Want to Migrate your SSC to PMax campaigns with Google’s One-Click Option? Follow These Steps
It’s only one click, how hard can it be, right?!
That’s what we thought, then we started digging in, thinking, and deciding, and we realized it’s a little more complicated than pushing a button… so why not write a blogpost! Thanks to my ZATO team who helped me compile this list of steps!
If you are hoping to migrate your Smart Shopping Campaigns to Performance Max, this post is for you. Here’s what you should keep in mind as you navigate this automated landscape:
- Remember: this one-click migration creates a NEW PMax campaign and removes your Smart Shopping Campaign.
Google mentions this in their documentation, but I feel like it’s easily missed, so I think it’s worth pointing out clearly. This isn’t just changing an existing Smart Shopping campaign into PMax, this is removing the old SSC campaign and creating a new, separate, PMax campaign.
That being said…
- You will not see any data migrated to the new PMax campaign.
In case the last point wasn’t clear, let me emphasize that the Performance Max campaign created by clicking Google’s migration button will not transfer any visible historical data, graphs, etc from the previous Smart Shopping campaign. That’s an important note to be aware of!
According to Google, there are insights that transfer in between the campaigns, but they aren’t visible. Only special, hidden, and proprietary to Google’s robotic eyes…
- When you migrate, it will move your assets and existing product listings to the new campaign in a single asset group.
Remember, Smart Shopping has an ad group, and PMax does not. When you migrate the campaign, the SSC assets are automatically added to your PMax as assets, and your existing product groups are migrated over into your asset group as the targeted products. That part is nice!
- You will need to add in new ad assets
HOWEVER, keep in mind that with PMax, you now have the option to add in new images and additional headlines/descriptions (think Responsive Display Ads). When you import, one image is moved over to PMax, so make sure to manually go into your ad and better build out your assets within PMax.
- You may need to add in new audience targets.
I use the word “may” here, because you may want to leave the new Performance Max campaign to target all audiences similar to the previous Smart Shopping Campaign to minimize volatility during the learning period and keep the campaigns as close as possible to each other. That being said, one of the cool things about PMax is that you can set up new asset groups to focus on specific audiences.
Remember, these are not limiting your asset groups to these audiences, you’re just making “suggestions” to Google (whatever that means) as to what audiences you’d like to target in each asset group (yeah, I know, I wish it were more and I’ve voiced this concern with Performance Max Assets before).
- You should have a shorter learning period by migrating with Google’s tool.
Let me throw shade here by saying the word “tool” is a little generous in this context, but overall, the ZATO team has found the one-click migration option does seem to minimize volatility during this learning period compared to when we just paused campaigns and added completely new PMax campaigns in the past. Take that with a grain of salt as your mileage may vary.
- Issue to be aware of: monitor description character count.
One thing one of our team members noticed, was that Performance Max has a shorter description character count for the first description line (the Short Description, see image). The One-click tool migrates the Smart Shopping ad description over as the PMax short description, BUT the new PMax short description has only 60 allowable characters (while the old SSC description was 90 allowable characters) so there is a bit of a glitch occurring there (we’re not fully sure what happens, to be honest. Possible truncation?).
Be aware of that, and be ready to hop into assets and optimize them immediately after you one-click migrate.
- Your Negative Keywords will auto-migrate from Smart Shopping into Performance Max with this one-click option.
Thanks to Miles McNair on LinkedIn for pointing this out. This means if you've been excluding some problematic terms for your brand, or even some brand terms for your campaign organization, that they will all get auto-transferred to that newly created Performance Max campaign. Thanks Miles for pointing that out, and make sure to give him a follow on LinkedIn!
Hopefully that was helpful for you! Good luck as you migrate, and may the auctions be ever in your favor!