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Performance Max – Boost Your Ecommerce Sales with Automation

Are you struggling to increase your ecommerce sales? Have you tried running Google Ads campaigns but didn’t see the results you expected? If you’re looking for ways to optimize your online advertising, you might want to consider Google Ads Performance Max.

What is Google Ads Performance Max?

Google Ads Performance Max is an automated advertising solution that helps ecommerce businesses to reach a wider audience and drive more sales. PMax uses machine learning to optimize your ad placements and targeting, helping you to achieve your advertising goals more efficiently.

How Does Google Ads PMax Work?

PMax works by analyzing your ecommerce website, identifying the products or services you offer, and creating relevant ads that will be shown to people who are interested in your offerings. The system uses data from your previous campaigns to learn about your customers’ behavior and preferences and create the best possible ad experience.

Benefits of Using Google Ads PMax for Ecommerce

1. Increased Reach: PMax uses machine learning to optimize your ad placements, which means that your ads will be shown to people who are most likely to convert, regardless of their location or device.
2. Improved Ad Relevance: Performance Max analyzes your ecommerce website and creates relevant ads that are tailored to your products or services. This helps to increase the relevance of your ads, which can lead to higher click-through rates and conversion rates.
3. Time and Cost Efficiency: With PMax, you don’t need to spend time creating and managing your ads manually. The system automates the process, which can save you time and money on ad spend.
4. Better Performance: PMax uses machine learning to optimize your ad placements and targeting, which can lead to better performance and higher conversion rates.
5. Easy Set-Up: Setting up Performance Max is easy and straightforward. All you need to do is connect your ecommerce website to your Google Ads account, and the system will take care of the rest.

How to Get Started with Google Ads Performance Max?

To get started with Google Ads Performance Max, you need to have an active Google Ads account and an ecommerce website. Once you’ve set up your account, you can connect your website to Performance Max and start creating your campaigns. The system will automatically create ads and target the most relevant audience for your products or services.


Google Ads Performance Max is an excellent option for ecommerce website owners who want to optimize their advertising campaigns and drive more sales. With its automated system and machine learning capabilities, Performance Max can help you reach a wider audience, improve ad relevance, and increase conversion rates. If you’re looking for ways to improve your ecommerce sales, contact the league of advertising for more information.

Google Smart Shopping is ending in 2022

eCommerce companies take note. Google has officially decided to kill off their Smart Shopping Campaigns and migrate everything over to Performance Max. Sad news to most of us who have been consistently running 5x > 10x return on the greatest eCommerce ads available.

But fear not.

It’s being replaced with something potentially a whole lot better!

As a reminder, Performance Max is built on Smart Shopping Ad Tech, with DSA Ad Tech layered in and utilises all Google digital real estate where applicable.

The official migration timeline is as follows:

  • Performance Max to replace SSC (auto-upgrade is the language) from July-Sep 2022
  • 1-click migration tool available in April 2022 for SSC if you want to manually upgrade early.

The full Google announcement can be found here.

What should I do to prepare?

Well, the good news is the Merchant Centre and most of the Google Smart shopping set-up remains the same.

However, as Youtube will be a big feature of Performance Max, we highly recommend that you create several corporate/eCommerce content videos (hosted on Youtube) to show off your product range and brand.

That way, you will maximise the exposure Performance Max allows and will result in increased sales.

Contact us

If you own an eCommerce website and wish to know more about Performance Max ads and how it can increase your sales, simply email to find out more.

We have been running Google ads since 2004, and managing millions in ad spend, experience & expert analysis is always guaranteed with the League of Advertising Ltd.

Google releasing FREE Shopping listings (not ads)!

In an attempt to combat coronavirus as people can’t shop physically but go online instead, and companies pulling marketing spend Google have announced they are to allow their most successful e-commerce ad product – Google Shopping Ads or PLA’s to feature in a free listing.

Note: They aren’t allowing the ads to be free, rather they are offering a free listing within the shopping tab.

Big difference!

Now whilst this is great for e-commerce companies, I can’t help be suspicious (you know me when it comes to Google) that this is more to do with the massive growth in Amazon sales during this crisis, and our chums at Google see an opportunity to grab market-share.

From May, Google will allow e-commerce companies to show their products across Google Shopping tab (not the SERPS’s page) you need to be running Google Shopping ads for that.

But it’s a lovely opportunity for online retailers to feature their products when people search on Google.


Obviously you won’t feature unless you have a Google Merchant Centre account (GMC Account) and all the usual attributes needed still apply.

But it has to be a welcome development at this uncertain time for retailers.

If you already have a GMC account, please ensure you opt into “Surfaces across Google”. That way, you will feature on the free listings.

At the moment, this is only applicable to the USA, but Google will roll it out worldwide throughout 2020 so the time to set it up is now.

Shopping ads remain unaffected

Google Shopping Ads do take primacy on the organic search page as a premium placement.

