For the most part, paid search advertisers optimize their campaigns through a few different means. The most obvious is through keywords, whether it be adding new, negatives or adjusting spend.
The next way is adjusting ad copy to attempt to increase quality score, then mobile bid adjustments and then adjusting the layout of campaign to adgroup to keyword to make sure you are getting the most out of your campaigns and budget.
An optimization technique that is often overlooked is day parting. That is the practice of increasing or decreasing bids based on the time of day or day of the week.
There are many different search patterns and purchase patterns that happen over the week and finding where your potential customers are more likely to search as well as purchase can cut down on your cost per acquisition and increase return on investment significantly.
Below we took a look at an e-commerce client’s Google AdWords account to see if there was any significant differences between activity during the separate days of the week or hours of the day.
Once we had that data it was time to jump over to Google Analytics and compare, to see how sales may have been effected over this time. We found a relatively significant difference between sales and activity on Tuesdays and Fridays (percentage sessions vs. percentage of sales), as well as most days having an increase in activity from noon to midnight.
From there we took the approach to be more aggressive in our day parting strategy. Instead of increasing bids at times when traffic and purchases seemed to be low (to offset the overall success) we decided to push even harder during the times that saw an increase in activity.
We increased our bids by 10% across all days from noon to midnight, while increasing Tuesdays and Fridays more. We then decreased our bids by 10% across all days except Tuesday and Friday from 7am to noon (we do not bid at all from midnight to 5am).
The results just a week later were staggering. Over the next week, our overall spend increased by 7% versus the previous week. This was expected as we increased bids over time more than lowering them.
The real key was the 26% lift in purchases that were received through the campaign in the adjusted week.
To put that in example numbers, let’s say we spent $1,000 in the previous week. We then spent $1,070 this week ($70 more). If each sale was $50 and the first week we had 100 sales, the revenue was $5,000. In the next week we would have had 126 sales, with a revenue of $6,300. That is an increase of $1,300 in revenue by spending $70 more on ads!
Day parting will work differently and have its own individualized results based on your industry, site optimization and overall appeal, but I encourage you to look deeper into your current paid search performance and find your golden nugget of opportunity.