Optimisation tips for Performance Max for lead generation

Performance Max uses Google AI to help you drive growth in conversions and value through bidding, targeting, creatives and attribution. It's designed to perform across a wide range of marketing objectives and media channels. Because of this, we recommend using the following tips to help set up your Performance Max campaigns for lead generation for success and optimal results.

This article explains best practices for Performance Max campaigns for lead generation.

For additional best practices, review:

Campaign setup

  • Campaign duration: Run campaigns for at least six weeks to allow Google AI time to ramp up and curate sufficient data to compare performance.
  • Conversion goal selection: Use lead generation conversion goals such as 'Contacts', 'Submit lead forms', 'Book appointment', 'Sign-up', 'Request quote', 'Imported leads', 'Qualified leads' or 'Converted leads' to enhance your protection against invalid activity. Your conversion goals are one of the signals we use to strengthen our prevention systems.

Bidding and automation

  • Value-based bidding: If you’re tracking lead values, use value-based bidding strategies to correctly value offline and online conversions and maximise lead value.
Note: When using offline conversion import (OCI), be sure to import conversions with values assigned and use tROAS accordingly.
  • Conversion-based bidding: If you value leads equally, use conversion-based Smart Bidding to maximise lead volume.
    • Maximise conversions drives as many conversions as possible within your specified budget.
    • Maximise conversions with target obtains as many conversions as possible while maintaining a target CPA.
  • Setting targets: If you’re using the maximise conversions or target CPA (tCPA) bidding strategy, select the conversion action that’s furthest down the funnel and has a sufficient frequency, such as qualified or converted leads. Then, set the tCPA to a value that’s close or equal to the highest amount that you’re willing to pay for a lead of this type. Mark the conversion you create for your main goal as 'Primary' and other lead conversions (goals) as 'Observation only'.
  • Conversion value rules: Conversion value rules help you to better express the value of conversions as they relate to your business. They also allow you to adjust values for conversion events based on conditions like geographic location, device and audiences at auction time bidding in real time.
  • Enhanced conversions for leads: We recommend using enhanced conversions for leads (ECL). ECL helps improve lead quality by importing accurate conversion data from offline events into your account, which can then be used to optimise your campaigns through automation. Learn more About enhanced conversion for leads and our other offline conversion import solutions.


  • Refresh creative: Creative is your most powerful tool to help drive performance and allows you to customise your campaign to promote new products or offers. For the best results, focus on providing unique content and refresh it often.
  • Assets for audience signals: Add another asset group if you want to tailor ads for a different audience. You may notice that audience signals don't limit targeting and that the asset group serves beyond the audience. For best results, be sure to provide unique content that engages your audiences and tie assets to the right audience signals.
  • Add more assets: To continue attracting new users, we recommend that you add new assets or update your existing ones as your marketing message evolves. More assets mean more potential ad formats that can be created for different channels and users.

Lead form

  • Information: Only ask for strictly necessary information. Additional questions decrease the completion rate and, therefore, increase CPA.
  • CTA: The call-to-action (CTA) should either direct people to the website to fill in the form or have people fill in the form directly from the ad format (Discovery, YouTube, Search Extension).
  • Questions: Use qualifying questions and friction (such as reCAPTCHA) within lead forms. If you’re using the Google lead form, select qualifying questions to help further qualify your lead before they submit the form.
Note: This will help improve downstream lead quality but may cause an increased cost per lead (CPL).


  • Ad strength: Ad strength can be found by clicking Ads in the 'Campaigns' drop-down in the page menu on the left, then reviewing the 'Ad strength' column. The metric ranges from 'Poor' to 'Excellent'. Use the ad strength indicator to determine if an asset group is set up for success.

Audience signals

  • Audience signal: Performance Max is powered by Google AI. Use relevant audience lists as signals to accelerate the time it takes Google AI to ramp up and enhance your campaign’s results. Use remarketing lists, custom intent, Customer Match and similar segments as signals.
  • Existing leads: Use existing leads and ramp up automation faster with Customer Match and first-party audience data. These lists give Google AI a strong signal about who your existing customers are and how to reach them, along with similar customers. You can also use Customer Match lists to automatically build similar audiences to find customers similar to your existing ones.

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