So when someone searches for your product, you appear on the initial search results page as a paid shopping placement. (See below)


The free listing only appears if a user then selects the shopping tab at the top of their results page. So in terms of UX this is a further hurdle to get here but there will be shoppers who will go through the extra step.


If you need any Google Shopping advice or wish to know on scaling up sales through Google Shopping ads simply email to find out more.

Getting started on e-commerce’s most powerful sales tool – Google Shopping Ads

PPC, Pay-per-Click, Google merchant centre, PLA ads…..

It can seem an arduous task getting start on Google Shopping ads. Thankfully we have been through this process many times and can offer advice on how to set up the basics and get you head around Google Merchant Centre and Google Shopping Ads.

What is Google Shopping Ads?

Google shopping ads or PLA’s are the image based search results that come back when you search for a brand, product or e-commerce product on Google and (Bing).

Google Shopping Ads
Google Shopping Ads

These ads are essential for any e-commerce store as it delivers rich search results based on a users search. Google Shopping Ads are your way to promote your products on Google Shopping. They are CPC ads where you pay when a user clicks on your ad and land on the exact product page on your e-commerce store.

Shopping Campaigns are one of the main growth drivers for e-commerce stores. They get 87% of the search budget of retailers (source: Merkle Digital Quarterly report Q3 2018) and have increased their share of total store orders by 160% in the last 2 years. Therefore, they are indeed a traffic source that lives up to the hype.

Merkle Digital

3 Pillars to success

As with everything that is effective in e-commerce, setting up Shopping Ads can be frustrating and cumbersome. I know many in-house web managers who simply cannot get their heads around the task as it requires a level of technical ability and liaising with your development team (many out-sourced) to successfully implement the basic feed.

In essence, your SKU’s need to go to your Google Merchant Centre and from there Google Ads scrape the data to publish the results on the SERP’s page.

Sounds easy?
In our experience, many companies get stuck on setting up a successful Google Merchant Centre feed. For more information on setting up the feed to your Google Merchant Centre click here.

After your business data is implemented, and your feed is up and running you can do wonderful things like adding custom labels and also create Google Shopping Promotions.

Google Shopping promotions are a wonderful way of increasing CTR’s (20% in our experience) by simply having more visual presence.

Our client James Pirie enjoy the benefits of Google Shopping Promotions


If you are in e-commerce and not running Google Shopping Ads, then you are simply missing out on the best Google ad creation ever invented.

Scaling up

Google have also loosened up the rules in running Shopping ads in other countries. Originally, both your landing page and currency had to reflect your visitors location, however if English is a popular language in a country like the Netherlands for example, then you can run ads without the need for geo-language switching.

Also, with a UK currency feed – Google will allow automatic currency conversion using their own currency conversion data.

This means rapid scalability with the single feed set-up.

The effectiveness of these ads cannot be underestimated. And that’s before chatting about mart shopping, showcase shopping ads, promotions and Google shopping actions which is going to be a direct competitor to Amazon….. if it ever gets out of Beta.

It is available in the U.S. and France.

If you need any Google Shopping advice or wish to know on scaling up sales through shopping Ads simply email to find out more.

Google Ads can now track offline store visits.

This. is. critical. if. you. own. retail. stores.

Finally, we can now measure effectiveness of our Google Ads and other PPC strategies that drive footfall to your physical bricks and mortar store.

Google generously wants to help you understand how AdWords paid search campaigns influence those physical store purchases.  They deliver that generosity for the lucky businesses that can see “Store Visit” conversions in their AdWords account.  This is generally going to be hotels, restaurants, and retail stores. It is released in beta format.

This is an amazing addition for businesses in Northern Ireland especially, where a high percentage of online activity leads to an actual in-store purchase.

Google store visit conversions are available to a limited number of AdWords advertisers. In order to be eligible to measure store visit conversions you need to:

  • Have multiple physical store locations in eligible countries.
  • Receive thousands of ad clicks and many store visits.
  • Have a Google My Business account linked to your AdWords account.
  • Create each of your store locations in your Google My Business account.
  • Have at least 90% of your linked locations verified in Google My Business.
  • Ensure location extensions are active in your account.
  • Have sufficient store visits data on the backend to attribute to ad click traffic and pass Google’s user privacy thresholds.

Store visit conversions are determined using data from users that have opted-in to share their mobile device location history and are signed into a Google account, and also from users that are like them based on a highly accurate algorithm, which extrapolates data for non-signed in users.

How it works

Store visit data is based on anonymous, aggregated statistics. Google Ads creates modeled numbers by using current and past data on the number of people who click or view your ads and later visit your store.

Store visit data can’t be tied to individual ad clicks, viewable impressions, or people. Google use industry best practices to ensure the privacy of individual users.

Small numbers in store visit reports

Occasionally, store visit reports may show low numbers, even “1.” This can happen if you’re looking at data on more detailed level, such as segmenting by device. Because numbers are modeled and anonymized, “1” does not actually mean that that one person clicked or viewed an ad and then visited your store. Instead, it’s better to read this as a value close to one, or an average of one.

