One of my PPC New Year’s resolutions was to start taking advantage of geo-targeting more in AdWords. Analyzing your AdWords Geographic Report is a good place to start with developing your strategy for setting up geo-targeted campaigns.
Everyone knows about the power of Excel for PPC data analysis, but not too many people are taking advantage of the power of data visualization using Tableau.
Tableau is an easy-to-use business intelligence and data visualization software. You can download a copy of Tableau Public for testing. Tableau is like a visual pivot table and really shines at displaying multi-dimensional views of data. Don’t be intimidated, Tableau has lots of training material on their website, so it won’t take you long to start slicing and dicing your data.
In order to do this analysis you will have to download an AdWords Geographic Report from the “Dimension” tab inside the AdWords web interface.
Where Tableau shines at data visualization, Excel shines at data preparation.
If everything went well your data should show up like this in Tableau:
You should now have a scatter plot visualization to play with. Try moving measures and dimensions to different shelves. Maybe drag the “Impressions” measure to the size shelf, etc.
Let’s make our “CPA” metric work harder for us.
We can see which cities have a good CPA just by the color, and you can zoom in and out to display more or less data on your scatter plot with your quick filter.
Go ahead and add more “Quick Filters” and start experimenting with the power of Tableau. You can add “Region” to the “Filters” shelf and then make it a “Quick Filter” to easily choose between states, etc.
Another great feature of Tableau is the ability to create “sets.” After you have an interesting view of you data in the scatter plot:
You can treat a set just like any other dimension which is very powerful.
The scatter plot in the example above is a very powerful data visualization technique for comparing highly dimensional data. We can quickly identify cities with below average CTR or CVR. Because we used “CPA” on the color shelf and took the time to format it appropriately we can easily see cities with high or low CPA’s.
I barely scratched the surface of the power of Tableau. In the hands of a knowledgeable PPC analyst it is the perfect tool for slicing through your AdWords geographic data.
Take it for a test drive and consider adding it to your PPC tool box. Once you get your head wrapped around dimensions, metrics, and the various shelves and filters you may find yourself using Excel pivot tables less and less.
Chad Summerhill is the author of the blog PPC Prospector, provider of PPC tutorials, and in-house AdWords Specialist at Moving Solutions, Inc. (UPack.com and MoveBuilder.com).
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