Ad Scheduling: Why Timing is Everything

Timing is everything, for both the potential customer and advertiser. Whether a landscaping company promotes spring as the best season to prepare lawns, a local florist offers same day delivery between certain hours of the day or event promotions and ticket sales are at a peak the week prior to the show, most all businesses are more profitable during certain time periods.

Lay the groundwork for scheduling ads

Google AdWords offers online advertisers the ability to control when their ads are being presented with their ad scheduling feature, often referred to as day parting. Scheduling can be managed within the Google interface at the campaign level. The default setting for campaigns is to deliver ads all hours of the day, seven days a week. Once a campaign is active for an extended amount of time, it will accumulate sufficient data to develop a trend. Determining when your business is most profitable could be a “window of opportunity” to maximize conversions while minimizing your cost. This feature is especially beneficial for AdWords advertisers whose campaigns continually experience a limited budget based on their target market and for those who want their ads to be served during business hours.

Control when your ads are featured

Overtime, a campaign will develop performance and converting trends for different hours of the day and days of the week. The most important step in creating a custom ad schedule is to analyze your campaign’s historic data. Keep in mind that statistics will differ across campaigns as the budget, ad copy, keywords and most significantly, the geo-targeting settings, vary. Certain hours of the day and days of the week will perform better in different locations. Ad scheduling can be particularly valuable for advertisers who are managing an account with a set time zone but are running an ad campaign in a different location.

Determine the optimal time for your ads

There are several metrics to review when conducting a campaign analysis. During your assessment, try to segment your data by different time periods of the day using the metrics that most interest you. Once you have identified significant time segments, review your campaign’s data by day of week. There may be some days that perform better or worse than others during certain times of the day.

When analyzing your campaign’s data, ask yourself:

Are there certain times of the day when your cost per conversion is higher than other times? This could indicate that potential consumers are engaging with your ads, but are not completing one of the desired conversions specified on your website. Therefore, you are paying for the click interaction to your site but if the goal for your ad campaign is to encourage more conversions, this may be a time when you want to bid less.

Are there times throughout the day or week where you experience an increase in your conversion rate and can afford to bid higher? If your campaign is producing more conversions when your ads are served during a certain time period, then it may be valuable to bid higher during this time to maximize your efforts. You may also learn that your average number of conversions resulting from user’s clicks is significantly lower on the weekends, and you can save costs by reducing your bids for Saturday and Sunday.

Are there times when your ad position is higher or lower during certain times of the day or week? There may be times when your ads are receiving a much higher position in the results page when a user searches a targeted keyword. It may be cost effective to bid less during this time as it seems to be less competitive. If there are times where your ads are receiving a relatively low position, it could be beneficial to increase your bids during those hours to achieve a better position and improve your campaign’s click through rate.  

Analyze your campaign regularly

It is important to analyze your campaign’s data regularly as you may experience seasonal trends as well. You may identify a time period where your campaign has potential to receive more engagement, which allows you to maximize your budget on quality consumers. Raising your bids for these time periods can increase your exposure, providing opportunity for acquiring relevant clicks and potentially more conversions. To learn more about custom ad scheduling or how Full Media can help you minimize your costs while improving your paid search campaign’s performance, please contact us.

Senior Internet Marketing Analyst
Dallas is the Internet Marketing Team Leader in Full Media's Gainesville office where she assists clients of various industries by improving their online exposure through SEO, social media, online public relations, email marketing and PPC. Dallas has a knack for numbers and especially enjoys working with clients on their online paid advertising campaigns. She is certified in both Google Analytics and Adwords and is working to obtain her certification in Bing Ads.