Valentine’s Day Trending Searches

Since I ended 2018 with holiday data and trends I thought I start the New Year with another holiday and the related Google search data about it.
Valentine’s Day is a month’s away and your holiday campaigns around it should have already started.
Here are some of the most popular searches related to Valentine’s Day.

The most trending searches related to “gifts for”. These are the most popular ones with high searches:

Gifst for Valentines Popular Searches

There are a number of other gift related searches that see a significant rise in search demand around Valentine’s Day:

Table Valentines Day Gift Rising Searches

Another popular theme for search terms around Valentine’s Day relates to romantic gifts. Below are the most popular searches.

Table Romantic Gifts

Here is more data related to trending searches to inspire ideas for relevant content.

Popular questions:
Oddly enough the most popular questions around Valentine’s Day is When is Valentine’s Day? with over 90,000 searches according to SEMRush. And the search demand increases around January.

Here are other questions that people tend to search for:

  • What to get your boyfriend for Valentine’s Day?
  • Why do we celebrate Valentine’s Day?
  • What to do on Valentine’s Day?
  • How to make Valentine cards
  • How to ask a girl to be your Valentine
  • How to make a Valentine box
  • How to get a Valentine

Popular recipes:
Here are the most popular treats people tend to search recipes for around Valentine’s Day

  • Cookies
  • Cupcakes
  • Cakes
  • Pizza
  • Cheesecake

How to make chocolate covered strawberries? is another question that significantly increases in search demand in February.

What is your data telling you about Valentine’s Day and how are you using it for marketing strategies?

Visualizing The Holidays

Christmas is just a week away and to wish everyone very happy holidays I want to share some data about Christmas.

I found some interesting data related to the use of real vs artificial Christmas trees, as well as data related to Christmas cards and holiday wishes.

I have tried to be creative, create infographic style data visuals and keep to the data storytelling principles.

Wishing everyone very Merry Christmas!

Are Christmas Trees a Dying Tradition

Paper Crads, eCards and Well Wishes

Calculated Fields In Google Data Studio

Google Data Studio has the functionality to create your own custom metrics or calculated fields as they are called. These are handy when you are building a dashboard and want to include metrics for further insights that are not by default available in Google Analytics or the data source you are using.

In this video I am using calculated fields to calculate the percentage of drop offs from each step of the shopping funnel on an eCommerce site (in this example I am using data from the Google Merchandising Store which is publicly available.

If you have the enhanced eCommerce reports in Google Analytics enabled for your eCommerce website you have a Shopping Behavior report available to analyze how users who visit the website move along to complete a purchase. In the Google Analytics report this is visualized with bar charts and also reports on the drop off percentage from each step. These percentages however are not available as a metric to use outside the interface of Google Analytics Shopping Behavior report.

To recreate this report in Google Data Studio I am using scorecards for each metric and scorecards for each calculated metric.
This video shows how to use the calculated fields option and how to use formulas to calculate properly the metrics you need.

You can use custom metrics to calculate the drop in traffic or conversions, conversion rate for a few of your conversion goals, and many more.

Account Based Marketing – The Hottest B-to-B Trend

At the beginning of 2016 I worked on a keyword research project related to b-to-b marketing, product and sales. Account based marketing was part of the search terms I was working with and is still a big part of the SEO strategy for the client.
Back in 2016 while still an important part for most b-to-b organizations, account based marketing wasn’t the hot trend it is today.

Account Based Marketing Search Volume

When I started my keyword research on this topic there were hardly any other search terms in demand apart from the broad account based marketing keyword. The graph below shows the jump in searches for account based marketing and the increase in interest and search for what is account based marketing. Search volume data for 2016 I have from my research using the Google Keyword Planner. Since then the tool has changed a lot. Search volume data for 2018 I have from SEMrush keyword tool.

ABM Search Volume

Account Based Marketing Interest Over Time

Google Trends data shows a big increase in interest over the past five years for account based marketing. The increase started some time at the beginning of 2016 and continued through 2017. Searches although increased show a plateau during 2018.
I believe interest in this topic will continue to increase in 2019 but not with the speed it increased in 2016 and 2017.

ABM Over Time

Ranking Winners

Organic search results for the term have changed a lot since 2016. With the increase of interest in the topic websites like Marketo, Hubspot and Terminus produced their own detailed guides to account based marketing winning themselves top spots in Google organic search results.
First page of Google produces what is type of content with blogs and articles providing guides and explanation to what account based marketing is.

Winning a spot in the top 10 Organic search results for such a competitive topic would be a hard exercise. You’d need a solid strategy and plan not only to create useful content that would outrank the competition but also to build brand awareness and authority on this topic.

