Local Campaigns vs Performance Max


Marketing has been practiced for ages, yet the methods have evolved: from newspapers and pamphlets to radio and television commercials and, eventually, social media and virtual reality advertising campaigns, this sector has truly transformed. However, with the ever-changing environment and unanticipated hindrances becoming more common, automation and AI engagement appear viable options and Local Campaigns vs Performance Max.

Google has taken a revolutionary step in this regard with the launch of ‘Performance Max’ Campaigns. In this article, we’ll try to understand the difference between local and performance max campaigns, and how this revolutionary step can/is transforming the market.

What is a Local Campaign?

Google Local Campaigns allow you to market your local company on Google Search and Display Network, Google Maps, and YouTube.

This tool supplements your keyword-based advertising efforts by boosting the exposure of your local company on Google advertising channels and networks, directing customers from Google properties to your local brick-and-mortar or online store, and assisting you in finding people interested in your business, creating a buzz for your brand, and improving conversions.

What is the Performance Max Campaign?

The Performance Max Campaign is a revolutionary target-oriented marketing campaign that enables advertisers to develop automated campaigns that effectively target individuals based on their intent and behavior.

Google Performance Ads combines real-time machine-learning algorithms, automation, and proprietary Google data to bid more efficiently, minimize ad expenditures, and target intended demographics effectively.

It not only complements your ad campaigns but dramatically improves conversions since you have access to all Google Ads inventory where you may place an ad on Google Ad platforms and networks, including:





Discovery Feeds

Shopping Ad Inventory



Local Vs. Performance Max

The central aim of every advertising or marketing campaign is the same: to raise brand recognition and buzz, inform customers about the products and services your company provides, and, most significantly, drive them to your online/physical shop.

Therefore, the advertisement requirements for local and performance max ad campaigns are mostly the same:

At least 1 video
1 Logo
2 images (Landscape & square)
Call to action



Local Vs. Performance Max

The differences between these two types are many-fold. They may, however, be divided into three distinct categories:


The utilization of automation is a significant advantage for Performance Max campaigns.

While in a local campaign setup, you must manually bid for advertising, Google intelligently and automatically bids for your campaign, maximizing outcomes while simultaneously minimizing expenditures.

AI and Machine Learning

Where the local ad campaigns demand constant attention and tweaking to improve conversions, Performance Max campaigns utilize Google’s AI and Machine Learning setups to do the legwork for you.

Google technology targets people most likely to convert while providing tips and ideas to help you optimize your campaign.


Google Performance Max Campaign beats the Local Campaign across all parameters utilized for comparison.

Compared to local ad campaigns, Performance Max advertising has higher conversion rates for nearly every business. Furthermore, the effort and capital necessary for Performance Max commercials are less than that required for local ads.

Use Cases

Local and Performance Max campaigns differ greatly in their use cases:

Local Campaigns

Local campaigns prioritize simplicity while striving for the expansion of your offline company objectives. You only need to give the retail location, campaign budget, and ad resources, and Google’s machine learning algorithm will automatically optimize bids, ad placements, and asset combinations based on these inputs.

Performance Max Campaigns

Performance Max optimizes bids and placements to generate conversions or conversion value for your goals, but you contribute critical inputs such as audience characteristics (including your customer data) and high-quality text, pictures, and video that may dramatically boost campaign performance.

By applying conversion values and creating value rules, you can also give vital insights regarding what sorts of conversions are most useful to your organization. Account-level brand safety options are now accessible, allowing you to notify Google Advertising about which categories of material you do not want your ads to display.

Performance overview: Performance Max Vs. Local campaigns

In the screenshot below we are comparing these 2 campaign types that ran simultaneously in the month of May for the same client, as you can see the investment was quite the same, below are some insights:

  • Local campaigns provide a significant number of impressions, but the CTR is quite low.
  • Performance Max has 184 times less impressions but only 2.8 times fewer Clicks, making the CTR 6,406% higher than local campaigns.
  • Customers that came from Performance Max are spending more time on the site and visiting more pages.


Because Local advertisements are focused on local activities, all conversions, such as directions, click-to-call, and store visits, are “Google hosted.” Performance Max conversions, on the other hand, are dependent on account-level activities, in this instance Calls-from-Ads, Website calls, and shop visits (not all advertisers have this one available).

Why Performance Max Campaigns Are Great for Car Dealerships

While Performance Max ad campaigns appear obvious winners, they find a unique and crucial role in car dealership marketing. Here are a few of the primary reasons:


While local ad campaigns are better suited for local businesses operating through small brick-and-mortar stores, Performance Max ad campaigns are all-encompassing for businesses of all sizes and scopes.

The major reason why local advertisements lag behind Performance Max is that they only allow a restricted number of forums for ads, whereas Performance Max allows the complete arsenal of Google platforms. It not only improves the reach of your advertising but also encompasses the various types of audiences that might be interested in your brand.


Performance Max ad campaigns utilize your advertising objectives and conversion goals (calls, contact forms, etc.) to optimize your campaign to set up an advertising campaign best suited for your brand and its business goals.

Furthermore, to set up a Performance Max campaign, you only need to upload some photos, videos, logos, headlines, descriptions, and calls to action. These assets are automatically mixed and matched to identify the highest performing combinations based on whatever Google Ads channel your ad appears on.

Conversion Rates

Performance Max ads have the highest conversion rates in the market maxing out at about 20% conversions.

(The findings are based on 45 days of data, and conversion includes calls-from-ads, calls-from-website, and store visits.)

Economical and Efficient

The average CPC is around half that of a standard Search campaign, allowing you to reach more clients with the same price.

The finding from 45 days of data estimates the average cost per conversion to be $7 for Performance Max ad campaigns.


Although choosing any ad campaign depends heavily on the type of your brand and the business objectives held by that brand, Performance Max campaigns seem to work best for all types of businesses, especially car dealerships.

Because the future is characterized by AI, machine learning, and automation, it is no surprise that Performance Max commercials that incorporate these elements are outperforming the competition and leaving them in the dust.