performance Max campaigns

Important: Only select Display campaigns are eligible for the Performance Max campaigns upgrade. Eligibility is based on current features and functionalities that are available in both Display and Performance Max campaigns. Before attempting to upgrade your campaigns, make sure that your existing Display campaign is active (paused or suspended campaigns can't be upgraded) and then review the outlined Recommendations.

Display campaigns serve visually engaging ads that help you reach more potential customers across the Display Network. If your Display campaigns are eligible, you can simplify your advertising experience and upgrade those Display campaigns to Performance Max campaigns. This can help you find more converting customers in more places and drive performance based on your specific conversion goals.

With Performance Max, you can access all Google Ads inventory from a single campaign and use Google AI technologies for bidding, budget optimization, audiences, creatives, attribution, and more. Learn more About Performance Max campaigns.

This article will discuss


Benefits of upgrading a Display campaign to a Performance Max campaign

  • More conversions: Advertisers who use Performance Max campaigns may achieve more conversions at a similar cost.
  • Additional coverage across various Google ads platforms: Performance Max ads also run on Search, YouTube, Discover, Gmail, and Maps to help you drive more conversions.
  • AI (artificial intelligence) technology for stronger performance: Google AI technology can provide improved performance across bidding, targeting, creative optimization, and more.
  • Robust insights: Performance Max provides rich insights that show where your campaign is helping you find the new and valuable categories and terms. Learn more about Understanding Performance Max results with the Insights page

Recommendations

You can choose to create a Performance Max campaign at any time, but we recommend that your Display campaign have the following before you upgrade to make the transition easier:

To gain access to the guided upgrade flow, consider adding Google AI to your existing Display campaigns.


Transitioning from your Display campaign to a Performance Max campaign

Note: When you upgrade your Display campaign to a Performance Max campaign, the existing Display campaign is marked with the “Removed” status and your new Performance Max campaign is created. Learn more About campaign statuses.

If you think that you may want to run your Display campaign as it was before you upgraded it to a Performance Max campaign, simply copy the “Removed” Display campaign and create a new Display campaign. Should you wish to no longer use the new Performance Max campaign, you can pause or remove it. Learn how to Copy and paste campaigns, ad groups, ads, audiences and keywords.

When you upgrade your Display campaign to a Performance Max campaign, your existing assets, budget, and applicable settings will move from your existing Display campaign to your newly created Performance Max campaign. Your Display campaign will be marked with the “Removed” status, and your upgraded Performance Max campaign can begin to serve ads within the first day. Learn more About campaign statuses.

You can view performance data of your previous Display campaign by filtering your campaigns by status and finding your “Removed” Display campaign.

Any activity that results from your new Performance Max campaign will be recorded in the new Performance Max campaign’s performance metrics.

Performance Max campaigns can only support 100 asset groups. If you have more than 100 asset groups when you upgrade, your top performing responsive display ads are selected for migration. These asset groups are chosen based on their performance over the last 90 days prior to your upgrade.

Note: Any assets not migrated will still be accessible to download or reuse.

Creative ad assets: Performance Max campaign upgrade

Display creatives that will transition to your Performance Max campaigns

If you have existing image ads and responsive display ads in your Display campaign that use the same final URL, they’ll be combined into asset groups when you upgrade to Performance Max. Asset groups will support a maximum of 15 images. Previews are available at the asset group level, but not for individual image ads.

Providing high quality text, images, and video can significantly improve performance of your new Performance Max campaign. The new campaign will also utilize advanced format features, including asset enhancement, auto-generated videos, and native formats based on the assets provided from your Display campaign.

  • Supported (Learn about Display ad asset best practices)
    • Images
    • Videos
    • Long headlines
    • Short headlines
    • Descriptions
    • Logos (square and landscape)
    • Business name
    • Final URLs
    • Ad extensions (visible only after you publish your new Performance Max campaign)
    • Disclaimers (visible only after you publish your new Performance Max campaign)
    • Calls to Action (Install, Visit Site, and See More calls to action are not supported in Performance Max campaigns. If you do have any of these selected in your previous Display campaign, the Google AI built into your new Performance Max campaign will replace those calls to action with the best fitting supported calls to action.)
  • Not supported
    • HTML
    • GIFs
    • Ad URL options
Notes:
  • HTML5 templates, Flash templates, and older image ad types that are no longer supported are also not supported in Performance Max campaigns, so they won’t be moved to your new campaign. Your other image ads won’t be affected, and you can replace removed assets at any time by adding more supported assets.
  • Existing assets from your previous Display campaign will still be available. Once migrated, your campaign and its assets won’t be deleted, and only your campaign’s status will be changed.
  • Ad URL options that were in any Display campaign that you’re upgrading won’t carry over from your Display campaign, but you can set these up again in your new Performance Max campaigns at the campaign level.

