How to Maximise AdWords Revenue by Scheduling Bids According to Payday

Some time ago, I looked at the performance of the Danish account of one of our clients, an international fashion retailer, and noticed that both traffic and conversion rate (CR) are usually highest – up to 55% above average – on the last two to three days of each month, lasting until about the third day of the following month:

Figure 1 - conversion rate above below average
Figure 1: CR is up to 55% above average around end of month, which, in turn, leads to a higher efficiency on these days, also significantly affecting the return on ad spend (ROAS) (Data: Jan – Jun 2015)

These are exactly the days when people in most European countries get their pay checks – an event that seems to have a clear influence on PPC performance. Based on this finding, I scheduled bids and managed to maximise the overall revenue achieved for my client. As this is undoubtedly interesting for a lot of people out there, I want to share with you how I did this. 

Payday: Differences Between the Western European and US markets

The trend of increased conversion rates around payday is visible all across Western Europe. From the major markets of the UK, France, and Germany, from Scandinavia and the Benelux countries to the Southern countries of Spain and Italy, people tend to spend a large amount of their money around the day they receive their wages.

Especially on the last day of the month, up until the third day of the following month, there is a lot of potential to increase ad spend without losing efficiency.

Interestingly, in the US, where people traditionally receive their pay check bi-weekly, the conversion rate peaks twice a month: on the 1st and around the 15th, but not as strongly as it does in the European markets. This makes sense, considering that the absolute amount of money is only half as high compared to countries where wages are paid monthly:

Figure 2 - Conversion rate in the US
Figure 2 – Conversion rate in the US
Figure 3 - Conversion rate in the EU
Figure 3 – Conversion rate in the EU

This comparison supports my hypothesis that payday influences performance. At the same time, it shows that payday scheduling has to be adjusted to the relevant market.

Set up Payday Scheduling Using Automated Rules

So, how do we get to schedule our bids according to payday? As normal scheduling is only available for “Hour of the Day” and “Day of the Week,” we decided to schedule our bids using automated rules.

In order to maximise your revenue and profit, you need to set the rule carefully. Make sure to increase your bids enough to make a difference, but be careful not to increase them too much. The resulting higher CPCs could hurt your performance.

If you want to hit the correct run rate, you can use conversion rate (CR) as a guidance level, and increase the bids by about half the percentage that your CR is above average: If, for example, your CR is 20% above average, increase your bids by 10%.

Keep in mind that with an automated rule, you are not only scheduling your bids to be higher but you are, in fact, changing the actual bid.

Not sure about how to set up an Automated Rule accordingly? Here’s a short manual:

Step 1

Click on ”Automate” in the campaign tab of your AdWords interface, and choose your rule as displayed below:

Step 1 - Automate Rules

Step 2

Since not every month has more than 28 days, it is not possible to choose a later day of the month to implement an automated rule. Therefore, choose the 28th of each month as the date to increase your bids, and then decrease them from the 1st of the following month onwards, according to your Conversion Rate.

Step 2 - Create rule

Step 3

As you are changing the actual bid and not only scheduling a percentage based on the original bid, you have to be careful when decreasing your bids again. If you just increase them by 20% on one day and then decrease them again by 20%, your final bid will be lower than the original one.

In order to avoid this, you need to calculate carefully. Below is an example of how to set up the rule with a 10% increase for payday:

Step 3 - Set up different rules


Payday scheduling is a smart and efficient way to increase your campaign performance with relatively little effort. It’s worthwhile to do the analysis for your target countries and implement the necessary changes.

We’d like to hear about your successes, so feel free to leave a comment below.


Madeleine Bitsch

Madeleine Bitsch works as a Business Intelligence Manager for crealytics and has 3+ years experience in PPC and in managing our biggest customers in the area of fashion. She has a proven track record in client communication and strategic testing.

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