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Google’s Data Studio: A Primer

Published: September 4, 2018

Author: Catie Brady

Competition can have significant effects on digital marketing efforts, from increasing your CPCs to cannibalizing your brand traffic to sending your ads lower on the page. Monitoring your competition can help inform your optimization decisions. This is especially true with the ultra-competitive holiday season just around the corner.
Monitoring the competitive field, however, can chew up your resources. When there are multiple themes and categories that need to be analyzed, the time investment can really start to add up. To cut down on the time you take prepping and pulling reports, and ramp up the time you have for analysis, you can start utilizing the new AdWords Data Studio, which creates dynamic, visually comprehensive Auction Insights reports with data from the AdWords interface.

What is Data Studio?

Data Studio is a data visualization tool that can pull directly from a whole slew of different channels (e.g. AdWords, Search Ads 360, Bing Ads, Facebook Ads, etc.). The data automatically updates when you load one of your reports and can be personalized to show whichever data breakdown you may need. It includes the ability to put in dynamic date ranges, filtering bars, and anything else you or your client might need on a normal basis. Specifically, Data Studio can pull in Auction Insights straight from AdWords, allowing for a dynamic report that requires minimal manual work after initial creation. Below are two examples of views that you can use to monitor the competitive landscape in your accounts (note: we’ve removed competitor names, but normally you would see those).
Comparison Tables

Tables allow for a clear and concise view of who is in the auction and what may be changing. The above table is an example of a report pulling in a week-over-week comparison. By adding in the date filter (on the top right), any viewer can adjust the date range to suit their needs.
Scatter Plots
If you want a more visual representation, a scatter plot may work best. Although this doesn’t show a comparison, you do get a clear snapshot of what your competitive landscape is at that point in time. In a scatter plot, you can choose not just the X & Y axis, but also the bubble size. The above example uses Overlap Rate for the size of the bubble to show clearly who the ‘bigger’ competition may be in the auctions (again, we’ve removed competitor names, but you’d usually see them).

This report helps us minimize time investment in pulling reports and allows more time for optimizations and analysis – every digital marketer’s dream.

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