Whether you are an SEO guru or a content king, planning season means one thing for us all – number crunching. And when 52% of B2B Marketers expect to increase their spend over the next 12 months, you have to deliver on your strategic analysis if you want to keep that growth in results, and budgets, going.
With all those VLOOKUPs and Pivot tables whizzing around, it’s easy to get stuck in an Excel hole. But whether it’s time, data or know-how holding you up – never fear! We’ve put together the top resources used by Excel experts to help you deliver your analysis and results. If you are looking for a comprehensive introduction to Excel and how to make the most of its many functions, check out this great resource by GoSkills.
1. Time savers
When over half of all marketers have responsibilities in 7 out of 10 different areas of marketing, our time is becoming a precious commodity, which is why Excel shortcuts are going to be your best friend this planning season.
Chandoo.org has put together their 100 Excel tips & resources including some lightning quick keyboard shortcuts. We’re not talking advanced Excel tips, but they’ll save you oodles of time in the future.
And check out the team at found.co.uk who wrote these blog posts on 10 great Excel shortcuts you might not know about plus their previous 5 unknown tips too. Both blogs feature some great everyday tips that will make your Excel sessions super-efficient.
2. Pulling meaningful insight from big data sets
PivotTables are the saving grace of many a B2B marketer. “Pivot what?” you ask…
PivotTables are a super useful tool for analysing large amounts of data. They allow you to apply specific criteria to summarise and organise data tables, and create awesome reports.
Excel add-ins are another way of making sense of big data sets. They come in the form of free and paid ‘extras’ that you download and add to Excel as extra analysis tools.
They’re perfect for practical application and will make your planning a breeze. For everything from analysis to presentation, see this list with over 75 of the best Excel add-ins, plugins and apps.
3. SEO auditing – tips and tricks
SEO gurus, Excel is your ultimate tool and there’s a mountain of awesome tricks out there to make the most of your 2016 planning.
From ‘Find and replace’ to URL macros, these top tips from Search Engine journal will ensure you’ve covered all the bases for keyword and link building analysis.
And don’t forget the almighty VLOOKUP. This video from Annielytics shows you how to marry up data sets from various sources and pull quality SEO and PPC recommendations.
For the ultimate in SEO analysis, read this blog from Search Engine Land on building analytics dashboards and integrating various data sources too.
4. Graphs, graphs everywhere!
Now you have your strategic analysis in place, it’s time to present your recommendations to the team and get your key decision-makers on board. It’s time to get down and dirty with some Excel graph work and show off your hard work.
Not sure where to start? HubSpot have some great resources on graph work and Excel in general. But if you’re just having trouble with the visuals – then follow these simple tips from Search Engine Land on making your charts sexy.
If you have multiple segments or variables in your data (Email and social media marketers, we’re looking at you), representing key trends can be a tricky task. Marketing Land have a super easy video to walk you through interactive charts – functional and impressive!