Day-parting and geographical bid modifiers are great ways to target spend. Targeting when your customers are most likely to buy your product, in the areas where they are most likely to buy, seems like a no-brainer; no wonder it’s become a best practice in the SEM industry.


However, SEMs often rely on the tactic when they’re looking to “optimize accounts” and they’ve run out of other ideas. A little analysis would lead good SEMs, in certain scenarios, to skip these steps. Let’s explore.

Lower CPA

Why would you want to bid at times when customers aren’t likely to buy the product you’re selling? For one thing, conversion rates may be lower at certain times, but these can also be the times when bids are cheaper so CPA averages out. Lower cost and fewer conversions can be an effective wash depending on the client – which also means that some clients won’t be cool with this strategy.

Driving Sales

Conversely, when driving sales, dayparting might be an attractive strategy. Sometimes CPAs are higher during certain times, but this is when the majority of your customers are actively searching. Dropping bids to save money would significantly impact sales. In this case, you wouldn’t want to day-part and restrict sales.

Sometimes Geo is enough on its own

Sometimes you find that major metropolises may perform better than rural areas. Try adding wealth demographics to measure whether the performance is better because it’s a city, or because the people in cities fit a wealth demographic that works for your client. You might not want to slash bids at a given time, but instead focus your spend broadly in the geographical location.

One last tip

No matter what you do: make sure you avoid false positives. One or two good-performing days that fall on the same day of the week can skew your results. Make sure that your account has enough history so that outliers aren’t driving your marketing decisions.


What instances do you find day-parting to be crucial? Do you have any other times where you think it should be left out of the mix? Let us know in the comments.

Leave a Comment

Sean McEntee
Sean joined 3Q Digital in November 2013 after working previously at Performics and iProspect. Sean holds degrees in Interactive Media from DePaul University and Business Administration from Linkoping University. When he's not helping innovative companies grow, Sean enjoys traveling, building computers, and fondly recalling that one time the Golden State Warriors blew a 3-1 lead to the Cleveland Cavaliers.