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Doubling conversions with simple ad schedules in Google Ads

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

While there are so many to choose from, Google Ads is one of the largest paid advertising platforms available. Recognised, and utilised all over the world Google Ads has the potential to generate leads for most businesses no matter the industry.

If you have the budget Google Ads is a great way to either get your business off the ground with instant enquiries or promote the growth of your business by providing you and your team with as many leads as you can handle. The Google Ads platform is essential for businesses as it enables them to effectively connect with potential customers who are actively searching for products or services. By displaying targeted adverts to people already displaying interest in their offerings, businesses can better their traffic and generate leads. The platform provides valuable insights and data that can help businesses refine their advertising tactics, streamline their campaigns, and achieve the best results possible.

What is Google Ads?

The Google Ads platform is a means of online advertising for businesses that lets them show their advertisements on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs), alongside other websites and platforms that fall under the Google Display Network. Advertisers create campaigns and choose applicable keywords or audience targeting criteria, establish budgets and bids, and produce ad copy that will be visible to potential customers when they explore certain keywords or browse the sites that offer the services or products they’re looking for.

So how did I double the conversions with an ad schedule?

I work closely with a client that offers manufacturing services for heavy-duty products. They primarily target other businesses due to the nature of their products. This meant that it was a little easier to choose the right ad schedule for us. However, taking into account the data collected, I was able to pinpoint the right times to show our ads for the best possible return on investment (ROI).

What is an Ad Schedule?

An ad schedule is a Google Ads feature that allows advertisers to define the days of the week and times of day when their ads will be shown. You can configure ad schedules at the campaign level and tweak your bids during specific time periods to refine your ad spend. In doing so, you can optimise your ad campaigns in an attempt to get the most out of their budgets.

How to apply an Ad Schedule

Although it can sound intimidating, applying an ad schedule is a pretty easy thing to do and you definitely shouldn’t shy away from the process. The potential benefits are huge and if all else fails, you’ll be able to reverse the changes you made with a few clicks.

Here is a step-by-step guide to applying an ads schedule to your Google Ads account:

  1. Log in to your Google Ads account and go to the “Campaigns” tab
  2. Select the campaign you want to add an ad schedule to
  3. Click Show more in the secondary menu (light grey) and more options show appear in the list
  4. Scroll down and click on “Ad schedule”
  5. Click the edit icon to open the schedule options
  6. Select the day of the week and the start and end times you want your ads to run
  7. You can also select the bid adjustment percentage for each time slot, which will allow you to increase or decrease your bids during specific time periods
  8. Repeat steps 6-7 to add additional ad schedules as needed
  9. Click “Save” to save your ad schedule settings

Why did the ad schedule work?

If you refer to the image below you’ll see that I collected a lot of data over several months. I did this so that I felt confident that I wasn’t going to just apply an ad schedule that I thought would work with no data backing my decision. Without the data, I might have added the schedule and found out later that the client was losing out on a number of conversions and not improving our return on ad spend (ROAS).

As you can see, the majority of the tracked conversions fell between Monday and Friday. This makes sense because the client was targeting other businesses and it’s unlikely that someone looking for these services would be searching for them outside of their working week (typically Monday to Friday).

We also found that most of the conversions were happening between the hours of 6 am and 5 pm. The cut-off point of 5 pm made sense as the average working day would finish around 5 pm however I was slightly surprised that there were so many conversions tracked between 6 am and 7:30 am. This is a good example of why it’s important to track metrics and review the data so that you can make an informed decision.

After taking all of this data into consideration, I decided to apply an ad schedule that accommodated the majority of the conversions. The aim of this is to limit the wasted budget. So if we’re sending a lot of our budget between 7 pm and 9 pm on a Saturday for example, but the clicks aren’t converting, I know that paying for those clicks is a pointless endeavour and I can exclude that time from our ads schedule.

Yellow: conversions – Green: Cost – Red: Impressions – Blue: Clicks

In the graph above you should see that the conversions have increased quite dramatically when comparing the left-most level and the right-most level. The statistics show that when comparing the monthly average over this period of time I’ve managed to double the conversions.

What’s more, the total amount spent per month on average has decreased. I reduced the cost of the ads by a little over 26% after not advertising for the times that weren’t high converters for this account.

What else can I do to improve my Google Ads account?

The fact that Google Ads is a paid marketing platform means that you’re going to be trying to do all you can to reduce the wasted budget. It can get expensive and I appreciate that you want to make sure that every penny is being put to good use.

I’ve included some advice below that will aid in your attempts to better your Google Ads ROAS.

1. Negative keyword lists

One of the most underrated and overlooked tools by inexperienced Google Ads account holders; the negative keyword lists will let you block out any keywords that you don’t want to show up for. This is great if you’re using a ‘broad match’ or ‘phrase match’ strategy but know that there are a number of terms that don’t represent exactly what your business does.

2. Accurate conversion tracking

Conversion tracking is arguably one of the most important parts of your Google Ads account. Being able to reflect on the data and make decisions based on the numbers should be a regular occurrence. If your data isn’t accurate then you could be making misinformed decisions that could have serious, adverse effects on your account and business.

3. Thorough keyword research

Performing in-depth keyword research forms one of the most basic pillars of your Google Ads account. This is where you’ll be able to decide which terms you’d like to target with your ads. Finding worthwhile keywords that suit your budget and offer a good ROAS is the sweet spot.

4. Optimise your landing pages

While this doesn’t have a direct impact on the Google Ads account itself, the act of optimising your landing pages can have a huge impact on how well your account performs. There is nothing worse than a bad landing page to turn your potential customers away before they’ve even made contact with you.

Having a well-designed landing page/website with good, clear call-to-actions (CTAs) like contact forms or phone numbers is likely to have a positive impact on your conversion rate.

Final notes

You can quite easily fall down the rabbit hole of PPC and how to get the most out of your Google Ads account. The trouble is there’s so much information out there and it can be hard to find the advice that is actually going to push the needle and have a genuine impact on your account that’s worthwhile. That’s why I wanted to share with you a use case in this article and explain to you that there are a few things that are likely to have a substantial impact on your account that you should be implementing. That’s not a promise that the number of enquiries you’re getting is going to double overnight…

The client featured in this was so excited to find out that such a small change could have such a huge impact on their operation and noticed the increase in enquires very soon after the implementation.

I write about all things marketing and love to focus on data. You'll see topics from SEO and PPC to web design and CRO.

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