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Google AdWords

How to Set Up an Ad Schedule Bid Adjustment

Though it may sound nice, letting your work do itself while you sleep isn’t what it’s cracked up to be in this age of automation. In fact, it can cost you a LOT of money. When you set up a basic search or display campaign on Google AdWords, your campaign defaults to run around the clock until your budget is exhausted. doggy dream gif

You may be paying top dollar at peak hours of the day when your ad could be better served at other times of the day. Luckily, AdWords allows you to set up Ad Schedule Bid Adjustments, but they make it super tricky to find, so let’s take a look at this important tool.


At its most basic level, Ad Schedule bid adjustments are granular changes made to campaigns by decreasing, increasing, or eliminating bids at certain times of the day or week. This is also referred to as dayparting.

To understand the power of Ad Schedule bid adjustments, let’s walk through a case scenario:

I am running a call-only campaign for the T.H. Stemper Company, a retail storefront in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Stemper Company has some of the best over-the-phone customer services in the game, so getting customers to call in with questions is easy money for them. That being said, the staff at Stempers are hard workers but don’t love answering sales calls at the dinner table, so they want to turn off their Call display ads anytime the store is closed. After following our tutorial, their ad schedule should look something like this:

T.H. Stemper Company's Ad Schedule

While they can drive foot traffic using other AdWords features like Location Extensions, Search, and Display Campaigns, this ad adjustment works wonders for Stempers.

When to Use Day Parting

Most businesses drive more sales at certain parts of the day or undergo volatility depending on the season.

Are people less likely to buy your flamingo floaties in the winter? Probably. This means your ad dollars are best spent if you optimize your ad spend to match these peak times, but before you make any rash decisions, let’s dive into the data and see how we can identify said patterns. Here’s how:

  1. Open Google AdWords
  2. Click the “Campaigns” tabdayparting-adhawk-tutorial
  3. Select the date range
  4. Click “Segment”
  5. Find the day of the week
  6. Select how you want to segment your bids: by week, month, quarter, year, day, or hour

From here, take a close look at your data. If there are certain hours in a day where your cost per conversion skyrockets, consider lowering your bids. Instead, try increasing your bids for hours that have a lower CPC and higher conversions. There also might be certain days of the week where your conversions spike, which you can capitalize on by increasing your bids as well.

Here are 6 best times to use ad schedule bid adjustments:

  1. Set the adjustment to -100% to quickly stop an ad at a specific time
  2. Set the adjustment to +900% for maximum adjustment
  3. Observe when you have the highest conversion value AND conversions, especially on a limited budget
  4. Event-specific bid adjustments surrounding sale periods, weekly happy hours, and weekend specials can be powerful tools
  5. Increase bid adjustments for peak sales hours to maximize on high traffic periods
  6. Increase bids during lunch time if you are trying to drive customer’s lunch break activity

Like most scenarios with PPC, there’s no rule of thumb here. Just be sure to test, test, and test some more!

How to Set Up an Ad Schedule and Make Bid Adjustments

We’ve put together a quick video tutorial on how to create and adjust your Ad Schedule. You can also follow along with our instructions below.

  1. Open Google AdWords
  2. Select the campaign you would like to adjust. Not sure if a campaign needs adjusting? Select your most active campaign for now.
  3. Select the Settings tab
  4. Beneath the  Settings  tab make sure  Ad Schedule  is selected

Got Questions for Us?

Not sure how to best utilize Ad Schedule bid adjustments for your business? Shoot us a specific question over Twitter with #AskAdHawk. Hope you enjoyed learning how to set up an ad schedule bid adjustment on AdWords!

About the Author

Marketing and Growth Director at AdHawk. Helping business find confidence and success online, one hefty article at a time.