Google Adwords normally runs your PPC campaign 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Ad scheduling allows you to run your adverts at certain times of the day, or on certain days of the week. The minimum amount of time your ads can run during a week is 15mins, and you can use the ad scheduling tool within Google Adwords to set which blocks of time you would like your ads to appear.

You can also study your stats and see whether there are particular times when you get the most valuable visitors, and hence you may wish to bid for more impressions during those periods.

In order to make the most of your Pay Per Click budget, it is worth checking when your peak times for traffic are occurring and schedule your adverts to be shown more frequently during and around those periods. Google ad scheduling allows a considerable amount of scope for picking up your most valuable traffic, rather than wasting your budget on low value clickthroughs that do not lead to conversions.

If you are in a B2B or public sector market, then consider turning your adverts off over the weekend. And if you do not export, then limit the amount of 24 hour exposure (eg overnight) that you are giving to your ads. For example 10% should be plenty to capture those late night executives and purchasing managers!

By tying in scheduling to calls for search action eg by telling your potential visitors in your ad copy what keywords to search upon, you can ensure that when you run a campaign in the print media or on TV, your PPC backs up that campaign by targetting and capturing that traffic.

You must regularly check your traffic stats to ensure that you are buying all the correct keywords, that your scheduling is accurate and that it changes as trends occur, or at different times of the year. For instance, if one of your products is aimed at a foreign market for a particular festivity eg Diwali or Thanksgiving, turn your overnight scheduling back on to pick up activity from within that particular timezone. This can mean monitoring your stats daily so that you are aware that an upturn or downturn has occurred, or is occurring, and that you react accordingly.

Set up Google alerts and watch Google trends and sites such as Digg to be aware when there is a news story breaking that involves you, your products and services, or a similar product/service, and make the necessary changes to your PPC account.

It is amazing what activity a single post in a forum or blog can start, so keep up to date with those forums and blogs which involve your sector.

Ensuring you regularly check your google analytics and tweak your campaign to use the keywords which achieve the highest proportion of completed goals at the busiest times can increase Return on Investment (ROI) and make your budget stretch that much further. Which in times of economic downturn can be no bad thing!

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About the author:

Phil Robinson is an online marketing consultant with over 17 years experience in marketing planning, internet strategy and online acquisition. In 2004, Phil founded ClickThrough, an ethical search marketing agency. He gives best practice training for businesses, runs seminars and writes books on digital marketing.