All data tells a story. One of the biggest challenges with search marketing data is that there’s just so darn much of it, so it’s often overwhelming trying to figure out how to extract meaningful information. I’ve just finished a series of year-end reports for several of my clients and in an effort to streamline how I present my conclusions, I’ve come up with a few charts and graphs to help me QUICKLY get to the points I want to make. These I shall now share with you.
The correlation between quality score and CPC.
The above graph is based on a year’s worth of data. I pulled a keyword report from Adwords, inserted a column of 1’s so that I could get a count of each quality score and pivoted the data so I could see the count. Then I created this relatively simple scatter chart with the quality score values listed on the bottom. This chart clearly shows that the higher the quality score, the lower the CPC – a fact I’m constantly repeating to my clients. I think this is a really effective way of illustrating it though.
And speaking of quality score – an effective (if not delicious) pie.
Using the same data from my pivoted quality score chart, above, I created a pie chart which broke down quality scores by percentage (after filtering out the paused keywords). This is always an eye opening exercise, particularly if the bulk of the quality scores in the account are at or below 5.
Showing monthly cost versus clicks data by widening the gap.
This is a standard Column graph with the cost and click data plotted on two different axis’s. I widened the click data (green bars) so you can easily see that the campaign got better efficiency later in the year. I included CPC, CTR and click totals in the slide which showed that the CPC had come down, the CTR had gone up and the total clicks had increased quite a bit in Q4 even though monthly budget remained the same. Efficiency is a key reason that people work with me – so this is an important metric to illustrate. By the way, this graph works great when comparing lots of different metrics. Here’s the same graph which shows landing page conversion rate compared with impressions and clicks (I put the conversion rate in manually in PPT).
In this graph, it’s extremely obvious that page 5 has the best conversion rate. You can say 2.6% is a lot better than .06% (page 4) as much as you want, but the impact of visually comparing great performance against poor performance is very effective. This chart fueled the decision to update all the landing pages in the campaign, regardless of the topic, to the most effective layout (remember – this is taken from an entire year’s worth of data).
Word cloud using Wordle.net
I used an excellent (free) web-based tool called
Wordle to create word clouds of the top performing keywords, ad groups and even placements based on frequency. The tool is designed to show a word cloud of word frequency by scanning a web page and spitting back a word cloud –but if you go to the Advanced page you can manually create a word cloud based on term + the number of queries. This was a great way to demonstrate the dominance of some terms compared with others in a very visually compelling way.
Even though these charts and graphs are specific to PPC data, you can use them for whatever you want. I made all of them in Excel (except for that last one), so easy breezy, right?