Is your dealership exhausting its daily budget early in the day by running ads 24/7? This is a common issue, but it can easily be fixed using Google’s dayparting feature. When your dealership is only open around 12 hours a day, there’s no need to keep your ads running around the clock—especially if you are reaching daily ad spend thresholds early in the day.
What is dayparting?
Dayparting is a budgeting strategy that allows advertisers to schedule ads to run during certain times of the day or certain days of the week. This helps dealerships reduce wasted ad spend and more effectively target audiences when your dealership is open.
The benefits of dayparting
While it’s true that the times of day and days of the week that are optimal for conversions can fluctuate, dealerships’ business model typically sees a peak in times or days for searches, impressions, clicks, and foot traffic.
For example, during the workweek, many customers want to drop off their vehicle for service or repairs before work (early morning), over their lunch break (midday), or after work (evening). It’s important to capitalize on these times to boost your dealership’s visibility.
Why use dayparting?
Dayparting can help your dealership take advantage of your audience’s optimal viewing times. Both Google Ads and Facebook Ads allow advertisers to customize their campaign schedules. Google allows advertisers to break down their schedule to 15-minute intervals, while Facebook allows ads to be scheduled down to the minute.
Once your dealership has set up its custom ad schedule, you can use bid adjustments to further optimize your budget. You can optimize your budget by increasing bids during your dealership’s peak times and days, and by decreasing bids when traffic is low like on Sundays when most dealerships are closed. Consider increasing your budget on busier days, because you will spend less on Sundays when (or if) you are closed.
By devoting your budget to showing ads at these times, your dealership can improve your Return on Ad Spend (ROAS). This avoids wasting spend during times or days when your customers aren’t likely to have a quality user experience, such as if they call your dealership or want to make direct contact when your dealership is closed. In fact, over 50% of the time, auto parts and service shoppers who click on a paid ad will call a dealership directly1. For this reason, you want to ensure they call a live person, instead of a recording.
Consider your goals
If your dealership has a low search volume, dayparting may not be the best option until search volume increases. Why? It’s hard to accurately predict the optimal times and days for your unique audience without a larger “sample size” of clicks and searches. However, with a healthy search volume, it’s easier to understand the search behavior(s) of your audience because there’s more supporting data that isn’t necessarily the result of holidays, sales events, or other one-time events.
If your dealership has low search volume, consider running your ads 24/7, instead of dayparting. You only pay when a user clicks on your ad, so you may as well have your ads run 24/7 to capture as much demand as you can and take advantage of when other advertisers exhaust their daily budget later in the day.
Consider the following factors below to decide if dayparting is the right strategy for your dealership:
- Do you run out of your daily ad budget before your dealership closes?
- Are conversion rates higher during business hours when compared to non-working hours?
- Is your cost-per-click (CPC) higher at the beginning of the day and lower at the end of the day? This may indicate that your competitors are running out of their daily budget, and you can take advantage of this by implementing "conquesting" terms to win business.
- Is your dealership trying to maximize clicks and overall website traffic?
- Is your goal to drive traffic for conversions or to grow brand awareness?
- How long is your sales/service cycle?
- Do you have enough data to offset variations in clicks and conversions from seasonal changes, sales events, service promotions, etc.? If not, dayparting may not be the right strategy for your dealership until your search volume grows. Try running your ads 24/7 to capture as much search volume as possible.
Based on your dealership’s goals, budget, and available data you can craft a winning ad schedule. Try experimenting with a broad (days) to narrow approach (specific times of day; 15-minute intervals) and see how your search data changes. This will help you better understand your audience’s search behavior and optimize your paid search strategy over time.