The Top 7 Tips for Becoming an SEO Master Using Excel

Posted on December 21, 2015 by

Whether you’re an aspiring SEO specialist, or a webmaster trying to optimize your own site for better rankings, there’s no avoiding the fact that managing a well-rounded SEO campaign can be a particularly tedious job. This is made worse if you’re not equipped with the right tools and resources.

Staying organized and being able to effectively analyze data are two of the most important aspects to focus on. A lack of organization and analysis will only lead to wasted time and effort.

Microsoft’s Excel software is one of the most popular tools used by SEO experts everywhere, primarily because it can perform so many complex functions that assist in data analysis and strategy development.

If you’re interested in learning how to use Excel to drastically streamline and simplify SEO, consider the following 7 tips:

1. Exporting Data to an Excel-friendly Format

If you’re using any kind of traffic analysis or keyword research tool, you should know that it is almost always possible to export the program’s data into a format that can be viewed in Excel. For example, if you’re using Google Analytics, you can export a ‘Referring Domains’ report to Excel. Likewise, if you’re using Yahoo! Site Explorer you can export all results to a TSV file. This can then be opened in Excel. Thus, the first thing you should learn to do is export data into Excel from whatever external tools you use.

2. Creating a Pivot Table

Once you have your data in an Excel-ready format, you can then create a pivot table to improve your ability in sorting items based on various criteria and factors. A pivot table will allow you to rearrange and sort analytics to help you find keywords or pages with specific attributes. For example, if you’re trying to find out which keywords are attracting the most impressions, or which landing pages have the highest conversion rates, questions like these can be quickly answered with the sorting power of a pivot table.

3. Using Find and Replace to Color Code Data Sets

With a pivot table you’ll able to quickly sort data and create useful charts. To take your analysis capabilities a step further, you can color code any cells that contain a specific word, phrase, or character. This makes it easy to visualize different groups of keywords and phrases. To use this trick, simply press CTRL+F to open the ‘Find and Replace’ module in Excel. Then type the word or phrase you want to color code into the ‘Find’ box. Finally, change the ‘Replace With’ field’s formatting to the color of your choice using the drop-down menus to the right.

4. Using the AdWords API Extension for Excel

If you’re planning on using PPC in your SEO efforts, you will want to obtain an AdWords API key. This will let you analyze potential traffic and perform a whole range of other cool analysis tricks within Excel. Once you have the AdWords API key you can install the AdWords API Extension for Excel, which lets you incorporate AdWords data into pre-existing spreadsheets and combine it with other kinds of reports. For example, you can combine all of your AdWords analysis with OpenSiteExplorer and Google Analytics for a highly robust master spreadsheet. You can also add your AdWords API credentials to other third-party tools for maximum control and flexibility in reporting and analysis.

5. Categorizing Inbound Links with Excel

Excel is also great for analyzing inbound links, which are the URLs and sites that link to pages on your site. One way to categorize your inbound links for improved analysis is to utilize an inbound link categorization spreadsheet, such as the one developed by SEO Gadget. Once you have the spreadsheet downloaded, simply import you link data and the spreadsheet will automatically organize and visualize your entire inbound linking profile. This includes the distribution of anchor texts amongst other criteria.

6. Try the SEOTools Extension for Excel

Some people call this the “holy grail” Excel extension for SEOs. It can help you perform just about every SEO related data analysis task. In fact, the feature list is so long that it would go beyond the scope of this guide to explain everything it can do. If you’re the type of person that likes to rely on extensions to enhance your Excel experience, an extension like the SEOTools Suite is worth a try. However, the biggest downfall of using an all-inclusive extension like this is that you won’t need to understand how the formulas work, so you’re missing out on truly mastering Excel for SEO. If you want to carry out an analysis that it won’t help you with then you need to know how to set up Excel to do it for you.

7. Take A Complete Course on Using Excel for SEO

Perhaps the best advice we can give you, to improve your skills beyond the capabilities of any of the tips above, would be to read up on using Excel for SEO. By taking this approach, you’ll be able to learn everything you need to know about Excel. This means that you’ll be able to develop your own spreadsheets to perform custom analysis jobs. It is important that you differentiate between a general Excel articles and Excel articles specifically centeredon SEO. The latter will help you reach your goal faster.

Experiment with New Methods Regularly

Part of staying competitive in the field of SEO involves adapting to the evolving landscape. Thus, in addition, to reading up on Excelwe suggest you frequently read SEO blogs and search for new Excel tips on at least a weekly basis. Anybody can become proficient at using Excel for SEO,it just takes a little time.

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