Search Terms to Look Out For

Based on this data and on the increasing interest in account based marketing and website optimization there are a few search terms that are worth montioring for search demand increases. Here are my thoughts on what these search terms might be

  • account based intelligence
  • account based marketing tactics
  • account based digital advertising
  • account based display advertising
  • account based ppc
  • account based seo

My Recommended Resources on Account Based Marketing

SiriusDecisions Guide To Account Based Marketing

Account Based Marketing and SEO

Account Based Marketing Certification

Scatter Plot Graph For Keyword Research

The first post I wrote for this blog was on Bubble Charts in Excel with a video of how to create one and how you can use it in digital marketing reports. For the #SWDChallenge for October 2018 I explored the scatter plot graph and how it can be applied to visualize data for a digital marketing report or project plan.

Here is what I learnt from these exercises:

  • Bubble chart is best used when you have a few categories to compare or you want to add a third value to be represented by the bubble size
  • Scatter plots are great to analyse a large group of categories and look at a cluster rather than an individual category. Scatter plots also would only compare two values.

Below is a keyword research analysis for search terms related to dresses.

This is great data to support digital acquisition strategies and plan PPC and SEO programs.

This scatter plot looks at keyword search volume and keyword difficulty to rank in organic search results.

Does keyword search volume impact keyword difficulty to rank in Google Organic Search results

Scatter Plot - Volume vs Difficulty

– Most search terms related to dresses have below average search volume and very high keyword difficulty to rank in Organic search

There are several search terms that have below average but still high search volume with very low keyword difficulty

No search terms have very high search volume and low keyword difficulty for organic search rankings

This second scatter plot graph looks at keyword search volume and cost per click for paid search results.

Does keyword search volume impact Cost per Click for Google Paid Search results

Scatter Plot - Volume vs CPC

– Most search terms related to dresses have below average search volume and low cost per click

Only four search terms that have significantly high search volume have low cost per click

– No search terms seem to have high search volume and high cost per click

Website Analytics – How To Analyze A Website’s Performance With Google Analytics

Website Analytics

I wanted to write about website analytics for a while.

When you work with a client for a while and create reports and dashboards every month, it can be tough to always go beyond the numbers and make a business impact with these reports.

Here is what I have learnt over the years about website analytics and how to analyze a website performance.

While there is a plethora of tools to collect and report on website data, it is still up to your, the talented analysts and marketers, to analyze what this data means for your website and the business and what can be done to further improve its performance and its significance to business success.

Data reporting is merely numbers, data analysis is an art, it is about providing meaningful insights that will have a positive impact.

What Is Website Analytics

Website analytics refers to the collection of data and analysis of that data from a website for understanding and optimizing its usage, accessibility and digital marketing performance.

Here is an overview of the reports in Google Analytics I use and how I use them to analyze a website’s performance.

How to Analyze A Website’s Performance With Google Analytics

Acquisition Strategy

The Acquisition report in Google Analytics provides several different reports to understand how users found the website, whether it was from organic search in Google, or a paid ad in Bing or a social media campaign on LinkedIn.

This is an important component to understand for a website. Knowing which marketing channels bring the most traffic is critical to plan future marketing campaigns and ad spend. It is also important to understand whether the data relates to the acquisition strategy and whether the channels that you invest in the most actually bring in the most traffic.

I look at acquisition reports to understand trends over time and cross reference with campaigns or content marketing campaigns that have been active at a certain time.

Understanding Visitors

While it is important to bring users to the website it is also important to make sure the website makes them stay longer, commit to performing actions like reading your articles, browsing and purchasing your products, signing up for news alerts, etc.

I usually look at the standard user engagement metrics like bounce rate and session duration. While these might not be your main KPIs they are indicative of how well you are able to retain visitors on the website. I look at these metrics overall, per traffic channel and per top landing pages.

Other great reports that help understand visitors are the visitor loyalty and recency report and the behavior flow report. The first one shows how many times for a certain time the same user visited your website. The second one helps understand how users navigate your website, where they drop off the most, etc.

The loyalty and recency report can help you understand what percentage of your users come back to the website which is indicative if users find your content useful or like your website.

The behavior flow report can show patterns for users drop offs or pages where users navigate to the most.

Both of these can analyze how your users like the website and what you can do to improve the user experience.

Content and Conversions

The Landing page report contains conversion data that can be sorted by all conversion or by a specific conversion.

This data is full of insights on how the content on the website is performing against brining in new customers for the business.

