When it comes to metasearch traffic, the data for determining weekly trends for your account is readily available, we wanted to take it a step further to get a better understanding of these patterns on an hourly level.
So over a two-week span, we tracked hourly spend, clicks, and bookings for a sample of US focused clients on Google Hotel Ads in order to identify which hour of the day receives the highest value leads.
We expected to see spikes in click and booking volume around two times of the day:
- During the typical lunch hour
- In the late afternoon/early evening (after 5:00 PM)
The basis for this belief was that consumers would search for hotels and ultimately book during either their lunch break or after work in the evening when they have the time to sit down at a desktop. We set out to quantify the highest booking hours of the day.
We used the following methods when pulling our data:
- We pulled data on the hour starting at 8:00 AM and ending at 9:00 PM. *
- For the hours we did not pull live data, we estimated hourly clicks, cost, and conversions based on the given numbers evenly distributed over this time period. **
* There may be slight inaccuracies in these numbers due to human error and slight differences in the timing of each data pull.
** The numbers pulled each hour are estimated by Google and may slightly differ from the actual hourly metrics.
When Do Consumers Click the Most?
We found that, across our sample of American clients, our highest click volume on average was seen around 6:00 to 7:00 PM. Unsurprisingly, we see the general trend of click volume increasing throughout the day. There was an additional hour long spike around 11:00 AM as well where we saw heightened click volume (compared to the hour before and after).
We believe that these trends can be attributed to consumers becoming more active online throughout the day as well as being away from work and having additional time to search. Below is a graph outlining the average clicks we saw per hour, as a percentage of the total daily average.
Our results show that the highest average click volume was seen during the 6:00 to 7:00 PM CST hour. This helps us get an approximate idea for what time of day we are seeing the most clicks come through, but clicks aren’t meaningful unless they lead to bookings. So next, we will investigate the highest booking hours of the day.
When Do The Most Bookings Occur?
We tracked conversions per hour in order to quantify the highest booking hours of the day. Below is a graph recording average hourly bookings, shown as a percentage of the total daily average.
Our data showed that the average booking volume peaked between 6:00 and 7:00 PM CST. We also found that the booking volume was higher in the afternoon and evening than in the morning. When analyzing our findings, it was important to consider the various time zones of users who are clicking and booking; we believe the sustained booking volume in the afternoon and evening was due to the daily fluctuations from the different time zones. The bookings trend falls in line with our belief that consumers are more likely to click/book later in the day when they are away from work and have more time for hotel searches.
Although these findings are important, we felt the most valuable information would come from determining the time of day that users are most likely to convert. To do this, we looked into the conversion rate fluctuations throughout the day.
When Do Consumers Convert Best?
With the clicks and booking volume, we were able to determine the average hourly CVR. This yields insights into what time of day consumers are most likely to convert their clicks into bookings. The following graph shows average daily CVR, broken down by the hour and compared to a baseline average rate.
There are two peaks that we noticed with the average conversion rate throughout the day. One can be seen first thing in the morning (from 8:00 to 9:00 AM CST), and the other from 5:00 to 7:00 PM CST. The first peak seems to be caused by imperfections in how the data was pulled (with hourly pulls beginning at 8:00 AM CST, there are some inaccuracies), and the second peak from consumers returning home from work where they are able to book freely on their personal devices.
With all this data, we set out to try to determine when the highest value consumers are searching for your hotels.
When Are the Highest Value Leads Generated?
Based on the average CVR, clicks, and booking volume per hour over the two weeks of pulling data, the numbers indicate that the clicks made between 5:00 and 6:00 PM CST are most likely to result in a booking. In terms of pushing for the maximum possible booking volume, we found that the greatest opportunity for you to generate bookings is between 6:00 and 7:00 PM CST. If you are looking for the maximum exposure (clicks), then you should make sure that you are ranked high between 6:00 and 7:00 PM CST.
Based on the data we pulled, it is important to ensure that you are receiving appropriate levels of exposure between the hours of 5:00 and 7:00 PM CST. There are additional pockets of high-value lead generation as well between 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM CST as well.
What Does This Mean For Your Campaign?
If you find your campaign consistently hitting your daily budget caps, you could very well be missing out on the highest volume (or most valuable) period of the day. Across the client sample, we found that the higher-value leads were generated typically after 5:00 PM. If your campaign is exhausting its funds before these peak hours, you could be leaving conversions on the table.
By focusing on the hours of the day when users are most likely to convert, you can increase the efficiency of your spend and the effectiveness of your campaign as a whole. The Koddi platform allows you to capitalize on this opportunity by adjusting your hourly bids to both take advantage of peak times and to conserve during lower-returning hours. You can push bookings by ensuring that your link is in a top position and in front of users during the times they are most likely to convert. These high-traffic hours are of huge potential value to your campaign, and utilizing Koddi’s ability to bid on an hourly level can increase the effectiveness of your efforts.
It is important to note, that clicks that lead to conversions happen throughout the entire day, so it is always crucial to ensure that your campaign has a baseline level of exposure. To take your performance to the next level, we suggest considering an hourly based bidding solution that increases your exposure during peak times of the day.
Koddi help the world's top travel brands maximize their digital advertising programs by providing an advanced reporting and bid automation platform for metasearch publishers.