When it comes to SEO it is all well and good having your go-to websites to conduct SEO checks, however that can prolong your tasks where it is much easier and quicker to use Google Chrome Extensions on your browser to undertake SEO checks on the fly.
Think about it, you visit a clients website or a prospects site, the page is loading and your Google Chrome extensions are working in the background processing different SEO metrics. In one place you are now able to understand if the page redirects, is missing a canonical tag or is blocked by the robots.txt without the need to initially crawl the website.
Another great scenario where SEO Chrome Extensions can become very powerful is when you are conducting keyword research on the fly. Before the likes of Keywords Everywhere or Keyword Surfer it was very difficult to quickly spot check the search volume of a keyword, or be shown related search queries to help find semantic keywords. We would historically go into a tool such as Keyword Planner or SEMRush to find this information but this would be very time consuming.
There is a huge amount of different Chrome Extensions that you could use as part of your day to day tasks and sometimes it is very difficult to know which extensions are the most useful. We have collated a list of the most useful extensions the SEO team at Semetrical use on a regular basis.
This add-on will flag if a URL that you land on redirects to a different URL and the specific redirect path taken. It will also highlight the type of HTTP status code such as (301, 302, 304, 404 and 500) . It is very powerful when spot checking URLs in your browser especially when undertaking a website migration as you want to make sure the original URL does not go through any redirect chains.
This add-on quickly helps identify if a page is missing/ includes a canonical tag. This can be very powerful when figuring out if the link specified in the canonical tag is correct and prevents the need to comb through the source code to spot check the canonical tag of a page.
The no follow add on is always enabled on the laptops of our SEO team as it highlights with a red dotted border any links on a website that has a rel tag of nofollow. When conducting technical audits it is very useful to see if links on factet navigations or external links include a no follow tag.
This extension is a great way to quickly find out if a URL is indexable or not. Additionally, the extension highlights the status code of a page and flags any x robot tags that are present in the header of a webpage.
This extension can be used in multiple ways such as on-page analysis, broken links and SERP previews. However, the main reason we use SEO Minion is because of the Google search location simulator feature.
If you do not have a VPN tool or add on, the location simulator can be a useful feature if you want to check the SERP results of a keywords in a different location such as France or Germany.
When reviewing the speed of a website the Lighthouse Chrome add on can be very useful to understand the performance of the site as well as a list of recommendations which could help improve the speed of a site.
We recommend using the add on in a browser with no other add ons as they can conflict with the performance results.
There are a number of extensions out there that highlight if a page includes a meta robots or x robots in the source code but a lot of them do not review the robots.txt file to see if there are disallow rules in place blocking a URL.
This Chrome add on is mainly used to see if a URL is being blocked via the robots.txt without the need to actually visit the robots.txt file to see if a rule is in place.
When reviewing structured data usually you need to put a specific URL into the structured data testing tool or check the source code of the page which can be a lengthy process if checking multiple URLs.
The structured data testing add-on makes it very easy to check templates of a website in order to see if there is structured data on the page, for example, organisational markup without the need to check the source code or other tools. This add-on also flags if there are any errors or warnings with the current markup used on a page.
This Chrome add-on is a life saver when validating AMP pages on a website. It will check the current page you are on to see if its an AMP page then will provide a report of passed or failed checks. This can be very useful especially with publication websites as it makes it a lot easier to debug any issues.
If you want to quickly see what a page may look like on the SERPs such as title tag and meta description, this add-on is very useful. It can also help flag if metadata is missing from the page or if it is too long or short.
When you visit a webpage that serves a 404 or currently does not exist due to it being temporarily unavailable the Wayback Machine extension can help show you a snapshot of what that page did look like if its in their index. This can be very useful if an article has been removed but you want to check the content that was previously on the page as it may need reinstating.
All of the error codes that Wayback Machine detects are 404, 408, 410, 451, 500, 502, 503, 504, 509, 520, 521, 523, 524, 525, and 526 status codes.
When spot checking keywords for search volume or identifying semantically relevant keywords which are closely related, Chrome add-ons can become very powerful. Historically, we would spot check keywords on Keyword Planner but that is very manual and can take a long time when spot checking on the fly. Below are two extensions we use when spot checking keyword search volumes or identifying keyword ideas around a head term.
This extension is the best keyword research add-on as you can check out the cost per click for any given keyword across a load of websites as well as viewing search volumes and competitiveness. Additionally, it shows you related keywords as well as people also search for keywords which helps to expand your keyword lists. This extension was free but is now freemium, however, we would highly recommend using it.
We came across Keyword Surfer once Keywords Everywhere became a paid for Chrome extension. This add-on essentially provides the same metrics such as search volumes, keywords suggestions and related terms.
We have noticed that the search volume is not as reliable as we have spot checked keywords with zero searches a month in Keyword Planner and Google provides monthly search volumes. However, it is still a useful extension to use to spot check search volumes or to find related terms if you do not want to pay for Keywords Everywhere.
As part of your toolkit it is important to have extensions which easily help you to review the domain authority of a website. For example, when browsing the SERPs it is very useful to see the domain authority of the websites ranking in the top positions.
The Ahrefs SEO Toolbar provides the SEO team with quick access to domain authority metrics which is very useful when reviewing the SERPs. The add-on will give you access to metrics such as domain rating, URL rating, number of backlinks and number of referring domains.
Majestics Backlink Analyser extension is very similar to Ahrefs but it uses their own backlink metrics. The extension enables you to see the strength of any page based on its backlinks.
It can be useful to combine both Majestics data with Ahrefs to get an overall view of a website’s authority instead of just using a single source of data.
There are numeros analytics add-ons out there which are very useful. It may be the job of the analytics team/department to be on top of tracking and to make sure it is running correctly. However, it is useful for your SEO team to have an understanding of which tags are present on a website and if they are running correctly.
This add-on is a trouble shooter which analyses Google tags on a website. It is really important that Google tags are firing correctly otherwise you may not be tracking traffic properly or may struggle to remarket to visitors. This extension records sessions and analyses the tacking tags with the end result of verifying that they are correct or have errors. It will also tell you which tags are present on a page and will suggest any improvements that can be made to improve your setup.