This post was originally published on State of Digital.
Tools can come in all different type of formats including desktop applications, online software, Excel tools, or even browser plugins.
In my last post I covered 17 tools that would help you with Technical SEO. Within the comments a few people mentioned some plugins that they felt warranted beig in the list. As I was concentrating on the desktop applications at the time I didn’t add any plugins, but today is the day for them!
I am an avid user of Chrome. I know there are a large number of people that don’t like Chrome, they feel we are providing Google with more and more infomation about who we are. But I like it, as do 50% of those using tablet and console browsers according to StatCounter.
In this post I have provided you with the plugins that I use on a daily basis to ensure that I remain focussed, efficient and productive.
I have split the plugins into the following categories, so feel free to navigate through.
When I am trying to get in the zone this plugin comes in handy. Allowing me to block access to websites such as Twitter, BBC Sport and of course State of Digital during certain times of the day reminds me that I have a job to do and a deadline to hit.
Within the settings you can list the websites that you want to block, and the times that you want to restrict access. You are able to do this either individual or provide a blanket restriction across the entire list.
I generally go for specific time periods before and after lunch, but you need to find out what works for you.
A tool that I have been using more and more recently to ensure that all my meetings are as efficient and productive as possible.
The tool itself allows you to create and share a meeting agenda, write public and private notes during the meeting, whilst keeping a record of the actions and open items. You can also share the agenda before hand so that all of those that are in the meeting can add to the notes.
Once you sign-up for Worklife, you can use the plugin to automatically open your next meeting in a new tab. Although a simple feature, it ensures that you use it in the correct way.
3. Moz Bar
The updated Moz bar is far better than the original, but there is still a way to go with usability in my opinion.
Moz provides you with a very quick snapshot of the website that you are looking at including:
- On-page Elements
- General Attributes
- Link Metrics
- HTTP Status
It continues to show you Page and Domain Authority within the bar, whilst it now shows DA when the bar is not showing which can be helpful.
4. SEO Serp
When you are wanting to check a handful of rankings very quickly, then this is the plugin for you.
From anywhere, you can select the search engine, add your keyword and website and SEO Serp will go and find the current ranking. It will also provide you with a list of the current top 10.
This will not replace your ranking software, but if you are in a meeting and looking for a specific keyword ranking position, then SEO Serp will provide it very quickly.
Scrape similar has saved me so much time over the years, by allowing me to scrape specific content on the fly.
Whether it be the listings for a search term, every H1 on a specific page or a list of products from a competitor site, Scrape similar can do it all.
The only slight downside is that you need to know XPath to get the most out of it, but we are all techical here right? Alternatively, you can right click on the code that you looking to gather and copy the XPath into scrape similar.
All the data that you gather can be exported to a Google Docs spreadsheet before you manipulate it as you see fit.
6. Ayima Redirect Path
Before this tool came out, I was struggling to identify redirect loops and hops on the fly. Since then, this plugin has been one of the main plugins within my toolbar.
Each time you go to a website, the redirect tool will determine the status code of the page, but more importantly if it has gone through any redirects. If it has identified a number of redirects, then it will list the path that has been taken allowing you to investigate further.
7. Web Developer Toolbar
I have been using this tool for years, and is one that I find extremely useful.
One thing to note, if you do use the plugin and change some of the settings, ensure that you reset them when you are finished otherwise you may find every website you visit to be broken in some way.
8. Check My Links
This tool is a bit like Ronseal, it does exactly what it says on the tin.
When clicking on the plugin it will start to analyse all of the links on the current page and provide you with a green or red light based on the number of complete or broken links.
Similar to BuiltWith, Wappalyzer will analyse the website you are looking at provide you with some core information on the go.
Whether you are trying to determine the CMS, the server type, what analytics package they are using or if they are using marketing automation, Wappalyzer can do this and quickly.
I mainly use this to determine technical items such as what CMS is being used, what server type so I can better understand the configuration and whether they are using some type of framework.
I’m a big of aHrefs and what they are doing with their product, so bringing it into a plugin is great.
The aHrefs toolbar is one that I open specifically when I am analysing link data for a specific website. At a quick glance the toolbar provides both page and root domain link data alongside some social metrics.
If you are logged into aHrefs then you can get more data about the specific domain such as:
– Referring IPs
– Domain overview
– On-page Elements
Analytics & Tag Manager
11. Tag Assistant
Anyone using GA and/or Tag Manager, this is a great plugin. It provides you at a glance any issues that you may have with your implementation, as well as what tags are being fired through GTM.
When analysing GA or Tag Manager, I use this plugin alongside Google Analytics Debug to enable me to pinpoint any issues.
Lots of plugins, so little time…
These are the ones that I use daily, and I am sure that there are more that you can share with me below. However, if you can only have five from the above I recommend the following:
- Ayima Redirect Tool
- Tag Assistant
Well that’s it! What do you think, any that you would add? Look forward to reading your comments below or over on twitter @danielbianchini.
[Featured image: Sean MacEntee]