Lowering Your Marketing Costs with Google Adwords Dayparting

Did you know?

It's been about 3 months since Google released an enhancement to their AdWords functionality that gave marketers the ability to control the days and times their campaigns are active. This feature, called dayparting can give you a huge advantage over your competition by adjusting your bids and pausing your campaigns during slow business hours.

For some businesses, adoption of this feature appears to be a no-brainer. Let's say you sell business supplies and figure by using dayparting you can reduce your bids or even pause your campaigns on the weekends.

That should make your online campaign more profitable by allocating more of your click through budget for the more active weekdays, right?

Well, maybe not. What if on average, the few weekend visitors from your AdWords ads were more likely to purchase from you? Is it possible that even though you get a small percentage of your business on the weekends that you actually could be experiencing the best return on your ad spend on those days?

If so, pausing your campaigns on the weekends would be a bad idea.

Are you uncomfortable reducing your exposure in Google because you think your business is 24/7? Instead of going by what you think is best, take the doubt out of the decision making process by analyzing your web analytics.

The key analytics report you'll want to review shows actions (conversions), CPA (cost per action) and ROAS (return on ad spend) by day of the week and time of the day.

Sounds good. How do I set it up?

If you're using Engine Ready's Conversion Analyst Enterprise Edition, it's real simple to get this data, by following these quick steps…

1. Let's first setup the date range for our report by using the Report Period calendar in the upper left hand part of your screen. Be sure to select a date range that's going to give you a large enough data sample to draw meaningful conclusions, probably 4 months or more.

2. Now click "Settings" on main navigation

3. In the "Custom report" section, click "Build custom reports".

This launches the wizard which allows you to custom build reports using drag and drop…

4. At the bottom of the page, click the "Open the Custom Report Wizard" button.

5. Your browser will open a new window that looks like this:

6. For our report, click the Time button in the upper left hand corner to expand its options to look like:

7. Now click on and drag your mouse from "Day of Week" to the "Drag GROUPS here" box as shown by the red arrow below. Then click on and drag you mouse from "Server Hour" to the "Drag Groups here" box on the left as shown by the blue arrow.

8. Now click the "Metrics" tab located in the upper left hand corner. You'll find the "Metrics" tab next to the "Groups" tab.

9. Next click the "Marketing" button on that same left hand panel where you previously clicked the "Time" button. Your screen should now look like this:

10. Finally, click on and drag CPA (or ROAS if your Conversion Analyst account is tracking revenues), to the "Drag Metrics Here" box in the center of the screen as shown by the green arrow above.

11. You've now completed the setup and your screen should look like this:

12. Now we can sample the report, by clicking the "Show Report" button located towards the top of the screen.

13. If you have the feature called "cost consolidation" enabled, you may see a screen similar to the one below. If so, simply disable cost consolidation by un-checking the box to the left of "Enable cost consolidation".

You will now see your report with CPA data by hour of day and day of week that looks similar to this:

14. Just like other reports in Conversion Analyst, you can see report results by different "actions" you've defined. So, if you have more than 1 action, you'll want to use the drop down box to select the action you're looking to measure.

15. As you view your report, look for trends where the numbers might show a decline in your return. Also, note that the grids that contain "0.00", mean that no actions were recorded. This does not tell you how many ad dollars you spent, so you may want to setup another custom report that shows ad dollars spent in this same configuration.

To save your report, simply click on the bookmark icon, and fill in the prompts on that next screen.

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