Performance Max vs Search campaigns: comparison table and when to use each one

Performance Max and Search campaigns are two types of advertising campaigns that you can use in Google Ads. Both offer unique ways to reach your target audience and can be a valuable part of your digital marketing strategy.

Comparative table Performance Max and Search

Comparative table of Performance Max and Search campaigns:

Performance Max Campaigns

Search Campaigns

Where ads appear

Ads appear on all Google networks, including the Search Network, YouTube, Gmail, Discover, and the Display Network.

Ads appear in Google search results.

Ad format

Ads can be text, image, video, or a combination of these.

Ads are primarily text, but can also include extensions.


You can segment your target audience based on their interests, demographics, and behavior.

You can segment your target audience based on the keywords they use in their searches.


Performance Max campaigns are ideal for achieving a variety of marketing objectives, from generating leads to driving online sales.

Search campaigns are ideal for reaching users who are actively searching for your products or services on Google.

When should you use Performance Max or Search campaigns?

Choosing between Performance Max and Search campaigns depends on your marketing objectives:

  • Performance Max Campaigns : If your goal is to achieve a variety of marketing objectives and you want to reach your target audience across all Google networks, Performance Max campaigns can be a great option.
  • Searc h Campaigns : If your goal is to reach users who are actively searching for your products or services on Google, Search campaigns may be more appropriate.

How can you optimize your Performance Max and Search campaigns?

Optimizing your Performance Max and Search campaigns can help you get better results. Here are some tips:

  1. Choose the right targeting : Make sure you are reaching your target audience by selecting the right targeting for your campaigns.
  2. Create attractive ads : Your ads should be attractive and relevant to your target audience. Experiment with different ad formats to see what works best.
  3. Test and adjust your campaigns : Monitor the performance of your campaigns and make adjustments as necessary. Test different targeting, bidding, and ad formats to optimize your campaigns.

Which ad extensions are most effective in Search campaigns?

Ad extensions are a powerful tool in Google Ads that can significantly improve the performance of your Search campaigns.

Here are some of the most effective ad extensions for Search campaigns:

  1. Sitelink Extensions : These extensions allow you to add additional links to different pages on your website directly in your ad.
  2. Featured text extensions : They allow you to highlight unique features or aspects of your products or services.
  3. Structured Snippet Extensions : These extensions display additional information about specific products or services.
  4. Call extensions : Add a phone number to your ad, allowing users to call your business directly from the ad.
  5. Location extensions : These show the location of your business, which is especially useful for companies with a physical presence.
  6. Price extensions : Allow you to display the prices of specific products or services.
  7. App extensions : If you have a mobile app, these extensions allow users to download it directly from the ad.
  8. Promotion extensions : Ideal for highlighting special offers or promotions.

Written by Moises Hamui Abadi : I am an entrepreneur, founding partner of Viceversa and SoyMacho. After leading several digital businesses and advising several other businesses; I decided to form MHA Consulting, a digital marketing consultancy dedicated to growing and enhancing digital businesses in more than 7 countries and generating more than 1,500 million pesos.

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