May 13th, 2010
Tips, Tools and Tutorials
It may seem out of place to talk about spreadsheet programs in regards to Internet Marketing, especially with spreadsheets often being associated with accounting and finance. However, just as businesses need to watch their receivables and payables to balance their budgets, SEOs will also want to know where their marketing dollars are going. Many people are watching where their money is going these days so it is not only efficient, but also necessary to track and manage your marketing data.
It is said that “knowing is half the battle”, and in that respect, data collection is “knowledge” and the other “half” of the battle is your marketing strategy. Having the right strategy is the key to success, but if the data that your strategy is depending upon is inaccurate or outdated, you might find yourself up a proverbial creek. This is where spreadsheets can be incredibly helpful. You can record data in spreadsheets for immediate consolidation or for later use in reports.
Although you can focus on data in a numerical form, which would be useful for tracking your finances, you can also use a spreadsheet to manage your text-based data. The great thing about Excel, and other spreadsheet programs, is that you can record both numbers and text in a way that you find easiest to manage. With the use of functions, you can compile and calculate data automatically, so you don’t have to perform certain tasks manually. Not only does this save you time and energy, it also reduces the amount of human error involved, as well.
Your numerical data might range from the values of your keyword search volume from Google to actual dollar amounts spent on individual marketing strategies like Pay-Per-Click or social media marketing campaigns. There are several functions that can be used for numerical data, such as adding, subtracting, averaging, rounding (up or down), counting, and more. Additionally, you can establish logical formulas that perform functions based on specific criteria that you establish. By having a wide range of options when it comes to functions, you can save space on each sheet, thus saving you the trouble of scrolling back and forth to find the information you are looking for.
Your text-based data could consist of a number of things from the individual keywords that you are targeting to metadata on pages to the entire plain or coded text of your site’s pages. You can use a spreadsheet exclusively as a convenient compartmentalizing platform in which you can store text-based information such as logins, passwords, URLs, keywords and site content. The “boiler plate” text that you plan to have on your site can be stored and organized using a spreadsheet as well.
So why not use a word processor like Microsoft Word to store this information? By having the information saved in a spreadsheet, as opposed to a Word Document, you can establish hierarchies and organizational patterns simply and with very little effort. Though documents can also be used for storing text, it often takes more advanced formatting to get the information organized in a way that provides much needed organization and prioritization. If you end up wanting to place the text information from your Excel spreadsheet to a Word document, it is as simple as copy and paste.
You don’t need to be an Excel guru in order to benefit from the usefulness of having a spreadsheet program to help you manage your Internet marketing data. A good understanding of how to track, store and manage your data will help save you time, which saves you money in the long run. Although it can get a bit overwhelming to have all of the data pile up, developing a good foundation for data entry and management will allow the information to get to the right places and help increase the efficiency of your Internet marketing efforts.
Stay tuned for more helpful tips on using Excel to help record and manage data for your SEO and Internet Marketing efforts.
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