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Love data digging? Tune in to Spreadsheet Sorcery: A Google Sheets Guide For the Aspiring Wizard

Time to level up your Google Sheets game. In this spotlight, we speak to Matt Greenwood about his spreadsheet wizardry talk at brightonSEO 2022. So, if you’re looking for ways to take your spreadsheets to the next level, here’s the presentation deck!

Tell us more about your presentation Spreadsheet sorcery: A Google Sheets Guide For the Aspiring Wizard and what you are going to unravel.

I pitched the talk after attending last year’s brightonSEO and hearing people in the crowd around me feeling confused and a bit lost when listening to some of the more advanced spreadsheet presentations – so I wanted to try and cater to that audience and give them some easy ways to up their spreadsheet game. It’s about taking that next step as a beginner user – someone who’s got to grips with the basics and is looking for ways to start leveraging the power of spreadsheets.

When did you start using Google Sheets and how has your experience with it changed over the years?

Like most people, spreadsheets have been something I’ve been using for years, but without stepping beyond the basics. It was only when I started at Future that I started exploring ways to do more with Google Sheets and began to see the possibilities. Since then I’ve become the go-to spreadsheet guy on our team and an advocate for not wasting time if we don’t have to!

Your go-to resources for learning Google Sheets?

Ben Collins – Weekly Google Sheets Tips
Google Workspace Learning Center
Leila Gharani – Learn Google Sheets @ xelplus.com

What tips do you have for attendees to maximize their time on-site at brighton SEO?

The conference is huge – so trying to catch everything isn’t feasible. Plan your day ahead of time with the schedule or the app – prioritize the talks you want to hear the most, but don’t be afraid to try something new. There’s so much on offer from super-technical to super-inspiring, it’s always a great way to learn new things and meet new people. Don’t forget to look at the speakers’ slides or recordings after the event, most speakers will share them so you can reference them later.

What presentations are you most interested in attending/speakers you are most interested to hear and why?

I’m a sucker for a fun title, so Alice Rowan’s talk ‘What the (cluster)f*ck? Convince Google you’re an expert and plan your content faster‘ is definitely up there. I always try to see something that will give me a creative kick too, so Jo Walters talk, ‘How to think differently, get out of a rut and generate new ideas’ is a must!

What are your responsibilities at Future PLC and what makes work exciting for you?

I work in the Audience team at Future – we look after a huge collection of brands so making sure we’re able to maximize the amount of time our team of experts can spend actually generating insight is crucial. My role is to help get the most out of our data, reporting, and systems to enable our crack team of SEO ninjas to get on with being awesome. Whether that’s through simplifying existing workflows, creating new ones to close the gap between questions and insights or just sharing the right formula for their use case. Being helpful is always a nice feeling, so being able to deliver great solutions to annoying problems is a pretty exciting way to spend a work day.

What are the most interesting trends in digital marketing now?

There are few things more obvious in SEO than Google putting the user first. The more advanced their algorithms become, the more they can distinguish between content targeted at helping people – and content that’s just trying to rank. If we look at the huge strides we’ve seen in the last 10 years in this area, what could our jobs as SEOs look like in another 10 years? For my money, it’s all about producing expert, helpful content for the right audience.

We’re seeing Google try and answer the simple stuff in the SERP without needing a click, so what can we offer as brands that the SERP can’t?

MATT GREENWOOD, AUDIENCE OPS, FUTURE PLC

What are the top 5 tools or apps you use almost every day and why? 

  • Google Sheets
  • BigQuery – For all your big data needs
  • Slack – Essential for our global teams across multiple time zones
  • Twitter – Keeping up with SEO Twitter
  • Parse.ly – Real-time dashboarding for publishers

What was your worst job and what did you learn from it?

My worst job was definitely in the higher education sector – I was responsible for marketing a project to students. Despite many attempts to explain it, the management simply refused to understand the audience it was supposed to be targeting and so the project ended up just being more of the same rather than the new and exciting offering it could have been. It taught me that knowing and understanding your audience is absolutely key – and that helping other people understand is half the battle.

What advice would you give yourself when you first started digital advertising?

Don’t be afraid to get stuck in – no one is an expert in everything and they all started from the beginning. Ask for help when you need it and make room for learning something new. If something feels like a waste of time – it probably is, try and find a way to speed it up or even better, automate it.

Matt Greenwood, Future PLC

Matt started in the SEO industry 4 years ago, finding ways to apply his knowledge of photography and gaming to Future’s specialist sites like Digital Camera World and GamesRadar+. Over that time he developed a passion for problem-solving with spreadsheets, whether it be automating regular reporting work or speeding up the systems and processes that were holding teams back. He now works primarily on building data pipelines and processes to power reporting across the business.

Leverage your Google Sheets reporting with Swydo 

Turn rows of spreadsheet data into concise reports and readable visualizations with Swydo’s Google Sheets reporting. Track your SEO and marketing campaign and any excel data with CSV files in one Swydo report or dashboard. From Google Ads to Facebook and TikTok Ads, you can now track any platform, CRM, and any internal company data together with all your important marketing stack.

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