Search Themes in Performance Max
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A Guide to Tapping into New Traffic with Search Themes in Performance Max

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Are you using Google Ads’ Performance Max for your campaigns? If yes, there’s something new you should know about search themes. This feature is still in testing, but it’s already making waves. What’s it all about?

In short, search themes help you tell Google’s smart tech what you want to show up for. So, if you’re looking to get more people interested in what you’re selling or offering, you should stick around. We’ll tell you what search themes are, how to use them, and clear up some questions you might have.

See also: ToFu, MoFu, and BoFu: A Guide to Creating an Effective Sales Funnel

What Are Search Themes in Performance Max?

Search themes are a game-changing feature in Google Ads’ Performance Max. Simply put, search themes are like guiding stars for Google’s artificial intelligence. They help point the AI towards what you believe your customers are searching for online. This enables you to surface your ads in places you haven’t yet tapped into.

For example, let’s say you sell eco-friendly cleaning products. Your ads have generally shown up in searches for “green cleaning solutions.” With search themes, you could broaden that to include themes like “sustainable living” or “eco-conscious homecare,” thereby reaching a wider audience interested in environmentally friendly lifestyles.

Ideal Use Cases for Search Themes

Landing Page Gaps: If your website or landing pages don’t fully cover all the products or services you offer, search themes can fill in the blanks.

Example: You’ve recently added pet-friendly cleaners to your eco-friendly cleaning product line. However, your website hasn’t been updated yet. A search theme like “pet-safe cleaning” can help target customers specifically looking for that.

New Market Entry: When you’re stepping into a new market or launching a new service, your campaign’s performance data is sparse. Search themes can offer a quick way to reach your target audience.

Example: If you’re introducing your eco-friendly cleaning products to a new geographic location, say Texas, you could use search themes like “Texas sustainable living” to better target local interests.

Product Launches: Introducing a new product? Your landing pages might not be up to date, but you want to drive traffic right away. Search themes can get you in front of the right eyes.

Example: Launching a new multipurpose eco-cleaner? Use search themes such as “all-in-one green cleaner” to capture interest.

By intelligently leveraging search themes, you’re not just waiting for your customers to find you; you’re proactively showing up where they are already looking.

See also: Mastering Search Experience Optimization: A Comprehensive Guide to SXO

How to Apply Search Themes to Your Campaign

Applying search themes to your Performance Max campaign is simpler than you might think. You don’t have to be a tech wizard to get it done. These themes help you direct Google’s AI to the kind of traffic you want to attract. Let’s break it down step-by-step:

  1. Log into Your Google Ads Account: The first thing you need to do is sign in. If you don’t have an account, it’s high time you create one.
  1. Navigate to Performance Max: On the left-hand navigation panel, you’ll see different types of campaigns. Click on ‘Performance Max’.
  1. Choose Your Campaign: You likely have multiple campaigns running. Pick the one you want to enhance with search themes.
  1. Edit Asset Group: This is where things start to get interesting. Look for the ‘Asset group’ tab and click on it.
  1. Tweak Signals: You’ll see a pencil or edit icon next to ‘Signals’. Click on that, and you’ll open up a world of customization options.
  1. Add Your Search Themes: Here’s where you input the terms you believe your customers are using in their searches. You can add up to 25 unique themes.

Example: Let’s say you run a bakery. You’re already targeting keywords like “freshly baked bread.” But what if you also offer gluten-free options that aren’t highlighted on your website? Adding a search theme like “gluten-free bakery” could be a smart move to reach a niche but increasingly significant audience.

  1. Save Your Changes: Don’t forget this step. You’d be surprised how many people do.

That’s it, you’ve just fine-tuned your Performance Max campaign by adding search themes. This should help you get your ads in front of people who are genuinely interested in what you have to offer.

See also: Branding Mistakes to Avoid: Top 5 Common Pitfalls

Common Validation Errors and How to Avoid Them

We’ve all been there—eager to launch a new Performance Max campaign, only to be stopped in our tracks by a pesky validation error. But don’t worry, these errors are usually easy to fix if you know what to look out for. Below are some common missteps and how you can sidestep them.

  1. Duplicate Search Themes: Google Ads doesn’t like repetition. Make sure each of your search themes is unique to avoid this error.
  1. Exceeding Character Limits: Keep your search themes concise. The maximum character limit is 80, so be as straightforward as possible.
  1. Too Many Search Themes: Although it’s tempting to cover all your bases, Google Ads allows up to 25 search themes per asset group. Any more and you’ll hit an error.
  1. Improper Formatting: When adding multiple search themes, separate them with commas or line breaks. No other separators will do.
  1. Policy Violations: Ensure your search themes adhere to Google Ads Policies. You’ll get a policy error if they don’t.

For example, if you’re managing a campaign for organic pet food, avoid using similar search themes like “natural dog food” and “organic dog food.” They’ll likely target the same audience, and Google Ads will flag it as a duplicate.

By paying attention to these common pitfalls, you can save yourself time and frustration. This will help your Performance Max campaigns run more smoothly, ensuring your ads are seen by the most relevant audiences.

See also: Google Business Profile (GBP) Optimization: The Ultimate Guide

Important  Details 

When diving into the world of Google Ads and, more specifically, Performance Max, it’s easy to get lost in the jargon and multitude of features. But here are some key details you should know about implementing Search Themes.

Eligibility and Availability

Firstly, Search Themes are still in beta and are slowly being rolled out to eligible advertisers throughout 2023. If you’re keen to get in on this, touch base with your Google representative.

The Process Simplified 

Applying Search Themes is a breeze. Head to your Google Ads account, navigate to your Performance Max campaign and look for the ‘Asset group’ option. From there, you can edit and add up to 25 unique search themes. It’s that simple.

Error Management 

Nobody’s perfect, and that includes us marketers. If you encounter validation errors, they’re usually due to simple mistakes like duplicate entries or themes that are too long. Fortunately, these are easily correctable right within the platform.

Optional But Beneficial 

Remember, using Search Themes is entirely optional. However, they can offer a way to amplify your existing campaigns by combining your unique business insights with Google’s AI capabilities.

For example, let’s say you run a pet supply store and add “organic dog food” as a search theme. Now, whenever someone searches for organic pet products, your store has a higher chance of showing up, even if your landing pages don’t explicitly mention this.

Policy Guidelines 

As with all things Google, make sure your search themes are in line with Google Ads Policies. A little due diligence goes a long way in ensuring your campaigns run smoothly.

There you have it, a succinct breakdown of the key details about Search Themes in Performance Max, written in easy-to-understand American English. Would you like to add anything else?

Closing Thoughts

Search themes in Performance Max offer a practical way to leverage your expertise and the power of Google AI to reach new audiences. With the feature still in beta, now is the perfect time to integrate it into your strategy.

Source: Unlock new relevant traffic on Performance Max with search themes

Will Search Themes Limit My Traffic? 

No, search themes are designed to identify new or incremental traffic.

How Do Search Themes Affect My Keywords?

They have the same priority as your phrase and broad-match keywords in Search campaigns.

Are Search Themes Mandatory?

No, they are an optional feature you can use to enhance your campaign’s performance.

Can I Remove Search Themes?

Yes, you can remove them at any time from your Performance Max asset group.

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