Chrome SEO Extensions: 13 Time Saving SEO Tools We Use Every Day
It’s fairly safe to say that Google Chrome is now one of the most widely used desktop browsers out there, despite some die-hard users hanging on to Firefox (personally I never got on with it..).
This popularity is, in part, driven by the immense volume of add-ons, extensions and customisable widgets available for the browser. Granted, with any popular platform it becomes difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff after a while - just look at any app store and you’ll see what I mean - but as an SEO professional there are a few extensions which are absolute gems.
The old adage ‘work smarter, not harder’ rings very true here. The add-ons below that I’ve picked out as my favourite Chrome extensions for SEO are not about making the complexities of SEO any easier.
Instead they’ve been chosen in many cases to speed up the process of retrieving the information essential to making smart decisions on how to optimise sites. In turn, that leaves more time available to work on improving sites and producing fabulous results for our clients.
Enough waffle, let’s get to the meat of it - that’s what you’re here for right? Here’s my opinion on the best extensions for SEO professionals to be using in their day-to-day:
1. Ahrefs Toolbar
The Ahrefs toolbar is one of my all-time top SEO extensions. The extension overlays toolbars both at the top of a webpage, and within SERPs detailing important metrics for that site, including how many links point to the individual page and the site overall, estimated monthly organic traffic volumes, and how many keywords the page and site rank for.
Clicking on any one of these metrics then opens up an Ahrefs report allowing more detailed investigation. It’s a really easy way to compare competitors within a search result, identify sites with good backlink opportunities to pursue or quickly estimate how much traffic there is to be gained from moving up the SERPs for a specific query.
2. Structured Data Testing Tool
Structured data provides additional information about a webpage and its content in a format that’s more easily understood by search engines and other web technologies. It helps to classify all types of content, from recipes, to people, to reviews of a product.
Usually to review the structured data on a page, you would need to manually look through each page’s source code, or copy the page URL to a tool like Google’s own Structured Data Testing Tool.
The Structured Data Testing Tool extension speeds this process up by popping open an overlay on the page being checked, providing detailed information about the structured data being used, how it’s formatted and which encoding method is being used.
Aside from the speed benefits of not needing to open yet another browser tab, I love using this extension to quickly check how other websites are using structured data markup.
3. META SEO Inspector
Metadata refers to various webpage attributes, including but not limited to information like the page title, description and Open Graph data used by social networking sites.
Similarly to structured data, to review the meta data for a page you’d normally need to do a manual review - a terrible experience if the source code isn’t cleanly formatted - or open a separate tool.
The META SEO Inspector extension adds an overlay window to the page you’re viewing, showing all the relevant metadata for the page, including which CMS is being used and what 3rd party scripts are running. It also highlights areas what are missing, or under-optimised and need attention.
Before beginning an extensive site audit, or to do a quick analysis of a few select pages, this extension is a superb tool. Being able to check for critical information and potential quick wins with a single click massively speeds up auditing a site.
Useful for both site audits and for link-building, NoFollow provides a handy pop-up notification detailing whether the current webpage has nofollow in its metadata. It also adds a dotted red line around any links on the page which have been individually marked as nofollow.
Nofollow links are important to look out for externally as they pass little SEO value compared to follow links, as they basically say to search engines “here’s a handy link to another site, but we don’t really want to put our own authority behind how good the link is.”
Additionally if nofollow links have accidentally been used for internal links on a site, it can cause crawling problems and difficulty passing value to other pages on the site. Typically you’d have to inspect each individual link to make sure they aren’t marked nofollow, but the NoFollow extension makes this a non-issue.
The extension is also a huge time-saver for link-building, making it easy to identify during link prospecting whether I might be able to secure a follow link or not. Whilst it’s healthy to have a split of follow and nofollow links, if all the links on another site are nofollow it’s often an indicator that they receive a lot of low quality submissions that they don’t want to put their weight behind.
5. Keywords Everywhere
Keywords Everywhere is probably one of the handiest keyword research extensions out there. The extension pulls keyword data from multiple sources, then transplants it directly into the UI of different tools like search console, Google search, Google Analytics, and more.
Not only does this provide an easy way to conduct wider research into related keywords, it makes it easy to flick through ‘people also search’ keywords, and understand the comparative CPC for all that sweet organic traffic you’ll be getting. Whilst not a replacement for proper in-depth keyword research, Keywords Everywhere is a great kicking off point for finding a good angle.
My favourite use for Keywords Everywhere is to identify long-tail opportunities surrounding the core words or phrases I’ll be optimising for. By connecting to tools like Answer The Public, Keywords Everywhere can show me various different questions, propositions and lengthier queries related to the high-intent keywords I’ve already researched.
These have the potential to develop into FAQ pages to improve user-experience, long-form pieces of content targeted at users higher up the funnel, or good opportunities for grabbing featured snippets resulting in great traffic and brand awareness.
6. Buzzstream Buzzmarker
Buzzstream provides an all in one toolkit that acts as CRM, outreach management, content research tool, and email automation software.
The real stand-out feature that comes with Buzzstream is their Buzzmarker extension, which scrapes contact details from websites and imports the discovered info back into Buzzstreams CRM, neatly organised and ready for outreach.
