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5 SEO Browser Extensions Every Digital Marketer Should Be Using

Sep 24, 2018
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"A browser extension is a plug-in that extends the functionality of a web browser." - Wikipedia.  Browser extensions are used in a number of ways. From enhancing your browser's user interface and security or blocking advertisements, these tools can really improve your browsing experience.  In this video, I'll share my top 5 SEO browser extensions and how you can use them to get an edge.

 

 

Video Transcript: 

Hey, thanks for checking out this video. If this is your first time watching or maybe you've been watching for a while, but haven't yet hit subscribe, please do so now. We would love to have you join our community. So hey, this is me, Ryan, and I run Hack my Growth. I also am the owner of SMA Marketing. We're a digital marketing firm that focuses on organic visibility and lead generation. 

I believe in using data to make smart decisions. Now, there's a lot to be said about big data, there's a lot of people that talk about it. We've hit a number of those things here on this channel, but the reality is, big data is only useful if you have the right data and you know how to use it, and these browser extensions could give you some very powerful data that you can use to make some good decisions.

What is a browser extension? It's a plugin that extends the functionality of your browser. You add it to your browser and it gives you more capabilities, allows you to do things that your browser isn't  set up to do by default. You can enhance your security, you can improve your look and feel, you can block advertisements. But there's also a lot of really good tools that you can use in your browser to make your life a lot easier, and help you be more productive.

Here are my five browser extensions. My top five. I use a lot more than five, but these are the top five that I believe everybody who's in digital marketing and SEO should take a look at because they're very powerful and they can help you out a lot.

  • SEOquake
  • Check my Links
  • Majestic
  • SerpStat
  • Lighthouse

Now, each of these is free. You don't need to pay a subscription to anybody to use any of these tools, which is really and you can get a lot of use out of them, but they do plug in to some very powerful tools and scrape some really, really important data. So let's go ahead and take a look at these in detail.

So the first one is SEOquake. This helps you check pretty much any webpage for a number of different parameters. You get to set what you want to see from this tool. You can do audits, you can do link audits, you can compare domains, and you can export the data and work with it in another tool or share it. I love to export the data and work with it in Excel and then run some other scripts to see how much more we can get out of this specific data. So let's jump out of the slideshow here for a second and take a look at a SEOquake. I'm a believer in Chrome, I like Chrome. It's a good tool. And as you can see, my search results probably look a little bit different than the default Google search results. I've got SEOquake installed here. I've got it over here on my side so I can set my parameters, I can export the information, I can set some other things here as well.

And you'll notice, right here it's just one, it's going to give me the rank numbers, and then it jumps down here it says six. Wait a second, shouldn't that be the second link? Well, it actually is going to count these inside of here as well, so it's going to count two, three, four, five, six, the reason things are showing up is because I've already clicked one of the other terms in here and as you know, in the ask box, it's going to open up some more questions. But let's look at the stuff under here too. It's pulling some information here from SEMRush. I have to hook it up to my free SEMRush account and I can get all of this link data, which is really awesome. I can see how many pages are indexed on Bing, the Alexio rank, how old this site is or the specific page is, the interactions on Facebook and some other social channels.

There's a lot of powerful information. This helps me to see, maybe if I'm prospecting links or looking for people to outreach, I can see how powerful their site is, how valuable their site is. But I can also see what my competition is. If I'm going, and then say, "Okay, I want a rank for this term 'digital marketing' up here," these are the things that I'm going to have to come up against, these are the sites, this is the level, this is the quality of the sites that I'm going against. Now, you can do a lot of things. You can sort this page by a specific parameter. 

I want to see all the ones that have a domain target square within a certain range. I can also set my country, which allows me to see how the results change in different areas. I can run a SERP report, here we go, here's all my cool information and it's giving me 17 links here on the first page. I can save this, I can hide different parameters. Lots of useful information all from this one little, tiny, lightweight plugin. Very cool tool. If you're not using it, I highly recommend that you check the tool out.

All right, let's jump in to our deck again. Check my Links. Broken links are an issue. It's an issue for your side. If you've got a lot of broken links on your website, it can be a bad user experience, it can hurt your ranking. Broken links are also a great way to get some SEO benefit. Maybe there's a site that you want to get a link from and they've got a lot of broken links. Well, you can say, "Hey, there's some broken links here. How about you replace those?" But there's a lot of ways to use this tool.

Sometimes it's hard to find these broken links, but Check my Links makes it very easy. So what you can do is go to one of these pages. Let's just try this Forbes page. Once you install the browser plugin, you click it and it starts running all the links on the website. So everything that's green is good. See all these green links? Very cool, right? And now, if a link highlights as red, it means it's broken. So this site's page is good. There are no broken links on this page. It's found all the right links. But I can even save this information, I can set different parameters, I can exclude certain domains. But it's a fast way to find if a site or a page has some broken links on it. Very, very cool. Very useful browser plug in for anybody looking to do outreach or check their own site for broken links.

The third one is Majestic. Now, Majestic is a very powerful SEO plugin. It's typically used for more link research, link building, things of that nature. But the Majestic plugin can give you a lot of very detailed information about specific sites. How many links they have, how strong and trustworthy those sites are, as well as it allows you to see some charts of how the sites acquire links over time. There's a lot that this plugin gives you. So going back to the search results here, let's go ahead, pick another one. All right, this is a good example of a page. I shouldn't have to click that many times back, so the fact that I've got to click like four times just to get out of the Forbes site, bad user experience. Just wanted to throw that in there.

