By John Cosley
In the real world, change is constant. What was true five minutes ago may not be true at this instant, and today’s “facts” can be proven utterly false tomorrow.
We all know this, and we accept it as part of life. So why do we search marketers rely on static, obsolete-the-moment-they’re-created charts to provide data we can act on?
This is a question I’ve pondered often, especially on days when I have dozens of those charts littering my desk (or, more often, my desktop).
A Better Way To See Data
Is there an alternative to all of those woefully inadequate charts? I decided to investigate.
My immediate goal was to understand how live marketplaces behave during the course of a day — and, if I was lucky, to see some of the small nuances that static screen grabs just don’t provide. The ultimate goal, of course, is simply to get more horsepower out of my campaigns.
To better understand how my campaigns actually behave, I took a video from the Bing Ads marketplace showing how Cost Per Click (on the Y-axis), Ad Click-Through Rate (on the X-axis) and volume of searches (size of bubble) organically evolve. The time zone has been normalized to users’ time.
The video provides insights into user behavior not just throughout the day (hour indicated in the top right corner), but also across devices:
The first revelation? Watching this is strangely addictive, sort of like binge-watching your favorite show, only without the guilt. But more importantly, the video uncovered some interesting time-based trends: