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Google Ads Time Targeting Guide (Boost Your Campaigns)

Google Ads time targeting is crucial because consumer activity varies significantly throughout the week and even within a single day.

Understanding these patterns and tailoring ad schedules accordingly can significantly enhance the effectiveness of a campaign, leading to higher engagement rates and a better return on investment (ROI).

By leveraging time targeting, businesses can ensure that their ads are displayed at the most opportune moments, capturing the attention of their audience when they are most likely to convert.

Let’s get right into it!

What is Google Ads Time Targeting?

Google Ads Time targeting refers to the practice of scheduling ads to appear at specific times of the day and on particular days of the week. This scheduling capability allows advertisers to optimize their ad delivery based on when their target audience is most active and likely to engage with the ads.

Importance of Time Targeting

Time targeting is a strategic tool that helps advertisers maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of their campaigns.

By displaying ads during peak times when potential customers are more likely to see and interact with them, businesses can significantly improve their ad performance.

This targeted approach ensures that marketing budgets are spent more wisely, reducing waste and increasing the chances of converting clicks into sales.

Check Google’s official documentation to learn how to create an ad schedule

Types of Google Ads Time Targeting

Whether targeting specific days, precise hours, or a combination of both, these options provide the flexibility needed to align ad delivery with customer behavior, ensuring that ads are shown at the most opportune moments.

This strategic approach helps optimize ad performance, enhance engagement, and ultimately drive better results from advertising efforts.

Day of the Week Targeting

Day of the week targeting allows advertisers to select specific days when their ads will be shown. For example, a business might choose to run ads only on weekdays if their target audience is more active during workdays. Conversely, a company targeting leisure activities might focus their ad spend on weekends when their audience has more free time.

Time of Day Targeting

With time of day targeting, ads can be scheduled to appear at specific hours. This is particularly useful for businesses that operate within certain hours or want to reach their audience at particular times of the day. For instance, a coffee shop might run ads early in the morning to attract the breakfast crowd, while a restaurant might focus on the afternoon and evening hours when people are deciding where to dine.

Combined Day and Time Targeting

For more granular control, advertisers can combine day and time targeting. This allows for highly customized ad schedules that match the business’s specific needs and the behavior of their target audience. An example might be a fitness center that runs ads early in the morning and late in the afternoon on weekdays, and throughout the day on weekends.

24/7 Scheduling

For businesses that want maximum exposure, ads can be scheduled to run continuously, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This approach ensures that ads are always visible, regardless of the time or day, capturing a broad audience.

Benefits of Using Time Targeting

Google Ads Time targeting offers numerous advantages that can significantly improve the effectiveness and efficiency of advertising campaigns.

By strategically scheduling ads to appear at optimal times, businesses can better reach their target audience, increase engagement, and maximize their return on investment.

Here are the key benefits of using time targeting:

1. Improved Ad Performance and ROI

One of the primary benefits of time targeting is the potential for improved ad performance and a higher return on investment (ROI).

By displaying ads during peak times when the target audience is most active and likely to engage, businesses can achieve better results from their campaigns.

This targeted approach reduces wasted ad spend on impressions and clicks that are less likely to convert, ensuring that marketing budgets are used more effectively.

2. Enhanced Control Over Ad Spend

Time targeting allows advertisers to allocate their budget more strategically.

By focusing ad spend on specific days and times that yield the highest engagement and conversion rates, businesses can optimize their budget allocation.

This level of control helps avoid overspending during less productive times and ensures that ads are shown when they are most likely to drive desired outcomes.

3. Better Alignment with Business Hours and Customer Behavior

For many businesses, aligning ad delivery with their operating hours and customer behavior patterns is crucial.

Time targeting enables advertisers to schedule ads to coincide with their business hours, ensuring that potential customers see ads when the business is open and ready to serve them.

Additionally, understanding and targeting the times when customers are most likely to engage with ads—such as during lunch breaks, after work hours, or on weekends—can lead to higher engagement and conversion rates.

4. Increased Engagement Rates

Ads that are shown at the right time are more likely to capture the attention of the target audience.

By using time targeting to schedule ads during periods of high activity and engagement, businesses can increase the likelihood that their ads will be noticed and interacted with.

This increased engagement can lead to higher click-through rates (CTR) and ultimately more conversions.

Examples of Successful Time Targeting

Many businesses have successfully used time targeting to improve their ad performance.

For instance, a restaurant might see a significant boost in reservations by running ads during peak dining hours.

Similarly, an e-commerce store might increase sales by targeting ads during evenings and weekends when people are more likely to shop online.

These are just a few examples that highlight how understanding and leveraging time targeting can lead to tangible business outcomes.

Best Practices for Time Targeting

Effective time targeting in Google Ads can significantly improve the performance of your advertising campaigns.

By implementing best practices, you can optimize your ad schedule to align with your audience’s behavior and maximize your return on investment.

Here are some best practices for time targeting:

1. Analyze Performance Data

Before setting up or adjusting your ad schedule, it is crucial to analyze your campaign performance data. Look at key metrics such as click-through rates (CTR), conversion rates, and cost per conversion during different days and times. This data will provide insights into when your audience is most active and responsive to your ads.

2. Use Historical Data to Inform Decisions

Leverage historical data to identify patterns in user behavior. Review past campaign performance to determine which days and times have historically driven the best results. Use this information to inform your initial ad schedule and make data-driven decisions.