I like to look at pages that receive a lot of sessions but do not bring many conversions and vice versa. Then use these insights to plan acquisition strategies and conversion optimization.

Naturally there are web pages that would perform poorly in converting web users into clients. For example blog posts normally would not bring conversions but this does not mean to ignore these pages. If a lot of traffic goes to the blog section of your website it would be a good to spend time brainstorming how these users could be more engaged to convert. What strategies you can implement to send blog visitors to product or service pages?

Conversions from Campaigns

A lot of effort and money are going into managing paid campaigns whether it is paid search, social media or email.

In my reports I include data to analyze sessions and conversions from all paid campaigns that were run for the selected time period.

This shows not only if campaigns are successful in acquiring website users but also if there is a return on your investment converting these users into customers.

If you are putting resources in paid campaigns it is critical to analyze the impact of these campaigns not only for budgeting but for better strategizing these marketing efforts.

What metrics do you look at to analyze your website? How do you evaluate if your business websites performs well or poor?

Bar Charts Remake

Bar charts are used extensively in marketing dashboards. They are my favourite way to visualize data since they are simple yet comprehensive and can be used for lots of types of data including trend over time and comparing categories.

Bar charts have to be used for their simplicity, yet most of the bar charts I see in reports and dashboards are cluttered with unnecessary colour and background distractions.

Below are some examples:

bar chart

bar chart

bar chart

bar chart

I am not remaking these particular charts. I found some interesting travel data from the National Travel and Tourism Office and using this data I am creating a few bar charts the way I like to use them – with fewer colours and no background clutter.

The example below is data from 1997. It shows the number of Americans that travelled to Europe, Mexico and Canada each month. Back then Europe was the most popular destination among Americans. I have highlighted the bars with red as a contrast colour and used grey for the other Mexico and Canada.

bar chart

The next example is the same data for 2017, 20 years later. In 2017 the number of Americans travelling to Mexico has significantly increased from 20 years ago. Using the same color scheme, I highlighted Mexico numbers in red and used grey for Europe and Canada.

bar chart 2017

The outcome from comparing the two bar charts above is the significant increase in Americans holidaying in Mexico over 20 years period. So below is an example of combining the data from the charts above into a horizontal bar chart. Since the outcome is related to Mexico I highlighted the data with red in both parts of the charts and used grey for Europe and Canada.

bar charts 1997 vs 2017


When using bar charts be careful how you use colour. Use colour wisely to draw the audience attention where needed, remove all background elements and use an outcome title.

Trip Visualized

Interactive Map - My Trip Visualized

Recently I took a month long trip to Europe which is the reason the blog has not been updated. I thought a good way to start after a holiday is to visualize my itinerary.

I found this great tool, Tripline, which draws itinerary on a map to visualize a trip. It also offers options to enter information about each stop from the journey. What is great is that the lines this tool draws follow the exact root of the airplanes. I noticed this since I watched closely the progress of each my flights.

My trip is now over and I feel recovered from the jet leg. Here I am back in Denver and back to work on my blog.

The Waterfall Chart

I recently took part in a challenge organized by Storytelling with Data to create a waterfall chart.

I rarely see this type of chart in digital marketing dashboards, if ever! The challenge wasn’t limited to data related to digital marketing but I wanted to find a use case for a waterfall chart in a digital marketing environment.

The Waterfall Chart

What is a waterfall chart

Waterfall charts are used to show how an initial value has increased or decreased by a number of values in between that lead to a final value. These intermediate values can either be time based or category based.

My challenge was not only to create such a chart for a digital marketing report but to also find real data.

A couple of years ago I started working with a client on their blog and content strategy. Since we started publishing content that is relevant but also targeting high volume search terms, their visibility improved significantly.

A Waterfall Chart To Visualize Online Visibility Improvements

This type of data is a great candidate for a waterfall chart that will show how the number of keywords ranking on the first page of Google has increased over a certain period of time.

Such data can also be visualized with a bar chart or even a line chart.

The use of a waterfall chart however will emphasize on the intermediate values or in this case the number of new keywords in high positions for the intermediate time period (each month in 2017).

With the inclusion of a takeaway title this visual turned into a great data storytelling example.

Here are a few other use cases for a waterfall chart to be used in digital marketing dashboards

  • Newsletter subscribers at the start and end of year with their intermediate positive or negative numbers
  • Number of external links at the start of a link building campaign and at its end
  • Number of acquired leads for the duration of a paid media campaign

You can create a waterfall chart in Excel 2016 and other data visualization tools like Tableau. I used Excel 2013 and this tutorial.