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3 Reasons to Exclude Branded Search from Performance Max Campaigns

As a PPC advertiser, you might have come across Performance Max campaigns in Google Ads. While this campaign type can help you scale your account and drive conversions, it comes with a major drawback – it includes branded search data. In this issue of The PPC Edge, we’ll delve into the reasons why excluding branded search from Performance Max campaigns is crucial to improve your data accuracy, help you scale your account efficiently, and avoid overpaying for branded clicks.

  • Reason 1: It Inflates Your Data

The biggest issue with Performance Max campaigns is that they heavily cannibalize your other campaigns and take credit for every conversion, including branded search conversions. As a result, your data becomes inflated and may look better than it actually is. Even if you have tight branded search campaigns, misspellings can slip through and skew your data.

On average, 10-15% (up to 42%) of conversions on pMax are from brand. This can lead to making wrong decisions and make your account less scalable. By excluding branded search from pMax, you can ensure that your data accurately represents the performance of your campaigns.

  • Reason 2: The Goal is to Scale Your Account Efficiently, Not Performance Max

While it’s tempting to focus solely on the performance of Performance Max campaigns, it’s important to remember that the goal is to scale your entire account efficiently. Performance Max is just a piece of the puzzle, not the puzzle itself. By excluding branded search from pMax, you can better allocate your budget and resources to other campaigns that drive incremental conversions and revenue.

  • Reason 3: You’re Probably Overpaying for Branded Clicks on pMax

One aspect that is often overlooked is the fact that you’re likely overpaying for branded clicks on Performance Max. This is because Performance Max is fully automated, and Google determines every single bid. It’s not uncommon to see clicks that get 10-50 times the average CPC on non-branded search. If you exclude branded search from pMax, you can regulate your CPC on branded search with either manual CPC or a portfolio bid strategy with a max CPC cap.

Reasons to NOT Exclude Brand from Performance Max

While it’s generally better to exclude brand from Performance Max campaigns, there are a few instances when it might not be necessary or even beneficial. For example, if you have a very little share of branded conversions in pMax (<1%), your brand name is a specific/generic search term, you have a new brand that is still unknown, or you’re a big retailer with various brands that are not your own.

Important Final Note

If you do decide to exclude branded search from Performance Max campaigns, be sure to set up a branded standard shopping campaign to ensure that you show ads on the Shopping network. This is crucial for maximizing your reach and driving more conversions.

In conclusion, excluding branded search from Performance Max campaigns can help you make data-driven decisions, efficiently scale your account, and avoid overpaying for branded clicks. While there are a few instances where it might not be necessary, it’s generally a best practice to exclude brand from pMax for optimal campaign performance.

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