How-to: Adjust Your Campaigns for Time Zones and Daylight Savings
Published: November 9, 2017
Author: Faysal Kamal
Whether it’s time for the clock to fall back or spring forward, there may be an impact on your international ad scheduling. Many countries around the world do not participate in daylight savings time, and it is vital to update your hourly ad scheduling settings to reflect accurate times for modifying bids, targeting, or excluding users in your digital marketing campaigns.
In this post, we’ll guide you through getting your campaigns in line – no matter what time it is.
Know which Countries Skip Daylight Savings
The countries with the largest digital marketing footprint that do not participate in daily savings time are:
China and Hong Kong
A full list of countries can be found here.
Break out All International Campaigns (Possibly by Time Zone)
This is one of many campaign levers that should be modified and tested when running multiple international campaigns. Best practice here is to break out international campaigns (if they’re not already broken out) for a multitude of other reasons – languages, bid strategy, location, ad rotation etc. – that are most likely different than the campaign’s country of origin.
If you do have significant levels of international traffic, remember that international countries have varying numbers of time zones ,and each may have different performance and varying times.
Check Your Ad Scheduling Settings
If you are currently not utilizing ad scheduling setting options or do not have separate ad scheduling for your international campaigns, I do recommend that you consider your campaign’s performance throughout the day, each day of the week.
The most common areas of improvement are work hours and weekends vs. weekdays; B2B clients typically see stronger performance during the work day/week, and vice versa for retailers – although there are always exceptions.
Running ads in different time zones requires separate ad scheduling settings, as Google bases all ad scheduling off the time selected at the account level.
The new Google AdWords interface has ad scheduling conveniently broken out in the sidebar under settings, and it has different views in the top tabs to help you make changes efficiently on similar hours or days (or both) between campaigns.
If the hours are falling back, make sure to shift your ad scheduling up one hour in countries without daylight savings.
If the hours are springing forward, make sure to shift your ad scheduling back one hour in countries without daylight savings.
While this may seem simple, having incorrect targeting or bidding modifiers 2 hours a day from March 11th to November 4th (Daylight savings days in 2018) is 476 hours of lost or poorly optimized traffic.
Always double check! A quick Google search of “time in _______” is always worth the two-second sanity check to make sure you feel confident with your ad schedule.