Using Wordle to Visualize Keyword Traffic

On Avinash’s excellent Ten Steps to Love & Success post on Web Data Analysis he writes about using the keyword tag cloud visualization tool Wordle to visualize search terms used to reach your site. Below is a visualization that I made in representing the top 500 phrases which were used to discover this site over the past three years.

Click for full size image

It took me only a few minutes to make this image. All you need is Google Analytics running on your site, Excel or other spreadsheet software, a text editor, and access to wordle.net. Here’s what you do:

  1. In Google Analytics, take a look at the Traffic Sources > Keywords report. By default it will show you the top 10 search terms from the past month. Change this to the top 500 and extend the date range to the maximum history of your blog.
  2. Click Export up top and export the data as a CSV file. If you have Excel, use it to strip out the extra columns and rows. You only need the Keywords and number of times used. Strip away everything else. Save what’s left as a csv file that you can open in your text editor (*.txt).
  3. Open the file you just saved in your text editor and replace the “,” on each row with a colon “:”
  4. Open your browser to the advanced tab on wordle.net.
  5. Copy the keyword rows from your text editor and paste them into the weighted words or phrases box on the wordle.net site (the first box).
  6. Click Go and visualize

You can fiddle around with the fonts, color and layout until you get an image you like. Share in the comments links to your own creations.

6 Replies to “Using Wordle to Visualize Keyword Traffic”

        1. Sounds brilliant. From the reviews section

          “17 Finnish-speaking men all named Frank, and one English-speaking (quite poorly) man named Pekka are on their way to the other side of the town -Eira, the escape from the dirty streets of Helsinki (where the night never seems to end), a task that turns out to be harder than one should expect.”

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