The Complete Guide to SEM Ad Scheduling

Unlike the 9AM-6PM “norm” of a physical store or office, your website’s hours of operation is literally around the clock 365/24/7. The prime time to do business can be any time of the day or night depending on your customers’ browsing habits and trends.

Why is the Timing of Running Advertisement Important?

When you spend money on a SEM campaign, every dollar counts. So it is important to find out the precise time frames where you receive the most traffic and activities. You can then focus advertising effort on these critical intervals to maximize conversion. The idea is to show ads when the majority of your potential customers are online and ready to shop.

The Good news is both Google AdWords and Bing Ad have ad scheduling functions that can target and customize delivery of ads at the time and date of your choice. So you can stretch that marketing dollar to its full potential.

Benefits of SEM Ad Scheduling

Ad scheduling can help you to better budget ad campaigns. It helps you to control spending by lowering bid during off-peak hours and raise it again at peak hours.

Depending on your business and industry, peak hours can vary. The most conversion happen when customers are on their devices browsing. You can identify these prime periods by looking into Google Analytics and Bing Ads reports. Then you can determine when to increase or decrease your bids, or even pause the ad. Set up ad scheduling correctly, and you have the power to tailor business hours around your customers’ clocks.

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Bing Ads

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  • Receive $50 in Free advertising credit by signing up through our special link
  • Attract more customers online through advertisements on Bing
  • Only pay for visitors that click on your ads

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Identify Peak Hours for Ad Campaign Planning

In order to determine the prime time of conversion for your website, ask yourself these questions and look for the answers within analytics data:

  • Which days of the week do sales peak?
  • What times of the day do you receive the heaviest traffic?
  • What time periods in a day do sales fade off?
  • Is there a trend or pattern in the days and times that show peak activities?

Once you have identified the best conversion time frame, you can adjust bidding to grow ad exposure.

3 Factors that can Influence SEM Ad Campaign Results

We will show you how to adjust your ad schedules in AdWords and Bing Ads shortly. Before you make any change, check your website performance with the following 3 factors that can impact campaign results.

1. Are sales volumes low because your price points are not competitive?

Most buyers today are price savvy and are always on the lookout for better deals. This does not mean price war for you but rather be strategic with pricing. Stay competitive and always keep an eye out on what your competitors are doing.

2. Does your website take too long to load?

If your website takes more than 5 seconds to load, then customers may have already bounced. When your content is loading too slow and it is not a hosting problem, then you might want to talk to a developer about optimizing website elements to reduce loading speed. If you don’t have someone in-house to handle web development, you can always hire an affortable freelancer from professional marketplaces such as 99designs.

Designers

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99Designs

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  • Pick from dozens of design services from logo, website, or advertising designs
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Google PageSpeed Insight is a free speed check tool. Enter your URL and click analyze. Google will provide a mobile and desktop webpage speed analysis with a grade out of 100. The tool provides recommendations on elements to fix or consider fixing so that your website will load faster.

In addition, you can use an image optimizer like ImageRecycle to reduce image file size. It compresses image files as well as PDF files up to 74% without loss of quality. API (Application Program Interface) plugin and CMS (Content Management System) extensions are available. Its users include EBay and Microsoft. ImageRecycle is free to try, and paid upgrades start as low as $10 per year.

Image Tool

Benefits

Price

ImageRecycle

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  • An image optimizer that compresses JPEG, GIF, PNG and PDF files
  • Available as a Joomla or WordPress extension
  • Image compression up to 74% without quality loss

3. Are landing pages relevant to your ad content?

The offer you state in the ad should also reflect on the landing pages. If your website is not showing customers what your ad promises, you may lose credibility. A properly optimized landing page can help you improve conversion and close more sales. Refer to our SEM strategies for more tips on how to create a winning ad campaign.

How to Set Up Ad Scheduling in Google AdWords?

Google has a neat little video to show and tell.

5 Easy Steps to Set Up Ad Scheduling in Google AdWords:

  1. Select a campaign
  2. Click on the “Settings” tab
  3. Click on “Ad Scheduling”
  4. Click on “+ Ad Schedule”
  5. Assign the days and hours you want the ad to show up

How to Set Up Ad Scheduling in Bing Ads?

Watch’s Bing’s video explanation

5 Easy Steps to Set Up Ad Scheduling in Bing Ads:

  1. Select a campaign
  2. Click on “Change Settings”
  3. Click on “Targeting Options”
  4. Click on “Advanced Targeting Options”
  5. Click the “+Add Another Link” to add targeted days and times

Note that you have the option to adjust bids for a campaign by percentage. If you do not want an ad to run at a certain time, select decreased by 100 percent.

Analytics Reporting for Ad Scheduling

After you have set the ad scheduling on autopilot for some time, it is time to go back and review the results. In order to determine the most accurate time frame for conversion, start with your website’s historical ad performance.

However, the past is not always the best prediction of the future. Online marketing trends are influenced by changing demand of the market. Analytics data should be re-evaluated periodically to meet the demand.

There is a quick and easy report you can generate in AdWords and Bing Ads to help you keep track of the best converting time periods.

For example, here’s how to access AdWords Time Conversion Report:

  1. Select "Reports" in the navigation
  2. Click on "Pre-defined Reports"
  3. Go to "Time"
  4. Click on "Hour of Day"

Depending on the type of conversion you have, you can choose the appropriate Pre-defined Reports to show different levels of information about the advertising campaigns. Choices offered in the Pre-defined Reports are "Basic", "Time", "Conversion", and "Geographic". Play around with the analytics, and you might gain unexpected insights to improve SEM campaign.

AdWords and Bing Ad Dayparting Report

Dayparting report is a one-glance report that tracks a small set of key pages which drives your entire website’s traffic. For instance, In Google AdWords, you can access this report by selecting an ad campaign. Then click on the “Settings” tab, and select “Ad schedule”.

Based on the ads you have scheduled, you can customize metrics to measure clicks, impressions, cost, or conversion. Filters can be applied to the report to reveal more detailed data. After you have built the report with all the necessary metrics, hit the download button to generate a .csv file.

If you have questions about how to utilize AdWords or Bing Ads, you can always visit Google Adwords or Bing Ads Support to find answers:

Ad Scheduling Tip to Consider

Ad Scheduling brings precision to ad campaign targeting. When you consistently keep track of market movement and consumer activities, you can gain a better grasp of how to run ad campaigns efficiently. Learn more about paid advertising and the essential checklist items you need for a successful SEM campaign.

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