Taking AdWords ad scheduling too far? It's possible!
Sometimes you don't realise that AdWords has certain rules, limits or policies until you inadvertently break them. I found that out with ad scheduling recently.
Recently I was doing some pretty heavy duty optimisation of a large PPC account and I was working to a pretty hard brief. I'm sure we've all heard it or thought it before; "I need you to lower AdWords costs without compromising position vs. competitors or sales volume". Right... it's near impossible, logically speaking.
However I went on to do what I could best. I'm not going to mention the company or the keywords used, but this is a real life case from last week.
It's an incredibly competitve industry to do with automotive sales and my client is one of the big players with a reasonable budget. However, new players in the market have put them under some real pressure to maintain dominance in market share. Hence the squeeze on the budget! So last week I got the email from my client as described above and went about figuring out how to achieve this.
These are the steps I followed:
1. Figure out what the lowest bids I can afford to have are, in relation to competition, assuming consistent QS
2. Nail down exactly what budget I'm allowed to work to (in this case, £1000 per day
3. Use Analytics conversion rate anaylsis by hour in combination with AdWords keyword level conversion reporting with the 'hour' segment to figure out the best converting time of day during the week and at the weekend
4. Based on the above information worked out how much I wanted to spend and when based on assumed competition, QS and Conv.R
The above is nothing revolutionary, but the interesting part is that my calculations showed that my account would perform at optimal levels with eight different stages of day parting based on time of day and % of bid.
So, I went in to campaign settings and started entering my time of day with % of bid. e.g.
Monday: 0000 - 0600: 80% of bid, 0600 - 0930: 110% of bid, 0930 - 1130: 90% of bid, and so forth until 2359 that night.
However I got toward the end of the day when I ran out of time slots. The system would only let me enter SIX different scheduling slots in the day, which took me up to about 8pm. For me that wasn't good enough as I wanted to lower bids after 9.30pm in order to preserve CPA until the next day.
Now I know you might think having eight different ad scheduling slots for one campaign in one day might seem over the top but the requirement was calculated based on 30 days worth of high volume data and was mathematically sound. I'm also aware that there is more than one way to skin a cat and that there is any number of workarounds to this issue, the most obvious being copy & pasting the campaign and adding the time slots to that one. I don't think this is good enough though as it creates more work for me and increases risk of mis-management.
Why do Google set this restrictions? I can only think of a couple of reasons:
1. They think six slots per day is plenty and no-one can truly need more than that
2. The system simply can't cope wuith more changes than this. Pehaps it's too many re-calcultations of ad rank per day?
3. They missed it and are unaware of ths issue
Do you have any more ideas?
By the weay, unless I'm missing something you can't copy ad scheduling settings from one campaign to the next (very annoying and time consuming when doing the above activity).
I hope this is useful to you and if you've run in to the same problem, hopefully we can get it fixed.
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