Seasonal PPC campaigns and day partingPosted 2 August 2011 by Sandy Cosser
One of the biggest advantages of PPC advertising is its flexibility. PPC campaigns can be changed at a moment’s notice and the difference will be noticeable almost immediately. But that doesn’t mean changes should be made willy-nilly. They should only be made after testing and research to ensure that ROI increases rather than decreases.
The most commonly accepted practice is to change campaigns to suit seasonal demands. What is seasonal for one company may not necessarily be seasonal for another. For instance, lawnmowers may be in-season during spring, when people start preparing for summer. Outdoor paint may be in-season during the geographically determined dry season. Toys are most in demand before Christmas but Easter bunnies sell well over Easter and educational toys sell well at the start of every school term.
Some things, like insurance, don’t have a season, but there could be certain times of the day when insurance sells better than at others. This is called day parting.
Broadly speaking, PPC ads can be divided according to four schedules: week days and weekends, and business hours and after business hours.
Let’s look at toys during the pre-Christmas season:
It’s a safe bet to say that parents are more likely to shop online for toys during business hours, when they’re unlikely to be interrupted by their offspring. They are less likely to make purchases in the evenings when they’re eating dinner, playing with the kids and getting them ready for bed. They are more likely to go back to shopping when the children are sound asleep, say after 9pm.
But here’s the rub: you can’t base your scheduling on a safe bet or best guess. In business, going with your gut can be costly. Rather go back to the old online mantra of research and test.
Google Adwords will steer you in the right direction. Nick DiPietro points you to the Dimensions Tab in a particular campaign. From there you can see Hour of Day and Day of Week reports.
You can change your ad schedules under the Advanced Settings tab. DiPietro recommends that you go to Bid Adjustment if you want to target specific hours of the day. John A Lee, however, warns that your schedule is dependent on the time zone of your account, so you if you’re targeting different time zones you will need to bare this in mind.
After research and data analysis, you’ll need time to properly plan seasonal and day parting campaigns. Lack of proper planning is where a lot of PPC ad campaigns fall down. This is where keyword research comes in, as well as audience targeting, ad writing and testing.
PPC advertising offers short-term and immediate results, but only if the hard work is done before hand.
(Image by cambodia4kidsorg, by 2.0, via Flickr)