How to Use Excel to Test Market Your Online Marketing Strategy

It would be beneficial for any business, regardless of size, to have an effective and engaging online marketing strategy. For small businesses, incorporating digital marketing into their strategy is essential. The digital marketing landscape has changed forever, and the skills required to perform digital marketing are in high demand.

One of the best tools for marketers is the Excel spreadsheet. Excel is a fantastic tool for data analysis, and the data within it can be filtered and organized in many different ways. It can be used to calculate various metrics and analyze trends. This level of analytical horsepower makes it ideal for marketers trying to get a handle on their digital marketing campaign performance and figure out what’s working and what isn’t.

Why Use Excel For This Analysis?

Excel is a fantastic tool for market researchers and social scientists looking to analyze data and information. The data within it can be filtered and organized in many different ways, making it ideal for a wide range of uses. Since its beginnings as a tool created for businesses, Excel has become a staple of the marketing and business worlds.

The first and most obvious use of Excel for online marketers is to track the acquisition (or downloads) of their marketing material, such as web pages or email newsletters. These are often referred to as hits or visits. The hits metric is measured on a per-user or per-visit basis, such as the number of times a given piece of content was downloaded by a user. A per-click (or paid) search engine affiliate might use this metric to determine the effectiveness of a given SEO strategy.

Other metrics that can be tracked using Excel include the performance of different content pieces, such as web pages or email newsletters. A marketer might use this data to determine which platforms and content types perform best for their brand and marketing material, as well as to identify the target audience for a particular piece of content.

Navigating The Excel Forest

Before diving into the specifics of how to use Excel to analyze your online marketing strategy, it’s important to navigate the Excel jungle. This is a lot of information, so let’s make sure you’re equipped to effectively comprehend it. First, let’s take a look at the entire Excel spreadsheet layout. The first thing you’ll notice is that Excel is laid out in a table format. Tables can be very useful in arranging and organizing large quantities of data. There are four basic tables that make up a traditional Excel spreadsheet:

  • Sheet1
  • Sheet2
  • Sheet3
  • Sheet4

Each of these sheets is named, which helps identify what it is. In addition to the basic tables, Excel also has a range of additional charts and graphs that you can utilize. These include standard charts like the pie chart, line graph, and bar graph, as well as specialized graphs like the Pareto chart, which shows the commonly occurring pairwise comparisons of data points.

How To Use Excel To Acquire Hits (Customers Or Downloads)

One of the most basic ways to use Excel to analyze your online marketing strategy is to use the web browser’s Find tool to search for the words or phrases that you are interested in. Once you find a result, clicking on it will take you to that website’s home page. The total number of hits (also referred to as visits) is presented at the top of the screen, and below it is the total number of users who have already viewed that page. (The users can be found in the lower left corner of the screen; the number of times they’ve viewed a given page will be found in the upper right corner of the screen.)

For instance, let’s say that you are searching for the phrase “how to market a bakery”, and you click on the first result, which is a website for a land brokerage company called Rice Burroughs. The home page of Rice Burroughs will show up in the web browser, and you can see at the top of the screen that there are now 857 hits for the search phrase “how to market a bakery”. Below that is a bar graph showing the aggregate number of hits for each year since 2003.

What you can see is that the total number of hits is not a single, meaningful number. It consists of multiple individual hits representing multiple visits by multiple users. It would be beneficial for anyone who is tracking hits to aggregate these numbers into a single, consistent value. This is where the power of a master sheet (also known as a sheet reference or master table) comes in.

The Master Sheet

A master sheet is a table that you can refer to whenever you want to consolidate all your hits data into a single, consistent value. The master sheet will contain all the necessary header information, such as the sheet name and the table itself. In the case of the Rice Burroughs example, since we already know that the total number of hits is not a single value, we can create a master sheet for it. Let’s call this new table “Sheet5”, and we’ll use the Find tool to access the Rice Burroughs website again. Once we are on that website, in the upper left corner of the screen, we’ll see the headline “Land Biz Advice From Rice Burroughs” with a button that opens up a menu of options. Let’s select the first option in that menu, which is called “Data Extract – Export Settings”. This option will bring up a page with more options for you to choose from. Let’s choose the second option called “Extract Data – View Raw Data”.