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Weekly Wisdom with Ross Tavendale: Chrome Extensions for SEOs

Weekly Wisdom with Ross Tavendale: Chrome Extensions for SEOs

Ross Tavendale

SEOs and Chrome

Now you know me. I absolutely love SEO people. So from the moment we start out as juniors all the way up to those really senior stages, we are amazing at hacking things together and building more functionality into what we do. That is why using Chrome is an SEO's best friend.

Now since I have started, I have been using all these different extensions to make Chrome a lot more functional and ultimately help me save much more time. So this week we took to Twitter to ask the world's SEO's what plugins you guys are all using.

This list will offer extensions for the following areas:

  • Utility/Technical
  • Search intelligence
  • Links
  • Workflow

So thank you to everyone who gave all their suggestions on Twitter. If you have any suggestions for plugins or extensions that you use with Chrome, please mention them in the comments down below, and we will jump in and maybe I can share a couple of extras with you as well.

Okay, let's get started.

Lighthouse Extension - Speed Reports

Firstly, you are going to want to download the Lighthouse extension so you can run speed reports from your browser. Now there are two ways to run a Lighthouse speed report. Firstly if you simply open up Chrome Dev tools by hitting command, shift, and C, it will open up for you. Then go to the audits tab and click run a report; this is a great way to see what you can actually optimize on the site for speed. The downside is a lack of reporting and export functionality.

That is where this browser plugin comes in really handy. Click the little Lighthouse button, it will run the report, and it will give you export options for CSV or HTML so you can easily share it with your team.

Web Developer Plugin

Weekly Wisdom with Ross Tavendale: Chrome Extensions for SEOs. Image 0

The next one is essential for technical SEO's. Big shout out to John Fegan and Tom Greegan for calling this one out. It is, of course, the Web Developer plugin. The great thing about this plugin is it lets you disable elements like JavaScript; it highlights broken links on the page, it outlines all your H-tags and sorts different HTML elements. It is really useful. So when you are diagnosing technical issues, you can zoom right in and see exactly where the problem is.

Wappalyzer

On the subject of tech and how the site's actually built, Lewis Koch actually recommended Wappalyzer. So essentially, Wappalyzer identifies the technology that is running on the site. Very cool.

Redirect Trace

Next up, Tom Capper, the lead SEO consultant at Distilled, mentioned some absolute bangers, but there was one in particular that piqued my interest. It was a plugin by my buddy Chris Cemper who runs Link Research Tools. It was a Firefox plugin called Redirect Trace. Essentially it allows you to see all the daisy chain redirects and spits out a lovely report so you can see all the different redirect paths.

Spam Flag

Next up, Dan Taylor, the senior consultant at Salt Agency, recommended a plugin that he actually created called Spam Flag. Now in his words, the way it works is you put in a domain, and it highlights the links on the page to your domain that may be flagged as spammy links. He says they are currently revamping it at the moment, but it is about to go back into the Chrome store again, so definitely want to look out for. Thanks, Dan, we are really looking forward to that new release.

Google Analytics Debugger

Weekly Wisdom with Ross Tavendale: Chrome Extensions for SEOs. Image 1

Next up, we would be remiss if we did not mention Analytics and Pixel Helper. So Kasra on Twitter reminded us of the importance of analytics with a hat tip towards the GA Debugger plugin, also the Facebook pixel helper. Essentially these things allow you to audit your analytics tags at a page level, so you can see everything that's firing.

Observe Point - Tag Debugging

On the same topic of analytics, the organizer of the Take it Offline events and the head of SEO at Just Eat, Mr. Gerry White himself, weighted in with some excellent enterprise solutions for auditing your analytics tags with a little bit more depth. In particular, he says use Observe Point, and also Data Slayer. Now, these are more fully featured tag and auditing systems that are built for enterprise level, but an excellent addition, and I would highly recommend you check them out.

Grammarly

Next up, spelling and organization. Where would we be if we couldn't craft excellent emails to send to devs and annoy them about the technical updates we want to happen the site? Well, Pitchbox voted for Grammarly plugin that helps your grammar and spelling. That is probably why all their Tweets look so fantastically well spelled.

Calendarly

Carrie Hill also mentioned that uses Calendarly —wow, that is a mouthful— so that she can send a link to people so they can book a time on the calendar to have a phone call with her instead of the usual thing that happens which is email tennis, are you available at this time? No, are you available at this time? It is a nice all arounder.

