A Marketer’s Guide to Performance Max’s Automatically Created Assets

February 23, 2024

Will Johnson
Performance Max automatically created assets are set to replace dynamic search ads. What are they, and how do they work?

A Marketer’s Guide to Performance Max’s Automatically Created Assets 

Google’s Performance Max, which replaced Google’s smart shopping in 2022, continues to be a core tool in marketers’ toolboxes. To keep pace with the evolving marketing landscape, Google recently made available a feature within Performance Max called automatically created assets (ACA). Similar to dynamic search ads (DSAs), Performance Max ACAs provide additional keyword coverage by matching a user query to language on a brand’s website, dynamically creating an ad using existing ad assets (images, headlines and descriptions) — even if that query is not covered by current keywords. ACAs also have the ability to send traffic to dynamic landing pages based on the user query, just like DSAs.

Here are two key factors for marketers to consider before launching ACA: 

1. Optimize landing page content 

Since the ACA feature is powered by landing page content, enabling it requires being strategic about the landing pages available to serve. This means marketers should prioritize sending users to landing pages that have clear calls to action to avoid paying for clicks that send users to pages that are less likely to convert, such as glossary pages. Providing ACAs with URL rules can also give Google a narrowed list of landing pages to send users to and pull language from. For example, a brand may only want to send ACA traffic to landing pages with clear calls to action, or to avoid pages that aren’t relevant to the end user.

2. Reduced visibility to reporting metrics

One trade-off to consider with the switch from DSAs to Performance Max ACA is lack of visibility into reporting metrics, as Performance Max campaigns do not currently share reporting at the landing page level. While DSAs show landing page metrics within the Google Ads platform, Performance Max campaigns do not show landing page metrics (such as spend, clicks, and contacts). 

While a workaround exists in GA4 by pulling a landing page report filtered to the Performance Max campaign in question, it doesn’t pull in spend data. Instead, this workaround provides insight into session and conversion data, and gives marketers an idea of where the Performance Max campaign is sending traffic. That said, before launching this feature, marketers must consider the trade-off between granular, in-platform reporting and enhanced performance by leveraging omnichannel user data that Performance Max collects to inform bidding decisions.

How to get started

Collective Measures recommends testing Performance Max ACAs against DSAs to gauge if there are performance improvements to be gained from Performance Max’s omnichannel approach. While DSA campaigns are limited to serving based on a user’s search query, Performance Max campaigns may have already had multiple user touch points via YouTube, Gmail, or display placements, which allows them to provide an even more tailored ad experience. Utilizing Performance Max ACAs unlocks a wealth of user signals that are unavailable to DSA campaigns, and will help ensure a brand’s paid search program is as up to date and competitive as possible.