The worlds of creative marketing and data analysis have collided. They are still colliding and, at this point, have become inseparable. As someone who works in SEO, SEM, or PPC, embracing this truth is part of your job description now.
So much of the success of a campaign relies on making smart decisions. Being comfortable with your data is crucial to making those decisions; which means being comfortable with Excel is critical, too.
In Part I of Add3’s Excel series, we’ve decided to pass along some great keyboard shortcut knowledge we’ve picked up over the years so you can start making a bigger splash in the data pool. Here are some Excel tricks to put you in the fast lane for your campaigns:
Learn the shortcuts: Excel is known for what you can do with formulas, but knowing how to get around in Excel first is the right way to get going. Ready for the truth: you should be able to comfortably do what you want in Excel without a mouse. That’s right: unplug it, and keep on going. Here are some critical keyboard-shortcuts to get you started:
a. Where does it end?: Ctrl+Arrow: This will move to the last cell that actually has some data in it. What does that mean for you? No more scroll-wheel until your eyes go-blurry. No more dragging the scroll-bar “too far, wait! Not far enough.” Those days are done for you. (Make it Ctrl+Shift+Arrow to highlight the data from your current cell to the end of the data)
b. Bring more to the table: Ctrl+A then Ctrl+T: The first shortcut will highlight the data within the region, similar to the Ctrl+Shift+Arrow above, but better, because it goes to the end of the columns and to the end of the rows. Say you download a report from Google Analytics and are ready to start playing with it it so you can use it. First thing you’ll do Ctrl+A to select the data, then Ctrl+T (Mac users: Option+T) to make a table. You can now use the functions of a table (like sorting or filtering) and you did it in less than half of a second. That’s zippy.
c. Fill in the Blanks: Ctrl+D or Ctrl+R: This is a shortcut designed to help duplicate a formula. Using the Ctrl+D will fill the cells below (‘D’ is for down in this case) and Ctrl+R will fill cells to the right. Couple this with Ctrl+Shift+Arrow and you can speed through data input in no-time.
d. On Lock: F4. Need a reference cell to stay put? Pushing F4 will add the ‘$’ symbol in your reference in the formula, making it so the referenced cell becomes locked, rather than adjusting if you copy the formula elsewhere.
e. Be done typing: Tab. Simple enough, but when you begin typing a formula, and Excel begins to auto-fill which formula it thinks you want, simply tapping “tab” will automatically select that formula and let you get to spreadsheeting, faster.
Knowing your way around Excel is just the beginning, but it is a really important beginning. These shortcuts will get you started on your journey to becoming an Excel guru. Keep an eye out for more Excel tips from Add3 in our next part of the series when we tackle some formulas that you didn’t know you needed.