Google Chrome plugins are not only important to SEO site analysis, the argument could be made that these plugins are NECESSARY to accurately measure a website’s health and popularity. Please accept the following screen shot of my google chrome toolbar as evidence that I can’t live without chrome SEO plugins:
An SEO website audit is the process of examining a website in order to analyze the health of a website from a search engine’s perspective. Site audits are conducted for two main reasons:
- Site audits conducted on your own website aim to identify your site’s errors and flaws. This process can also help to point out possible improvements, take baseline measurements of site metrics and performance, detect violations of the google webmaster guidelines, and determine the degree of necessity for SEO revisions.
- Site audits conducted on your competitor’s website aim to identify the underlying factors that are boosting or hurting that website’s rankings. Audits of your competitor’s websites are generally much less formal than audits conducted on your own site. I usually conduct this type of audit heuristically and on an as needed basis. The types of information that is uncovered during this type of audit includes competitor’s backlink profiles, website size, AdWords history, calls to actions, and social media presence. By avoiding the mistakes and mimicking the successes of your competitor’s websites, you can ensure your own site’s SEO success.
While it certainly is possible to optimize a website to adhere to Google’s webmaster guidelines without audit plugins/software, an SEO analyst would be doing nothing more than applying the conventional SEO best practices without engaging tactical digital marketing techniques. Although there is often a blurred line between the terms “SEO practices” and “digital marketing techniques,” one thing is for sure- when a company hires an SEO consultant such as Diamond Pillar, they are doing so because they believe it to be a profitable venture in the long term. It should therefore be standard for SEO firms to conduct technical site audits with the intention of optimizing both SEO and digital marketing practices. In my opinion, browser extensions (or SAAS substitutions) have become a necessary part of this process.
The Alexa traffic rank google chrome plugin is an official plugin of Alexa Internet, Inc which has recently come under the ownership of Amazon. Alexa is a highly reliable traffic estimation system the is able to provide you with decently accurate data regarding the worldwide rankings of individual websites.
Passive display: A number based ranking of the website you are currently viewing
Action on click: Clicking the alexa toolbar icon will open the free version of the alexa traffic statistics for the website you are currently browsing in a new window. Information listed on this page includes a graphical display of the website’s popularity over the past 90 days, global and national rankings, audience geography by country, estimated bounce rate, pageviews per visitor, average time spent on site, percentage of audience acquired from search, top keywords, upstream sites, total # of sites linking in, 5 sample backlinks, 5 top related sites, subdomains, page load, site description, demographics, and a few more minor statistics.
The MozBar is a free chrome browser extension provided by Moz, Inc. Moz bar has become so overwhelmingly popular within the SEO community that it is approaching an industry standard for benchmarking. Although the metrics displayed by MozBar are known to achieve variable accuracy, the algorithm behind the plugin generally produces fairly accurate domain metrics that are useful for a quick and dirty domain analysis.
Passive Display: A toolbar displaying Domain Authority (out of 100) and Page Authority (also out of 100). These metrics appear to be generated from a core algorithm that is very similar to the initial PageRank algorithm with a few updated tweaks here and there.
Action on Click: Clicking the MozBar Page analysis tool opens a dropdown display from the MozBar that contains various metrics related to conventional SEO that is obtained by crawling the page then organized in a easy to read format. The metrics that can be accessed from this menu include On-Page html elements (page title, meta description, keywords, h1’s, etc.), general page attributes (meta robots, rel=”canonical”, page load time, ip address, etc.), Markup analysis (Schema.org, open graph protocol, twitter cards, and microformats), as well as the http status of the current webpage.
This is my single favorite plugin from my SEO repertoire. SEOQuake is a free plugin provided by SEMRush Inc. This plugin allows you to review a large number of SEO parameters for the current website that you are browsing. One reason that I really like this plugin is because it contains useful metrics that have been gathered from a variety of reputable sources. A few if the metrics that are displayed by SEOQuake include: # of pages that google has indexed for the current website, estimated backlink numbers, yahoo indexed pages, bing indexed pages, alexa rank, date of original webarchive indexation, SEMRush rank, SEMRush estimated traffic, baidu link, complete rank, adversising estimates, estimated website traffic.
