How to Use Advanced Online Ad Scheduling in Google AdWords - dummies

How to Use Advanced Online Ad Scheduling in Google AdWords

By John Arnold, Michael Becker, Marty Dickinson, Ian Lurie, Elizabeth Marsten

Advanced ad scheduling in Google AdWords allows web marketers to set hours of the day and incremental bids for those hours. Incremental bidding is set on a scale of 100 percent; you can raise or lower your bids during different hours of the day.

Google AdWords allows you to bid both higher and lower than 100 percent, whereas MSN adCenter only allows you to bid in excess of 100 percent in increments of 10 percent.


Suppose that you want your campaigns to run from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and you receive most of your traffic between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. You can set your account to increase the amount that you’re bidding between those hours to 110 percent, which means that Google or MSN takes the set bids in that campaign and increases them by 10 percent between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

You don’t see the bids change physically; the amount that you specified as your maximum CPC still appears. The only place you see a difference is in the amount of clicks billed.

In addition, you can not only set your bids to increase from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., but you can also determine the days of the week when incremental bidding takes place. If Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays are your best revenue-generating days, you can apply that strategy to only those days, and leave the bid amount for Wednesdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 100 percent.

Or on Google AdWords, you can decrease the bids for off days or off hours by choosing an amount less than 100 percent. Entering 90 percent, for example, tells Google that during those hours, you want to bid 10 percent less than your maximum CPC setting.

If you edit your maximum CPC setting later, take this feature into account if you have it enabled!

To set up advanced ad scheduling, follow these steps:

  1. Open the campaign for which you want to enable this feature, and click the Settings tab.

  2. Scroll down to the Advanced Settings section.

  3. In the Ad Scheduling section, click Edit.

  4. Click the blue Bid Adjustment link.

  5. Click the time period or % of bid next to the day that you want to edit.

  6. When finished entering the desired times of day and percentages, click the Copy button at the bottom of the Running dialog box to copy these same days and times to other days of the week if desired.

  7. (Optional) Add multiple blocks of time in the same day by clicking the blue Add Another Time Period link to enter another block of time and/or percentages.

  8. When the times and percentages for each day are set up to your satisfaction, click OK.

  9. Review your new ad schedule and click the Save button to commit the changes.

    You return to the Edit Campaign Settings page.

These settings cannot be copied to other campaigns in the web interface; you must go into each existing campaign and edit the settings manually. You can copy them using the Google AdWords Editor, however.

Know what schedule you want to implement before you get started; the operation may time out on you. Don’t dilly-dally when setting up ad scheduling.