Like it or not, as search marketers we often find ourselves spending a large majority of our working day inside an Excel spreadsheet, building campaigns, crunching data, or auditing websites and link profiles. Depending on your skill level, the day of the week, and the turn of the tide, Excel can be a time-saving wish come true, or your worst frenemy.
Today, I’ve shared my two favourite Excel plugins to help you get the most out of Excel without having to bother your office “Excel guy” (me), he hates that.
Plugin: SEO Tools
The SEO Tools Excel plugin adds over 75 functions to Excel that allow search marketers to easily pull all sorts of data into Excel quickly and easily. SEO Tools can be used to quickly scrape on-page elements like H1s, page titles, meta tags and HTTP status codes from a list of URLs, or quickly import off-page metrics from MajesticSEO and SEOlytics, or Google’s Page Rank. Advanced users can even create custom functions to scrape data using Regex, Json, and Xpath.
Excel is great, and search marketers probably would have become extinct years ago if it wasn’t for our endless spreadsheets, as any excel user will know, it’s not without its share of shortcomings. Anyone who has tried to sort and filter a large backlink profile (we’re talking 100,000+ rows) or crunch through the last 5 years to AdWords campaign performance across multiple accounts, will know that Excel doesn’t handle large data sets very well. When faced with too much data, Excel simply melts down into an overwhelmed mess and crashes, which is where PowerPivot steps in. PowerPivot is a free add-on to Excel 2010+ that solves many of the problems users onces faced when attempting to process large volumes of data in Excel, including allowing users to import data from a variety of external sources, linking multiple sources to a single pivot table, and quickly and easily sorting and filtering millons of rows by compressing and storing data in an in-memory database for fast access.