Bidding: Performance Max campaign upgrade

Your new Performance Max campaign will continue to use the eligible Smart Bidding strategy used in your previous Display campaign. It will also continue to combine that strategy with attribution technology that helps determine the best options for your campaign across all Google inventory, determining bids on auctions that have the highest probability of meeting your business goals in real-time.

If your previous Display campaign included a combination of different bidding targets at the campaign and ad-group levels, your new Performance Max campaign will use an average of those targets based on serving.

When you upgrade to your Performance Max campaign, your bid adjustments will be represented as a unified target for that campaign. You can change your bid adjustment from within your Performance Max campaign by adjusting your targeted bidding. Learn more about target CPA bidding and target ROAS bidding.

Note:
  • Some Enhanced CPC Display campaigns are eligible to upgrade to Performance Max campaigns. During the migration, these campaigns will be updated to use Maximize Conversions with a target CPA. The average CPA the campaign has achieved recently will be used as the new target. You can edit this during the migration. Eligibility is based on the volume of recent conversions.
  • Pay for Conversions Display campaigns are eligible to upgrade to Performance Max campaigns. During the migration, these campaigns will have their billing updated to be based on interactions instead of conversions. There is no eligibility requirement.
  • Display campaigns previously using Enhanced CPC or Pay for Conversions bid strategies may go into a learning period when you switch to Performance Max as the bid strategy shifts to Maximize conversions with a Target CPA (cost-per-action).
  • Campaigns with store visits as a marketing objective are now eligible. This goal uses view through conversions here which may cause changes in your performance. Learn more About store visit conversions.

Targeting settings: Performance Max campaign upgrade

Once you update to Performance Max, your campaign will use Google AI to show ads to the most relevant audiences who are most likely to convert. Your campaign will continue to use Google AI to optimize performance across all Google channels. Learn more About optimized targeting.

While not required, campaign targeting and exclusions from your previous Display campaign can change in your new Performance Max campaign in the following ways.

Audience hints

Any existing audience segments (for example, your data segments and Customer Match segments) and demographic targeting within Display campaigns that you upgrade to Performance Max campaigns will become audience hints. This automated targeting helps you uncover new converting customers across all of Google’s channels and networks. Learn more about Performance Max audience signals.

User lists

User lists will not be automatically carried over from your Display campaign as it is upgraded to Performance Max. If you wish to continue using your user lists, you should transition only those that include existing customers who have purchased your products or services to a New Customer Acquisition (NCA) goal within your new Performance Max campaign. Note: Any lists you bring to NCA will be used across any campaign using NCA goals.

Performance Max offers new customer acquisition goals, so you can efficiently acquire new customers by bidding higher or bidding only to new customers. You can also set values for new customers to guide the AI. Choose between bidding higher (New Customer Value mode) or bidding only (New Customer Only mode) to acquire new customers based on your list. We recommend using New Customer Value mode when looking to acquire new customers.

Note: You should only select user lists that contain existing customers who have purchased your products or services (excluding those who have visited your website but did not convert). These will be added to all of your campaigns that use the new customer acquisition goal.

Updates to your user lists will be reflected in your Performance Max campaign after 3 days.

Brand safety settings at the account level

In addition, brand safety settings from your previous Display campaign will be available at the account-level so that you can tell Google Ads which types of content you don’t want your ads to appear in. This will benefit your new Performance Max campaign and all other existing campaigns.

  • Content exclusions (Digital content label, sensitive content, and content types exclusions) will move to the account level.
  • Keyword and placement exclusions will have an option to include at the account level during the upgrade, but this will not be selected by default.
  • IP Exclusions won't be available in your Performance Max campaign.

Note:

  • If you’re upgrading Display campaigns that included in-video content exclusions, those exclusions will not carry over to your Performance Max campaigns. Learn how to Set content exclusions for Display campaigns.
  • If your Display campaign includes more than 20,000 placement exclusions, you will not be able to move your placement exclusions from your Display campaign to your new Performance Max campaign. The maximum number of placement exclusions supported at the account level is 65,000.

