The term Performance Max (PMax) is probably familiar to you. In 2020, Google started rolling out the regular PMax campaign, which is used for e-commerce, among others. Now a second variant has arrived: Performance Max for Travel Goals. This is a new type of campaign developed by Google specifically for the travel industry. By adding travel goals, Performance Max can deliver exactly what accommodations need most: direct bookings.

What is Performance Max for Travel Goals?

Performance Max for Travel Goals is a targeted, multichannel campaign that, thanks to AI-powered bidding, delivers extensive automation with respect to bidding, targeting and ad placement. Because Google places those ads directly on all the platforms where advertising is possible. So not just Google Search ads, but also Google Maps, Display, YouTube, the Discover feed and all Google partner websites. The main difference with other campaigns is therefore that Performance Max for Travel Goals automatically targets all channels, while other campaigns are mainly limited to one channel. When creating the PMax for Travel campaign, you choose where you want to advertise. You select an accommodation, such as a specific hotel or holiday park. When doing so, check the limits that Google has per account. Because you can only add a maximum of 100 campaigns per account. And per PMax campaign, you can add a maximum of 100 different accommodations. It is therefore important to first establish a clear strategy and account structure. If you want to add more than 100 properties, Google advises organizing your campaigns by destination or theme, for example.

Have you established your strategy and created the Performance Max for Travel Goals? Google then retrieves all the creative assets for the ad from a feed or from the Google Hotel Center account. What is the best practice here? We advise you to fill the ads via the Google Hotel Center account. Because that's the easiest way to enrich your ads with the best and most appropriate content. Furthermore, when changes occur, you don't need to manually adjust the feeds.

What are the advantages of Performance Max for Travel Goals?

In the traditional Google Ads campaigns, as the marketer you operate the buttons. Placements, bids and targeting: you control everything. That changes with the arrival of PMax for Travel Goals, which has various advantages.

1. Visibility on all Google platforms

Thanks to PMax, you no longer need to set up a separate campaign for each platform. Via one type of campaign, your accommodations are visible on all platforms, whereas with other campaigns they are only visible on one platform. That saves time and extends the reach.

2. Creative assets are automatically filled

It is no longer necessary to manually add creative assets. Just ensure that Google Hotel Center is filled with high-quality content and link your PMax campaign to it. The ads are then automatically filled with creative assets, such as headlines, descriptions, images, videos and HTML5 bundles. Another advantage is that your ads look good on all channels and are coordinated, because they are all controlled from the same campaign.
Want to know how to ensure good creative assets? With the tips & tricks from the article about the 'Best practices for Performance Max creative assets in the Travel industry',  you have all the knowledge you need to compile your creative assets.

3. More conversions for a similar CPA

Besides more reach and time savings, Google claims that PMax for Travel Goals also achieves better results than the traditional campaigns. On average, a PMax campaign generates 18% more conversions for similar costs per conversion . Set your budgets and conversion goals and then let Google do the work.

Table of PMax versus PMax for Travel Goals

What do you need to be aware of if you want to get started with PMax for Travel?

Remember that Performance Max for Travel Goals is still under development. The initial results are positive and show great potential, but we advise you to test different campaigns to compare results.

If you are the owner of a hotel, holiday park or other accommodation, Performance Max for Travel Goals is ideal. All the information for the creative assets (preferably) comes from the Google Hotel Center, meaning that you are the owner of all the content. Intermediaries like Online Travel Agencies (OTA) and Tour Operators are not the owner of the properties, so the content of the creative assets is not always in line with the desired ads. So there are still challenges in asset optimization on a large scale. For Online Travel Agencies, Tour Operators and 'non hotels' like airlines and Vacation Rentals, we therefore advise continuing to use the regular Performance Max campaign. Google intends to make Performance Max for Travel Goals more suitable for more types of bidders in the travel industry.

Ready to test the new Performance Max for Travel Goals? Be aware of the following:

1. First establish your strategy and campaign structure

When doing so, remember the Google limits. You can add a maximum of 100 asset groups per campaign, and a maximum of 100 campaigns per account. A quick calculation shows that you can add a maximum of 10,000 listings in your account. Want to advertise more accommodations? In that case, you will currently need to create several ad accounts. You can also choose to organize them by destination or theme, like winter sports, business trips and family holidays.

Do you currently have a regular Performance Max campaign, but you would like to experiment with Performance Max for Travel Goals? You will then need to create a new campaign to be able to enjoy the new functionalities.

Need tips to create the best account structure? Our article about the 'Best Performance Max structure for the Travel industry' explains everything you need to know.

2. Use the right creative assets

The success of your campaign depends on the quality of your creative assets. Google recognizes four different types of creative assets: texts, images, videos and extensions.
Make sure you always have different formats, so that you show the right images and videos on each platform and each ad location. When writing texts, watch out for things like the number of characters and adding a call to action. When the Google Hotel Center is filled with the necessary information about your accommodations, the Performance Max campaign can retrieve this data for you and make specific suggestions for various creative assets. During the campaign, we advise you to experiment with adjusting and extending creative assets. A wide choice of creative assets gives Google the chance to test different variations via AI and achieve the best result for different target groups.

3. Link your campaign to the Google Hotel Center

When creating your Performance Max for Travel Goals campaign, you can choose from two options: fill your campaign from a feed or link it to the Google Hotel Center. Hopefully, your Google Hotel Center is already filled with different images and videos for each hotel, holiday park or other accommodation. So, link your campaign to the Google Hotel Center account for optimal synergy between your ads and other content. And if there are changes in the creative assets, you won't need to change all the feeds of your various campaigns.

4. Audience signals

We advise enriching campaigns by adding audience signals. In particular, the use of first party data will generate the most success. This is possible via Customer Match, for example, and adding remarketing lists. Both enable Google to more specifically target the target group and improve the learning speed and optimization of the campaigns.

What do we expect in the future?

As we said, Performance Max for Travel Goals is still new and under development. So far, Google has launched formats that increase your reach. Currently available on 6 platforms with the imminent addition of Google Hotel Ads. Furthermore, Google offers insights and reports at property level, where pre-populated asset groups are filled to get started fast. Later this year, the audience signals will also be filled pre-populated for better targeting. Google has also announced that the familiar 'commission per stay' bid strategy will be available in Performance Max for Travel Goals.

Google has also made an API available for Performance Max for travel goals for selecting properties and retrieving filled assets automatically. At Adchieve, we are currently building a link to this API so that you can easily automate and also manage your Performance Max for travel goals campaigns using the tool. This will not only save you time, but will allow you to build feed-based ads up dynamically and make them even more relevant.

Getting started with Performance Max for Travel Goals

Now you know what PMax for Travel Goals involves and what the main advantages are, it's time to discover for yourself how this new campaign can benefit you. Start creating your campaigns today. Good luck! Do you need help? Contact us.