SEO Minion

Next up, as an all arounder plugin, Claire Carlile on Twitter said that she uses a tool called SEO Minion, which pretty much looks like it does everything for you from Hreflang validation to on page SEO to broken link checking. She even went to the boiler of actually showing me the tool on the Type A Media site, and actually highlighting some of the things that we need to fix. Thank you very much for that Claire, much appreciated.

SEO Quake

Weekly Wisdom with Ross Tavendale: Chrome Extensions for SEOs. Image 2

Another plugin that was mentioned by over half of the SEO's on Twitter was, of course, the one and only SEO Quake, which is actually a plugin that was designed by SEMrush. Essentially it gives you domain level and URL level intelligence with hundreds of data points so you can very quickly work out the quality of the URL you are looking at as well as a bunch of really essential SEO information about the page.

View Rendered Source

Next up, rendering. So, Andrew from Optimisey, which is literally in my opinion, the best SEO me up in the entire UK, recommended something called View Rendered Source, which is essentially showing you the browser itself when it renders code, what it is actually using and actually seeing, versus what the server is actually serving up. Great if you are working with JavaScript sites using React or Angular or similar.

Hreflang Handler

Khushal from Twitter mentioned Hreflang Handler, which creates a dropdown box on the page with all the Hreflang tags that are present, so you can really easily click on them and cross reference the URL's that are in your Hreflang markup, so you can make sure that they are correct; insanely useful.

Redirect Chain

Weekly Wisdom with Ross Tavendale: Chrome Extensions for SEOs. Image 3

Next up is Redirect Chain. So imagine you have been on the SEMrush Audit Tool, and you can see lots of daisy chain redirects. Well, if you want to inspect this further, what we would recommend is, if you are not using the Link Research Tool, you can use the Ayima Redirect Chain Tool. Essentially it shows you all the header responses and all the redirects the URL is going through in order to actually find out how many times URL's daisy chaining so you can get it fixed really quickly. Shout out to Andy Drinkwater for that recommendation, absolutely fantastic.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Now they say in life, there are no shortcuts to success. That is unless we are talking about keyboard shortcuts, and if you are in Chrome, you have got to learn your keyboard shortcuts. Need a new tab? Command T. Need to close a tab? Command W. If you need to get a brand new Google Sheet on the fly? Command L to select a search bar, then literally just type sheets.new. Boom, new spreadsheet.

Great Suspender - Save You Computer Resources!

Weekly Wisdom with Ross Tavendale: Chrome Extensions for SEOs. Image 4

All right, so let's say that you have just put all these plugins into Chrome; you are going to find out very quickly that Chrome is very RAM and resource hungry and your machine is literally just going to ... and slow right down. That is why we need another plugin called the Great Suspender. Now I am not talking about stockings and suspenders; I am talking about a plugin that suspends background actions in all of the non-active tabs so that your browser speeds up and only focuses on the thing you are working on.

So if you are one of those guys that have 100 tabs open at once, you absolutely need this in order to improve the performance of Chrome. Massive shout out to Daniel Cutchard for this one. It is an excellent suggestion.

Link Clump

Now sometimes as an SEO we just need to get data off a page in order to analyze it and start playing around with it. So that's where some basic scraping tools come in really, really handy. So if you want to grab like a cluster of links that are sitting on a page and pull their anchor text and also URL's Link Clump is definitely one you need to use. Essentially just lasso around everything on the page, and it copies it straight onto your clipboard.

Scrape Similar

Weekly Wisdom with Ross Tavendale: Chrome Extensions for SEOs. Image 5

But if you are looking for some more intense scraping, I recommend a plugin called Scrape Similar (9:13). Essentially this works by selecting an element on the page, so let's say you are on Wikipedia, you would select the top line of a table, right-click, and then hit scrape similar, and what it is going to do, it is going to pull the entire table of data out and export to CSV. Amazing for scraping data from tables in Wikipedia.

Xpath

Now whilst we are on the subject of scraping our lead SEO consultant Max Copeland gave a great talk about using custom extraction using Screaming Frog at this year's Brighton SEO.

Now if you want to extract elements from a page, you are going to need to use something called Xpath. And in order to use Xpath, you need to construct Xpath Queries. You could do that manually, or you go to Chrome, inspect element, and then highlight the bit you want to copy out, right-click, and copy as Xpath. That will actually take it out so you can stick it into your crawler and it will start pulling all that stuff off the site for you. No coding needed.

Crystal Knows

And last up, if you are a salesperson, Chris Simmance recommends using Crystal Knows. This is a plugin that actually reads a LinkedIn profile and matches it to an email address to understand a little bit more about the person that you are actually trying to pitch. Now, for us salespeople that is an absolute game changer. And also if you are doing outreach, maybe try it on a couple of journalists.

