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Search Themes Coming to Performance Max Campaigns in Google Ads

October 26th, 2023

Google is now in beta testing for new search themes in Performance Max campaigns which they hope will help its advertisers with an easy way to guide Performance Max Campaigns to serve on placements that your current campaigns may not be reaching.

What is a Performance Max Campaign in Google Ads?

A Performance Max campaign is a new type of campaign in Google Ads. It allows advertisers to access all of their Google Ads inventory from a single campaign. This campaign type is designed to promote ads on all of Google’s advertising channels, including YouTube, Display, Search, Discovery, and Gmail.

You define a goal and provide all of the assets and information about what you are advertising, and Google then auto-generates ads that can serve across all of its available placements. It uses automated learning to reach people across these channels. This campaign type is designed to complement your existing search campaigns.

How will search themes help my performance max campaign?

Search themes will allow advertisers the ability to add information about their business which they believe will help their ads perform better, helping them to reach placements they may be missing. If you have knowledge about your business that performance max may be missing during the initial asset setup, you can now combine that expertise with Google AI to expand your reach on all channels including Search.

Here are some examples Google has outlined in which you may be able to help push your performance max campaigns to even greater CPA and ROI with search themes:

  • If your current landing page is missing some key information or latest updates about your products and you want your assets to reflect them.
  • Recently expanded into a new market? Or launched a new product? Without extensive performance history it would take some time to include this information in your ads, you can now include this information much more quickly.
  • A new promotion or sale for the holiday season can also be hard to get going if you do not have performance history related to these sales.
  • Important business themes which may be lacking in your current performance max campaign can be expanded to help your overall reach, including your search inventory.
  • If performance max is missing some important information which you believe would help your campaign optimize performance more quickly, you can add a search theme for it.

Adding a search theme will help to tell Google AI the types of traffic you want to reach across all Google Ads inventory and help find audiences based on their search behavior. Search themes will work alongside phrase and broad match keywords with the same priority however exact match keywords will continue to be prioritized in campaigns.

How can I use search themes to benefit my current performance max campaigns?

If your current campaigns are missing key aspects of your business that may be new or seasonal promotions which you don’t have time to set up landing pages for, search themes can help bridge that gap. Performance max will use your current website as a resource to find relevant search queries, if you are missing content which you may want to target you can add search themes for search queries your current content may be missing. Search themes allow you to indicate queries that you know your customers will be looking for even if the initial performance max set up may have missed them due to lack of content related to them on your website.

Google is allowing up to 25 search themes per asset group, this allows users to target more queries their customers are searching for which their current campaigns have not been targeting. This will also allow you to target seasonal queries and new related product queries right away without waiting for performance history. The search categories the ads have matched to will be available in the search terms insights at both the campaign and account levels.

Expect the new search themes to come in early 2024 with automatically upgraded custom segments based on search activity. You will no longer be able to add or edit custom segments based on past search activity in your performance max campaigns at this time.

Does your company need help streamlining your performance max campaigns, or just help with the initial setup of a Google Ads Campaign? Let our expert Google AdWords Services company help, contact us today!


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