Create a Performance Max campaign with local inventory ads

A common goal among advertisers is to encourage customers to visit your physical storefront and to showcase products available at nearby stores. This article explains how you can optimize your Performance Max campaigns with local inventory ads to drive offline visits and sales with a linked Merchant Center account and feed.

Performance Max is powered by Google AI to generate campaign settings that help you get more value from your advertising. As you create your campaign, you may receive notifications about issues that could affect performance. Use the campaign construction navigation menu to review and resolve these issues. Learn more about how to Set up your campaign for success.

Tip: If the goals in this article don’t match the campaign goals you’ve set up in Google Ads, Google provides additional Performance Max campaign creation options. Learn more about other ways to Create a Performance Max campaign.

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Before you begin

  • Make sure your Merchant Center account is set up with required product information like business details, tax information (United States only), verified and claimed website, shipping settings, and a feed with all of your product information.
  • Make sure your Google Ads account is linked to your Merchant Center account.
  • Automatically created assets can’t be applied to Shopping Ads.

Instructions

If you’re using a Merchant Center feed, follow the steps below to create a Performance Max campaign. If you’re unfamiliar with conversion tracking, review Set up conversion tracking for your website before you set up your goals.

Step 1 of 6: Create your campaign and choose a goal

  1. Click the plus button Create Button, then select Campaign.
  2. Under “Choose your objective, select Local store visits and promotions.
  3. Select Performance Max as your campaign type.
  4. Select your Merchant Center account and country or feed label where products are sold.

This graphic demonstrates how to select Performance Max as the campaign type for a new ad campaign.

  1. Enter a campaign name.
  2. Select Continue.

Keep in mind

  • Update or remove irrelevant or stale goals: You should update conversion goals to improve performance and to avoid continually removing them from your targeted goals. Click the 3-dot icon to edit or remove irrelevant goals, or go to “Conversions” to update your account-level conversion goals.
  • Set conversion values: Set conversion values for different goals or when each conversion is worth a different amount to your business. For example, if your campaign is optimized towards both phone calls and website actions, you can set the value for phone calls as your average sale order value. Automation will optimize for goals with the highest ROAS.
  • Performance Max only supports the account-level or campaign-level tracking template: Any tracking template at the lower level, such as ad group or product group, will be automatically removed.

Step 2 of 6: Set your bidding preferences

  1. In the “Bidding” section, select a bid strategy.
    • Conversions: If you check the checkbox for “Set a target cost per action”, the campaign will try to meet the Target CPA you enter.
    • Conversion Value: If you check the checkbox for “Set a target return on ad spend”, the campaign will try to meet the Target ROAS you enter.
  2. (Optional) Under "Customer acquisition", check the "Bid for new customers only" checkbox if you want to refine your target audience, regardless of bid strategy. Learn more About the new customer acquisition goal.
    • Note: To bid for new customers, you'll need to include an audience segment with at least 1,000 active members in at least one network.
  1. If you choose to optimize your store goals campaign for acquiring new customers, note that the campaign will serve to new customers based on:
    • Past online purchase conversions.
    • Existing customer lists shared through “Customer Match”.

You can find details of new customer acquisition in the “Conversions Summary Acquisition” panel. Note that the only mode that’s compatible with store goals is the "New customer only" mode. If you select "New customer value", the campaign won’t optimize towards new customer acquisition and will run as a standard Performance Max campaign.

Set your bid strategy

Based on your goals, Performance Max will help set the right bids for every auction to optimize your campaign.

  • If you’re tracking values with your conversions, it’s recommended that you use the “Maximize conversion values” bid strategy.
  • If you aren’t tracking values and care about all of your conversions equally, consider the “Maximize conversions” bid strategy.
  • If you want your campaign to try to meet your Target ROAS, select "Maximize Conversion Values" and check the checkbox for "Set a target return on ad spend".
  • If you want your campaign to try to meet your Target CPA, select "Maximize Conversions" and check the checkbox for "Set a target cost per action".

Learn how to Choose your bid and budget.

Set your customer acquisition preferences

You can optimize your campaign to acquire new customers. By default, your campaign bids equally for new and existing customers by default, but you can specify if new customers are worth more to your business using this setting.

Learn more About the new customer acquisition goal.

