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Google Analytics Tutorial: Treemaps Report

April 17, 2015
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Google AdWords is always better when paired with Google Analytics since it opens up possibilities of attaining deeper insights into your paid campaigns. The fag end of 2014 witnessed the addition of a new feature to Google Analytics that takes this pairing to a new level- the Google Treemaps report These reports make Google AdWords reporting a lot more visual by making use of nested rectangles in shades of red and green. Let’s spend some time getting acquainted with the Treemaps.

What is a Treemaps Report in Google Analytics?

Treemapping is a concept that has been around for some time with the venerable Wikipedia describing it as, “a method for displaying hierarchical data by using nested rectangles.” The new Treemaps report makes use of this concept to help you get a visual insight into the performance of your AdWords accounts quickly. You can identify the non-performing areas of your account and focus your attention on these trouble spots. Treemaps let you do this with speed and deeper insights that are otherwise not possible when looking at the numbers alone. Google Treemaps report allows you to compare any two chosen metrics at a time by displaying the data in a hierarchical fashion using using color-coded, nested rectangles. A sample Treemaps report might look like this:

Before we delve into analyzing these reports, let’s spend some time learning how to read them first. In any Treemaps report:

• The surface area of the rectangle represents the volume of the primary metric that you have chosen. In the above example, the primary metric is “New Users”.

• The color overlay represents the secondary metric, in this example, the “Bounce Rate”.

• The color overlay ranges from red to green, where red is bad and green is good. So in case of metrics where higher numbers are considered bad (bounce rate, for example) you will see shades of red. On the other hand, metrics where higher numbers are considered good (CTR, for example) you will see shades of green. Brighter green colors are good for your campaigns and vice-versa.

Here are some sample scenarios you come across when looking at Treemaps reports:

Large green rectangle – this part of your account is performing well and brining in good results. This is a cue for you to prioritize this part and try to push it further for even better results. Ask yourself if you can apply what is working well here to other non-performing areas.

Small green rectangle - represents an area that is doing well but the has low volumes. See if you can work on this area to try and get more traffic here.

Large red rectangle – represents the problem areas of your website. There are higher numbers involved here which means you are driving lots of traffic but the results are not what you intended, thereby wasting budget. You should look into reassessing the keywords, ad copies and landing page to try and get into the green here.

Small red rectangle - represents areas of low traffic and low conversion rate. You may want to monitor these, but only after you have investigated other areas of higher priority.

The Google Treemaps report is available in your Analytics dashboard under Acquisition > AdWords > Treemaps. The reporting interface allows you to pick a “Primary Metric” and a “Secondary Metric” from which to create your report. The Primary Metrics currently available are:

primary metric

While the Secondary Metrics available at this time are:

secondary metric

Multiple AdWords Accounts

Google allows you to link multiple AdWords accounts to your Analytics account. If this is the case with your account, Treemaps report will default to showing the different accounts. On the other hand, if you just have a single AdWords account linked to your account, the report will default to showing campaigns. The report follows a breadcrumb structure so you can click on any any rectangle to go a level deep into the report. If multiple accounts are linked, each rectangle will represent an account and clicking any one of them will take you down to the campaigns in that account. Clicking again will take you further down to the ad group and then to the keyword level.

Useful Treemaps Reports

The example above was based on “New Users” versus “Bounce rate” which gives you insights into how the new users respond to the content on your landing page. Some other examples that can help you analyze your account better could be as follows:

• Impressions vs. CTR

• Clicks vs. Conversion Rate

• Cost vs. ROAS

• Clicks vs. % New Sessions

• New Users vs. Bounce Rate, and so on.

In Conclusion

The data visualizations provided by Treemaps report can help provide some useful insights into areas of our accounts that need attention. Tree reports are convenient to prepare and easy to look at while the breadcrumb navigation system can help you drill down into metrics for deeper insights. Looking at these reports you can ask yourself several questions pertaining to account performance and thus Treemaps can also work as a visual hypothesis generation tool.


About the Author

Chandan Kumar Singh is an Online Marketing Consultant, SEO Expert and a Social Media Evangelist. With an experience of over 13 years, Chandan has been involved in the arena of Online Marketing doing marketing, training, accounting and management. His expertise lies in the areas of LinkedIn Marketing, SEO and Digital Marketing Strategy and loves to blog on the subjects of Social Media Strategy, Online leadership, Online Branding, SEO and Content Marketing. He also provides Online Marketing Consulting to businesses around the globe.Chandan is also the owner of Market Tantra. He often blogs about the latest online business strategies


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