I feel that every SEO person should always keep their eyes open for SEO problems when browsing your clients’ websites and when simply browsing other websites. Things can be learned on every webpage. This means that the browser should be properly equipped to help you with that, and Chrome plugins are the best way to always have information at your fingertips.
This is a list of all the Chrome plugins I’m using and this list will be shared with everyone new coming into the agency. They are divided by categories.
This one silently sits in the background until you need it. For every URL you open, it tracks all the redirects that have happened, so you can always know if there was a 301 or a 302 redirect in place before you reached the final URL. Moreover, it also shows you the URLs that the server served, allowing you to analyse the whole redirect chain that is in place (and usually wrong or too long). Just be aware of the 307 browser redirects that try to fool you that the client implemented the redirects you told him too, but actually didn’t, it’s just Chrome is trying to help you.
Check my links
Internal linking is a very important part of the On-site SEO and UX. If you have a link that points to 404s on your page, the juice is not flowing as it should, and your users become upset. Checking an internal link en masse is something we do with GWC or ScreamingFrog, but if you just want to check all the links on one URL this plugin does the job. It checks all the links, tells you which are broken and if there are any pointing to redirected URLs. Allow your juices to flow freely!
User Agent Switcher
Sometimes you just want to be someone else. And if you want to do this more often than just for Mardi Gras (or Halloween for you Americans), use this plugin. It allows you to change your user agent to Googlebot, Internet Explorer (I know J), iPhone or iPad and others. You can also choose your own, if you want to be unique. This plugin can help you see any cloaking that someone thought would be great to program into the website.
BuiltWith Technology Profiler
When you want to know what CMS a website is using, if they are using any tracking tools or Marketing Automation tools etc., this one gives you a full overview of all the technology a website is employing. Use it if you are an SEO or a developer and more. Our sales people sometimes use it to identify clients that are using the technology we like to use, and I’m sure there are other ways to use it. For myself, it helps me identify the CMS so that I know what errors I can expect on the page and, moreover, I can see which tools the client has on the website but is not using (Optimizely, VWO and hotjar scripts on the page, but no one uses them? Loading-time problems ahead!).
SEO meta in 1 click
I typically use this extension to help non-SEO knowledgeable people conduct a basic on-site check. It shows the meta data, canonicals and headers in a nice and understandable way. Also, if you drill further down into the information it shows, you can check all the extra meta for Facebook (Open Graph), Twitter etc., so if you want a quick check of what is on the page and what is missing, this is the plugin for you. I would just use Ctrl+u and check the source, but that is just how I would do it.
SEO is all about the content today, so content is important. We know it’s not about the size of the content, but about the quality, yet there is (almost) no quality without a certain size. So this plugin always shows a small counter in Chrome that will tell you the number of characters in the text you’ve selected on a page. If you need more info about the keyword density and other great info, use WordCounter, but for a quick character count, this plugin does the job.
Other Internet marketing
Edit This Cookie
Cookies became popular here when we got the “Cookies Directive” from our beloved EU. But they are really important when checking for language redirects, different caching problems and solutions etc. This plugin allows you to see all the cookies the page you are visiting has sent you. Even more, it allows you to edit the info in the cookie, or delete one or more cookies. And, of course, it helps you analyse how the website respects the Cookies Directive.
I don’t use this one often, but it is still there for those times I need it. When you need to create a picture for a website, but you don’t know the site, you can easily just measure the empty space on the website. It gives you the measurement in pixels and you are ready to open Canva to create that image.
And if the picture you measured with MeasureIt! needs to be the same colour as other things on the website, I simply use this tool to tell me which colours were used on the website. Just point the colour picker and it tells you which RGB or HEX code to use.
Tag Assistant (by Google)
In a performance agency, you need to have Google Analytics on everything. And sometimes (often/always) the GA code gets messed up. To have a quick look at what is happening, this plugin allows you to see all the snippets present on the current URL, it tells you if there are any errors with the snippets, and it works for GTM too. So, you never lose an E-commerce conversion you brought to the client with this one.
Ahrefs is a tool for checking website authority and backlinks in our agency, so understandably I use their plugin to see what a page is all about. If you are using Ahrefs, then you know what is the most important information that Ahrefs gives you, and this info is also shown in the toolbar, always, of course, for the URL (and domain) that is shown in your Chrome.
If you are more of a MOZ person than an Ahrefs person, this is the right one for you. It all depends on which metrics and tools you are already using, and what you are able to pay. I’m not going to list details to compare Ahrefs and MOZ because that would constitute a whole other blogpost. As well as a bit of an Apple vs Android fight. And you know what arguing on the Internet is like.
Grammarly checks the grammar and other errors you make in every text you type into your browser. Namely, emails, blog comments, whatever you do. The free version is good enough for me, so I don’t use the paid one. It’s always better to have a second pair of eyes (or a computer) to look at a text before you send it out.
So this is the list I would give to all new arrivals in the SEO department. What are we missing? Is there a plugin that makes your life easier, but we aren’t using it? Comments please, I would love to hear them!