Passive Display: Just the SQ logo. Stil brings a smile to my face.
Action on Click: Magic. A well organized display of highly reliable metrics gathered from APIs across the land are displayed at the click of a button. If I was put on a desert island and I could only take one plugin with me, it would undoubtedly be this one.
Wappalyzer is is awesome plugin that does vudo-magic that is capable of determining the web technologies that a website is currently employing. It is a fully open-source, platform independent utility and is currently capable of identifying 1,010 different web technologies. Wappalyzer can identigy content menagement systems, ecommerce platforms, web frameworks, server software, analytics tools, and advertising networks, cache tools, and many many more.
Passive Display: An icon representing the core coding platform that has been detected for the current site. For example, on this site Wappalyzer displays the wordpress icon:
If you were to navigate to gmail.com the icon would change to the OpenGSE webserver:
Action on Click: Once again, magic. Clicking on the wappalyzer icon produces a dropdown listing of the technologies that are being deployed by the website that you are currently browsing. The only downfall to this plugin is that the ever-changing wappalyzer icon can be difficult to spot in the toolbar if you are using a large number of plugins. You just never know what technology logo the wappalyzer icon is going to be disguising ittself as since it could be any of over 1,000. Fortunately, 25% of the web is powered by wordpress so you can hedge your bets it will be displaying a big “W”
The Ahrefs SEO toolbar brings the following website statistics to your fingertips: Url raing, domain rating, Ahrefs estimated number of backlinks (generally one of the more accurate estimates), number of referring domains, social metrics for google+, FB, and twitter. Interestingly, the ahrefs toolbar is not available through the chrome web store but rather must be downloaded directly from the ahrefs website. Presumably this is a strategic attempt to acquire backlinks directly to their money site rather than to a listing on the chrome web store- nice going ahrefs!
Passive Display: A toolbar with all of the metrics described above.
Action on Click: The free version of this plugin redirects you to the ahrefs website where detailed information regarding the domain of interest is displayed in an array of charts. The paid version enables all information to be displayed directly from the toolbar. Ahrefs is well known to be one of the more accurate tools for identifying the number of backlinks for a given site. The ahrefs dashboard displays the numberical information from the toolbar in graphical form as well as a large amount of additional domain information. Domain statistics that can be found within the ahrefs dashboard includes a comprehensive backlink profile (ahrefs site rank, referring domains, referring pages, new and lost referring domains, new and lost backlinks, CTLDs distribution, anchor cloud, link types, and more), organic search overview (estimated organic traffic, organic keyworkds, uers acquisition by country, top competitors, top 5 organic keywords, most popular website pages, ranking position heatmap, and more), paid search overview, and extended backlink profile for individual site pages.
6. Similar Web
The SimilarWeb – site traffic sources and rankings plugin is provided by SimilarWeb LTD and is used to see estimated website visitor statistics including engagement, traffic sources, site ranking, and omre.
Passive Display: The similarweb icon in either a grayed out or full color version, depending on how the plugin is feeling at the time.
Action on click: But first, action on hover: displays similarweb estimated website global ranking. On click, a dropdown displays statistics similar to those that can be found in google analytics (excluding real-time stats). The information is even split up in a comparable fashion to google analytics. Sections of information includes domain overview, acquisition sources, geographic location of site users, referral sources, top organic keywords, social acquisition sources, ad networds utilized, sites often visited by ahrefs visitors, and of course, similar sites.
I use this plugin as an shortcut to displaying the ICANN Whois listing for websites.
Passive Display: The icon changes to the flag of the country that the websites nameservers are located in and displays a website popularity grading metric similar to the retired pagerank system (scale of – to 10).
Action on Click: A drop down menu displaying a quick access button to bring up the whois information listing from myip.ms along with a host of server level website stats including: daily visitors, ip address, location, host, hosting owner, other sites on IP, nameservers, contact email, and alexa traffic graph.
There are obviously many many more plugins that are excellent for SEO, but the above list of plugins are the ones that I currently find to be the most useful. If you are looking for Pittsburgh seo services, please contact us using our contact form. If you feel that I missed a obviously awesome SEO plugin let me know in the comments and maybe I’ll mention it in a future post.