The Best Time to Run PPC Ads

After running over 1,000 Adwords campaigns this year, one thing we know for sure is that searchers’ behavior changes by hour and by day.

Depending on the product or offering, visitors may be more inclined to purchase items in the evening or on a weekend but still visit and spend time on their site in the afternoon during the weekday. For example, a user might be transporting themselves from their morning commute to a bakery in Florence while searching through AirBnBs for their upcoming trip. Then, once they’ve had time to compare options and talk with their traveling partners, go back and book in the evening.

You’ve already done the hard work to build a product or deliver a service that is solving a problem for someone. Even once you’ve reached the right person looking for your product or service to fill their need, timing is critical.


Think of a poker game. You could have a straight flush but you’re not going to lay it all out on the table in the first round. The timing is critical.

Understanding and analyzing how your PPC campaigns perform every hour allows you to see the hot spots of time where you should fire up your bids. Inversely, you’ll also learn about the moments you should dial back and save money.

Let’s take a closer look:

Learn how your account performs every hour

Mailchimp allows you to schedule emails during optimal times for open rate. Followerwonk helps you determine peak times to post on social media based on historical engagement. These tools exist to help you work smarter, not harder. The same applies to your Adwords account.

Instead of “sending” or “posting” content like you do with other marketing channels, Adwords allows you to make bid adjustments by time, device, and audience. Bid adjustments are a percentage decrease or increase to a bid, giving you more control of when and where ads are shown. For example, a time of day that produces higher qualified leads can be targeted more aggressively by increasing your bid adjustment.  


So how do you schedule your Adwords campaigns for optimal performance? How do you reach the right people with the right offer at the right time?

When it comes to PPC strategy, the best data is always your own. And, thankfully, the team at Brainlabs wrote a script to help you create heat maps empowering you with data by seeing hour-by-hour trends of your account and campaigns. Using these heat maps, you can identify the times and days that matter most to your business and then adjust your campaign bids accordingly.

Here are just a few examples of the data generated by this script on the best times to schedule your PPC ads to get you started: 


The "clicks" heat map will show you a detailed breakdown of the days and times your users are most active online and with your ads. If your ads are getting clicks but no conversions, or you're getting clicks but not enough sales to generate a profitable ROI, it's time for campaign and site analysis. Are you ads misleading? Can you improve you landing page? Are your products priced too high? Is the site navigation confusing? Is the site loading too slow or not optimized for mobile? 


Conversion Rate

The conversion / click chart shows the average conversion rates for your ads across the week. Below is a conversion / click heat map for an eCommerce retailer. Using this data you can see that for this business, there is no need to have campaigns running on full blast 24 hours a day, seven days a week. By identifying high converting times, you can specify the exact hours you want to increase you bids and create a schedule most favorable to you conversion and sales hot spots. 


Schedule your ads for optimal conversion hours

Now that your team or PPC agency has run this Adwords script, and you know what times of day are good, bad and ugly when it comes time to run PPC ads, here’s how you act on that information.

Instead of setting an ad schedule based off of a random pattern, you can now use this information to create an ad schedule to manage your bids to make sure you’re not spending too much at the wrong times. And, more importantly, that valuable traffic is getting to you at the right times.

Timing is just one small element of a successful PPC campaign. It can help you reduce waste and cut back on inefficient spend. If you want to truly succeed with Adwords, it's ultimately your campaign strategies, keyword selection, ad copy, and landing page experience that will be the most important factors. Not the time you optimize. So if you're looking for a complete PPC solution, drop us a line and hit us with all the details. We’re straightforward with our pricing and abilities and knowing where you’re coming from helps us do our best by you.

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