Nick Rennard
By Nick Rennard | SEM | May 7, 2016

Google AdWords Ad Scheduling

Google AdWords Ad Scheduling

Hello fellow advertisers! Today I will be reviewing ad scheduling within Google AdWords. This is a continuation of my previous blog about dimensional reporting. The previous blog talks about how to determine the performance of your campaigns based on the hour of the day and the day of the week. This blog is going to show you how to implement strategies to bid more or less aggressively during different hours/days based on your campaign’s performance during those hours/days. Enjoy!




Hello, everybody, and welcome to another episode of my video blog series. I’m your host, Nick Rennard, and today we are going to be talking about ad scheduling within Google AdWords. Normally, I have a presentation set up for this, but we’re actually going to be doing a lot of hands-on stuff within AdWords. I’m going to be showing you a cool trick to kind of get around some of the limitations that there are within the AdWords Editor. Let’s go ahead and get started.

All right, so the reasons that we use ad scheduling to begin with- A lot of people have very obvious reasons about … Maybe they only answer their phones from nine to five, so they want to have their ads show from nine to five. That’s a pretty basic example. Maybe they don’t want to show on the weekends. Maybe they know that Mondays are really busy for them, and Fridays are not so busy. What we can do is we can set up ad scheduling, within AdWords, to bid more and less aggressively on those different days and hours, based on either data or knowledge that we have about how their business is driven.

One of the things- Obviously, there are things that maybe- The calls one is pretty obvious about … They only answer the calls nine to five. I generally like to look at real data to know whether or not hours are performing better or worse than others. One of the things that I’ve gone over in my blogs before is the “Dimensions” tab here. There’s a couple reports in the “Dimensions” tab, notably the- If you click on this drop-down box here, under “View,” and go to “Time,” there’s one called “Day of the Week,” which is the one I have up here.

This one’s great because you can set whatever date range you want, and you can see how your ads are performing throughout the day of the week. It’ll tell you on Monday, you got this many clicks, this many conversions. Friday, same thing. What you can do is, if you look at these reports- Let’s say you’ve had your AdWords campaigns running for, let’s say- I don’t know- eight months now. The minimum amount of time I want to look at these campaigns is generally about two or three months.

Let’s say you have eight months worth of data. Look at back at the eight months, and see if you can notice any patterns. Usually, they’re pretty obvious. You’ll notice things like, maybe weekends are really bad or really good. A lot of the times, I notice patterns where, like Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday are really strong, and then it starts to fade out towards the end of the week because people tend to like to convert on Mondays but not Fridays because- for whatever reason. It’s going to be different based on every industry.

We could look for patterns in here, and if we did notice something obvious, like Saturday and Sunday were bad, we could just reduce bids on Saturday on Sunday and try to get a cheaper cost per click. We could also do the same thing with the hour of the day because it’s not just the days that… We want to go a little more granular. Let’s say Monday performs really well. Well, let’s drill down on Monday, which is why we have the hour of the day report here. This one’s a lot bigger, obviously. Instead of broken up into seven days, it’s broken up into twenty-four hours.

It’s the same thing where you can see, at 12am, 1am, 2am, all the way down to the end of the day, how each hour is performing. What we look for in these reports is blocks of time where your conversion rates, or whatever stat you’re using to determine the success of your campaign- generally cost per conversion, but, obviously, everybody has their own metrics. What we’re looking for is blocks of time where it’s converting really well, where the performance is good. On the inverse side of things, it’s also important of where it’s not doing so good.

If we were to notice a pattern, like, wow, 2am to 7am performs insanely well for us, but then as soon as the day starts, around 7am, things start to taper off. What we can do is we can set up ad scheduling where, within those blocks of time, we can add bid modifiers to bid more aggressively or less aggressively, based on the patterns of conversion data that we’ve been seeing over the past whatever amount of time, two months, four months, eight months, four years, whatever.

