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Google AdWords is a powerful marketing tool to use in conjunction with your Inbound Marketing strategy. If you’re setting up Google AdWords, Ad Scheduling is a term you’re probably famliar with. This feature allows you to adjust your campaign ahead of time, but not many people are aware of the benefits it can provide to you! In this brief article we’ll cover how Ad Scheduling can be tweaked to provide you with a tangible difference in terms of ROI of your AdWords campaigns.
Humans are creatures of habit, and that makes our behavior somewhat predictable. I’m sure we’re all aware of the fact that situational and macro-economic factors influence our buying behavior, but even seemingly irrelevant factors such as our mood or what time of the day it is can influence whether we make a purchase or not. Looking at buying behavior at certain times, physical shops have the advantage of having clearly defined opening hours, but our websites are always open for business, which we sometimes forget to take into account when designing our online marketing strategies. Luckily for us, we can easily collect data as it applies to conversion rates at different times, and design our Google AdWords campaign accordingly.
Specifying your time-frame
A very handy feature of Ad Scheduling is that it allows for you to specify which days or even specific time of day your campaign should run. When designing your AdWords campaigns, you will have thought of what your target demographics is, but have you also considered what days and what time they will be most likely to see and click your ad? Some may think that it’s unimportant, but, again , we humans are creatures of habit, and pretty much all behavior has specific days and times when it’s more likely to occur than others. This translates to buying behavior and profitability as well, so be sure to analyze as much data about your target audience and how effective your AdWords campaign is at certain times as you can. The key here is to determine consistent patterns and trends in your data and adjust your campaign accordingly. Note that the more data you have the better, as sometimes you will note a random spike in your data which doesn’t necessarily repeat itself.
Specifying your bids
The other main benefit of setting up Ad Scheduling is that it allows you to tweak the bid size to either increase or decrease during a certain timeframe. Here, the key is not simply to look at how much exposure your ads get, but rather the conversion rate of specific times. If you find your conversion rates are going up at certain times, it would make sense to increase your bid size for these times, and likewise if conversion rates drop consistently at other times, you can decrease your bid size there.
Applicable to both features is that you should aim at identifying patterns which are robust, and not just random spikes which don’t repeat themselves. It can take some time to gather enough reliable data, but in the end the success of an AdWords campaign comes down to ROI, so it’s worth waiting for. The beauty of it all is that you can always go back and adjust your campaign based on new data, which is one of the features that make AdWords such a great marketing tool. In traditional advertising campaigns, it’s a very time-consuming and expensive process to go back and change your campaign once it’s running, but with AdWords it only takes a couple of clicks to do so.
Ad Scheduling is something that you should not dismiss as being ineffective, without at least giving it a go. Aim at collecting as much data as possible first, and then try tweaking your campaign based on the data to see what is most beneficial to your ROI. From experience, if you have separate campaigns going at the same time, some of them may be better suited for certain timeframes relative to others, even if they are for the same brand or product. It’s really all about the data, and adjusting the settings until you get it just right. Keep in mind that you can always go back and change your campaign, so don’t be too afraid of experimenting and making mistakes.
Those of us who’ve been in the marketing and advertising industry for more years than we’re willing to admit, can attest to the fact that this kind of data and the ability to change things around instantly simply wasn’t possible up until just a few years ago. When used correctly and in conjunction with a solid Inbound Marketing strategy, it can be tremendously effective. We’d love to hear about your experiences with Ad Scheduling, so leave a comment below!