The Many Branches of Google Analytics: Treemaps

Digital Marketing

Measuring performance of any online marketing strategy can be difficult at the best of times. Performance of a digital campaign can be such an intangible thing; you can’t touch it, you can’t see it and, it’s usually measured in feelings (which are no way to measure anything at all). What I mean by this is more often than not, you hear people say ‘It feels busy,’ or, ‘I think the phone has been ringing,’ or, ‘I don’t think that it’s working’. The common theme is that none of these statements are measurable as they rely on an individual subjective, emotional perspective, not facts and figures.


To further assist the measurement of campaign performance, Google Analytics has just released a new feature: Treemaps. This can be helpful for anybody from the everyday digital marketing guru all the way to the small business owner running a solo operation out of their home office.

What it does is offer up a quick and easy visual snapshot of campaign performance measuring two metrics against each other. Quite simply, you are able to choose two different metrics (any metric) that is important to you and it gives you a visual representation in relation to how ‘high’ or ‘low’ that metric is in the context of your campaign.

Understanding Treemaps

The primary metric is specifically volume metrics, things such as costs, session’s number of new users, etc. and they are represented by the size of the rectangle within the report.

The secondary metric are all relative metrics, for example; CPC, bounce rate, revenue etc. and are represented by the red to green scale.

Put simply, the bigger the rectangle, the more volume is coming through that metric. If the rectangle is green then things are looking positive based on the comparison of the data, if the rectangle is red then there is area for improvement (based on the weighting put into the metrics by Google).

Confused? Here is an example:

If you are interested on an ad group level which category is bringing in the highest quality traffic you can compare something such as the number of sessions (volume) vs the bounce rate (relative). You can select each metric and the Treemap report will visually rank each ad group, dark green representing positive results and dark red representing lagging results.

How it works

Where this really comes into its own is when you begin to link it up with e-commerce data, such as being able to review really easily which campaign or ad group is bringing you the best revenue per click when compared to the total number of sessions. Another example is being able to compare the return on an ad spend when compared to new users to the site. The possibilities and combinations of metrics are huge and the ability to review at the click of a button makes it really appealing to the time poor or people who don’t want to spend hours looking through report after report in order to connect the dots and see the trends in the data.

This is a fantastic new feature and in the long run will save a lot of time. I already use it on a daily basis with my clients to show improvements week on week and to identity opportunities within campaigns that I run.

Comments (1)
Ling Lee

Ling Lee at Digital Marketing and Personal Branding

Great article David, thanks for the update on Treemaps!