Step 3 of 6: Set your campaign settings

  1. On the “Campaign settings” page, select the locations to target under “Locations”.
  2. To target a location that isn’t listed, select Enter another location, enter the name of the place you want to target, then select Target or Exclude.
    • If you want to target specific places within a location, select Nearby and again select Target or Exclude locations.
  3. Under the “Languages” dropdown, select the languages your customers speak. You can select multiple languages to show your ads to specific sets of customers.
    • Note: For more location targeting options, use “Advanced search”. You can add location in bulk or enter a location and radius around that specific location that you'd like to target.
  4. Finalize any additional settings you’d like to set up under “More settings”. Click Next.

Turn on automatically created assets

If you keep automatically created assets selected, Performance Max campaigns may auto-generate assets if Google AI predicts that your campaign performance can be improved. Google AI curates text and images from your landing pages and shows them in your ads when it’s predicted to improve performance. Then, you can add information like brand colors to help your campaign look more personalized.

If both the automatically created assets settings (text assets and Final URL) in Google Ads are checked and turned on for your campaign, your final URL may be replaced with a more relevant domain based on customer intent , that uses a dynamic headline, description, and creative assets from your landing page’s content. By turning this feature on, you can increase your campaign’s ability to serve.

Note: If you’re only adding store goals, such as store visits, contacts, and direction clicks to a campaign, Final URL expansion won't be supported.

Final URL Expansion

If both the automatically created assets settings (text assets and Final URL) in Google Ads are checked and turned on for your campaign, your final URL may be replaced with a more relevant domain based on customer intent, that uses a dynamic headline, description, and creative assets from your landing page’s content. By turning this feature on, you can increase your campaign’s ability to serve.

Learn more about Automatically created assets in Performance Max.

Note: Assets for Shopping ads are automatically created only if a Merchant Center feed is attached to the campaign.

More settings

You can set up ad scheduling, campaign start and end dates, and URL settings under “More settings”.

Ad scheduling

Use ad scheduling to determine the number of days and hours your ad will show. For some goals, you may want your ad to only show during business hours or when you are available to handle customer inquiries.

Exclude brand traffic

You can prevent your Performance Max campaign ads from serving for specific brand searches (including misspellings) by creating a Brand list in your account and applying it to your Performance Max campaign.

Learn more About brand settings for Search and Performance Max.

Campaign URL options

The tracking template is where you put tracking information. Performance Max only supports the account-level or campaign-level tracking template. Any tracking template at the lower level, such as ad group or product group, will be automatically removed.

You can use URL parameters within the template to customize your final URL. When an ad is clicked, the information is used to create your landing page URL.


Step 4 of 6: Set up your asset group and assets

Google’s default setting is to auto-generate assets on your behalf, but you can launch without assets. However, it’s recommended that you add your own assets to help your campaign to maximally serve across surfaces and help you achieve optimal performance.

If you attach a Merchant Center feed to your campaign, assets are automatically generated from that and you don’t have to provide additional assets. It’s recommended you still upload headlines, descriptions, and images to help Google AI automatically create and optimize your ad creative.

Listing groups are required and will default to all products in the specified Merchant Center account. You’ll also follow the steps below to upload assets if you’re creating a Shopping ad.

  1. On the “Asset groups” page, enter a unique asset group name.
  2. Confirm Listing groups for the campaign. Listing groups allow you to select which products will show in your campaigns's ads. The default will be all products in your attached Google Merchant Center account, but if you wish to only use a selection of products follow the steps below:
    1. Click the pencil icon Edit next to "All products".
    2. Select Use a selection of products in your ads.
    3. You can select products by Category, Brand, Item ID, Condition, Product type, Channel or Custom labels from the dropdown. You can also choose values in bulk by manually entering product types separated by line breaks.
    4. Check products that you want to include in your Performance Max ads and they'll appear in the column to the right. To remove products, click the red remove dot icon Red X icon next to the product group.
    5. Click Save to finish setting up your Performance Max campaign.
  3. Build your asset group using the guidelines below.
Asset Recommended asset guidelines

Image

Add up to 15 images
Logos Add up to 5 logos
Videos

If you don't upload a video, Google may auto-generate one from your other assets. To opt out of auto-generated video, upload a video during campaign construction or launch.

In either instance, Google will automatically resize your video ads to increase performance and improve ad strength across platforms. Remember that if you don’t plan to upload a video, you’ll need to consider how creative assets in an auto-generated video might appear if resized.

If you don't have a video, use the Google Ads video creation tool to create one while remembering the following guidelines.

