Optimizing Performance Max Campaigns: Excluding Mobile App Placements for Better ROI

September 28, 2023

5 Minute Read

In the ever-evolving world of digital advertising, Google Ads' Performance Max campaigns have emerged as a powerful tool for marketers seeking to maximize their eCommerce performance. However, while these campaigns offer incredible potential, they also come with a caveat: the need to strategically manage your ad placements. It’s crucial to consider excluding mobile app placements for better return on investment (ROI).

Performance Max campaigns by Google Ads are designed to help advertisers reach their target audience across various channels, including search, display, and YouTube. These campaigns leverage machine learning to distribute your budget effectively across different placements, aiming to optimize performance and drive conversions.

While mobile app placements can be valuable for certain advertisers, they may not always yield the best results for all businesses. One significant challenge is that Google Ads can allocate a substantial portion of your campaign budget to these placements, which can be problematic if your ROI metrics aren't aligning with your objectives.

Mobile app placements within Performance Max campaigns can often deliver lower returns in terms of revenue when compared to other placements.

To address this challenge and optimize the performance of your Performance Max campaigns, it's advisable to exclude mobile app placements. By doing so, you gain more control over where your budget is allocated and can redirect it towards placements that are more likely to drive higher conversions and revenue.

To exclude these placements, one needs to navigate to the appropriate campaign(s), and then to the “Content” setting on the left-hand panel. Then, click on the pencil under “Placement Exclusions.”

Finding Exclusions in Performance Max

From there, you can choose whether you want this exclusion to be on the account, campaign, or ad group level. Then, you select “App Categories” and check the boxes of the categories you want excluded. It usually is recommended to exclude them all.

Excluding placements in Performance Max


In conclusion, while Google Ads' Performance Max campaigns are a fantastic way to reach a broad audience, smart management of ad placements is key to achieving a high ROI. Excluding mobile app placements, when warranted by your campaign performance data, can significantly improve your overall results. Remember, it's all about getting the most bang for your advertising buck, and strategic placement exclusion is a powerful tool to help you do just that.

If you need any assistance with your Performance Max campaigns, or any paid media efforts, don't hesitate to reach out to the team at Be Found Online!


Curtiss Gulash - Director, Paid Media

Curtiss Gulash

When Curtiss is not being a Brewmeister, brewing amazing craft beers at Big Cat Brewing Company, in Cedar, Michigan, he is BFO’s Paid Media Team Lead with a specialty in marketing automotive brands. Curtiss is known for his super-human energy and loves taking a project from start to completion. He understands the world of digital media through and through and manages to juggle multiple curveballs, be a terrific team player, and a super coach to his staff.