If you’ve ever spent a little while reading some of the many SEO blogs, journals and magazines online, you’ve undoubtedly seen at least one or two guides showing you how to use special Excel spreadsheets to streamline all sorts of analytical, organizational and strategy-related tasks.
The widespread usage of Microsoft Excel in the SEO industry is far more than a trend. It is a practical a necessity. Spreadsheets and their formulas give SEO professionals the highest level of control over campaign-critical data analysis and reporting.
If you’re still not sure why Excel is considered by many to be a must-have tool for SEO, consider the following:
1. It Saves Time and Effort
First and foremost, Excel is mostly loved for its ability to save the user a tremendous amount of time and effort. With all data centralized into a highly flexible and customizable interface consisting of rows, columns, and cells, it is possible to gain the most complete view of every campaign’s most important attributes in the quickest and most convenient manner possible. Excel makes sorting and interpreting data about as easy as it can get.
2. Most SEO Firms List Excel Proficiency as a Job Requirement
If you’re ever browsing for jobs in the SEO field, one of the main requirements you’ll notice that most firms have is proficiency with Excel. In basic terms, if you don’t know how to use Excel, good luck getting a job in SEO. That alone should tell you just how beneficial Excel can be in your own SEO endeavours. If you truly aspire to reach your full potential in SEO and marketing, it is strongly suggested that you read up on using Excel, especially articles with an SEO focus.
3. Spreadsheets Make it Possible to Centralize and Organize Data
Excel is so widely used in the SEO community because it can import data from a wide variety of sources. SEO professionals often use multiple analytical tools to keep track of keyword and linking stats (i.e – OpenSiteExplorer, Google Analytics, Etc.). Instead of having to switch back and forth between interfaces, the best solution is to export the data from each tool in the form of a .TSV, .CSV, or other Excel compatible format. Once exported, the data from each different tool can be imported into a single “master spreadsheet” for maximum efficiency.
4. It Will Make You a Master of Strategy and Planning
Another huge advantage Excel offers is the ability to brainstorm and create robust content and keyword strategies. You can put together lists of titles, topic ideas, URLs, site names, notes and any other useful components that will help you develop a more enveloping strategy. Excel can also be used to quickly build amazing keyword lists.
Remember that Excel is Only as Capable as the User Controlling It
Excel is one of those tools that can be practically useless to someone who has no clue what they’re doing. On the other hand, for the person who is diligent enough to learn how to use all of its features, Excel will reward with unparalleled level of data control and analysis.
We’ve worked on hundreds of websites over the years, and every week we hear from someone we served in the past. This week we received a call requesting information on SEO services for a new domain a client had setup on Godaddy website builder. They were going to first try Godaddy’s SEO service and get back to us after giving that a chance. I thought it was worth providing some insight into what you’re really buying with a service that’s about $3 per month.
The Godaddy seo tool really only offers 3 things
Submission – This is a service that is a free tool from the major search engines, and there is no reason to pay a monthly fee for it, hence the low price.
PayPerClick – If you aren’t familiar with this, we’d be glad to discuss, but for their pricing they cannot have any significant budget at play for you
Analysis – They will give you a report telling you what you need to do, but you will still have to do it. You can generate a similar report with a free tool online.
I would also note that the website builder tool produces a fairly poorly coded website, something that negatively impact search rankings.
While there is nothing wrong with trying out an affordable tool, website owners should not assume that this will serve as a solution for building a website that can earn and maintain top organic rankings in Google. You will need to invest time into expanding the content on your site to lay the groundwork to compete effectively for valuable keywords.
Conversion tracking can be very valuable, but requires planning to execute properly. To properly set it up, you need to define specifically what constitutes a “conversion” meaning what action would a website visitor have to have taken that would indicate that they took a concrete step in the buying process.
Considering a general “brochure” or non-ecommerce website, here are examples of a customer that converts:
Submits a Contact or Quote Request form
Submits an Appointment or Reservation Form
Visits a Specific page
Signs up for Newsletter
What is key is that for each of these “actions” there must be a unique URL, a Thank You page, for each, where we can place “conversion code”, or at least define that URL as only being visited upon a successful conversion. This means that if that code is loaded, that specific conversion just happened, and can be tracked.
