co PPC Spreadsheets & Heatmaps: A Genius Idea |

Excel PPC Heatmapping 101 by Eric over at PPC Hero is going to change your life if you need to analyze data on spreadsheets. I think his easy-to-follow guide is a genius idea. It’s also going to give you some great ideas for taking what you learn about conditional formatting and applying it to other areas of your data analysis.

Make It Easy To Visualize A Sea Of Numbers

I don’t know about you, but after a while my eyes start crossing when I look at spreadsheets. Assigning appropriate color scales to the different columns based on the numbers in each cell turns the spreadsheet into a visual chart — a heat map that shows what you have determined is important.

Eric walks you through the steps, and it will change your life if you are trying to stay on top of your PPC management. At one glance, you can see what changes when. His example uses the Hour of Day report from the AdWords Dimensions tab. In the first shot, it’s just the old black and white spreadsheet with all the numbers. Familiar, but you have to read each number and remember what you read in order to see what is going on. 

Then, he shows you color. But these colors are just the too-big-and-easy blocks that aren’t that helpful. This is his “mistake” example, so you can appreciate what comes next. He reminds you that we are working with all kinds of numbers, and the numbers mean different things in different categories, so each one needs to be customized. A pain, I know. But once you go through the process and get it set up you are good to go.

The payoff comes in his last example. You can see the numbers on this spreadsheet, but you also can see a big picture of what is happening in each hour of the day. The colors make it easy to see what needs your attention.

Set Up Your Tasks The Way You Operate

If you are a numbers person, the normal spreadsheet is the way you process information and you might be scratching your head about now. But if you are a visual person, I just changed your life by sharing this information. When we acknowledge the way we process information and set up our responsibilities accordingly, we are less apt to make mistakes.

PPC management is challenging for most of us. Setting up the way you look at your PPC numbers is an important way to keep your campaigns growing strong. Thanks, PPC Hero! You saved the day for a lot of us.