3. Regularly Review and Adjust Schedules

Time targeting is not a set-it-and-forget-it strategy. Regularly review your ad performance and adjust your schedule as needed. Monitor changes in user behavior, market trends, and seasonal variations that may impact your campaign’s effectiveness. Making periodic adjustments will help you stay aligned with your audience’s preferences and optimize your ad spend.

4. Test Different Schedules

Experiment with different ad schedules to find the optimal times for your campaigns. A/B testing various time slots can help you identify the most effective periods for ad delivery. Start with broader time frames and gradually narrow down to more specific hours based on performance data.

5. Align Ad Schedule with Business Hours

For businesses with specific operating hours, aligning your ad schedule with your business hours can improve the relevance and effectiveness of your ads. Ensure that your ads are shown when your business is open and ready to serve customers, maximizing the chances of immediate engagement and conversions.

6. Consider Time Zone Differences

If your target audience is spread across multiple time zones, take this into account when setting up your ad schedule. Google Ads allows you to set schedules based on the time zone of the ad viewer. Make sure your ads are displayed at appropriate times for all your target locations.

7. Implement Bid Adjustments

Use bid adjustments to increase or decrease your bids during specific times or days. This allows you to allocate more budget to high-performing periods and reduce spend during low-performing times. Carefully monitor the impact of bid adjustments and refine them based on performance data.

8. Seasonal and Event-Based Targeting

Consider seasonal trends and special events that may affect your audience’s behavior. Adjust your ad schedule to capitalize on peak periods, such as holidays, sales events, or industry-specific occasions. This approach can help you maximize visibility and engagement during high-traffic times.

9. Combine with Audience Targeting

Enhance your time targeting strategy by combining it with audience targeting. Identify key audience segments and tailor your ad schedule to match their specific habits and preferences. This dual approach can increase the relevance and impact of your ads.

10. Use Automated Rules and Scripts

Automated rules and scripts can help manage your ad schedule efficiently. Set up rules to automatically adjust bids or pause and resume campaigns based on predefined criteria. This automation can save time and ensure that your ad schedule remains optimized without manual intervention.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

While Google Ads time targeting can significantly improve campaign performance, there are several common mistakes that advertisers should avoid to make the most of this feature.

Being aware of these pitfalls can help ensure that your time-targeting strategy is effective and aligned with your advertising goals.

Mistake #1: Overlooking the Importance of Data Analysis

One of the most frequent mistakes is failing to analyze performance data before setting up time targeting. Relying on assumptions about when your audience is most active can lead to suboptimal scheduling. Always base your time targeting decisions on comprehensive data analysis to understand the actual behavior of your target audience.

Mistake #2: Setting Overly Broad or Narrow Time Frames

Another common mistake is setting time frames that are too broad or too narrow. Overly broad schedules may dilute your budget by showing ads during less effective times, while overly narrow schedules might miss potential opportunities for engagement. Aim for a balanced approach that covers peak times without wasting resources on low-performing periods.

Mistake #3: Ignoring Seasonal and Event-Based Variations

Advertisers often forget to account for seasonal trends and special events that can impact user behavior. Failing to adjust your ad schedule to accommodate these variations can result in missed opportunities. Regularly review and update your time targeting settings to align with seasonal changes and significant events relevant to your industry.

Mistake #4: Neglecting to Adjust for Time Zones

If your target audience spans multiple time zones, neglecting to adjust your ad schedule accordingly can lead to inefficiencies. Ensure that your ads are set to display at appropriate times across all relevant time zones. Google Ads allows you to set schedules based on the viewer’s time zone, so take advantage of this feature to reach your audience effectively.

Mistake #5: Not Monitoring and Refining Ad Schedules

Time targeting should not be a set-it-and-forget-it strategy. Some advertisers make the mistake of not regularly monitoring and refining their ad schedules. Continuous analysis and adjustments are necessary to optimize performance. Track key metrics and make data-driven changes to your schedule as needed.

Mistake #6: Overlooking Bid Adjustments

Failing to implement bid adjustments based on time targeting can result in missed opportunities for cost savings or higher performance. Use bid adjustments to increase your bids during high-performing periods and decrease them during low-performing times. This practice helps maximize your return on investment by aligning your budget with periods of peak activity.

Mistake #7: Lack of Testing

Not testing different ad schedules is another common mistake. Without testing, you may miss out on discovering the most effective times for your ads. Conduct A/B tests to experiment with various schedules and identify the optimal times for ad delivery based on performance data.


Google Ads time targeting is a powerful tool that you can use to optimize your campaigns by scheduling ads to appear at the most effective times.

Aligning ad delivery with business hours, customer behavior, and seasonal variations ensures that ads are shown when they are most likely to engage the target audience.

Time targeting, when done correctly, can lead to higher engagement rates, increased conversions, and ultimately, greater success in reaching marketing objectives.

Give it a try and improve your campaigns!

If you’re up for another comparison guide, I’d recommend Google Ads vs Microsoft Ads.

Michael Schroder

Michael Schroder

Michael Schroder is a Google Ads and SaaS marketing consultant. He has been managing $200k-$300k monthly ad spend and has worked with 200+ SaaS companies. The thing that makes him unique is his data-led approach and his focus on SaaS businesses.