Performance Max has truly been a head-scratcher for many advertisers in the past year or so. 

While we’ve seen many benefits such as the ability to cover the entire Google Ads inventory in one campaign and eliminate tedious setup work, there are still some features that warrant a deeper look to maximize final revenue.

Now that Google’s newest & most comprehensive campaign type has been with us for a while, advertisers now have the benefit of reflecting on many nuances of it.

One such nuance is this feature known as final URL expansion.

According to Google,

Final URL expansion can replace your final URL with a more relevant landing page of the same site based on the user’s search query and intent, and generate a dynamic ad headline, description, and additional assets to match your landing page content.

While it seems innocuous and packaged by Google as something that will drive performance, this feature not only risks sending users to irrelevant landing pages but also risks showing them potentially wrong headlines and descriptions.

Hearing this, not many advertisers would choose to turn this on by themselves. 

But the final URL expansion option under performance max campaign settings is turned on by default which is why you need to assess if this is right for your account:

Here is a quick checklist of sorts to explain how to go about this:

  1. You have a campaign targeting a specific location or product and don’t want to display irrelevant URLs like the FAQ, or Contact us page → Leave the final URL expansion on with URL exclusions.

  2. You want to control what you show as headlines and descriptions but don’t want to restrict your campaigns too much → Keep expansion on and use negative keywords (Please note: You’d need to reach out to a Google rep or a support assistant to help you in this regard)

  3. You strictly want to target a specific location or product and want to keep the ad headlines, and descriptions as close to what you have added to the campaign as possible → Turn off URL expansion altogether.

In our experience, since we prioritize being granular in our targeting, we have turned the URL expansion on while negating all irrelevant URLs like the FAQ, Contact Us, and other irrelevant product pages.

In most cases, we recommend this approach along with excluding keywords exclusion too. This way you can ensure ad relevance and, at the same time, give Google some leeway to make it make the final user experience of the ad better.

Want to learn more on how to maximize Performance Max campaign performance to reach your goals? Reach out to us, and we’ll be happy to help!