Visual analysis of AdWords data: a primer



Data visualization is one of the most powerful tools available if you want to explore and understand your data, whether it’s on a small scale or at a scale which qualifies it as “big data.”

In this post, I wanted to run through some of the fundamental elements of data visualization and illustrate why these concepts start to reveal insight once combined.

I’ll use a very simple set of data with some fairly logical conclusions in order to focus on the effect of different techniques, avoiding adding any unnecessary complexity.

A simple scatter plot example

For the purpose of this post, let’s consider a scatter plot approach for a modest set of AdWords keyword data. My fictional dataset consists of data for ~700 keywords for a period of one month, with fields reflecting cost, clicks, conversion and revenue metrics.

As a starting point, let’s plot the cost per click (CPC) vs. the revenue per click (RPC), represented on the x and y axis respectively:


All very nice, but doesn’t really tell us too much. What we can draw from this is that the relationship is fairly wide-ranging, with some keywords delivering much more in the way of ROI, and some keywords in the bottom-right corner which appear to be unprofitable.

Adding context using segmentation

If ever you want to try and add some useful context to a dataset, then segmentation is a really nice, elegant way to achieve this. Instantly (assuming you’ve applied a relevant segmentation), you’ll start being able to compare and assess patterns/trends across different groups, which is often the starting point heading toward the insight that will be useful.

[Read the full article on Search Engine Land.]

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

About The Author

David Fothergill is a search marketer with a wealth of experience in Paid Search, Conversion Optimization & Web Analytics. As Head of Product Development & Insight at performance-driven SEM agency QueryClick, his main focus is working with the account team to ensure that client search marketing campaigns are of a strategic nature and deliver the optimal return-on-investment. Additionally, David is responsible for managing delivery of cutting-edge reporting & analysis tools and supporting development of Web Analytics and Programmatic Advertising services. He has handled search marketing accounts for clients in over 30 countries and a similar number of languages, in verticals including retail, finance, travel & the entertainment industry. Being a graduate in Mathematics, David is an advocate of the power of numbers within marketing, but believe that any analysis only adds value when it is tied to business objectives and is insightful enough to lead to actions which improve the marketing strategy.



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