Wednesday Jul 27, 2022

Does Google Performance Max actually...perform? You’re gonna be surprised. EP-035

Blake Beus  0:01  
Okay, performance Max, what is it? You said it's the new thing. Everybody loves it. I know nothing about it.

Greg Marshall  0:08  
Well, and I'll say, I don't know if everyone loves it. But I do know that perpetual traffic, the podcast. Yeah. And the couple of gentlemen there that run it. They sound like they absolutely love really performance racks. And here's the brief explanation of what it is essentially, instead of doing, you know how, when you build your campaigns on Google, you would say like, if you have a target audience, you'd fill out like your own search campaign, its own YouTube campaign, its own display. Like to reach them all time performance, Max puts all that to one, huh? Okay, so all the placements are kind of batched into one. And then what it does, and, you know, once again, this is new. So supposedly, what this does, is it picks it essentially does almost like its sales cycle, for all the different placements for you. So it kind of like, for example, let's say we were trying to sell Blake, instead of like me creating all these campaigns and forcing each campaign on you, everywhere you go. Performance Max is going to say, well, Blake's in market for a new camera, right? Because he's in market for a new camera. He's showing up on this website. So we'll show him some display, then we'll show him some content from a website, then we'll show him a YouTube video, though. So it's kind of like it chooses individuals, and then uses the placements as it thinks it's best necessary to get you to convert.

Blake Beus  1:36  
Okay, gearing, placements and part of the journey based on the person viewing the ads. Correct. So you set up a bunch of assets. And then behind the scenes, Google knows a bunch about a person. Yep. And so they start showing you placements based on that. I'm guessing some sort of escalation as they see more and more, maybe there's higher intent. content a little bit later after, after they're more aware, something like

Greg Marshall  2:07  
that? Well, yeah, here's the here's the thing that they're mentioned, I have run a couple of these campaigns is test. Okay. One thing that I do notice, you can either force or not force. And so far, the recommendation is to not force where the customer goes to. So what happens is, if you have all your tracking pixels on your website, Google's actually sends the person to the page that they think is most relevant to help the buyer journey. Okay, right. So instead of just a landing page, it is send it to a blog post first, and then something second, some third, okay. And my initial thought was probably the same as yours. Well, how would they know that? Right? But this one, so the, the guys over at perpetual traffic that are using that are saying they're getting like, insane results, okay. And they're, they are noticing that the landing pages are different, they're sending them to different parts of their website that they would never have to send them to you. And so this is the part where you're probably similar to me. Where I say, Wow, you really could just like, do I trust giving up all of that, I guess, control on the buyers journey? Yeah. Just to Google.

Blake Beus  3:18  
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I, I have a lot of thoughts. And this is something I mean, this is my thoughts are centered around. We've, we've talked about this different businesses are different places their journey. Yep. My instant thought after you explained to me what it was, is, my guess is perpetual traffic, guys. And gals are working with bigger budgets. Yeah. And with with more established with more established businesses with more pages on their site. And therefore, you have more touch points that the algorithm can use to learn what a person is doing and what types of people are doing. And it probably works really, really well. When you have big budgets, large traffic volumes, large site with organic traffic even, and all of that. And I think that's great. I hope that they point out on the on the perpetual traffic that their experience might be different. Because if you're running ads, and this is your first time running ads, and I've got $100 a day, which is a big budget for me, you know, that's three grand a month on ads. Crazy, right? I I'm going to set this up. And I have a website that has four pages, you know, homepage, an offer page, a thank you page and About Me page and maybe a place to contact so maybe five pages. I'm going to follow. I'm going to follow perpetual traffic's advice on this performance, Max. It's probably not going to work for you. Yeah. And that doesn't mean the perpetual traffic is wrong. Yep. I'm what I'm saying is different. It's businesses need to need to function differently. Right. And those were my initial thoughts. What are you thinking? Well,

Greg Marshall  5:07  
number one, they did mention that. It seems like they're one of the few that love performance max time. They've mentioned that there are several other, you know, digital Google Ads specific kind of gurus that don't believe in it. And they do not think it works. Okay. So they have mentioned this. Now, one thing that I did notice, they didn't point it out specifically, but I did notice, like, kind of off the cuff, they had mentioned, what they were spending, and it was it was a significant number, like 1000s a day or Yeah, so they're like in the 1000s, multiple 1000s per day. Yeah, versus a big,

