Smart scheduling one of my favorite PPC strategy using which I have consistently been able to bring down the cost per lead across my campaigns.
In this post, I am listing out the scheduling strategy which can help you save around 20% on average. If you have been running an ad evenly, you might have been loosing a lot of money and also potential leads. Here are some scenarios to consider.
- You run PPC for a taxi company which has a heavy demand on weekends and moderate demand on weekdays. Would it make sense if you had more budget to spend on weekend?
- You run PPC for a restaurant which operates 9 AM to 10 PM on all seven days. Would you like to run your ad 24 hours on only during your operating hours?
- You run PPC for a SAAS company which operates from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM on weekdays and they do not have an offline support. Would you like to run your ad 24 hours on only during your operating hours?
- You run PPC for a e-commerce business; your customer are evenly distributed across the day. Would you distribute your ad evenly across the day or spend more during peak hours?
Now here are two important strategies to consider.
- You can choose to run an ad during a specific time of the day or week, its called Dayparting
- You can choose to run your ad across the day but control your budget with a smart scheduling
Dayparting is simple, choose the time of day when you want your ad to be visible, this wordstream post on dayparting explains well
In this post I want to explain in details, how to schedule your ad smartly. Lets consider a scenario, you are an e-commerce company and your prospect is a corporate employee who works during weekend. Here is how their day schedule looks like.
|Time of the day||Majority of your Prospecting is||Their reaction to your ad|
|12:00 AM to 7:00 AM||Sleeping||A small size of interested customers. Products like weight loss, beauty, self-improvement|
|7:00 AM to 10:00 AM||Getting ready and rushing to office||Do have some lazy time while commuting in metro or a public transport. Most likely to spend time watching a video or checking their social media.|
|10:00 AM to 1:00 PM||Meetings, focused on work||May see your ad but less likely to interact with it.|
|1:00 PM to 3:00 PM||Lunch break||May check out some of your ads|
|3:00 PM to 5:00 PM||Meetings, focused on work||May see your ad but less likely to interact with it.|
|5:00 PM to 7:00 PM||Laziness sink in, planning to travel back to their home (Do have some lazy time while commuting in metro or a public transport)||Do have some lazy time while commuting in metro or a public transport. Most likely to spend time watching a video or checking their social media.|
|7:00 PM to 10:00 PM||Lazy or family time spent in bars, with friends, in commute||Do have some lazy time while commuting in metro or a public transport. Most likely to spend time watching a video or checking their social media.|
|10:00 PM to 12:00 AM||Preparing to sleep, reading or watching movies||May spend time on social media timelines, interacting with friends.|
The behavior is completely different on weekends. This is pure generalization, just to give you an idea. To understand how your prospect will react to your ad on a specific time, you need to dig deeper in your own ad performance data.
Go to an individual campaign, click on Ad schedule. The ad will be run evenly throughout all days of the week unless specified otherwise.
Now our aim is to discover upto 6 schedule blocks in a day. (You can have at max 6 schedules in a day)
Click on day and hour tab, this is how it will look like. Click on Download
Open the excelsheet and apply a day wise filter. Lets say we want to start optimizing our schedule for Sunday. This is how the raw data looks like for Sunday
We need to clearly identify the patterns. My focus right now is conversion rate, because this is a lead generation campaign. With a quick 5 minute analysis, we have found clear patterns. Our ad is not delivering during Sunday 2:00 AM -8:00 AM, and performing really good during Sunday 00:00 to 1:00 AM, it has an average performance between 9:00 AM to 11:00 PM, though we have identified a low performing block in between.
Now go back to your campaign and divide your Sunday schedule in 5 blocks.
This is how we divided Sunday schedule.
12:00 AM -2:00 AM – High conversion
2:00 AM – 9:00 AM – Zero Conversion
9:00 AM -7:00 PM – Average Conversion
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM – Below average Conversion
9:00 PM-11:45 PM – Average conversion
This is how the new structuring look like. Notice I also created a uniform schedule for other days so that our ad does not stop running on those days.
Its time for the action, just scroll down a bit and you will see our Sundays schedule is divided into 5 blocks as mentioned above. You can decrease the bid upto 90% for slots which are not converting, and similarly you can increase the budget in ad slots that are performing above average.
Repeat this process for all 7 days of the week for a better performance of your ad. This exercise increases the performance of your campaign, reduces wasted spend and gives you a greater control on how and when you want to spend money.
Since this is a lead generation campaign, I focused on conversion, if you are running an awareness campaign you can increase or decrease your bid as per the impressions.
A word about scheduling multiple campaigns
Ad scheduling is a cumbersome process, if you are running ad for yourself with 3-5 campaigns, I recommend you do this exercise for every day of the week individually for every campaign. You will be surprised to see how people react to different type of services at different times of the day.
If you are running 100s of campaigns, you can spot common patterns within your campaigns and copy the same ad schedule to multiple campaigns.
How are you using ad schedules effectively? Let me know in comments.