Day Parting Best Practices for AdWords

@Tim | Search

Day parting is a vital aspect of your overall AdWords budget management strategy. Your strategy should include in-depth analysis of when and where (what time, geo, day(s) etc.) your ads are converting. For example, if you are currently running your ads 24/7 and have noticed that performance during 12am EST and 6am EST is dramatically underperforming compared to 7am EST and 1pm EST, it probably makes sense to pause out your campaigns during the early morning hours and add more budget during the day.

Use day parting data to spot when your ads are converting and at what cost

Day parting data can help you better understand what time of day people are more likely to convert. AdWords allows deep analysis into day parting data by day of the week, hour of the day, and day of the week by hour. Best practice analysis is to break the data down to day of the week by hour.

To pull a day of the week by hour report,  follow the steps below to determine when your ads are converting and the cost associated with those conversions.

Understanding Day/Time Performance:

1. Click the “Campaigns” tab
2. Select the appropriate date range
3. Click “Segment”
4. Select “Day of the week” to determine the best/worst performing days in a given range
5. Then Select “Hour of the Day”

This report allows you to see what time visitors are actually converting on your site and the cost associated with those conversions. Associating cost-per-acquisition (CPA) by hour is more valuable than the conversion data on its own. What if the data shows that at peak converting hours, CPA is double that of quieter times during the day? This might be a good opportunity to decrease bids during peak hours to maintain a lower CPA without forfeiting too many potential conversions. Conversely, you might notice cheaper conversions during off hours and see an opportunity to raise bids to capture a few additional conversions. At this point it’s important to look at cost-per-click (CPC) by hour to see the difference in cost during peak hours and off hours. Follow the trends to avoid overpaying for ads and use day parting as a way to find opportunity where your competition can’t find it.

Day parting by geography

If you are managing ads across different time zones (especially outside US), I would recommend breaking out those geo-targets as their own campaign or even create a new Adwords accounts to manage multi-time zone day parting and budgets effectively. Be sure to double check the time zones for each geo local before you launch, as the global settings for your Adwords is probably tied to your specific time zone… ie EDT.

Managing spend by geography:

1. Select a “Campaign”
2. Click “Settings”
3. Click “Advanced Settings”
4. Click “Start date, end date, ad scheduling”
5. Click “edit” next to “Ad scheduling”
6. From this screen you have full control over day/hourly ad schedules based on the performance above