How To Use Google Spreadsheets – If you follow this section, you know that I am a lover of tools that are flexible and whose performance depends on who handles them. Spreadsheets have been used for over a decade for many fines, but until a few years ago we did not have a spreadsheet as versatile as Google Sheets. If you stay with me, you will see that it is not a simple spreadsheet but a powerful tool for growth hackers. Follow me
Simultaneous editingSimultaneous editing
Until recently, to work with shared spreadsheets, I used a combination of Excel + Dropbox. A good solution, but only if they are not exhaustive use sheets. The reason is that if two people open and modify the same spreadsheet in Dropbox, two copies of the file will be created and problems will start.
At Endado.com we are using Google Sheets to record all calls from potential customers. There are 3 people answering calls simultaneously, so using Excel was not feasible.
In Google Sheets you can see in real-time how records are updated without data overlapping issues.
Chat and comments
Another useful functionality for the collaborative use is a chat integrated in the own tool where the users that are connected to the sheet can talk simultaneously.
In addition, you can leave annotations in the cells, as in Excel, but the best thing is that if someone adds information to the annotations or resolves, you will get a notification to your email.
The Real Power of Google Sheets
This is all very well, but what does growth hacking have to do with it? Patience, there we go.
ImportXML, scraping the Web
One of the formulas in Google Sheets that does not have Microsoft Excel is ImportXML, a feature that will allow you to open a Web page and extract any information from it. For example, at Endado.com we are experimenting with ads from Milanuncios. The problem with this platform is that it does not have a control panel in the style of Facebook Ads or Adwords, and once you have more than 10 ads, keeping track of its effectiveness is complicated and tedious.
The solution that I have used is to extract the Statistical information of each advertisement that is provided by ImportXML: number of times listed, contacts, favorites, messages, etc.
The result is a complete Google sheet with all the information updated at the time.
What is the Xpath?
Xpath is a query language that extracts information from one or more elements of a page or an xml file. It is a simple language, but you do not need to learn it either.
Let’s make an example together so that you understand how to use the ImportXML formula:
Install the Scraper plugin
Open Google Chrome
Open Google Sheets. Https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets. You’ll need a Google account.
Create a new spreadsheet by clicking on the red circle on the bottom right
Open another tab in your browser and put the url of my Twitter account https://twitter.com/ValGrowthLabs
Right click on the number of followers and then “Scrape similar …”. The plugin will open and the Xpath code will be displayed on the left and the result will be displayed on the right. Copy the Xpath code, which you will paste as the second parameter of the formula in the next step.
Write in the first cell of the sheet
= IMPORTXML (“https://twitter.com/ValGrowthLabs”; “// div  / div / div / ul / li  / a / span”)
If you save the page, every time you open it will connect to my Twitter profile and will return the number of followers I have. Imagine what you can do with this formula and a little imagination.
What is interesting is what you can do with the data you extract, since by having them in Google Sheets, you can use them in other formulas, display the information added in graphs that make it easier to understand the data, merge with other information, ie , To assemble authentic online applications without programming a line of code.
How To Use Google Spreadsheets
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