Dayparting is a feature in AdWords that allows publishers to run their campaigns -- during peak times -- when their audience may be the most receptive to take action upon clicking on ads. For example, if you owned a corner bakery in a tourist town during a big conference, it might make sense for you to run a promotion on AdWords that offered free coffee with a purchase of a bagel or muffin. To spend your money wisely, you might want to run your ads in the evening between 10:00 p.m. and midnight -- as people are looking for breakfast places the next day -- and then show your ads again from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. the following morning -- possibly bidding up on mobile devices.
You'll probably want to pause your ads during the middle of the day, as people will be less receptive to your breakfast oriented messaging. The opposite schedule would make sense if you own a local restaurant -- trying to get your dinner menu in front of people shortly after lunch, and ramping up more towards dinner time, as people look for local dinner specials online, via desktop and mobile.
How to set up basic dayparting
To setup dayparting in AdWords, click on a campaign you wish to enable dayparting on, and then go into the settings tab, and scroll down to advanced settings. The default setting is to run your ads 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To enable dayparting, select edit ad schedule and then you'll be able to enter your own times.
Optimizing campaigns with dayparting
For the example below, we are telling Google that we want them to pause ads from 2:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. We don't want any ads showing to our audience in the middle of the night since we believe serious buyers of our products are most likely not up and shopping at 3:00 a.m.
Depending on your budget, product/service, and marketing goals, you can and should experiment with running ads at various times -- scaling up or down in 15 minute increments. For example, if you are geo-targeting to a specific region in a town and you are trying to sell a product or service to a group of people, it may make sense to not implement as strict of a dayparting schedule on Friday's -- payday for most people. You may want to just run for a few hours during peak times on off-days like Monday and Tuesday. It's important to test and measure and to not blindly limit audience share without a strategy.