3 Tips for AdWords Ad Scheduling Success


Ad scheduling – an advanced feature of Google AdWords – allows PPC advertisers to set different bids for different days of the week and different hours of the day. If your business is closed on weekends, you can pause your ads on weekends. If most of your sales come through on weekday mornings, setting higher bids on weekday mornings can result in higher profitability.

But while ad scheduling in Google AdWords can be extremely powerful in boosting campaign performance, it is essential that ad scheduling decisions are reliable and informed. Since so many internal and external factors can bias your day of the week analysis, advanced ad scheduling strategies are best reserved for mature and relatively stable PPC campaigns with a large amount of conversion data.

Below are three tips for getting the most out of ad scheduling, and suggestions to help you make reliable and informed decisions to take advantage of this powerful feature of Google AdWords.

1. Beware of Diluted Data

You’re dividing your conversion data across 7 days, so each day will considerably less data than if you look at your campaign on the whole. Keep this in mind, and avoid jumping to conclusions based on insufficient data.

 

Recommendations: If you’re identified Friday as being a high-performing day, only make slight adjustments to your ad scheduling. Just because Friday has worked better than Saturday does not mean Friday should have bids 100% higher than Saturday. Exaggerated changes to ad scheduling can turn an otherwise high-performing campaign into a poor-performing one.

 

2. Look for Trends

Avoid getting caught up in the detail. You’re right – Wednesday did perform better than Thursday, but is it really significant? A handful fewer sales on Wednesday and a handful more on Thursday would result in both days performing exactly the same.

Recommendations: Take a step back and look for more general and reliable insights. It is clear that Mondays – Fridays performed much better than Saturdays and Sundays, so make that your only finding from your analysis. Trying to distinguish between individual days where performance is so similar is unnecessarily complicating and confusing your ad scheduling strategy.

 

3. The Past is Not the Future

Just because Saturdays and Sundays have performed poorly in the past, and Thursdays have performed well, does not mean they will continue to do so in the future. Perhaps a PR campaign caused a sudden increase in sales one Thursday which is biasing the results? Perhaps you tested some new high-volume keywords one weekend which were paused after the weekend due to few sales?

Recommendations: Where possible, repeat your analysis using different date ranges, to see if your findings are recreated. If certain days consistently and significantly outperform other days across different periods, then feel free to incorporate that into your ad scheduling. But avoid making changes to ad scheduling if too many external factors could have influenced day of week performance.

 

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Ad scheduling can be extremely useful for mature PPC campaigns which have benefited from a steady period of ad visibility, with limited changes to keywords, bids, ads, and landing pages. If a PPC campaign is in its early growth phrase, where multiple testings and optimisations make reliable day of week analysis difficult, keep day of week analysis for another time.

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Alan Mitchell is an experienced Google AdWords specialist, with a proven track record in helping businesses increase their return on investment (ROI) from PPC marketing. To find out how logical PPC marketing can help your business, please get in touch today for a free consultation.

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  1. #1 by Anthony on July 26th, 2011

    Interesting post, and I agree that a real danger when making decisions on data is confusing noise or other confounding factors for trends. Especially because it is not just user behaviour that effects the performance of a campaign, as competitor activity can be a factor influencing visibility on productive search queries.

  2. #2 by Alan Mitchell on July 26th, 2011

    Hi Anthony,

    You’re right – there can be many external influences which can affect the performance of individual days. I guess such analysis is more useful for those campaigns which tend to be relatively steady and have minimal factors which can bias the data. I’m thinking small to medium-sized businesses, where the majority of marketing is carried out via PPC.

    Cheers,
    Alan

  3. #3 by Anthony on July 26th, 2011

    You are right that this form of approach works best with relatively stable campaigns. It is far easier to make judgments on consistent trends.

    Determining what is a significant trend and what is just noise is both important and, with smaller campaigns, challenging.

  4. #4 by Kristian on October 29th, 2011

    I think it can be relevant to schedule the time of the day for certain products to filter out visitors who are just little bored at work

  5. #5 by Alan Mitchell on October 30th, 2011

    @ Kristian

    That could work, but people might also be more likely to carry out research or purchase online during lunchtimes or other times of the day. Different product and service types naturally have different buying cycles and different purchasing habits, so it’s important to look at the data to find the ad scheduling strategy which works best for your business.

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