Unsupported targeting

Performance Max automatically optimizes targeting to improve performance in the ever-changing advertising landscape. Because Performance Max campaigns may show ads to relevant audiences outside of the signals you provide, based on the Google AI that will help you meet your performance goals, certain more restrictive targeting is not supported in your new Performance Max campaign. These include:

  • Positive targeting like keyword, topic, and placement targeting
  • Device targeting for operating system, device models, network, or browser
  • Exclusions for affinity and in-market segments, life events, and topics
  • Geographic locations based on Areas of Interest, which are no longer available for any campaign type. Learn more About advanced location options.

You’ll spend less time on targeting, so you can have more time to focus on ad assets that really appeal to your audience.


How to upgrade a Display campaign to a Performance Max campaign

Note: When you upgrade your Display campaign to a Performance Max campaign, the existing Display campaign is marked with the “Removed” status and your new Performance Max campaign is created. Learn more About campaign statuses.

If you think that you may also want to run your Display campaign as it was before you upgraded it to a Performance Max campaign, make a copy of the existing Display campaign before upgrading it. Then you’ll be able to turn that copy of the campaign into a new Display campaign, while also easily upgrading the existing Display campaign into a Performance Max campaign. Learn how to Copy and paste campaigns, ad groups, ads, audiences and keywords.

There are 3 ways to do this:

  1. From the notifications in your Google Ads account
  2. From the “Recommendations” page
  3. From the inline recommendations shown on your campaign page

Upgrade from the notifications in your Google Ads account

  1. In your Google Ads account, go to the top-right corner and click the notifications icon Notifications.
  2. Select the “Upgrade your Display campaigns” notification and click Apply.
  3. When you get a confirmation, click Apply all to confirm.

Upgrade from the “Recommendations” page

  1. In your Google Ads account, go to the Recommendationspage.
  2. Click View Recommendations and select the checkbox Blue check box icon for selecting ad campaigns alongside every campaign you want to update.
  3. Select Apply all in the “Upgrade to Performance Max” recommendation to upgrade all campaigns in one click.
  4. In the confirmation modal, click Apply all.

Upgrade from your campaigns page

  1. In your campaigns page, you might find a notification recommending you to upgrade to Performance Max on the right side of the page.
  2. Click View to review the conversion benefits the upgrade will give you.
  3. Click Apply all to upgrade your Display campaign to a Performance Max campaign.
Note: While transitioning to a Performance Max campaign, you must provide assets and exclusions to publish successfully. The publish button won’t appear if you don’t have enough assets or exclusions in your campaign.

FAQs

Expand all

Do I have to upgrade my Display Campaign to Performance Max?
No, this is an entirely optional upgrade that we are offering customers.
When will I be eligible to self-upgrade my Display campaign to a Performance Max campaign?
Starting May 2023, if you have eligible Display campaigns, you’ll notice the 3 options below in your Google Ads accounts to upgrade your Display campaign to Performance Max campaigns.
  • From the notifications in your Google Ads account
  • From the “Recommendations” page
  • From the notifications in your “Campaign” page

Wider availability is expected later in 2023.

Note: Eligibility for upgrade varies per campaign based on individual campaign feature usage. If some of your campaigns use a feature that’s not yet eligible for upgrade, you can check back and upgrade these when they're eligible. In the meantime, you can upgrade other eligible campaigns.
How can I self-upgrade my Display campaign to Performance Max campaign in Google Ads?
Eligible accounts will get a notification regarding the upgrade. The notification will guide you with the upgrade recommendation. Simply follow the steps.
Why is Google recommending advertisers to upgrade Display campaigns to Performance Max campaigns?
Performance Max campaigns can provide more conversions from relevant search queries through scaled landing page-based targeting and creative generation for ads. To streamline the targeting portfolio across Google ads, we’re improving Display campaign’s use cases, technology, and benefits into Performance Max campaigns. Display campaigns will continue to be available.
How can I view historical data from my Display campaign after it’s been upgraded to Performance Max?
You can access historical data through the “Campaigns” table and by checking your original Display campaign.
Will Performance Max support non-Smart Bidding Display campaign functionality in Performance Max?
No, Performance Max campaigns use Smart Bidding to improve performance and optimize your campaign across Google’s advertising channels and inventory. Including a Target CPA or Target ROAS can help optimize your campaigns for conversions and conversion value. Learn more About Smart Bidding.
Can I upgrade to Performance Max campaigns if I don’t have the necessary assets?
To complete your upgrade, you need to provide the minimum asset requirements for a Performance Max campaign. You can also enable automatically created assets by generating assets from eligible sources based on relevance and predicted performance. Learn more About automatically created assets.
Can I self-upgrade multiple campaigns at once using bulk edit functionality?
Not in the first half of 2023, but we anticipate releasing support for this functionality in the future.
Can I exclude specific inventory from serving in my Performance Max campaign?

