SEO is a data-driven endeavor. Given the mysterious black-box nature of search engine algorithms, SEO is much like a science. We formulate hypotheses and design experiments, gathering data in the hope that we can plot a path through the algorithmic mists and discover the strategies that will help our clients find their proper place in the SERPs.
Of course, we know a great deal about what strategies are effective in broad strokes, but the map is not the territory, and finding the right combination of factors to lift a particular site depends on a large number of industry, niche, and context specific considerations that are in constant flux.
We need data. Our client’s niches are our field of study, the browser our lab, and often our field tools are browser extensions. We’re going to have a look a some of the best SEO extensions for for both Google Chrome and Firefox that will help you gather the information you need. These tools aren’t going to replace dedicated services and applications like WebCEO, but for casual work by SEO professionals, web designers, and webmasters, they come in very handy.
Internet Explorer has improved considerably in recent years, but its still not popular among the technically inclined, so we won’t be including it here, but, if you think there are IE-based tools, or any others that we’ve missed, feel free to give them a shout out in the comments.
For Google Chrome (and Chromium)
SEO Site Tools is a comprehensive package that can pull in data from a variety of sources, including PageRank, page and domain authority, page links, and social media information, as well as validate HTML and CSS, and offer a variety of suggestions for improving on page SEO.
SEO SERP is a simpler tool than SEO Site Tools, allowing users to quickly ascertain the SERP position of pages given a particular keyword.
Mozbar is a very useful tool for collecting a variety of relevant metrics, including backlinks, page authority, and mozRank, among others. It can also help with analyzing SERPs and gives quick and convenient access to other SEOmoz tools.
SEOquake is another great tool for gathering a cornucopia of useful SEO metrics.
Sorezki also helps gather SEO data, and customizes SERP pages, enabling various helpful actions on the results page itself, including international searches. Sorezki will also offer recommendations for improvements to pages.
As its name suggests, Check My Links does one thing, and does it well, checking the pages you point it at for broken links.
Search Status is one of the most popular SEO extensions for Firefox, helping to gather all the expected information, including keyword density analysis, PageRank, and highlighting of nofollow links.
This is the Firefox version of the SEO Quake tool we looked at above.
Firebug is more of a developer tool than one specifically designed for SEO, but it’s great for checking that a site’s naviagation and code is crawler friendly.
About Daniel Page — Daniel is the Director of Business Developement for ASEOhosting, a leading provider in SEO hosting and multiple IP hosting. Follow ASEOhosting on Twitter at @aseohosting, Like them on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/aseohosting, and check out all the services they offer on http://www.aseohosting.com/