Share Your Favorites

Now that is everything for this week's Weekly Wisdom. Thank you so much for tuning in. If I have missed a plugin or you have got one that you use all the time, please do mention it in the comments down below. And thank you so much to everyone on Twitter that made all those recommendations. So until next time, we will see you later.

Ross Tavendale
Legend

Getting here is not easy at all!

Ross first business was selling potpourri door to door in a mining village in the west of Scotland. Quickly learning the value of proper market research and understanding the audience he started working for big box agencies where he cut his teeth working on clients like Boots, Etihad and TripAdvisor. He now runs an independent agency Type A Media with his team delivering SEO services and world-class memes to SMEs and FTSE 250 businesses.
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Comments

2000
Helper

An experienced member who is always happy to help.

Thanks for the great info! The right tools can help people get a leg up over the competition, so posts like these are incredibly valuable.
Ross Tavendale
Legend

Getting here is not easy at all!

Alison Ver Halen
Thanks Alison. Glad you found it useful :-)
Newcomer

Either just recently joined or is too shy to say something.

BeaNote allows you take notes off a web page; you can highlight text for example and it'll automatically populate the sidebar pane with it. Basic text formatting also available.
Ross Tavendale
Legend

Getting here is not easy at all!

Alan Benlolo
Love these utilities that can grab text from a page. What else do you use for note taking? I'm currently using Bear App on Mac OS and love it. So clean and it has markdown support. I literally write everything in it - so fast to get things out of your head and onto paper.
Enthusiast

Occasionally takes part in conversations.

Love the list and all of the comments.

A few thoughts / suggestions. Do most people use multiple Google Accounts with Chrome to keep things from getting out of control? E.g. - I have one profile for "work" where I have a lot of these extensions installed but I also have another profile for personal that I keep cleaner (faster). I even go as far as having a completely different browser for most of my "work" stuff. I found Blisk (runs Chromium) to be a fantastic tool for web development and I can keep most of my SEO/Web/Dev extensions there to keep things in one place. (Blisk does require a sub for some features). On the FF side I use the Developer edition for the same purpose (for FF stuff).

Curious how other people handle things? My extension area on Chrome is so big I have about an inch to type in URLs unless I hide them all..... LOL... #DevIssues

A few ideas for extensions I didn't see listed (some SEO, some GA/dev)
- Davinci (Great tool if you are in GA a lot).
- Event Tracking Tracker (if you need to see what's firing and when)
- WASP.Inspector
- Overlay.BI (curious if anyone has any experience with this, I'm just playing around with it right now)

* Bonus tools - not SEO related but if you're like me and have 3 browsers open with 5 windows each, and 100 tabs, OneTab and/or SessionBuddy are a lifesaver.

Love some of the new stuff mentioned here that I wasn't using. SEO Minion.. Sweet!
Ross Tavendale
Legend

Getting here is not easy at all!

Dean Brady
Hey Dean, I run 4 or 5 chrome instances at once with different things in them. I just log in and press "command + ~" to switch between them. Never hear of Blisk - I'll check it out.

Excellent additions to the list - I'll have a look at them overlay.bi looks fascinating.
Newcomer

Either just recently joined or is too shy to say something.

Great list, Thanks for sharing this Ross! My to do list today just got a lot longer...
Newcomer

Either just recently joined or is too shy to say something.

This comment was deleted.
Ross Tavendale
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Getting here is not easy at all!

joneson
Hey Bro, instead of spamming an SEO blog, maybe take some time to learn from it. 😛

No follow blog comments? Are you in a time warp back to the 90s? Are you optimising for Alta Vista? Are you the SEO equivalent of Doc from Back to the Future? Have you been purchasing SEO guides from warrior forum? Are you @craigcampbell in disguise?
C. Alex Velazquez
Expert

Provides valuable insights and adds depth to the conversation.

Ross Tavendale
LOL. Okay. That was pretty funny. ;) Cheers,...
Enthusiast

Occasionally takes part in conversations.

Nick Leroy's chrome plugin for inspecting canonicals is super valuable too. https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/inspect-canonical/glkngfenfpegejlggjfcmdobodjlfann/
Ross Tavendale
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Getting here is not easy at all!

Nikki Gorham
Excellent suggestion, thanks Nikki :-)
Peter Nikolow
Helper

An experienced member who is always happy to help.

Interesting fact - SEO Quake is built from same team from SEMrush.
Ross Tavendale
Legend

Getting here is not easy at all!