No. If you’re using Performance Max campaigns, excluding or targeting specific inventory isn’t possible. Performance Max focuses on your goals to help you drive more conversions or conversion value across Google's full range of advertising channels and inventory.

It’s important to add accurate goals and conversion data to help steer performance and ensure that your campaign’s optimized for the right things. Even if one channel or specific inventory placement may outperform another across auctions, that may not be the case in a specific auction.

What if I want to exclude specific placements?

Performance Max campaigns allow all account-level placement exclusions. Campaign-level placement exclusions aren’t available yet.

Your ads can be excluded from being placed in specific pages, sites, mobile apps, and videos where you don't want them to be shown. However, this placement exclusion feature can negatively impact your campaign’s performance as it limits serving. Placement exclusion is recommended only for brand safety, like excluding websites and mobile apps that aren’t appropriate for your brand. Learn how to Exclude placements at the account level.

Can I use negative keywords in my new campaign?
Advertisers using Performance Max campaigns can apply account level negative keywords to opt out of showing your ads alongside content that may not be appropriate for your brand or serve your advertising goals.
How will this upgrade impact existing Performance Max campaigns?
You can upgrade each individual Display campaign to a Performance Max campaign. Each upgrade creates a new Performance Max campaign, regardless of whether a similar campaign already exists. Learn more about Working together with AI to provide it with the highest-quality inputs possible.
How long will it take for the upgrade to be complete?
It usually takes less than 2 minutes to create a new Performance Max campaign from your original Display campaign.
How long will it take for the Performance Max campaign to ramp up?
We use learnings from your original Display campaigns to minimize the time it takes your Performance Max campaign to ramp up. We recommend waiting 1-2 weeks to judge the performance of your new Performance Max campaign. Actual performance time will depend on many factors, such as whether you have other campaign history in your account, what your conversion goal is, and how many conversions you can get with your daily budget.
Can my account be prioritized for the upgrade?
No. Wider availability is expected late in 2023. Until then, eligibility is based on comparable functionality between your Display campaigns and what is currently available for Performance Max campaigns.
How will I be notified if my campaigns are eligible to self-upgrade?
After logging in to your Google Ads account, click “Recommendations” in the subpage menu on the left. If you have an eligible Display campaign, you’ll get a notification that you’re ready to upgrade your Display campaign to a Performance Max campaign.
How will language functionality work in Performance Max for an upgraded Display campaign?
Language settings and other relevant settings are carried over from your Display campaign to the Performance Max campaign.
Will multiple Display campaigns be combined into a single Performance Max campaign during the upgrade?
No. Campaigns won’t be combined. A new Performance Max campaign will be created for each eligible Display campaign being upgraded. Your active or paused Display campaigns will be set to the “Removed” status when upgraded. Each new Performance Max campaign will be optimized to the same goals as the original Display campaigns.
Where do Performance Max campaigns show ads and what types of ads will be available?
Performance Max campaigns show ads across all Google Ads inventory. Examples include the Display Network, Search results, the “Shopping'' tab on search results, websites, YouTube, feeds on the YouTube homepage and “What to watch next”, Gmail inboxes, and Discover. Types of ads include text ads, image ads, video ads, multi-image carousel ads, and product listing ads.
Can I run an experiment to understand the impact of adding a new Performance Max campaign?
Select campaigns with sufficient conversion volume and budget will be eligible to A/B test the impact of upgrading Display campaigns to Performance Max. The experiment will split the traffic 50% for the Display campaign and 50% for the Performance Max campaign. Learn more about setting up an experiment and evaluating your test results.
Note: We do not recommend making changes to the campaigns while testing, as doing so may affect your results or lead to an inconclusive experiment.

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