How The Ad Schedule Can Be Used To Maximise Performance

The ad schedule is a tool within Google Ads which lets you control at what parts of the day your ad can be seen at as well as letting you adjust bids at certain times of the day. It therefore has two main uses:

  1. Limiting when your ad can be seen: You can set ad schedules to only show at certain times of the day. This can be useful for those who only want to show ads during their business hours. This may not always be for the best however as people may be able to make “conversion” action such as sales or enquiries outside of your business hours.
  2. Maximising Performance: With Google Ads you can use the day and hour performance reports in order to see at what times your ads are either performing better or worse. With this data you can then apply bid modifiers in order to higher or lower bids at certain times depending on the performance for those times.

How We Use The Ad Schedule

Out of the box, the ad schedule come with limitations which means that it can’t be fully optimised without the use of scripts. This is due to you being limited to setting a number of time slots in the Google Ads interface. Luckily a 24/7 bidding script, made by Brainlabs, has been created to get around this in order to set adjustments each hour, thus giving you the most control possible over your ad schedule. If looking to setup this script yourself we would recommend following their instructions for this.

Remember – By default the 24/7 bidding script is account wide. You may therefore want to run multiple scripts in order to target specific campaigns.

Choosing The Bid Adjustments

Choosing the bid adjustments is the part of the Ad Schedule that’s going to make a difference. Before you even look at this you need to understand what your aims of the campaign are. You will also want to make sure that you’re using a decent sized data set in order to make sure you’re making accurate decisions. We’d suggest at least 3-4 times the target cost per acquisition (CPA) should be a big enough data set per hour, but the more data you have the better. Once the campaign has been running for some time you’ll be able to predict when you’ll hit these levels of spend and will be able to schedule in to review the ad schedule based on this.


The best way to see how to set ad schedule bid adjustments is to show you a simple example.

As we said above, the adjustments should be based on performance, so for this example we’re going to use a target of a £10 CPA.

TimeCostConversionsCPABid Adjustment
Monday 9am-10am£405£8+25%
Monday 10am-11am£302£15-33%
Monday 11am-12pm£404£100%
Monday 12pm-1pm£5010£5+100%

So how did we get to these adjustments? Using the following formula:

(( Target CPA / CPA ) – 1 ) * 100 = Bid Adjustment

This will give you the bid adjustment to use on that hour. However if there’s already a bid adjustment on that hour, that also needs to be considered. Once you’ve used the above formula it can then be modified to take this into consideration by using the following formula:

( Current Bid Adjustment / 100) * Suggested Bid Adjustment = Modified Bid Adjustment

This will then give you the bid adjustment to add to your spreadsheet to set the bid adjustments for each hour. In order to speed up the process the data can be imported into a spreadsheet and then the formulas be used within the spreadsheet.


The above example is a fairly black and white approach to managing your Ad Schedule and there may be some further considerations which you need to consider such as:

  • Will increasing the bid adjustments increase the volume of people coming to your site. If you look into it and you’ve got 100% absolute top position then adding a bid adjustment increasing bids isn’t going to make a difference.
  • Can you handle the number of leads being generated? When working with some smaller businesses there may be a limit of how many leads they can process and it may therefore be more beneficial to still get the cheaper leads and not boosting bids around this.

Implementing Ad Schedules effectively can be difficult for those that are unfamiliar with Google Ads and it’s interface. If you’d like to discuss how these could be used in your business, get in touch with us today. Or you can take a look at our Google Ads Management page in order to find out more about the service we offer.