Blake Beus  5:49  
that's a big difference, right? If you're spending $1,000 a day, that's 30 grand a month and adds it. A lot of businesses aren't to that point. Yep. And that's fine. But yeah,

Greg Marshall  6:01  
what you're saying about budgets? 100? Yeah, correct, though, because it is, when they mentioned that, there isn't a mention of like, starting at $10 a day in your space spending? I think they even said, like, a minimum $100 a day. Yeah, right. And so, my, and the, here's the other thing that they had mentioned is this can take up to 90 days, to really work. I

Blake Beus  6:29  
don't doubt but I'm also thinking $1,000 a day for 90 days, to get to start working. So you got to have 100, I mean, you're gonna I mean, you'll be making sales at that point. But what I'm getting at is, you've got to, you've got to commit some serious funds. Yeah, it's not like you're gonna lose $90,000 That whole time, you'll make sales, but you have to be prepared to stick with it. Yep, and have your delivery down and everything. Because the other problem is, if you're not used to spending those types of budgets, you as a business might struggle with the delivery, you have that much in sales, right. And so then you have to end up turning your ads off, or reducing the scope of the ads, because you're scrambling to deliver. And then you're not getting the benefits, because you didn't you didn't let it learn for the 90 days or whatever. But that being said, I do see this as something that could be extremely powerful, especially, especially for companies that are big, because marketing campaigns and campaigns can get super complex if you're trying to manage every little piece. And so I can see this being extremely powerful. I just think there needs to be some caveats. The other thing I would say, too, is I don't know if you said the minimum was $100 a day, I don't know if that's Google's minimum or the perpetual traffic guys, were saying that that was the the minimum I for something like this that needs a lot of data to learn and work. I would want to be well within the minimum. Oh, yeah. Before I would even attempt it. Yep. Because if you're going to be just at the bare minimum to try to get this to work for 90 days, probably not, it's probably not going to, you're probably not going to see all of the benefits from it.

Greg Marshall  8:15  
Well, I think, too, they they are mentioning that. This takes time, this is probably something so new, that that's why they're doing it more than like the day to day person. Because these individuals just have bigger budgets to actually justice all out. And so they just I think they didn't specifically say that, what their budgets were and things like that. But you can tell based on just listening to the podcast, you can tell that, you know, they're not spending a little bit they're spending quite a bit and they're really, you know, a lot of it is is talking about, you know, 20,000 30,000 40,000 and all the data points. And one of the things that I'm curious to get your opinion on, when I ran a couple of these performance just to see, like what this even does, right, I noticed that I have a very large bulk of the budget went towards Display Network. And my thought is, I don't know if I love that. But I also don't know if that's part of what Google knows. Right? Yeah, my thought is, Google display network can sometimes be challenging because you know, they can put them on websites that maybe don't make any sense. Or I'm not really sure the quality of that traffic.

Blake Beus  9:38  
Yeah. I I mean, I'm laughing because I have such a love hate relationship with Display Network. Yeah. And every time I've worked with anything in Display Network, and let Google kind of decide the budget, it's blown. Yeah, budget on the wrong thing. Yep. And put Don't get on the wrong sites and the traffic i get from those if I dive into it and look at the leads we got from those is low, low, low quality. Yep. And but I think the key is you said especially cold traffic. Yep. I love display ads for warm traffic, people that already know who you are people. So I can keep showing up. That makes a lot of sense to me. The Ultra but cold truck and that's see I started laughing because this is where I get a little conspiratorial, or I'll dive into the My conspiracies here. But none of this is is found I have no evidence, yes, but this is, this is just me thinking that I sometimes wonder if Facebook and Google, they come out with this way to Hey, let us manage all of your things. So that they can kind of prop up the channels that are less profitable for them, but they have a large inventory of places to put ads. And so they'll dump budget into these things. Because that channel in isolation isn't really profitable for them. But when we have this thing where we, hey, you know, here's Google, we have 10 billion websites of Google Display ads on there. None of them are really profitable. So let's manage your budget. So dump money into those areas. And you'll get tons of impressions and it looks good on paper, but maybe, maybe isn't quite the best.

