CPC Campaigns - Best Time of Day

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What is the best time of day to run your CPC campaigns? 

A recent study conducted by online customer acquisition firm NetElixir examined the time of day that online orders and clicks peak. The findings indicate that there is a daily pattern for both behaviors with orders peaking during midday, while clicks (indicating people researching products) increase steadily throughout the day. These behaviors can provide guidance to retail marketers on the best times to run online ads. 

The research reveals that online purchases peak during the midday hours between 2:00PM – 7:00PM, while clicks increase steadily throughout the day starting in the morning hours to about 10PM. Unique visitors to the site and on-site purchases followed a distinct hourly pattern based on the 32 retailers studies (see chart below with the amount of clicks on the left Y axis and orders on the right Y axis). Activity for both orders and clicks is at its lowest point in the early hours of the morning and rise over the course of the day, with clicks steadily increasing throughout the day and orders rising more sharply and peaking in the afternoon hours. 

NetElixir makes several recommendations for improving SEM effectiveness based on the study including breaking down perforamnce by the hour to increase aggregate rturn on investment, and applying time-bound search tactics. 

“The search advertising industry in 2011 is hyper-competitive. Retailers need to adopt smart optimization techniques and intelligent SEM technology in order to compete with increasingly sophisticated advertisers,” said Udayan Bose, CEO of NetElixir. “Analyzing and understanding when shoppers search and purchase can help to create more precise and effective search engine marketing strategies.”


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AlS 03-29-2011 3:14 PM

thanks for the post. I have seen from my own end that 1ish till 7ish has been the best for a few of my clients has weel.

ShaneO 03-31-2011 3:38 AM

Just curious, I may be looking at this wrong but to me this does not really show a best time.  A best time for me would be a higher conversion rate.

If anything this shows the best conversion rate is 1-2am as a percentage in the morning when visitors at that time are more likely to be actually looking to buy.

The other times it just shows you can get more traffic and obviously more conversions but from a effectiviness perspective they are no better than first thing ?

Or am I reading this wrong ?



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