Find New Opportunties and Lower Your CPA with a Simple Heat Map

By , Senior Account Analyst at Hanapin Marketing


Heat maps are a great tool for data exploration and analysis. A good heat map effectively utilizes a color scale to impart information on how a range of values compare to one another. Rather than having a large table packed full of numbers, why not make it easier to read by coding the values by color?


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9 thoughts on “Find New Opportunties and Lower Your CPA with a Simple Heat Map

  1. Sam

    I thought I new Adwords – then I found your blog!!! Brilliant post! Any chance you could provide a link explaining how to set up a pivot table?

    1. Jacob FaircloughJacob Fairclough

      It’s tricky as each version of Excel is a little different so it depends what OS and version of Excel you have.

      On Mac’s you should be able to highlight the cells in your report and look for “Data” on the menu ribbon. There will be an option to create a pivot table under the “Analysis” box.

      On PC’s I believe pivot tables are located under “Insert” on the ribbon.

      Once you get started it’s pretty intuitive and it may end up becoming your best friend. To get you started down the rabbit hole,

      1. Sam

        Thanks Jacob – unfortunatley at work the use Excel 2007, however it seems to have all the needed features (such as conditional formatting ect) just in different places! Pivot tables are cool!

  2. Peter

    Hi Jacob – great idea using the heatmap, I already pull this data but this makes it so much easier to actually analyse the trends.

    One question I have is that I don’t seem to be able to have “hour of day” and “day of week” segmented at the same time when downloading a campaign report, I only seem to be able to do one or the other. Is there something I’m missing?


    1. Jacob FaircloughJacob Fairclough

      No worries it isn’t super clear in the interface. When you are downloading a report and you have the option to create a segment; select your first choice, hour or day. Look directly below the drop down box and you should see a blue link with “+ Add Segment”. This will bring up another drop down to select additional segments.

      I don’t know what the max number is but you can use that method to include device type and network as well. That way you can create any table you want from a single report.

  3. Sander

    Hi Jacob – great post. I am also using this kind of heatmaps to outline some strenghts and weaknesses and also before i start adjusting bids on a daily and or hourly basis.

    One more thing I always do is, well, depending on the data u have is that I check what should be the lowest amount of conversions a campaign should have. what I mean is that a conversion produced during night times at a verly low level of costs could somehow ruin all the data u have.

    So what I do is filtering the conversions so I can make somewhat more precise decissions. But then u have to exclude these cells out of your heatmap.

  4. sandy

    Hey Jacob – This is really great. I did not know about this heat map. Worst – i used to do the color combination manually. thank you for putting this together.

  5. Ron

    Thanks for your post!
    Few questions:
    1. how to implement it at Adwords? Is there an option for a different bid for different hours/Days?
    2. is it right to play with the CPA bid, since it’s so sensitive parameter?


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