Have you ever thought about studying the behavior of your prospects brought in by your SEM campaigns according to the time of day? If it is not the case, I advise you to do it, you could have good surprises by optimizing these thanks to this data. Here’s a step-by-step method…

Step 1: study the performance of campaigns according to the time of day…

1.1: Export the data from your statistics tool …

The first thing to do is to identify the times when your campaigns are particularly successful. Depending on your activity, these time slots will be different, so it is essential to study the performance of your campaigns according to the hours of the day.

Go to your statistics tool, I will take Google Analytics as an example but the approach is similar with the other tools (AT Internet…).

Once connected to the new version of Google Analytics, go to the report: “Advertising> Adwords> Day part”. This report displays campaign statistics by time or day (depending on what you select in the “viewing” section).

Then select a fairly long scan period, for example the last three months. It is important to base yourself on a long period in order to erase the effects of seasonality as much as possible.

Click on the tab corresponding to the transformation you want to optimize (the one that you will have previously set in the goals on Google Analytics).

Once you have the results in terms of transformation hour by hour as well as day by day, you can export the report in Excel format so that you can deepen your analysis.

1.2: Refine the analysis via Excel …

If your ROI calculation requires the addition of external data, add columns to the report in order to have an accurate view of your ROI hour by hour.

Then sort the table by ROI in order to bring out at the top the hours when your campaigns are performing best.

Now it’s up to you to identify the different time slots. At first, you can separate your hours into 3 or 4 categories depending on profitability. Example: ROI greater than 100, ROI between 90 and 100, ROI between 80 and 90 and ROI below 80. Thanks to this, you will have a better view of the most efficient hours and those that are less.

In most cases, you will see time slots stand out, to facilitate your optimization work you can create a summary table of this type:


In our example, we see the different time slots assigned a color according to their profitability. Putting on colors makes it easier to identify efficient hours.

Besides, depending on these results, I highlighted in black two time slots that can improve the results. These two hypotheses can be tested for a few weeks each on the campaigns in order to see what works best. You can also estimate the ROI for each hypothesis in order to choose the one that most improves the results.

In the same way, you will be able to study the performances according to the days of the week. Maybe the weekend doesn’t change at all or on the contrary. Studying days can be a good addition to studying time slots.

The hard part is done, you just have to program your campaigns on these time slots.

Step 2: configure the campaigns according to these hours …

Nothing could be simpler, for that go to the campaign you want to optimize, then click on “Settings”. At the bottom of the screen that appears click on “Schedule: Start date, end date, ad scheduling” then to the right of “Show ads all days and hours” click on “Edit”.

On this screen, two optimization possibilities are available to you:

  • Cut campaigns completely over certain hours (basic mode);
  • Change the bids by x% over certain hours (bid adjustment mode).

You can also display the schedule on 12h or 24h. Compared to England, it is easier to select 24 hours.

Then fill in the time slots you found in the previous step and click on “Save”, if you have several campaigns, repeat the operation for each of them.

Step 3: monitor the results and readjust if necessary…

After your optimizations wait a few weeks and study the ROI of your campaigns again. This should logically have progressed. If not, review the statistics and try to adjust your time range accordingly.

To conclude…

Once the time slots performing in terms of ROI identified and validated by improving the results of your SEM campaigns, you can use this data to optimize all of your campaigns (display in particular).

From the moment when the sales manager offers you the possibility of programming your broadcasting hours, this optimization technique will work.

I’ve already had the opportunity to do this kind of optimization several times on different themes and the results are generally encouraging. By focusing on the most favorable moments for transformation, the cost of campaigns is better controlled.
A site whose sales end by telephone will logically have an interest in basing its campaigns on the hours of the telephone center. But by studying the hours, he can focus on the hours when the prospects are the hottest and further improve campaign results.

Have you already used this data to optimize your weekly campaigns? What have been the returns?