The 5 Best Excel Formulas For SEO Beginners

Posted by Nic Bivens on February 15, 2024


It's always the one you lied about knowing during your interviews, but as an SEO you do actually use =VLOOKUP.

Why? Well, usually our job involves working with large amounts of data. We have to look after keyword rankings, backlink profiles, website traffic metrics, and keyword volumes.

=VLOOKUP enables SEOs to quickly analyze this data by searching for specific values in a table and retrieving corresponding data from adjacent columns.

Imagine I have a list here of keywords I want to rank for, but I want to see how many people search this term on a given month.

I could go through manually using a keyword tool like SEMRush or Ahrefs OR I could import a big list of keywords using that same tool and then use a =VLOOKUP to find that information in the data.

If you're going be an SEO, it's time you finally learn =VLOOKUP.


Here's a much easier one for you.

As an SEO specialist, knowing the =LEN formula in Excel is crucial. It helps optimize titles, meta descriptions, and URLs to fit search engine limits.

Right there, that's an easy optimization tool that will give you a leg up on your competition.

You can also use it to ensure concise and effective content. =LEN helps in analyzing content length for SEO ranking factors and maintaining natural keyword density.

Essentially, =LEN streamlines content optimization, enhances user experience, and improves search engine visibility.

EZ $.


The =MATCH formula is another good one for SEO specialists...especially when you're working with big ol' data sets.

You can use it to find overlapping keywords and phrases, analyze long-tail keywords, and identify trends in your data.

In technical audits, =MATCH even helps pinpoint issues like duplicate content.

=SPLIT (in Google Sheets)

This is the formula I use a lot. There is data that are separated by columns and you need to have them “split” into separate cells.

Excel and Google Sheets have similar functions, but there are differences in how they work.

In Excel, there's no fancy =SPLIT like in Google Sheets, but you can still split text using other functions like =LEFT, =RIGHT, =MID, or =TEXTTOCOLUMNS. These functions let you extract substrings based on positions or split text into multiple columns based on a delimiter like a comma or space.

In Google Sheets, they have a dedicated =SPLIT just for splitting text into separate cells based on a delimiter. So if you had the text "apple,banana,orange" and wanted to split it into three cells, you'd just use =SPLIT("apple,banana,orange", ","). It's like magic!

Excel has its ways, but Google Sheets keeps it simple with the =SPLIT function.

(I know Excel users are shaking hearing that Google Sheets does something way better than their baby)


I’ll end with the 🐐.

As an SEO specialist, the =CONCAT formula in Excel is probably my favorite. It's essential for creating URLs, keyword ideas, and meta descriptions.

It's a simple formula that anyone can understand (even Excel noobies). You essentially choose texts that you need to combine and concatenate them together.

For example, one cell will have my URL and another cell will have the subject of a blog post I have. With =CONCAT I can merge those together with ease and at scale. =CONCAT is particularly useful for PPC managers for this reason...they can create all the URLs they'll need to generate a Google Ads campaign.

But for SEOs it’s still just as useful. So become a =CONCAT stan like me and watch your spreadsheets shine.

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