September 17, 2015 | Sarah Danks
As online marketers we’re all about maximizing our efforts to do the most we can in the least amount of time. And if we run across handy tools that can cut back on time spent doing mundane tasks, we get all kinds of excited.
While some things can’t — or shouldn’t — be automated (like managing a PPC account), many things can be done for you by tools to free up oodles of your time (like automating Analytics reports). Most of our favorite online marketing tools are downloads, but there DO exist other options.
Enter: Chrome extensions.
While not the be-all-end-all of digital marketing, Chrome extensions can be a nice way to have great little tools right at your fingertips — without even having to open a separate application. Plus, any tool that can save you even a little bit of time makes it seem like money falls (back) into your pocket…
So, here are a few time- and money-saving SEO Chrome extensions I’ve run across that I’d like to share with you. I’ve given a brief glimpse into what they are, what makes them tick and, since I love to voice my opinion, some pros and cons of each.
SEO Meta In 1 Click
SEO Meta in 1 Click is a quick and easy way to obtain a web page’s basic SEO data in…well, one click! Just add the extension to your browser, navigate to any web page, click the button and voilà:
A bunch of “meta” data for the taking.
How easy is that? No need to open up ScreamingFrog, no need to leave the page at all. In addition to the information listed on the Summary tab, they break down the information into 5 additional groups:
- Headers — a list of all the <h> tags on that page, in order of appearance.
- Images — the number of images on the page, along with the ALT text and TITLE for each.
- Links — number of total, unique, and internal links on the page, including their TITLES (or if they lack those).
- Social — Open Graph/Facebook and Twitter data and IMAGE_SRC and schema.org information.
- Tools — a myriad of assessment tools (of Google’s, obviously) to ascertain lots of stuff.
Here’s a screenshot of the Tools tab:
Also listed on the Summary tab is a list of all scripts running and no-follow information.
- Wealth of SEO information at your fingertips
- Easy to use — simply toggle between the tabs
- If you click anywhere else on the browser (or on your computer screen), you lose the data and have to re-open.
- You can copy/paste information within but it’d be nice to have some type of “export” ability (especially since I can’t have this extension open and type in a Word/text doc to capture the info.
SEOQuake is a very robust Chrome add-on. The sheer amount of information contained “within” this little extension-that-could is staggering:
Not only can you see in-page information such as
- Meta description (and keywords, but no one uses those anymore),
- Internal/external links (including number of nofollow), and
You can also see Alexa Pagerank, SEMrush data, Twitter/Facebook/G+ info, keyword density and much, much more:
- Can also be used in Firefox.
- SO much information available on the fly.
- You just might not ever need any other tool if you install this.
- Extension “ability” works without having to constantly click on the button in the toolbar.
- Ability to print the “Page Info”
- In SERP view you can view or save as .csv…
- …but I couldn’t get the data in my Excel spreadsheet.
- You can get seriously lost by clicking on all the available links/data in this extension.
- If you don’t want to use it all the time, it’s annoying when it shows up in EVERY SERP you’re on (that being said, just click “disable” or “enable” in the drop-down)
SEO Site Tools
SEO Site Tools offers quite a good amount of information. It’s segmented into 6 sections:
- External page data — Alexa, YSE, DMOZ, SEMrush, Moz data and more.
- Page elements — on-page SEO info such as <h> tags, <title> tag, meta description, nofollow links, etc.
- Social media — activity on Facebook, Twitter, reddit, Stumbleupon, Digg, del.icio.us, Google buzz.
- Page terms / tools — page load speed test, plagiarism checker, keyword search volume / competitive cloud, etc.
- Server / domain info — WHOIS, DNS, robots.txt, XML sitemap info.
- Suggestions — makes recommendations such as length of URL / <title>, ALT text, meta description, etc.
- A LOT of SEO information.
- Nicely organized.
- Easy to use — quickly toggle between the different sections.
- Another extension that disappears if you click anywhere off the browser.
- Social Media section didn’t appear to be working — no data available (and I know this particular website gets a LOT of social engagement).
- Functions within Page Terms / Tools section not working:
- “Browser Size Tool” — 404 error
- Copyscape Plagiarism Checker — clicked on it; nothing happened
- Keyword Search Volume / Competition Cloud — 404 error on Moz; although it did say to go to the homepage to find the NEW Keyword Eye tool
- No way to copy / paste or export all data (there were a couple places where it seemed it was exportable to .csv but I tried and it didn’t work).
Open SEO Stats
Open SEO Stats, Formerly Known As PageRank Status, is quite the little package.
