When it comes to working in online marketing we rely heavily on tools to help automate some of the process. A lot of these tools you’re already aware of, tools like:
- Screaming Frog
- Majestic SEO
- Open Site Explorer
- SEM Rush
And many, many others. But for today I’d like to focus on the browser extensions (for Chrome) that help out with research on the fly. Some of these you may have heard of, others maybe not.
This is tool most people know about when they’re looking for broken links to harvest. It’s pretty simple. Just install it and you’re ready to go. When you visit a page just click on the icon in the browser and it will run a quick check to see if any links are broken or not:
If any links are broken they’ll show up red, green means everything is okay. I will say if any links do show up as red I do click on them just to make sure they are broken. Every now and then a few haven’t been broken. Just a precaution so you don’t tell a webmaster they have broken links when in fact they don’t.
Domain Hunter works a lot like check my links but instead of flagging what links are broken or not it lists them out. I like using this extension when I get several links I want to take a look at individually by exporting them. If I find a list of links that may take some time to go through I’d rather have a spreadsheet handy rather than revisit the same site over and over:
So if you’re looking for something that can export a list of broken links you just found, I highly recommend this extension.
I’ve come to really love this extension. On more than one occasion when doing research I get ads that just start playing and with several tabs open at the same time it can be hard to figure out which one the sound is coming from. Even with Chrome’s little notification at the top, if you have a lot of tabs open it’s easier to just open this plugin and mute whichever tab is making noise:
While this may not be the most popular extension in the Chrome store, I found a lot of people were just clicking on the “x” and not on the square button before the speaker icon. If you click on the speaker icon it does stop the sound. That said I can’t promise everyone will have the same experience, but for me this works just fine.
Page Speed Insights
While this isn’t exactly in the browser toolbar, it is easily accessible if you know how to get to it. Just go to developer tools:
Once you open that you’ll see the option to open page speed insights:
Just click analyze and it will run a report on the page in question. This is a great tool to run if you happen across a page that runs insanely slow or if you’re doing an audit on a site and want to point out specific pages that are seriously lagging.
Open SEO Stats shows a lot of information, though I only use two tabs most of the time. The site info tab shows the geo location, the domain information site security but more importantly the social numbers:
Every now and then I find a page or blog post that doesn’t have any social sharing on it, but that doesn’t mean that it hasn’t been shared at all. The social numbers from this tab gives me a quick glimpse at how popular the content on this page is. My only complaint is that I wish I had the ability to add more social networks to check out.
The page info tab gives you the same information you’d get from Screaming Frog but without having to run it on the entire site. Again, this is great if you just want to take a look at a specific page on the fly to look at the meta data in the source code:
While there are many other tabs to use I usually rely on other extensions or tools I have to get that other information.
While this isn’t a “SEO tool” per say, it’s really helpful at helping to grab screenshots and make notes on when putting together a presentation or audit for a client. If you want to share the screenshot via a link you can sign up for a free account at awesome screenshot in order to do that; though I’m more in favor of saving images to my computer for later references. But it just doesn’t take a screenshot of what you’re viewing; it offers a lot more options:
The delayed capture is really helpful if you need to get a snapshot of something that occurs at a certain time on a site and you can’t “pause” the site. In addition, after the screenshot has been taken it gives you the option to edit the image similar to paint:
Need something that takes screenshots that you can edit in your browser and save online or offline? Use awesome screenshot.
Wappalyzer is pretty straight forward. I use this when I go to a site and want to know what kind of platform/code it’s running on this tool will tell me what’s running in the background. If you’re auditing a site and you want to make sure you are providing best practices you need to know what kind of code is helping to run the site and its functions:
I may not use all of these at the same time, but I do use them when I need them and they are easily accessible in my browser. What about you? What extensions do you find helpful when you’re working and doing research online for clients?