The Buzzmarker extension hugely speeds up the process of identifying prospects and collating their contact information into one place. With a single click I can find a name, email, phone number, Twitter handle, LinkedIn URL and more for someone I want to get in touch with - whether it’s for sales, link-building, content collaboration and more.
Unfortunately this extension isn’t free, as it requires a Buzzstream account, but you can get a 14-day trial to give it a test drive.
7. Window Resizer
Window Resizer provides a simple way to resize your browser to match the resolution of commonly used devices and screen sizes, allowing you to check a website is responsive and all your carefully crafted content appears the way that it should.
Window Resizer isn’t the most hi-tech, nor SEO specific, extension in the world, but is still a useful part of my search arsenal. After you’ve spent valuable time improving various elements of a site's SEO, the last thing you want to find out is it doesn’t work on a certain screen resolution, causing all of that sweet organic traffic to bounce and visit a competing site instead. With a quick check through Window Resizer, you can sleep easy knowing your content looks beautiful on any device.
8. Keyword Rank Checker
The Keyword Rank Checker extension makes it super simple to find out where the site you’re on ranks for any given keyword. Pop open the extension overlay whilst on a website, whack in the keyword you’re interested in and the tool will tell you which position the site ranks in, and what page is being shown for that result. It also allows you to change the search location to take a look at how the site ranks from different localised regions, or internationally.
The Keyword Rank Tracker extension works really well when dealing with smaller sites for which you might not want to set-up an extensive rank tracking dashboard using a tool like AHRefs. Instead pair up the extension with a quick spreadsheet and you can whiz through a manual ranking check in no time at all.
9. NAP Hunter
Making sure your NAP (name, address and phone) is cited consistently across the web can be a nightmare, especially for older business that have changed contact details various times, or have had different people working on their website and SEO who may have formatted the organisations NAP in different ways.
NAP Hunter takes your up-to-date details and automatically conducts a series of specific search queries in an attempt to find as many citations of your NAP as possible. From here you can export all results into a CSV and work your way through all those which don’t match your current info.
Being able to instantly identify opportunities to update NAP citations across the web is a humongous time saver. With retaining consistent NAP citations being an important contributing factor for ranking in localised search, this is a seriously underrated extension.
10. Redirect Path
The Redirect Path extension pretty much does what it says on the tin. The tool flags up redirects and other HTTP status codes that may indicate problems for the site such as missing pages, redirect chains, or server errors.
Finding redirect chains can be an annoying part of conducting a technical audit. The Redirect Path extension helps simplify this, keeping everything in-browser and removing the requirement for other methods of analysis.
The interface also works well for taking a quick screenshot to visually map identified redirect paths - great for working with developers or plugging into a report.
11. User-Agent Switcher
The User-Agent Switcher extension allows the user to essentially ‘fool’ a website into believing they’re browsing from a different browser window, whether that’s an old version of Chrome, or Safari on an iPhone 4 - enabling you to understand how that site renders and reacts to different users.
As part of optimising a site for search, it’s incredibly important to make sure that any users who come through from Google have a good experience on your site, no matter what browser they’re using. As much as we all wish we could stop Grandma from using Internet Explorer, the reality is that many users aren’t checking your site out from the latest Chrome or Firefox update.
A site that has bad UX or simply won’t work in older browsers might cause traffic to flip straight back to search, increasing bounce rates and sending negative indicators about your site back to the search engine. The User-Agent Switcher goes a long way towards getting this right, especially when paired with Window Resizer.
SEOquake is a fantastic ‘all-in-one’ SEO extension, providing analysis across various elements of a website important to SEO in a neatly presented pop-up window, overlaid onto SERPs, or in a separate report.
Most of SEOquake’s features can be found within other, more specialised tools that I like to use. The feature that really keeps SEOquake installed in my browser extensions however is the ranking position number it adds next to each result in the SERPs.
When looking at different ranking positions, it can sometimes be helpful to view search results as pages of 100 instead of the usual 10 per page. The obvious problem here - it’s difficult to know what position the results you’re looking at is in! With SEOquake, it’s easy to click the extension icon and immediately see the numbered rank for every result. It also works for Bing, who often like to show random numbers of results on each page...
View in the Chrome Web Store >
Papier is an incredibly simple, but awesomely useful extension that I love, and has uses far beyond SEO. Papier replaces your Chrome new tab screen with a simple text editor, with all the features you’ll need to format text, add checkboxes, and structure notes with headers, etc.
It’s brilliance is in its simplicity. Far too often when I’m flicking between sites, tools and spreadsheets I lose track of my train of thought as the synapses start firing into overload. Having a reminder and a place to jot my current thoughts down every time I pop open a new tab means I now never lose track and can stay completely within the browser.
Oh, and best of all - it has dark mode.
So there we have it!
There are many other useful extensions for search marketers which I would have enjoyed including on this list - extensions for finding contact information, for managing datasets and outreach relationships, or just for checking something as simple as your spelling and grammar - but on reflection these would have started to push the boundaries of relevancy to the topic of SEO.
Instead, I can comfortably round off this article knowing that each and every extension listed above has a place in my day to day as an SEO. If you’re not using some, or all of these, already I highly recommend installing them and having a play around to see how they fit into your existing flow.
Likewise, if you think I’ve committed a horrendous sin by missing off your favourite SEO extension or you’ve found a superbly-brilliant-mind-boggling alternative use case, please let me know by leaving a comment below.