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.
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.
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.
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.
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.