In addition to the “normal” information (such as on-page SEO factors, link data, etc) this extension also tells you:
- Simple traffic stats,
- WHOIS info,
- Number of pages indexed (per search engine),
- Geo location info,
- and page speed
for each web page.
It’s a great tool!
- Lots of information with one click
- Additional insight vs. the other extensions mentioned
- Only shows PageRank for home page of a site; no internal page data
- A few reviews mention this extension is either slow to load data or crashes
- No export / save option (nor could I copy/paste data)
Nofollow Simple, while not nearly as robust as the other extensions mentioned here, does a good job of identifying nofollow links on any web page.
That being said, it doesn’t do anything else — as the name implies. But it also doesn’t let you know it’s working because there’s no button on your toolbar. I think most of us want to SEE the extension we just added; this one just works its magic quietly in the background.
(PS: if you want to uninstall it, you have to go into your window menu in Chrome, then to “more tools,” then to “extensions” — and THEN you can disable or delete it.)
- Does what it says — shows nofollow links on any web page
- Doesn’t take up space on your toolbar; works quietly (all the time) in the background
- No way to see a list of all nofollow links on any page
- Need to scroll the entire length of the page to see/find data
- No way to export/save info
- Only shows one type of information (again, as name implies)
Easily find and identify working links and bad links — those with a 404 error — on any web page with Link Miner:
Again, it’s not a robust tool that offers a plethora of data; if you want to know whether or not a page has broken links then this is your Chrome extension.
Plus, you can also get access to ahrefs API and Majestic API data:
- Export to .csv option
- Additional access to ahrefs/Majestic api data available
- Need to have accounts to access ahrefs/Majestic api data
- Extension can take a while to process / load data
- Only checks this one type of SEO info (as name implies)
You want to write the best title tag, meta description and even URL that you can so as to show a great snippet in the SERPs (search engine results page). Serp Preview is a great little tool that shows you exactly how your web page or blog post snippet will appear in the SERPs:
- Handy-dandy to know how your <title>, meta description and URL will look in the SERPs.
- Ability to save, reset entirely or copy the info to your clipboard.
- This extension (upon 2 separate tries) entirely froze up my Mac.
- Slow to load / populate fields.
- Unnecessary for those using any type of CMS with an SEO plugin installed.
We have no use for this extension personally, since we utilize Yoast on our website and it does this very thing; no need for an extension (there are other SEO plugins, but be careful when choosing WordPress plugins).
And, last — but certainly not least! — I have to mention MOZ Bar. It gives you access to a whole lotta SEO info. BUT, in order to use this Chrome extension you must already subscribe to Moz.
If you do, their toolbar button gives you INSTANT access to their super-data:
- link metrics,
- social shares,
- keyword difficulty score,
- on-page elements,
- which keywords a site is targeting,
- shema.org / open graph / authorship data,
- plus more…
…and all right from your browser. One of the cool things is gaining insight into SERP results (works in Google, Bing, and Yahoo):
Talk about SEO-on-the-go: you can know how difficult it would be to rank for any keyword, the backlink information for that site, their page/domain rank, etc.
And, of course, no need to navigate over to Moz proper to do this research; it’s right in your browser for the taking.
- GREAT information
- Time-saving — no need to even wander over to Moz to get the data!
- To turn off/on: simply click on the “M” in your toolbar, or hit control+ALT+shift+N
- You can add this extension all day long, but if you don’t have a Moz (paid) account, you can’t USE it (hence my screenshot from their informative video), which means it’s not saving you money.
- Some of the reviews in the Chrome store mention that the data doesn’t load and/or it’s very slow.
- Other reviews lament the loss of ability to move their button where they want it; now it’s stuck at the top of the browser (this is where all other extensions go so I can see it gets “messy” up there if you use a lot of extensions on Chrome).
Which SEO Chrome Extension Will Help You the Most?
Well, that question is best answered by asking yourself: What are my needs? You’ll first need to check what types of SEO information you’re already gathering, how long it takes you, etc. From there, you can ascertain which Chrome extension(s) would save you the most time.
Also, be sure you know which ones you can check off your list as not being useful — i.e., if you don’t have a Moz subscription, for example, then the Mozbar extension won’t work for you.
Or, if you’re like us and use WordPress — or some other type of CMS — and have installed Yoast or another SEO plugin, you’ve no use for the SERP Preview extension. Doubling up on tools you’re already using isn’t saving you any time or money — which is the entire point of using them in the first place!
What SEO extensions do you use, and why? What do you think about the ones listed here? Let us know in the comments!