Peter Nikolow
Crazy, eh? They are literally powering most of the SEO industry with the tools they make. Prolific developers.
Dawn Anderson
Expert

Provides valuable insights and adds depth to the conversation.

Nice list Ross. 'View background image', 'Extract Phrases People Also Ask' and 'Awesome Screenshot' are ones that I use all the time. Whilst not strictly speaking all SEO extensions they are pretty invaluable to my work in day to day SEO.
Ross Tavendale
Legend

Getting here is not easy at all!

Dawn Anderson
Hey Dawn, Extract Phrases people also ask for is a belter for keyword research. I had no idea there was an extension that helped with that. Thanks for introducing me to it. When I get a new computer is funny how lost I feel until I add all these extensions and widgets.
Rhys Davies
Expert

Provides valuable insights and adds depth to the conversation.

Awesome post & video Ross! Never heard of SEO Minion before, will definitely be checking that out.

I also suggest checking out the following chrome extensions:

- Keywords Everywhere - show keyword volumes literally everywhere
- FatRank - Allows you to quick check rank for a keyword whilst on the website.
- Hunter - Finds the best contact emails for the website/webpage you're on.
- Check My Links - Identifies any broken links on a page.
- Page Insights by Ayima - Highlights no-index tags and other on-page improvements.
Ross Tavendale
Legend

Getting here is not easy at all!

Rhys Davies
Hey Rhys, thanks for the extra suggestions. I love keywords everywhere - absolute killer for on the fly keyword data. Never used FatRank - will have to give that one a go.
Carrie Hill
Helper

An experienced member who is always happy to help.

Wow, Thanks for including my Calendly suggestion. Its a true time-saver for sure! I'm installing Technical SEO extensions as I type this - lots of fun stuff for sure!
Ross Tavendale
Legend

Getting here is not easy at all!

Carrie Hill
Thanks for making the suggestion Carrie. Great to see the SEO community out in full force to help everyone out.
Francesco Baldini
Pro

Asks great questions and provides brilliant answers.

Hi Ross, great list!
I'd also add a few interesting extensions:
- Enhanced Google Analytics Annotations: it tracks (un)confirmed Google updates, bank holidays and other events
- Extractor de entidades: entities extractor, in Spanish but easy to understand
- Color Links: extremely helpful when you analyse SERPs
- Inspect Canonical: check the canonical tag of a page
- Live HTTP Headers: for HTTP headers analysis
- SEO META in 1 CLICK: for a quick overview
- View Rendered Source: pretty clear
Ross Tavendale
Legend

Getting here is not easy at all!

Francesco Baldini
Trying out the Entity Extractor - that's very useful - was looking for something that done that. I imagine the GA annotations are useful too. The amount of times we have seen a sales spike and then realised in the location there was a big commercial holiday. Never used Colour Links either - I'll give it a go :-)
Tristam Jarman
Helper

An experienced member who is always happy to help.

Another great Weekly Wisdom Ross. A lot of these I use but great to see some that I don’t. Downloading them as I type this :) Feel like this post could become a great knowledge source for so many out there...
Ross Tavendale
Legend

Getting here is not easy at all!

Tristam Jarman
Thanks Tristam. I'm always amazed that people have coded so many mental extensions for chrome to increase functionality. I even saw one that does a text replace for mentions of political parties to change it to pictures of cats.
Deepak Mathur
Expert

Provides valuable insights and adds depth to the conversation.

Tag Assistant by Google
Grammarly
Save image as Type
Copy All URLs
Builtwith
Keywords Everywhere
Moz Bar
Alexa Bar
Nimbus Capture for Screenshot or Lightshot
Autofill
Email Extractor
Emmet Re:view - Check responsiveness and breakout
Link Klipper - Extract all links
Page Analytics (by Google)

Add them and make this list more useful
Ross Tavendale
Legend

Getting here is not easy at all!

Deepak Mathur
Excellent suggestions Deepak. I can't believe I missed out page analytics - soooo useful
Enthusiast

Occasionally takes part in conversations.

Thanks Ross, those are awesome!!
Ross Tavendale
Legend

Getting here is not easy at all!

Chris Smith
Thanks for stopping by Chris :-)
Paul Lovell
Pro

Asks great questions and provides brilliant answers.

Oh My God this is great, Thanks so much for this My chrome is now wareing great suspenders!!😂😂
I need to go though this list in more detail, Thanks so much for sharing
Ross Tavendale
Legend

Getting here is not easy at all!

Paul Lovell
Haha saucy! I am amazed at the amount of feedback I got on this one. Got to love Chrome!

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