Greg Marshall  11:29  
I think what you're saying to correct me if I'm wrong, but really to, to kind of build on that it feels like maybe the competition is getting so high on the most profitable channels, that it makes it harder for newer businesses and things like that. So they try to pretty much like, move some of that traffic over to other placements to give you the perception that the cost of traffic has dropped. Right? That's that's what it feels like to me.

Blake Beus  12:01  
Do they blend the CPMs? Between all of that? Is it like a in the reporting? Is it a blended? CPN?

Greg Marshall  12:07  
That's a good question. I when I looked into reporting, I think it is a blended, but you could probably split it out if you can put placements because I did. Here's some of the things. Some of the placements, I saw when I ran this performance max test for this one account. They didn't look great, right. So like, I don't know if there's a way to exclude certain types of sites or whatnot. But I remember having quite a significant amount of impressions on I remember a website where it was one of those like, very minimal, like when you go to visit a website, it's almost like, like it's built for not getting quality traffic. Yes, for lack of better way of saying it looks like it's just built to just get clicks. But that's it, that there's not real, qualified people reading this website. And so that's, that was one of the things that made me turn it off. And maybe I turned it off too soon. But according to them, their recommendation is, over time, if you're optimizing for conversion, it'll the system will learn all the sites that don't convert sure and stop showing it, some of those and so

Blake Beus  13:16  
I'm okay with that. If they would just give me a refund on all that traffic. Right. Like, it'd be like, but you get like you guys get to keep all that money.

Greg Marshall  13:24  
Yeah. And that's, that's the tricky part are spending money and watching it. And almost like, I'm not smarter than though Google algorithm. But I can tell you, like, you know, a website, that's not good. It's not going to convert immediately.

Blake Beus  13:39  
Right? And I'm totally, I think it's great that you learn which sites are not going to convert, but I gotta blow a bunch of money to make that happen first, and then again, that's fine. If you already have a bunch of traffic, and you're you've got your sales cycle down and, and all that stuff. This is probably an amazing way to really scale up. Yep, big. But if you're not at that point, I can see this being a bit frustrating. Well,

Greg Marshall  14:07  
one of that, so the targeting options, so here's like the big thing that they're the most excited about. Okay, so in the past, they talked about platform. Okay. And Platt like placement targeting right, so you use YouTube or search or display. And essentially what you're doing is you're using the placements as you're targeting this. Now they're talking more about audience time, right? And so they're saying like, if I target let's say, in market for cameras, time, directly, I'm following the people that are in market on cameras all over the internet. That's what seems to be what they're the most excited about. Interesting. Is it now these things have transitioned to audience targeting versus in the past, I guess only key word or parameters like that placement. Right.

Blake Beus  14:57  
Right. So let me let me restate Because, because it used to be that I could say, Okay, I, I'm I'm targeting cameras, right? And then I would show up on camera blogs, camera, YouTube channels and that kind of stuff. But what you're saying is, it's switched because Google knows so much about people and their search history and everything. You could target cameras. And Google might know that Blake is interested in cameras, because I've been looking at them and Googling them and watching YouTube videos about them. But then when I hop onto a site that has a completely different interest of mine, say, cat, yep, I could see ads for Canon for cameras, because they know that I'm me. And even though I'm on a cat website, yep. I'm in market to buy a camera right now. And they're gonna keep showing correct stuff.

Greg Marshall  15:50  
That's exactly that's a good,

Blake Beus  15:52  
that's a good adjustment. I like that. That will be really interesting. I would love to see if that if that expands outside of just is that inside only performance Max? Or is that something that that you can show? Outside of that in a more targeted fashion? You

Greg Marshall  16:04  
could use it outside of it. Okay. But I guess performance Max, is, you know, it's like the old kid.

Blake Beus  16:12  
I mean, it makes sense, because it's on all the channels, I can see that.

