Paid Search (PPC)

Custom Ad Scheduling can help you get your ads in front of your customers exactly when they are searching for your products or services.

By looking at the peak times you are receiving clicks and conversions it is possible to re-allocate your budget to get more visibility.

In this post I’ll show you how to set up custom ad scheduling in Google AdWords, before telling you how to best interpret the data and decide which strategy is right for your business.

Enable ‘All Features’

When setting up custom ad scheduling, the first step is to ensure that you have  ‘All Features Enabled’.

Choose a Campaign:

custom ad scheduling - enabling all features in adwords step one

Click on Settings:

custom ad scheduling - enabling all features in adwords step two

On the right side of Type, click on Edit:

custom ad scheduling - enabling all features in adwords step three

Choose All Features:

custom ad scheduling - enabling all features in adwords step four

Choosing All Features will provide more targeting and filtering options compared to a standard campaign.

Creating an Ad Schedule

Now that All Features is enabled, you are ready to start creating your custom ad schedule.

Head back to All Campaigns. Once here, choose the Settings tab, and then click on Ad Schedule located just underneath product groups:

custom ad scheduling - how to create an ad schedule

Simply click on the + Ad Schedule button to get started;
custom ad scheduling

That’s it!

Setting up a custom ad schedule is fairly straightforward. The next step is to look at the reports in the dimensions tab to see how your ads are performing on a timely basis.

How to Choose an Ad Schedule

A great place to start is with the Day of the week report (found in the View drop down):

111

This example shows that Saturday and Sunday receive the lowest CTR. Indeed, Saturday & Sunday are yet to produce a conversion.

It seems that conversions are driven during the week, especially on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. On the very top level, these findings indicate that there is an opportunity to take advantage of creating a custom ad schedule. But to gain a more detailed insight let’s delve deeper.

Take a look at the Hour of day report from the View drop down:

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The example above shows that all conversions are driven between 6.00 am and 8.00 pm.

From analysing the data from the two reports we now have a sound basis to start putting together a custom ad schedule.

Interpreting the Data

Begin at the very top level with the Days of Week report and split the week down by performance.

Based on this example:

  • Monday, Tuesday and Friday drive the best CTRs, clicks and conversions.
  • Wednesday and Thursday are in between, driving good CTRs, clicks and conversions.
  • Saturday and Sunday have the lowest CTRs and have yet to drive a conversion.

Now let’s look at the data pulled out of the Hour of Day report:

  • Between 6.00 am – 8.00 pm CTRs, clicks and conversions are at the highest.
  • 12.00 am – 5.00 am has the lowest clicks and no conversions.
  • 9.00 pm – 11.00 pm has high CTRs and clicks but no conversions.

Based on the trends we have discovered above, we could implement the following schedule:

  • Reduce bids on Saturdays and Sundays
  • Increase bids on Mondays
  • Slightly increase bids on Tuesdays and Fridays
  • Show ads from 6.00 am until 8.00 pm every day of the week

Implementing your Ad Schedule

So now your custom ad schedule is ready, let’s get it implemented!

Head to Campaign > Settings > Ad Schedule then hit the red + Ad Schedule buttonOnce here, click the Choose drop down and select the relevant campaign:

 custom ad scheduling - how to implement an ad schedule step one

Now click Create custom schedule;

custom ad scheduling - how to implement an ad schedule step two

From here you can start adding in your seven day plan. I will use the example above and implement it into the campaign:

custom ad scheduling - how to implement an ad schedule step three

The next stage would be to add in the bid adjustments to specific days of the week. The percentages used here are based on the data I have analysed for this particular example. There is no set structure for bid adjustments as it varies between every single campaign:

custom ad scheduling - how to implement an ad schedule step four

Here’s what it looks like once all bid adjustments are in place:

custom ad scheduling - how to implement an ad schedule step five

Custom Ad Scheduling – Things to Consider

Custom ad scheduling is a fantastic way to add value to your AdWords performance and could potentially lead to a much higher ROI on your AdWords spend. However, there is no one-size-fits-all approach for every business, and it most definitely is not a strategy that can be implemented and then left alone.

Here’s a few things to bear in mind when setting up your custom ad scheduling:

  • Each campaign needs the same care and attention to ensure the schedule is the correct fit. Don’t ever create a custom ad schedule and then apply it to all your campaigns. Always dig into the data you have available to make a well informed decision.
  • B2B and B2C differ greatly. Take a consumer shopping website for example. They will typically see a steady stream of performance throughout the day, whereas a tractor repair service could see significant performance during typical working hours and then a drop off at weekends.
  • Test and test again. Once you have implemented your bulletproof ad schedule, make sure you keep a close eye on how it is performing. Revisit the campaign at regular intervals to see whether your bid adjustments are correct, whether there have been any shifts in consumer demands, and to see (hopefully) how things have improved.
  • Take note of any seasonal events/holidays/trends. This is vital in ensuring you are not wasting spend and missing any opportunities.

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