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Effective Use Of Ad Scheduling In Google Ads 

Scheduling your Google Ads campaigns allows you to maximise your ad budget. Depending on the type of product or service you offer, these advantages could be based on the efficiency of campaign performance, when search volumes increase/decrease, during busier or quieter days/times for your business, etc. 

If you're running manual bidding or maximise clicks, you can add bid adjustments to your ad schedules to increase or decrease your bids according to your needs. 

It's worth noting that within Google Ads, you can create a maximum of 6 ad schedules per day for each campaign in your account. However, Google Ads scripts are available online if you want more than the standard six. 

As standard, if you do not add an ad schedule to your Google Ads campaign, it will run 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

It's important to remember that your ad schedule is set to the timezone of your Google Ads account. So, if you advertise internationally, you must factor in the time difference yourself. 

Things to consider about ad scheduling 

Before diving into your Google Ads campaigns and setting many schedules up for different days of the week, consider all aspects of your business needs. As PPC specialists, sometimes the temptation is to automatically swing towards metrics that make the platform performance look the best. But, in some circumstances, there are priorities other than this for the business. 

Sometimes, a more expensive conversion makes more sense to the business if, in certain circumstances, those conversions have a higher value to the business or a higher priority. 

Take, for example, a call centre; there may be certain times or days of the week when capacity is higher or lower.

So, regardless of how good or bad the Google Ads campaign performs, we must remember that we are running these campaigns for the business's good. 

If you're running ads for emergency plumbing repairs, scheduling late evenings and weekends will yield higher profits for callout fees and have a higher level of intent. There may be lower volumes, but if these are more profitable, it makes sense for the business to target these. 

If you're running a campaign for a restaurant or takeaway, you would need to consider how busy they may naturally be at the weekend, so even if there's a lot more volume for Friday and Saturday nights, would going after lower volumes of traffic midweek be a better decision for the business? 

Where there are opportunities to drive efficiency or better performing campaigns, you should always feed this back to the business, as it may help them plan in the future. Still, as PPC marketers, we must keep our eye on the bigger picture of how the campaigns we are running can better benefit the business. 

Google Ads scheduling tips for small businesses 

If you're running a Google Ads campaign on a tight budget, then ad scheduling can help you optimise your budget, focusing on what's best for your business. 

If you're already running ads, you can check out how these are performing by the day of the week and the hour of day by going to Insights and reports > When and where ads showed; here, you can filter your view to look by day, by hour and by day and hour. If the time and day of the week you get your conversions don't affect your business, you can look where you're getting your most efficient performance from and then set ad schedules to focus around these times. 

Competitors are bidding less later in the evening or at weekends, or you're seeing a much lower cost per conversion on certain days of the week. By combining the Google Ads data with the business sales data, are there any opportunities for the business outcomes from those conversions to be more favourable? 

B2B Google Ads scheduling 

If your product or service targets B2B clients, you will likely want to schedule your Google Ads campaigns in or around the working day. But it is worth considering, depending on the industry, that more and more people are working flexibly, so don't automatically discard non-traditional working hours, as there may be fewer searches, but most likely a lot less competition.

Again, look at the data and sales performance to develop the best solution for your business. 

Weekends are also another time traditionally when B2B advertising will drop off, but how many opportunities could be missed now? If a business puts something valuable in front of me, such as a guide or case study, as I am at home at the weekend, I am likely still looking at or bookmarking this to look at again once I am back in the office on Monday. This could lead to a much lower cost per conversion and a great opportunity for lower-cost leads. 

B2C Google Ads scheduling 

If you're selling your product or service B2C, consider when the peak times are and when your customers are most likely to make their purchasing decisions. You're also going to want to look at when your competitors are most active and make the business decision about how to approach this. 

Are there different seasonal (Christmas, Valentine's) or specific sales promotion times (Black Friday, January sales) to consider, where you may be looking to be more or less active depending on the needs of your business? 

If you're running a campaign for a restaurant or takeaway, you would need to consider how busy they may naturally be at the weekend, so even if there's a lot more search volume for Friday and Saturday nights, would going after lower volumes of traffic midweek be a better decision for the business? 

How to set up Google Ads scheduling? 

Now that we have considered all the relevant points above, it's time to set up the schedules for our Google Ads campaigns. 

You do this by first clicking "Show more" at the bottom of the navigation on the left side of your Google Ads view. Then click "Ad schedule".

Ad schedule

Then you can pick from the options all days, Monday to Friday, Saturday & Sunday or individual days of the week. 

Ad schedule - timing

Then, you choose the start and finish times in increments of 15 minutes. 

Ad scheduling - start times

Once you have finished adding your different schedules, you should see blocks representing when your campaign schedule is running. The below example shows a 24-hour schedule for the entire week, where you see the yellow lines on top of the schedule; this represents a bid adjustment in place. 

ad scheduling. bid decrease/increase

Google Ads schedule optimisation 

Once your campaigns are set up with their ad schedules and bid adjustments (where appropriate), periodically review your campaign's performance along with your business performance and make any alterations where necessary. 

The balance of volume, conversion rate, and cost per conversion will usually be good foundations for making optimisation decisions (as well as conversion value for e-commerce). But naturally, if other factors are essential to your business, do focus on those. 

If you're running a more extensive campaign, consider tactics such as separate daytime and evening campaigns. This way, you could ensure the correct budget is allocated to where it best suits the needs of your business. Again, going back to some of the business examples mentioned earlier, focus your budget and schedules to get the best outcomes for your business. 

In conclusion 

Utilising ad scheduling in your Google Ads campaigns puts the control back in your hands when your campaigns are going to run. 

You know your business's priorities, and you understand external influences that may impact your business over time and the need for those priorities to change depending on the business landscape. 

So, dive into your Google Ads campaign schedules to maximise your business's benefits. Test, optimise and repeat! 

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