Greg Marshall  16:16  
I here see that? Here's my hesitation. Okay, so when I run, for example, when I run YouTube ads, or even some search or and display ads in the past, one thing is if like I noticed, if I don't exclude certain things, all the money goes to some of the traffic, right? So I've learned this the hard way with YouTube ads. Like, if you don't exclude certain placements, you'll get a lot of your ads showing kids channels. Yep. Right. Which is, it's tough to justify, like, you know, if it's on a kid's channel, they really got to

Blake Beus  16:53  
say, and this is not to interrupt you, but I did interrupt you. So what are you going, this happens to me in my house, right? So all of my TVs are connected to my YouTube account. So because you know, my kids are younger, whatever. And so when they watch something on YouTube that's associated with me, Google doesn't know that my kids that my kids are watching, they might think that I just love you know,

Greg Marshall  17:19  
hey, Bear. Watching my little

Blake Beus  17:23  
kids. Yeah, so. And so it's, that wouldn't make a whole lot of sense to me.

Greg Marshall  17:31  
And that's, that's the challenge. See, because I do believe that performance Max might run into that same issue, right? Because it's connected to your device. If my kid is on Disney World, calm watching cartoons, he may be served the ad. And so that's my thing is the placements are, are difficult, because if you don't exclude them, the other one is mobile apps. Like if I don't exclude mobile apps from campaigns, I ended up let's say, you spent 100 bucks, like $80 of that will be on mobile apps. And then when you look at what mobile apps, then you look and go there's no way that people are they're just playing Words of friends or something like that, that I've got foreign clicks from that. And those are

Blake Beus  18:14  
accidental clicks. You know, like, who's driving me the worst, those drives? We I bumped into that a lot. And unfortunately, it's not necessarily easy to turn off mobile apps. It's very convoluted. But yeah, I was I was working with a client that had a business to business project. And if we forgot to shut off mobile apps, yep. It would dump so much of their budget into Clash of Clans. Oh, yeah. And they will get a ton of clicks. And no one would fill out the lead form, of course, yeah. Because they were playing a game and they accidentally clicked the ad because it takes up half the screen. And it's just that was that was the place I was thinking where a lot of budget could be done. Well, can you exclude that with performance Max? Or do you have to have it turned off?

Greg Marshall  18:58  
That's the thing that at least when I ran it, I couldn't find where to exclude it. Oh, interesting. So it's, maybe it's possible, and I was looking in the wrong area. But I can exclude. And that's the first thing I thought of, I saw performance when I said this would be perfect. As long as I can exclude mobile apps, and kids channel and TV and TV distribution. And I would be this Yeah, I'd be all on it. But I couldn't. And so then as soon as I went to my report, to see all the placements of large majority of my impression is looked exactly like when you run Display Network, and you don't shut off mobile app. It's it's all going to mobile apps and things where you're just like, I don't know, but this doesn't seem like the people that are playing these games, or going to buy it

Blake Beus  19:47  
and they might be the people. They might be the people you're after, but they're not in the buying mood. Yeah, if they're playing. It drives me nuts. If someone's playing a game. Yeah, they're not going to fill out a checkout for me. at my site, they're on dumping their credit card number. They're in the middle of a freaking game. Yep. And many of those games use triggering mechanisms based on timers. Yep. Because you can't leave the game for very long or else you lose out on whatever. And so that's yeah, that's, that's frustrating. So

Greg Marshall  20:17  
yeah, so with performance Max, you know, I just wanted to kind of wrap this up, I want to talk about performance Max, give it a shot, if you have a big budget and understand that, according to kind of the leaders in this space, right now, they're saying it can take up to 90 days to really see the results. So really think you know, if you can stomach 90 days to do that, great. But outside of that, I would just highly recommend maybe looking at doing individual channels at the moment till you can work your budget up to, to those kinds of levels. Interesting. I'm curious to see where this goes. Yeah. So the the idea, and in theory, this sounds like a fantastic product. Now, I just think the kinks need to be worked out as far as placements. Because you know, how I feel about places when I see those mobile apps or kids channels, I'm just thinking, this is not a placement that should be in there,

Blake Beus  21:16  
let alone spend a majority of my budget.

Greg Marshall  21:18  
And unfortunately, that's what that's what's happened. And maybe there are some better and different ways to do it. So I'll stay tuned and we'll report those back to you when we learned but outside of that, Blake kind of get a hold of

Blake Beus  21:32  
Blake beus.com/s M three is the best way to get in touch with me right now.

Greg Marshall  21:37  
And if you want to get ahold of me, it's Greg marshall.co. You can fill out the form we can book a free strategy session. And until next time, we'll see you later. Bye. Are you wanting to 20 minutes right? Yeah, that's

Blake Beus  21:49  
great. I was

 

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