All About Split Testing Google Performance Max vs Standard Shopping Ads

Maintaining an ideal Google Shopping Ads strategy is about more than just product titles, competitive prices, and optimized product descriptions. It also involves using data-driven insights to maximize the efficiency of your campaigns. With this data, you’ll get measurable metrics that tell the story of what needs a little work and what is performing well. But how do you harvest the data you need? Split testing is one option you have.

Conducting split tests between Google Performance Max and Standard Shopping campaigns helps you strategize and maximize conversion value. Measuring the success of the different campaign types will help you make data-driven decisions that elevate your eCommerce business’s profitability.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss when you should run a split test and how to use your results to expand your reach.

Harvest the Data You Need & Unleash the Power of Google Shopping Ads 

Finding new ways to expand the reach of your Google Shopping Ads may seem overwhelming. But when you conduct a split test of Google Performance Max vs Standard Shopping, you’ll learn how each campaign type matches up against your business and overall profitability goals—AND discover new ways to expand your reach.

As a quick recap, advertisers can utilize Standard Shopping campaigns to promote their products in various places including search, the Shopping tab, Google Images, and Maps. A Standard Shopping campaign uses Product Listing Ads (PLAs) and generally allocates the vast majority of its budget natively on Google to people searching for products.

Google Performance Max campaigns enable advertisers to manage all of Google’s ad inventory from a single campaign, but there are a few caveats. These campaigns utilize PLAs and text, video, and display ad formats across Google, YouTube, and the Google Display Network (GDN). Unlike with Standard Shopping campaigns, consumers may not be actively searching for the advertised product on YouTube and GDN sites. Advertisers have reported that Performance Max text ad inventory often includes a large amount of branded text ad traffic to address this buyer behavior, and thus skews results. However, Google introduced some levers in the past year to mitigate this issue.

While Performance Max is clearly changing the Google Ads landscape, we believe Performance Max needs more of the reporting functionality we expect from a typical Google Ads campaign, notably search query level reporting. Additionally, many advertisers view Performance Max campaigns as overly “black box” with little control or reporting capabilities relative to other options within Google Ads.

When Should You Conduct a Google Performance Max vs Standard Shopping Split Test? 

Running a split test (aka A/B test) can be a good tool any time you’re contemplating the efficiency and profitability of your campaigns. Testing Performance Max against Standard Shopping can tell you which campaign type best aligns with your business objectives. But when should you conduct a Google Shopping Ads split test? The answers can vary, but here are a few reasons: 

To improve conversion rates. You want to know which campaign type allows for better allocation and use of your ad budget, as well as which will help increase your overall profitability. 

To account for seasonality. You want to understand which campaign type is more adaptable to cyclical market dynamics and will best fit your business needs throughout the year.

To elevate ad performance. You want to analyze how each campaign type influences the performance of different ad creatives, formats, and placements, so you can tailor your strategy to achieve optimal results. 

To meet specific business goals. You need to know how your advertising efforts are making a positive impact against your business goals, such as brand visibility, lead generation, or order conversions.

The Omnitail Difference

We help DTC eCommerce brands learn how to measure their success through profitability instead of vanity metrics like ROAS, because it provides greater accountability, integrity, and transparency around the health of your business. 

Our team combines expertise with our proprietary in-house technology to successfully (and efficiently) manage your campaigns. As a profit-driven Google Shopping agency, we take the time to analyze the whole story of your accounts and optimize programs based on what’s best for you and your bottom line. Learn more about how we can help!

A Google Shopping Agency Committed to Your eCommerce Goals 

Take the hassle out of managing your accounts and let our experienced team do the work for you. We’ll help you continuously refine and optimize your campaigns for improved performance and sustainable profitability. Contact us today to make the most out of your Google Shopping Ads.

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