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Google Adwords Ad Scheduling

Time of Day and Day of Week considerations can be important for many types of businesses when advertising. Significant factors include:

  • Opening times/can only purchase at certain times of day, e.g. call centre closes at 5pm/Sundays
  • Advertising a product or service associated with particular time of day, e.g. lunch take-away
  • Target market is only online at certain times of day, e.g. post-5pm/shift workers/night-security
  • Ad is time sensitive – e.g. offer only available in mornings

And I am sure there are more.

Google Adwords interface allows ad scheduling at campaign level. The interface looks like this:

ad scheduling


Each day of the week and time of day is possible to segment. This allows businesses to correctly aim their PPC activities towards their target market where it can be segmented by time of day.

Options include turning off at certain times of day or on whole days or at night. Additionally bids can be upweigted or downweighted on certain days or at certain times of day. This enables an advertiser to become more aggressive at times of the day when the user is more likely to be found online or have a higher potential to convert.

Ok But My Business Is Available At All Hours Of the Day and Days of the Week…

You may think this is not applicable if your business is in no way time sensitive but this is certainly not the case. All advertisers can make use of ad scheduling in order to cut costs and make their activity more efficient.

It is possible to test upweighting at high-converting times of day and down-weight at others (likely to be more often) and thus increase efficiency. Whole days can be turned off, e.g. if you are a financial business which sees minimal traffic or conversions over the weekend as most of you target audience will be away from the office even if you are still operating over the weekend – this is where considering your target market moves to the next level. Analyse time of day and day of week data from Adwords in order to assess if you can turn off certain hours or days without affecting your core KPI’s.

Efficiencies can also be improved if you analyse CPCs by hour. I have found that CPCs tend to be unnecessarily high in the earlier hours of the morning (1am-7am). At these hours, it is unlikely to be massively competitive and yet CPCs tend to be inflated – I think Google are making their money at these times. Many advertisers do not pay attention to hours of the day when their CPCs are skyrocketing and allow this to continue unchecked. Ad scheduling is a tool which can allow you to downweight or turn off these times so that you have more budget to push into times of day which have more value for your business.

Well I still can’t be bothered…

If you do not optimize to the hour you could be wasting money and lining Google’s pockets.  Not only this, but your messaging may not be reaching your target audience if you hit budget caps early due to off-target ad scheduling. Even if your business is not time-sensitive, consider the efficiency gains from analysing CPCs at different times of day and give it a test!




2 thoughts on “Google Adwords Ad Scheduling

  1. Ad Scheduling can be powerful in boosting visibility and conversions in more profitable periods, but you’re right that it can sometimes be very tedious. I did some research recently on comparing different days of the week in order to devise an ad scheduling strategy:


    As long as day of week and time of findings are significant, ad scheduling can work extremely well. But it’s definitely worth avoiding for volatile campaigns or those with little data.

    Would be great to hear your thoughts.


    Posted by Alan Mitchell | July 27, 2011, 3:16 am


  1. Pingback: How Do I Control My AdWords Budget? - August 3, 2011

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