There are 2 ways that this can be setup:
Goal Conversion in Google Analytics
Once we define the steps that would have to happen for the conversion to have taken place, we define each URL that would apply as a “funnel” in Google analytics. As long as the regular analytics code is on all pages of the website, you don’t need extra coding, you just need to be sure that you have unique URLs for each step in the process.
To set this up, we’d install google conversion code from adwords on each of the “thank you” pages for each action. Then in adwords, we can see which keywords are converting.
The first step is to clear any roadblocks, like making thank you pages, and define specific URLs that constitute a conversion funnel, or path a visitor takes through a website on the way to being a successful conversion.
Here’s a question about the organic search report in Google Analytics we get occasionally:
Do you know of any reason why in Google Analytics we cannot see a search term that is gaining us clicks? For example, I was looking at April 1-9 and the number 1 search term for our business website is “not provided”. Just curious as to what this means.
“Not Provided” refers to a visitor whose privacy settings prevent their information from being recorded by Google analytics. The primary type of visitor who falls into this category is someone who is logged into their google/gmail account.
I’m tired today, I came back to the office last night on behalf of a new client. Why? Becuase I thought it was the right thing to do.
Here’s the backstory. 3 weeks ago, around December 20, 2012, I received an email from an anxious business owner in need of the skills of an expert webmaster. Her website was sending her hundreds of spam emails every day, and her repeated requests to her web designer and host had been unanswered. Until that day, when she was told that they were on vacation, and would not be able to provide any assistance or access to her own website until after the New Year.
She was upset, to put it mildly.
Since then, I have worked with them to make specific requests from the web designer to get website access, FTP or CMS access if available. We received several emails providing usernames and passwords, but none worked. We were being led around.
After the third such email from the web designer, and still no end in sight to the spam problem or gaining access to the website, I moved to Plan B. Luckily, and this isn’t true for everyone, this client had her domain in her own Godaddy account, so I knew that if I rebuilt the website, and wrote a new form processor, I could point the domain to a new host and resolve the issue so she could worry about real goals, like improving her web position and getting new leads!
So last night I downloaded the whole website, set her up on our managed hosting server, built a new contact form processor and compared the old version with the new version to make sure that I’d gotten everything, and that the conversion forms worked properly. When done I pointed her domain to the new hosting.
The result: 4EverFitBody.com is back up and running, and this business now has all the critical logins for their own website and is in touch with competent, caring website managers. That’s what we do, can we do it for you?
Am interested in learning SEO completely am an B-tech Graduate, what should be my key skills?
– Arun P. 24 / M / Chennai, India
Learning SEO Completely is a tall order. You’re going to need to learn from experience. Start by picking a goal, a keyword you want to earn a first page ranking in Google. Make it a phrase with 5-6 words so it won’t take 6 months for results. Then, build the best page/result you can make for it. You’ll need useful content and inbounds links to your page to earn a Google ranking.
On a philosophical note, SEO may not be learned completely since what works changes regularly. That said, our long held general approach to SEO has remained the same since 2004
The best answer for the implied question in a given keyword phrase will be preferred by search engines. The best answer is well written, well-optimized and has lots of references to it from other informative website resources.
We are helping a new client consider how to bring their website layout into the mobile world. In coming up with some links to move the discussion along, I found this great tool for visualizing the idea of responsive web: Continue »
Saturday night had some curious night sky tenants. Heading out for some much appreciated time out, Amy & I noticed to bright lights in the night sky, and knowing they had to be planets, we stopped to check them out.
Turns out they were Jupiter and Venus and they made quite an impressive duo! My phone did it’s best, but definitely not the easiest shot. The image seems to show, perhaps, some of the moons around them!
I have received half a dozen of these in the last week. The emails are unsolicited offers to “renew” your domain with the phrase” Final notice” in the subject to get people to open it. The top looks like this:
Then we have the “Scare Line”
And Finally, the false savings:
$75 for one year? This company and most of our clients are registered with GoDaddy, which has their own methods of boosting sales, but charges a fair price of around $12 per year for domain registration. Savings will not be found in this offer or ones like it!
Other info about this spam domain renewal email
The messages come from “codero.com” and also mentions “sesubmission.com“. It’s a shady tactic but perfectly legal. As they say in the fine print at the bottom:
Note that THIS IS NOT A BILL. This is a solicitation. You are under no obligation to pay the amounts stated unless you accept this offer. … There is no pre-existing relationship between DS and the domain mentioned above. This notice is not in any part associated with a continuation of services for domain registration.
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