While this data can give you a sense of the breakdown of your campaign performance, store visit reports are more precise when the numbers are larger. So, to evaluate your campaign performance, we recommend using reporting levels with at least 100 store visits.

It’s also important to note that even when the reports present small numbers, our privacy techniques ensure that store visit data can’t be tied to individual people.

Get registering on-site store visits.

Want to get set up with this latest tracking conversion? Just email Marco at to find out more.

2019-20 will be huge for Google Shopping ads

Big news from Google Marketing live.

eCommerce companies need to take note.

Our friends at Google shopping have decided to shake things up in eCommerce with the announcement of 3 new ad formats in Google shopping.

In short they’ve taken a little piece of Instagram and Facebook and blended formats that drive long-tail engagements.

Google are introducing Discovery ads, Gallery ads and Carousel shopping ads this year and will stagger them out globally thoughout the next 12 months.

Exciting times, and not surprising seeing the uplift eCommerce companies have received from Instagram and Facebook where on mobile especially, the ad unit is much more effective and “shoppable.”

Discovery ads
Discovery ads are native ads that appear in multiple Google feed environments. Google’s VP of Product Management Brad Bender said at a press briefing yesterday that Discovery ads are “visually rich, mobile first and use the ‘power of intent.’” Here, “power of intent” means signals Google derives from consumers’ past site visitation, app downloads, videos watched and map searches. These are essentially the same signals Google uses for In Market Audience targeting.

It mean advertisers will have to create brand new Discovery campaigns.

Gallery ads
Mobile-Only. Gallery ads are more visually compelling units that will appear at the top of mobile search results. They offer a scrollable gallery with between four and eight images and up to 70 characters available for each image. Advertisers pay for these on a CPC basis, either when a user clicks through to a landing page or swipes to the third image in the sequence. However, the cost for a click or a swipe (“paid swipe”) is the same.

Shopping Ads Showcase
Showcase Shopping ads were first released in 2016 in the U.S. intended to offer retailers the opportunity “showcase” a curated list products responsive to non-branded searches such as “summer dresses” or “outdoor furniture.” Google previously said that up to 40% of queries are for these broad product-category searches.

Google’s latest announcement extends Showcase Shopping ads to Google Images, the Discover feed, and YouTube feed. The latter will roll out in the near future.

The ads feature a main image and smaller images, but expand to offer multiple products selected by the retailer. The ads can also carry location information for those retailers that have nearby locations and offer the featured product(s) in-store.

So eCommerce retailers and digital ad agencies need to up their shopping game.

Shopping is by far the most effective Google Ad product for eCommerce and this looks like a win-win for online retailers in the search to drive more growth.

If you need any Google Shopping advice or wish to know more about the latest releases email to find out more.

Beyond 2016 – Retail brands become “Media brands”



It’s already happening, right from under your nose.

Does that mean brands are going to shift focus into a new industry? Of course not!

What I mean from the opening headline, is that every retail brand, and business will become media savvy and ultimately generate video, social and media content because that’s what the customers will engage with.

It’s not that they will become the next star on MTV, but media will become part of their story, it will be in their DNA.

Take social for example, that’s a medium. Retailers have finally realised the power of this medium to market to customers. Granted, a lot of businesses put the onerous task of social media marketing to junior members of their team – this is wrong, social needs clever handling and if using it for ecommerce – there’s an important sales cycle to be looked after. But these businesses would never have been engaged with this media unless consumer need demanded it.

The consumer is driving the desire for consuming media content and businesses are now reacting. Devices and technology are facilitating this drive.


Over the next ten years, those same technologies that are driving discount advertising will be giving marketers and business leaders a more sophisticated understanding of their customers. They will be able to parse vast volumes of customer data, and monitor and hold significant social media-based relationships. The knowledge and insights thus generated will turn marketers into key agents in the delivery of innovation and the creation of new layers of brand value.

Yes, the whole retail marketing world will have its clock set back to zero. We will see major areas of brand building innovation take over the role that advertising plays today.

Brand advertising will be a deep-dive experience. Imagine, watching a TV ad on your Smart TV, a real-time trigger lands on your tablet or mobile device from the ad, offering a rewarding, deeper experience. You then view more content about the brand, you tweet, post and share it with your friends and you are led, almost stealth-like to the purchase button.

Before you know it, you have bought it, reviewed your experience and shared it with your friends on a social network.

That digital eco-system will have been planned by the brand from the very beginning.

And it doesn’t end there, the brand now has your details, you’re an advocate and they can create additional layers of value and utility that can ‘lock’ you into their brand rather than have you switch to a competitor in the future.

The simple reality is that every brand will be a media brand. In tandem with brand experience and marketing products, brands will be focused on the overlap between content that informs a customer about products, services or propositions, content that educates them in its use or in the things they can do, and content that entertains them around the core proposition of the brand.

Are you ready for this brave new world?