What I like to do is I look at these reports- For my clients, I look at these reports every … probably every month or two. I don’t necessarily make changes every month or two, but I keep an eye on them, at least every month or two. If I start to notice a drastic pattern that’s been continuing month over month over month, I’ll go into their ad scheduling and add bid modifiers, based on the days that are performing bad or good or the hours that are performing bad or good. Dimensional reporting is a good way to prove that- Someone’s asking, “Why did you set it up like this?” It’s a good way to show somebody- maybe your boss or someone else who’s asking you for reports, or something like that- about why you made those changes.

Anyways, what I want to get into here is how to set up the ad scheduling. Let’s say- I’m going to use one of these campaigns. These are one of our old [Pause 00:05:22] campaigns that we have. I’m just going to pick a random one. If we go into settings … We clicked on the campaign here. We go into settings, and you see there’s a tab here called “Ad Scheduling.” You’ll see that the default is just to show Monday, all day, Tuesday, all day, Wednesday … It’s just showing all day- all days of the week. When you set up an AdWords campaign, that’s what it’s going to do. It’s just going to show you at all times during the day, until you tell it to do otherwise.

If we want to change it, we press this big red “Plus Red”- This big red “Plus Ad Schedule” button here. You’ll see that it breaks it down and allows you- It gives you all these drop-down boxes to get more custom-tailored. I actually want to use an example here to show you just how complicated this can get because it looks simple here, being, “Oh, Monday from 12am to 6pm. That’s great.” Then you add your bid modifier. It actually gets pretty complicated when you start trying to break it up into blocks of time. We’ll go ahead and just go with this example, and you’ll see what I mean.

Let’s pretend that, from 3am to 8am, the performance of your campaigns is great. The cost per conversion’s great, and you want to increase bids during those hours. Then you notice that 8am to 3pm- so kind of during the day- it tapers off, and the clicks get too expensive. The cost per conversion kind of drops off. What you want to do during those hours is you want to back off on your bids a little bit, aim for a cheaper cost per click, a cheaper ad position, try to pick up ad slots whenever other peoples’ budgets are maxing out. It’s a good strategy to use.

We want to back off between the hours of 8am to 3pm, and then, after 3pm, the pattern kind of goes back to how it was in the morning, where things are good again. The hours between 3pm to 10pm are good again, so we want to increase our bids. Then anything outside those hours, from 10pm to 3am, just kind of in the middle of the night, you don’t really notice any patterns, so we’re just not going to- We’re not going to add any modifiers there. That’s the example I’m going to use, and we’re going to go ahead and roll with it. I’ll show you how I would set that up.

What we would have to is we would have to clear out all of these, and we would have to do them one by one. Let’s go ahead and start with Monday. We’re going to have to break this up into chunks of time. Keep in mind, if I- One of the reasons we have to break this up so much is if I only add Monday to – from, like 12am to 4pm and this is my only ad scheduling, it is only going to show you during this time, period. Even if all you wanted to do was add a modifier for just this time, you would still have to add the rest of your days to tell the system that, yes, you still want to be bidding on those days. Then you can make your bid adjustment on Monday, but what we’re going to do is-

Let’s say we want to make these bid adjustments on all days. We’re going to start with Monday here. From 12am to 3am- because, remember, the good hours don’t start until 3am- so 12am to 3am, we want that to be a block. From 3am to 8am are good, so we want that to be another block. 8am. Then from 8am to 3pm, it’s bad. Then from 3pm to 10pm, it’s good again. Then from 10pm for the rest of the day- because, remember, if we don’t include this 10pm to midnight, it’s actually going to just exclude 10pm to midnight, entirely. This would- Oops, let me set that to Monday. This would just be Monday, right there. I’ll show you what it looks like when I save it here.

You can see that, now, it allows you to- It shows you Monday, midnight to 3am, 3am to 8am, 8am to 3pm, 3am to 10pm, and 10pm to midnight. Then what we can do is, now that we have these blocks of time broken out here, if this is the good hour here- Oops, twenty-five. We’ll increase our bids by twenty-five percent because this block of time is good. It was bad here, so- I’m just using arbitrary numbers here, for the increases and decreases. Let’s say, like decrease by forty percent. That might be a lot, but that’s all right. Then, here it kind of picks back up again.

