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PPC tips and advice

Ad scheduling from Google AdWords

Google AdWords ad-scheduling tool enables advertisers to develop 'day-parting' strategies, which can increase the targeting of core markets and provide improved cost-effectiveness. If you know that your target customers are likely to be less active - or more active - on different days, or times of the day, then this tool now offers greater flexibility to manage your PPC campaigns.

As we previously predicted, Google AdWords introduced this advert scheduling tool in response to the range of services originally offered by the Microsoft adCenter PPC tool (which has also had its 'soft' launch in the UK during June, with a full launch due in August). The Microsoft adCenter has subsequently been superceded by that of Bing Ads in Australia and New Zealand at the end of July 2013. Google AdWords are calling their new feature 'ad scheduling' and, like Microsoft's version, gives advertisers the ability to automatically adjust their bids, or pause and resume their campaigns based on times of day, or days of the week.

Google claim that this is consistent with their ongoing strategy of the past year, to deliver increased control and flexibility to advertisers. However, it's no coincidence that Microsoft's new adCenter has always listed day-parting as one of its key features and Yahoo! is also expected to offer day-parting when it releases its upgraded PPC management tool for Yahoo! Search Marketing in the autumn. Marvellous what a bit of competition can do!

Google's new tool is a valuable new feature for businesses whose target market may show some temporally predictable or routine behaviour, so that advertisers may wish to only bid at times when their target customers are online, or may wish to raise their bids at those times. Campaigns can now be paused for selected hours of the day, or for complete days during the week, plus the advanced option allows bid levels to be increased or decreased by any level between 10% and 1000% within 15 minute segments of any day.

This may have the effect of raising bid prices at peak times, which may lead to particularly prudent advertisers avoiding peak periods if they do not rely on reaching customers at those times. It is certainly too early to tell what the long term impact of day-parting may be on the paid search landscape, but it's likely that more options will be introduced soon to match Microsoft adCenter's geo-demographic targeting capabilities.

This article was first published in the July 2006 edition of our monthly newsletter.

If you know your ideal customer behaviour patterns or want to test day-parting on your Google AdWords campaign, contact us for help or more information now. Alternatively, please request a FREE website assessment and see what you could achieve with a successful search engine marketing campaign.