Acuto / Case studies / Pain-free dental marketing
N-Gram Analysis for an Entire Industry

Advanced analytics drive keyword strategy

What do you do if ad spend of individual clients is insufficient to draw conclusions about keyword, search term, headline and description performance? Pain-Free Dental Marketing specialises in a single vertical and that allowed us to identify industry trends with an n-gram analysis.


Client accounts

And all associated campaigns, ad groups, & keywords


Ad networks

Comparing Google and Microsoft ads side by side


Search term n-grams

Analysed against the performance of 892 keywords

Why pain-free dental marketing needed a custom solution

The Problem:

Pain-Free Dental Marketing gets results for dentists who advertise on Search, Display, Social, and Video. But ad spend of individual client accounts was often insufficient to draw conclusions about which keywords, search terms, headlines and descriptions were performing best. There simply was not enough data per account to make solid predictions using conventional techniques.

The Solution:
We solved this problem by unifying historic ad data for all client accounts in a purpose-built advertising data warehouse and running n-gram analysis to find out which search terms perform best across the entire dentistry vertical. With n-grams you can find out which search terms drive the best kind of traffic and which should be added to the account as negatives.
The Tech:
Thanks to our partnership with Shape ADI we were able to offer our client a premium end-to-end service to deliver custom advanced analytics tooling. This includes the set-up and ongoing management of the Shape advertising data warehouse hosted in BigQuery and the necessary expertise to help Pain-Free Dental turn massive amounts of ad data into powerful results for their clients.
Analysing account level data is valuable when optimizing a particular client. But analysing portfolio level data has helped us optimize the entire agency. It has been a game changer for us and something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. With these insights, we have been able to create very high performing accounts from the very start; dramatically increasing results while at the same time, reducing the need for maintenance, troubleshooting and exploration. We could not have done this without Acuto and the power that Shape brings to the table.
Andre Santos
Andre Santos


The intuitive frontend UX is a custom-built Google Looker Studio (formerly Data Studio) dashboard that makes it easy for non-technical users in the agency to play around with the data. Slides and drop-downs are intuitive and account managers can choose between analysing search terms, headlines and descriptions. Choosing one or multiple accounts is as easy as clicking and selecting them. The ease of use has allowed Pain-Free Dental Marketing to restructure the keyword strategy for all of their clients, and effectively allows them to optimize even the smallest clients as if they had the data of the biggest!

How do n-grams work? Search term n-grams break down each search term into groups of words (that’s the “n”). So if we take the search term “best dentist near me”, the 2-grams would be “best dentist”, “dentist near”, and “near me”. Breaking terms down like this allows a much wider level of analysis, as 2 and 3 grams are much more likely to appear across multiple search terms (thereby aggregating data) but still tend to indicate similar levels of intent.

N-Gram Analysis for an Entire Industry


Increased ROI for clients:

By narrowing down which search terms and keywords actually drive conversions across the dental industry, the team can focus the budget on the keywords that matter.

Better Ads:

Pinpointing the best performing words (n-grams) in the headlines and descriptions across the portfolio allows the team to create more effective ad copy.


All agency data unified in a managed advertising data warehouse.


The Looker Studio (formerly Data Studio) dashboard is easy to use and interpret for non-technical staff.

Unique insights that drive performance and differentiate the agency in any pitch.


We give clients access to a purpose built Shape Enterprise ADI advertising data warehouse. Shape‘s ADI is much more than a data pipeline. Among other things the solution makes it incredibly easy for us to pull data from various channels into a purpose-built advertising data warehouse and to normalise it to run cross-channel or agency-wide reporting. In this case allowing analysis of the Dentistry vertical for Google ads, but it is easy to pull in advertising data from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, Youtube or Microsoft as well.

It is a purpose-built data warehouse for digital marketing agencies hosted on Google BigQuery which translates to massive processing power and automatic data replication for disaster recovery. It helps that storage and queries are incredibly cheap. This is an amazing setup for advanced analytics use cases that go way beyond n-grams, like running machine learning models.

We pushed the data out to a custom built Google Looker Studio (formerly Data Studio) dashboard because it is easy for non-technical staff to use. With a Shape data warehouse it is just as easy to push the data out to Google Sheets or any data visualisation or business intelligence platform, whether you use Looker, Tableau, Domo or Microsoft Power BI. That is simply a matter of preference.

Unify Ad data & manage campaigns with shape
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