Performance Max has emerged as a potent tool for e-commerce businesses to automate bidding and targeting across Google’s platforms. But while it aims to maximise reach and ROI, it often leans heavily on low-hanging fruit, like brand traffic. In this post, we’ll delve into why excluding brand traffic from your Performance Max campaigns and running it as a separate entity can be advantageous for your e-commerce business.

1. Understanding the Bias Towards Brand Traffic

The Attraction of Low-Hanging Fruit

Performance Max is designed to find the easiest opportunities for conversions, and brand traffic often falls into this category. However, this can result in paying over the odds for clicks that might have converted anyway, thereby inflating your advertising costs.

Action Steps

  • Monitor your Performance Max campaigns to see how much brand traffic is being targeted.
  • Assess the average CPC (Cost Per Click) for brand keywords in comparison to other keywords.

2. The Case for Separation

Better Budget Allocation

By running brand traffic in its own separate campaign, you can allocate your budget more effectively. This allows you to use Performance Max for what it’s genuinely good at: targeting new or high-intent audiences across Google’s platforms.

Action Steps

  • Create a separate campaign dedicated to brand traffic.
  • Adjust budgets to ensure you’re not overspending on brand keywords.

3. Improved Targeting and Customisation

Specific Messaging for Brand-Aware Audiences

A dedicated brand campaign allows you to create more tailored messaging for those already familiar with your brand, thereby potentially improving conversion rates.

Action Steps

  • Use more brand-centric language in your ad copy.
  • Leverage ad extensions to showcase unique selling propositions specific to your brand.

4. More Robust Data Analysis

Unskewed Metrics

Excluding brand traffic from Performance Max provides a clearer picture of how your non-brand keywords and audiences are performing, enabling more accurate data analysis.

Action Steps

  • Use separate tracking tags for your brand and non-brand campaigns.
  • Analyse performance metrics to make data-driven adjustments to your strategy.

5. Navigating the Exclusion Process

How to Exclude Brand Traffic

Google Ads allows you to exclude specific search terms or audiences from your campaigns, making it easier to separate your brand traffic.

Action Steps

  • Navigate to your Performance Max campaign settings.
  • Add your brand terms to the exclusion list.


While Performance Max is an incredibly powerful tool for broadening your reach, it’s crucial to use it strategically to maximise ROI. By excluding brand traffic and running it as its own separate campaign, you can achieve more targeted advertising, better budget allocation, and more accurate performance analysis.

So the next time you set up a Performance Max campaign, remember: the key to unlocking its full potential may just lie in a thoughtful, strategic exclusion of brand traffic.


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