This is what it would look like. You can see here that from 10pm, at the end of the day, all the way to up until 3am, nothing’s happening. We’re not changing our bids at all. We’re just letting it run. We didn’t notice any patterns. Then, in the early morning, it does really well, so we increase our- It’s going to automatically add a twenty-five percent modifier to our bids. Then, during the day, 8am to 3pm, minus forty percent. It’ll decrease our bids, pretty substantially. Forty percent’s a lot. Then, towards the evening, it’ll increase our bids again. You can actually see it broken out on the- They have a little visual for it up here. You can see that, how it’s showing throughout the day.

What we would have to do with this … Keep in mind that this is only showing Monday. By setting it up like this, we’re actually excluding Tuesday through Sunday and only showing on Monday. We have to set that up for all days here. Unfortunately- I know that that’s the first question that pops into your mind is, “Can’t we just copy, paste?” No, you can’t. We would have to- I’m not going to go through all of these with you, but … You would have to do this for Tuesday, 12am to 3am, 3am to 8am, 8am to- What was it?- 3pm, then 3pm to 10pm, and 10pm to midnight. You have to do that for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday.

Sometimes, even people will notice that, like Tuesday has a different set of hours that perform better or worse than Friday, and so you have to set it up differently for that one. Like I said, you cannot copy and paste it. It’s one of the stupidest things about the AdWords, in AdWords Editors. You cannot copy and paste ad scheduling, but I’m going to show you a trick on how- so you can get around this. Let’s say we went ahead and did all of this. We set this up for all of our days of the week, and you can see it- Once you add, like seven of these, you would have a- several pages of bid modifiers that you would have to add here, increasing during certain hours.

Once you set it all up for one campaign, there actually is a way to copy and paste it to other campaigns, so that’s nice. Once we set it up in this one campaign, if we want to apply that across the rest of our campaigns- because their performance is consistent across multiple campaigns, which is fairly typical. If you’re advertising for the same products but maybe just different keywords, or maybe one’s a remarketing campaign so the performance is the still the same, hourly. You notice the same patterns, but they’re just different campaigns. Yeah, you get it. What we’re going to do is go into the AdWords Editor. What we can do is take that campaign that we have here, this Sweetwater Remarketing, whatever, old campaign, and if we right-click-

Actually, first, we would have to get our recent changes because we just added the- We just added all of that ad scheduling in there. It would download all of these changes here, and then, we’d have to right-click this and click “Copy-” It’s a really weird way of going about this, but click “Copy Shell.” What that does is it copies the shell of this campaign. What you can do is, under “Ad Schedule” here, if you click on another campaign, like, let’s say this remarketing campaign we wanted to copy and paste it over to … On the campaign tab here, there’s a little thing that says “Ad Schedule.” Just click “Paste” there, and it’ll actually paste the ad scheduling from this shell that you copied into this campaign here. You click that “Paste” button, and post your changes. It’ll allow you to take all of the work that you did, adding these modifiers across all these campaigns, and copy it across multiple campaigns.

Now, sometimes I work with clients who … maybe they’ll have forty or fifty different campaigns for different products and services, maybe different styles of something that they sell. The ad scheduling I want to be all the same, so if I were to do this all manually and try to add all of these hours in, I mean, it would take me a full day just to do ad scheduling for one of my clients. With the little trick where I can copy and paste that shell between multiple campaigns, I could actually just set that up for one of my campaigns and then copy that shell and paste the ad scheduling into those other forty or fifty campaigns and save hours and hours of time.

Again, it is only because AdWords is kind of limited. I know they’re coming out with a new version of AdWords Editor, so maybe they’ll fix it in that. Who knows. For now, this is the only way I know of getting around that. Anyways, that’s a little bit on ad scheduling, how to set it up, the dimensional reporting. I have several blogs going over a lot of the details of dimensional reporting and kind of the ins and outs and what to look for in those, so check those out. Then, yeah, hopefully you can put the copy and paste trick to use so that you could save some time, like I have, with that trick. Anyways, thanks for watching, and I will see you guys in my next blog video. Happy advertising.

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