All right, so let's click on this link. You get into a site page and then you click right here on Majestic. And Majestic is going to run this quick report for me and it's going to say, "Here's the trust form," you know, how trustworthy is a site. Citation flow, how much authority does this site have, external back links, and referring domains allows me to see this for this URL for the specific subdomain, as well as the main site as well. So it's really breaking this down for me. It allows me to see a lot of different things here. I can even see sometimes anchor text, other back links, here is an issue, right, while I'm using it. Issues do happen, right? But you can see, I can get some really good link data here and if I'm building back links, I can say, "Okay, this site's pretty authoritative. I'd like to build a relationship with this person and see if we can't work a way out to ... maybe I could promote some content or something along those lines. By understanding how well this site is doing is important. You can use this tool on your site, you can use it on your competition's site. You can also use it for prospecting for links and outreach campaigns. Very cool tool.

The next plugin is using SerpStat. SerpStat is an excellent SEO tool. It's a tool that we use pretty much every single day at our agency. We can pull a lot of cool reports, again, with their browser plugin. So if we go back to this page and we go ahead and hit the SerpStat button, we can hit run analysis. So it's going to start connecting to their API. Again, this is free. You can set up a free SerpStat account and get API access. And it's going to start retrieving some data on this site. Now, we're seeing a lot of things here. We can see U.S., U.K., Canada, all these different areas. It'll show us the top keywords for the specific URL, what's their position ranking, what's the cost, the competition, and the number of results? It's going to give us some URL analysis for the page too, the number of competitors, keywords, missing keywords that they have, the estimated amount of traffic that this site is getting. So again, a lot of powerful data that we can use when we're looking for opportunities for our marketing campaigns. And I'm doing this all by clicking browser extensions. That's all I've done. I haven't gone to another tool, I haven't left a page, I've just clicked a browser extension and it's giving me all this powerful data.

Now, the last one I want to share is Lighthouse. Now Lighthouse is an open source tool, but it's also a tool that's been developed by Google. And this is a very powerful tool. And you know, we always hear these reports, it seems like every year, that it's the death of SEO. Well, this last year, again, those reports are coming out and then Google goes and launches Lighthouse. What is Lighthouse? It actually helps you see if your site is meeting SEO best practices. So Google themselves has a SEO plugin and I highly recommend you use it, especially when you want to see how your site's performing. Let's go ahead and stay on this page and we'll just go ahead and hit the Lighthouse button. And we'll generate the report.

So as you see, it opens in a new page and the Lighthouse thing starts spinning a little bit here. Google's running all their analysis on the site and they're looking at a number of things. Not just the SEO side of things, they're also looking at things like page speed, how the page is built, how the code is structured, just a lot of different aspects of your site to see if it's meeting what Google considers to be an optimized quality website. Depending on the size of the page, depending on the size of the site, depending on your internet connection, this can take longer to run than some of the other plugins, but it's pooling a ton of data and information for you. This is a really great thing to run when you're looking at your website to see how your website's performing, when you're looking after you've updated your site and you want to know if your site's optimized and ready to go. But as you can see, it's retrieving all the different parts of the website. It's refreshing the site, it's crawling the code and trying to understand what this website is all about and how it's performing. So give it a few more seconds and it should hit that refresh one more time and we'll be able to see the results of the Lighthouse plugin.

Again, it's one of those ones that takes a little bit longer to run, but I guarantee you that the amount of data and information that you will get from this can be extremely valuable to your marketing strategy and what you're doing online as far as trying to grow your business. Now, again, Lighthouse is made by Google, which I think that's a really important part of this. It is an open source plugin, they are doing it in connection with other developers, but because Google is behind this tool, you are getting information straight from this source. So after it does all that, here's what it gives you. Performance, your progressive web app, the accessibility of your site, your best practices, and SEO. So it's looking at a lot of stuff and some of this stuff is over my head, honestly.

But it's telling us how we can optimize the site.  I don't know if you've ever run a speed test, but that's something that comes up a lot when you run a speed test. Deferring different parts of the site so they can load at a different time to go faster. It's telling you, "Here's everything that we found on your site that we think that you should update," Google's saying, right? It's saying that the page is loading too slow, it's not fast enough for these different areas of the internet. It's not meeting certain requirements that Google wants it to see. So you can send this to your developing team, development team, and say, "Hey, these are things that I want you to fix. These are things that Google's seeing and they know that needs to be updated." Or that's something that you can research and try to fix yourself as well. It's going to look at the accessibility of the site. It's going to look at things like background and foreground colors do not have a sufficient contrast for SEO. I mean, that's really great, right? You want to make sure that you have good contrast so that people can see the different parts of the site.

These are the types of information they're giving you. They're even going to show you what you passed, so you can go through all of these as well. And then it's going to get down in here into SEO. It's going to look at your audits. Is it mobile friendly? Is it using content best practices? Do you have your title tag? Are you using meta-descriptions? All this stuff that you hear all the time in SEO, Google's right here telling you whether or not you've done it or not. So this is a really, really powerful plugin. You should have this installed. Don't run it all day every day. Again, it's a very heavy plugin, it takes a long time to run. But, as you can see here, this is a very good report that you can use to help your development team, your SEO team, your content team, your design team, to make sure that your site is meeting best practices for SEO and for what Google's expecting.

So those are my top five browser extensions that I think every digital marketer should be using. If you've got a question about the browser extensions or any of the data that you see in those reports, please comment below. We would love to continue the conversation with you. And until next time, Happy Marketing. 

 

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Ryan Shelley, CPBI

By Ryan Shelley, CPBI

Ryan is passionate about helping companies make a more personal connection online with their customers and prospects. He is a regular contributor to Search Engine Land, the largest and most popular SEO news site on the web. His works have also been featured on the HubSpot Blog, Business2Community and by LinkedIn Marketing Solutions.

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