The best way to use these tools is to… well… use them! Then, as you are examining the data points, question the data and do your own research into their meaning. But even before that, make sure to have some clear objectives in mind that lead to a specific result. You will also want to check out the 10 common SEO mistakes that can destroy your website.
The first thing you may notice as you navigate to various web sites with this Google Chrome extension installed is a small green box with a number inside, this is the current Google PageRank of the website you are viewing. When you click the plugin’s icon in the toolbar you get a drop down with the following categories: External Page Data, Page Elements, Social Media, Page Terms / Tools, Server / Domain Info and Suggestions. Let’s go through each in turn.
External Page Data
In this section, you can get a quick overview of a web site’s overall performance. Google, Bing, Yahoo Site Explorer, Alexa Data, Quantcast, SeoMoz Linkscape, DMOZ Directory, Majestic SEO and SEM Rush information is at your fingertips. Clicking on any of the data elements takes you to the source web page for that data.
If you need technical information regarding a particular web page, this section delivers. Using the information here, you can determine how to modify the HTML and content to better optimize your page for targeted keywords.
If you are new to on-site SEO, you will want to review this resource (PDF link) to best understand how to use this wealth of information to your advantage. Then keep this cheat sheet handy for the web development aspect.
The Page Elements section is also useful for determining whether you should pursue the web site for a link back to your web site by examining the no-follow information.
For HTML and CSS purists, there is built-in HTML and CSS validation.
The data provided here does not go too deep, but nonetheless you can get a quick snapshot that provides the basic social media exposure of a website.
If you are analyzing your own web pages with this Google Chrome extension, do not take the advice the program gives you when you are not found in a particular network such as Reddit. In general, you don’t want to submit your own site to a social media web site yourself. Instead, make it easy for your readers to do so by creating great content.
Page Terms / Tools
This section is still in development and you will want to check out the developers website to monitor changes. In short, this section helps you with keyword research functions.
There are also a few miscellaneous tools in this section that I suspect will end up in their own category over time. For example, you can test the loading time and examine the ramifications of your web site’s page size in terms of number of viewers able to view your web site correctly.
DNS, WhoIS, server type, IP address, XML sitemap and robots.txt information can be viewed here along with the information on record for the domain’s owner.
The author of the plugin has some SEO enhancement suggestions in this section that are useful for some quick web site changes you may have overlooked.
The approach with this plugin is to display all of the data on one simple page for a quick understanding of the overall SEO status of a particular web page. The data is split into the following sections: Pages Indexed, Backlinks, Traffic and Rank, Bookmarks, Cached, On Site and Domain Details. Following is a quick rundown of each section.
At a glance, you can view how many web pages these search engines indexed: Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask and MajesticSEO. If you click show more you get a few more options, but as of this writing they are not active. Clicking on any of the links takes you to the source data.
Here is a list of sources that show how many web sites are linking into the web page. You can view the source of the data by clicking on the links and if you click show more you will find a few more data sources.
Traffic and Rank
Here is a list of sites that rank web pages by some algorithm that is normally proprietary. These data points are useful to get a quick overview of the general popularity of a web site and its trend. For Alexa and Quancast, a graph is also available for a quick visual interpretation.
Only Delicious and Digg are integrated at the time of this writing, DMOZ and StumbleUpon are coming soon.
These links are useful if you need to find an older version of the web site.
Here is where you find the robots.txt and sitemap.xml files.
Domain and server details are here along with a link to the web site’s Whois information.
The tab with the key symbol integrates with Google’s keyword tool to help you with keyword research; however, the service is still in alpha so you may want to cross check your results.
There is also a check mark at the bottom of the plugin window, that when clicked, shows you the do-follow status of the links on the web page.
Some of the data you will find in Chrome SEO is also found in SEO Site Tools and vice versa; however, they differ enough that you will find value in using both of these tools in tandem. I personally prefer to use Chrome SEO for quick overviews of a site, and SEO Site Tools if I need to go deeper.
Do you have any experience with these tools? What tools to you use to monitor SEO in Google Chrome?