As someone who’s managed paid search accounts for over 5 years, I am always looking for ways to push my accounts a little further to make things a little more efficient and gain that incremental lead over my competitors. One feature I’ve been experimenting with more recently is day-parting modifiers in AdWords. In the past, I’ve dug into hourly and day of week data to give me general insights, and used the “set it and forget it” method. This involved placing appropriate increase/decrease bid modifiers, and forgeting about it for months.
This time I took a more strategic approach and have continued to update day-parting every few weeks as I collect learnings from my tests. Here’s what I did:
- Separate your campaigns out by appropriate theme. I segmented data out by (a) Brand versus Non-Brand campaigns and (b) country.
- Pull hourly or day of week data for an appropriate date range for your account. I chose hourly data over a course of 90 days.
- Identify different day-parting methods you want to test. The two I started out with were:
- Option #1: Add a 25% increase modifier during hours where average position drops
- Option #2: Add a 25% increase modifier during hours of strong conversion rate
Within days of implementing Option #1, I could see the impact. Cost per conversion began to rise steadily and conversion rate declined. Fighting to maintain my position during peak business hours resulted in increased spend but not necessarily increased conversions, and as a result I saw overall efficiency decline.
After implementing Option #2, we saw spend begin to decline back to previous levels, and our overall cost per conversion also declined. After several days of good results and increasing conversion rates, we began increasing our investment overall.
Overall, we had a 33% increase in conversions after implementing day-parting during hours of strong conversion rates, even though modifiers were applied to hours where impression share was 90% or higher. In the same vein, I have a list of other day-parting methods to test:
- Negative modifiers for high Cost per Conversion campaigns
- Positive modifiers for low impression share hours for Branded campaigns
- Day of week modifiers for best performing days of the week – an oldie but a goodie
- Negative modifiers for low traffic hours – this one is particularly good for accounts that run into budget constraints