As a search marketer I use Excel on a daily basis. From pivot tables to concatenation, Excel is my best friend. This panel dealt exclusively with tips and suggestions on how to use Excel like a power user to get the full benefits of the software. Below I will go into a short bio on each panelist and the some talking points from their sessions at SMX East.
Annie Cushing is an SEO and analytics consultant. Her areas of expertise are analytics, technical SEO, and everything to do with data – collection, analysis, and beautification.
How to make data sexy, aka actionable:
Use conditional formatting if the data is contained within a table.
This allows you to highlight trends and changes in the data.
Use your client’s branded colors for charts and graphs, avoid the standard Excel colors.
Move chart legends to the top, customize color, remove tick, gridlines, and anything excessive. You want to make charts to convey the data in a meaningful way that is easy to see – don’t just puke up data and present it.
Add annotations to highlight main takeaways from data.
Use correlation graphs and interactive charts to promote further thought and interest.
If sexy data is done correctly, then it stops inertia and promotes action.
Brett Snyder is the Director of Search Engine Optimziation at Nebo Agency in Atlanta. As a converted PPC guy, Brett fell head over heels for SEO years ago as a constant challenge to evolve with the times.
Problem of too much data
Excel is a problem solving tool
Data should be simple, valuable, and actionable.
Actual vs. actionable data
Move beyond just presenting the client with only raw data and give them proper performance analysis
To use Excel as a problem solving tool, use IF statements and nested functions
First, identity the problem.
Then, determine the criteria.
Finally, construct the function and execute the formula.
John Gagnon is a Bing Advertising Evangelist at Microsoft based in Seattle, Washington. He loves search marketing and online advertising. He is a frequent speaker at search marketing conferences like Search Engine Strategies, Search Marketing Expo and other events like the Online Marketing Summit.
Some useful shortcuts
CTRL + Shift + $ or %
This converts a cell to a currency or a percentage.
This will execute the SUM function on all rows above the cell.
Double clicking on format painter
This will cause the tool to hold its format, allowing for continued use of that particular format.
PowerPivot add-on for Excel
Fits up to 2 billion rows in an Excel sheet and is a very powerful tool for Big Data.
Power Map and Geo Flow add-on for Excel
This is a Geo-data organizer which allows you to display data in a 3-D geographic map.
This session had some great tips and tools for unlocking the full potential of Excel. Here are some additional resources that the panelists mentioned: