Search engine optimisation in 2021 is a resource-intensive business task. To do it properly, you need to invest time or money. Therefore, tools and software that help speed up the SEO process are always welcome. If we can shave a few minutes from our processes, the accumulated time saved adds up to many hours over the course of a month. Fully-fledged software solutions like Ahrefs and SEMrush help with technical website SEO or keyword research and are popular with everyone from top-level marketers to small business owners. But there are other tools that can help us with SEO, many of which are free.
Think about where we spend most of our time online? We work on our websites, edit content, and run tests and experiments in our browsers. And for the majority of people, that browser is Chrome.
These awesome Google Chrome extensions can make your day easier thanks to their accessibility and depth of features. Some SEO extensions are like full software suites and might be all you need. Many help you improve your SEO for free. One thing's for sure, they’ll save you time and help you avoid costly errors, while making your job easier on a day-to-day basis. If you’re looking to get the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to free SEO tools, Chrome extensions are a great place to start. In this post, I’ll show you the extensions I use to optimize my businesses and the websites of my clients.
I’m always on the lookout for new SEO Chrome extensions and there are so many useful add-ons that it can be difficult to remember them all. Bookmark this list as it’s updated regularly.
By the way, I use Microsoft’s Edge browser instead of the Google Chrome browser. Why? Because Chrome is a huge resource hog and slows down my powerful Mac to a crawl. Edge, on the other hand, is faster, looks better, and works just as well. It’s built on the Chromium open-source browser project.
Nightwatch is a 100% free tool is great for checking the SERP in any country. Add in a URL and check where it appears on Google in any country for the selected keyword. It’s easy to use, super fast, and 100% free.
Simple and straightforward. A must have.
Textoptimizer is great for discovering how search engines see your content based on the words used. It helps you decide on the topics, keywords, or concepts to include in order to match expectations.
TextOptimizer is what’s called a semantic SEO tool. It looks to Google and tries to decipher the intent and context of a user’s search query. It then suggests improvements to a post or page based on semantic analysis of the current content. You can use this SEO tool to do preliminary checks on keyword density too.
GSC: URL Performance Report Deeplink
This simple tool which does nothing other than open Google Search Console at the exact URL you want to view a report on, is a huge timesaver.
Before this extension existed, I had to open GSC, navigate to the right website property, click around and enter some text to filter for the web page I was working on. Now, with the URL Performance Report Deeplink, you can click once and get the right Search Console page open in the blink of an eye. Simple but brilliant.
Page Analytics by Google
Quickly see key metrics in Google Analytics with this simple plugin. Metrics appear at the top of the screen and include Pageviews, time on page, Bounce Rate, and Number of active visitors in real time. You also get a useful report called In-page click analysis, which shows you where users click, sort of like a heat map. This free extension is a hidden gem.
Detailed SEO Extension
This is a cool tool by one of the word’s best SEOs, Glenn Alsopp.
Visit any website and click the Detailed icon in the toolbar and you’ll get a multi-tab drop down that gives you information about the page such as the meta description tags, canonical tag, word count, headings, internal and external links, images (with and without alt tags), detailed structured data and schema data, and social media Open Graph (OG) tags. You also get a list of the top SEO tools pre-loaded with the URL you’re testing. A brilliant on-page SEO chrome extension. If you're looking for one tool to do SEO in the browser, this might be it.
A very similar alternative to Detailed is called SEO Minion and I recommend you give that a try to see how you like it.
Moz SEO Toolbar
Moz is one of the internets original SEO companies and while many pretenders to the throne of “best SEO tool” have come and gone, Moz Pro still ranks up there. The company even invented the Domain Authority and Page Authority metrics that pretty much every other tool uses or references.
Moz created a genre and have tons of experience and data. That’s why the Moz SEO toolbar is a mine of information for anyone researching competitors in the SERPs. Just install the extension and get real-time metrics on every URL in search engine results.
The toolbar inserts the Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA) metrics as well as the number of referring links into the search results page so you can quickly see how competitive the space is based on the search keyword.
You need an account with Moz but it’s free to register. The premium version gives you keyword difficulty scores.
SEO Tool Extension: Meta + SEO Checker by SEO Scout
SEO Scout started life as an AB testing tool but has now expanded to a full SEO suite. The free SEO tool extension is similar to the Detailed offering but you get some extra SEO metrics and analysis tools.
The first tab is called SEO stats and shows the links to a page, links to the domain, the number of ranking keywords, organic traffic estimations, and the organic traffic value. This analysis comes from SEMrush.
The other tabs include on-page analysis, SERP preview generator, a keyword suggestion tool, and links to SEMrush, Moz, Majestic, Google’s Pagespeed insights, Siteliner, and other useful websites.
Hard to believe, but this incredibly useful tool was once totally free to use. Once it became super popular and expensive to maintain, the developers started to charge for use of the product. It’s possible this was the plan all along, but in any case, this extension delivers a ton of value and couldn’t be easier to use.
Install the extension and do a search in Google. Keywords Everywhere will show search volume, Cost Per Click (CPC) values, trend graphs and estimated difficulty scores. It will also display related searches and “people also ask” data, all with the corresponding keyword metrics. SEOs, marketers and bloggers can use this information to generate tons of ideas content marketing campaigns for a few dollars a month.
What's My SERP
With the gap in the market left by Keywords Everywhere’s decision to charge for the tool, What's My SERP has stepped in and offered a similar tool for free.
It’s not yet as good as it’s predecessor but the developers are constantly updating and adding features. One differentiator is the ability to track keywords and check the SERPs (much like the Nightwatch extension) to see where websites rank for certain keywords. This feature is browser-based but I can imagine it will soon be integrated into the extension.
You can’t search global keyword trends (like Keywords Everywhere) but the country-wide data is very good. The target keyword’s search volume and CPC appear in the search bar. Related Keywords and People Also Searched For terms are listed to the right side of the search results.
A promising tool that’s worth keeping an eye on.
YouTube is a massive search engine. People use it to get answers, be entertained, learn new things, watch movies, and do research, among other things. As the second most used search engine in the world, the volume of traffic is staggering. The future is video so most marketers and SEOs are starting to put more of a focus on this channel. One of the best tools for analysing and optimising YouTube videos and channels is TubeBuddy.
Manage annotations and cards, create thumbnails, view video SEO stats, bulk process changes, edits, and updates, auto translate, track keywords ranking, get brand alerts, and a lot more. It’s a YouTube SEO ninja tool.
You can use TubeBuddy for free but it’s worth upgrading to a plan to get the most out of TubeBuddy. The Pro Plan costs $9 per month and the highest plan, Legend, is priced at $49 per month (cheaper if paid yearly) and gets you video A/B testing, competitors analysis, and other pro YouTuber tools.
VidIQ is like TubeBuddy but offers more features and insights. Both tools have incredibly good video analysis tools but VidIQ offers more statistical details. If you enjoy statistics-based research and really want to crack the code on what’s working, VidIQ will help you get there.
TubeBuddy lets you compare your channel against competitors’ channels while VidIQ lets you compare a video against a competitor’s channel average.
In the end, it comes down to your own preferences for workflow and user interface choice. I like both tools and use them side by side. For beginners in the YouTube SEO space, this might be a bit overkill as the amount of data presented can be overwhelming and can clutter the screen, but it’s worth testing each extension to see what kind of results each offer. Try the paid and free versions of each and if you need a subscription to either product.
VidIQ’s basic plan is free. There are three other paid plans, Pro ($7.50), Boost ($39), and Boost+ ($415).
The Pro Plan gives you more extensive SEO title & description research tools, historical data, trending video data, and more.
If you’re serious about YouTube SEO, this is a great plugin for your browser.
If you build backlinks and create relationships with other bloggers and websites (which you should be doing), then you need a tool like Hunter.io.
Hunter finds relevant email addresses from any website you visit and makes it easy to find and organise the email leads the tool discovers. Add leads to campaign with a click of the mouse and then either export the leads or build email marketing campaigns using Hunter’s free cold email campaigns software.
A brilliant tool that every marketer and SEO should use.
Looking for insights on social media shares for a blog post or website? Want to know how many times a post was pinned on Pinterest? If you want this information at the click of a button as well as Reddit engagement insights, backlink stats, and author info, get Buzzsumo’s free Chrome Extension
Link Redirect Trace
Use this extension to check the full path of an URL and to check for errors, redirect chains, and other problems. Over time, broken links begin to appear, links get redirected or changed, and this tool helps you perform quick technical SEO checks on important URLs on your site or your competitors’ websites. I use this free extension on a regular basis to check my links for problems. It can also be used for link building (broken link building outreach) on competitor and partner websites.
Copy.ai is one of my favourite tools at the moment. It’s possibly the ultimate brainstorming tool. Here’s why.
Let’s say you’re working on optimising a headline or meta tags for a blog post and you’re struggling to come up with ideas. Click the Copy.ai icon in your Chrome taskbar, fill out some fields, and voilá: tons of headline, blog intro, and microcopy ideas. Many of the suggested results are perfectly fine to use, especially when it comes to copy for Facebook and Instagram. If you’re in the middle of writing a sales email and can’t think of a headline, you’ve got your own GPT-3 AI assistant to help out. Works great with e-commerce product descriptions, Google Ads, and Facebook Ads too.
As a content marketer, I love analyzing the best SEO tools. These plugins help me to speed up my SEO workflow and get more done in less time. Try them out and find new ways to improve your workflow.