  • Add up to 5 videos
  • Choose video formats based on where your ads will run. Horizontal videos may be adjusted to serve in square or vertical formats.
Learn more about how to Create a video using Asset library.
Headlines (maximum 30 characters) Add up to 5 headlines
Long headlines (maximum 90 characters) Add up to 5 long headlines
Descriptions

Short description (maximum 60 characters)

  • Add one short description

Long description (maximum 90 characters)

  • Add up to 4 long descriptions

*Long descriptions aren’t supported in local formats.

Call to action Select a call to action that aligns with your goals such as “sign up” or “subscribe”.
Business name Add the name of your business or brand, which appears in the text of your ad.
Ad URL options Add the pathway for your display URL and choose a different final URL for mobile.
Final URL With Final URL expansion turned on, Google may replace your Final URL with a more relevant landing page based on user search queries. Google may also generate dynamic headlines, descriptions, and assets to match your landing page. Learn more About automatically created assets.
Promotions (optional)

Promotion assets can add additional value by highlighting your sales and promotions for people who are searching for the best deals your business has to offer. learn more about how to create Promotion Assets.

If you're interested in using promotion assets to drive customers to your storefront, learn more about how to use digital coupons via promotion assets.

Tip: You can create one or more asset groups with assets related to a single theme or audience. After creation, combine assets from the same group to create ads that serve across Google Search, Google Maps, Display, YouTube, Gmail, Discovery feed, and Google partner websites. Hover over the question mark icon to learn more about the requirements.

You can create one asset group before launching your Performance Max campaign and additional asset groups after setup. Your assets will automatically be assembled into all applicable formats and show the most relevant ad creative.

Audience signals

Audience signals allow you to add audience suggestions that help Google Ads automation optimize for your selected goals. Although adding audience signals is optional, using audience signals can help you accelerate and guide Google AI on the ideal way to optimize your campaign.

Remember that Performance Max campaigns may show ads to relevant audiences outside of your signals if they have a strong likelihood of converting to help you meet your performance goals.

Ad strength

Ad strength is an indication of the relevance and range of your ad creative combinations. Having more relevant and unique content can help you get the right ad in front of your customers and improve your ad’s performance.

Ad assets

Ad assets expand your ads and give people more reasons to view your ads or take action on them. Assets add useful business data below your ad, including locations, additional links, prices, and more. For this reason, assets are recommended in Performance Max campaigns. Learn more About assets.

In Performance Max campaigns, ad assets are tied to specific marketing goals and will be featured more prominently based on the campaign’s goal. Ad assets can:

  • Display information that gives the user an opportunity to learn more about your business.
  • Display actions that invite the user to do more than visit the website. Some actions covered may be to call the business, submit a lead form, or view locations.
  • Invite the user to gather more information about the business or extend interaction between the business and user.

Video creation in Google Ads

You can either upload your own videos during campaign creation or use the free Google Ads video creation service to create horizontal or vertical videos for your campaigns. If you don't have a video asset, and you don't want to use auto-generate videos, consider using the video creation tool. To create a video in Google Ads, choose a template from the Asset Library and upload the following items:

  • Branding elements like a logo or brand colors
  • Images like product or lifestyle pictures
  • Video-friendly messaging

When you create your video, Google will automatically resize your video ads to increase performance and improve ad strength across platforms. Remember that you can also crop or refocus images in Google Ads before you create and upload your video to a designated YouTube channel for use in a campaign. Learn more about how to Create a Video campaign.


Step 5 of 6: Set your budget

Your budget establishes a monthly charging limit for an individual campaign. The charging limit is the average daily budget that you set, multiplied by the average number of days in a month. While your spend may vary each day, you won’t pay more than your monthly charging limit. Learn more About spending limits.

For Performance Max you should:

  • Set an average daily budget of at least 3 times your CPA or cost/conv. for the conversion actions selected for your campaign. You have the flexibility to change your budget at any time.
  • Check your account daily to know how your campaigns have performed so far.
  • Remember that on days when your ads are likely to get you more traffic, you may spend up to 2 times your average daily budget. Those days are balanced by the days when your spend is below your average daily budget.

Step 6 of 6: Review and publish your campaign

Before you finish setting up your campaign, you'll be taken to a review summary with the details of your new campaign. Select Publish Campaign to complete the process.


Important: In CSS Program Countries, Performance Max campaigns can be used with any Comparison Shopping Service (CSS) you work with. The ads will show on general search results pages and on any other surfaces the CSS has opted in to. Learn more About advertising with Comparison Shopping Services.

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