Best Chrome Extensions to Help Improve Technical SEO Tasks
By Matthew Edgar · Last Updated: January 02, 2024
There are many extensions you can add to Google Chrome that will make technical SEO tasks easier. This article reviews the extensions I use every day analyzing websites. These are my top recommendations for the extensions that help the most with technical SEO. Do you have other suggestions? Contact me to let me know.
Meta SEO Inspector
There are many questions to ask during an SEO audit about all the different tags used on a website. Questions include: What is the page’s canonical tag? Title tag? Meta description tag? Does the page use headers correctly? Are social tags defined? Do all the images have alt text? Do all links use appropriate anchor text?
All of these questions, and more, can be answered with the META SEO inspector Chrome extension. After installing the extension, load a webpage then click the lightbulb icon in the extension tray. This extension includes multiple sections of information about the page. The most helpful sections to review are:
- Common: Provides an overview of basic tags, including the canonical, title and meta description tag.
- Mobile: Indicates if there are any problems with the website’s configuration for mobile devices
- Markup: Shows page headers, anchor text on all links, and alt text on images.
You can also review this information in crawl tools or as part of a manual review. However, I’ve found this extension to be a helpful and quick way to assess what is happening on the page. If problems are found here, then I know it makes sense to open the crawl tool or start reviewing the code manually.
As just one example, this extension can help identify hidden content. Hidden content can look deceptive if there isn’t an obvious way for visitors to unhide it. Also, it adds extra code to the website that will add to the overall page weight and can contribute to slower speeds. You can disable CSS using the Web Developer extension and find hidden content. The image below shows how simple this is. Click on the extension icon, go to the CSS tab, and click “Disable All Styles”. Then, scroll through the page to see what content is present that wasn’t there before.
View Rendered Source
One of the best ways to compare server-side code and client-side code is with the View Rendered Source Chrome Extension. After clicking on the extension, a new tab will load showing the server-side code (called Raw), the client-side code (called Rendered), and a comparison between the two. Scrolling through the comparison is helpful to spot what content only exists in the client-side code and may be challenging for Google to crawl.
Redirects are the source of many technical SEO problems. They can create bot traps or slow bots down during a crawl. Redirects can also slow the website for visitors. They can impact website accessibility. Problems like redirect chains or loops may hinder search engine crawlers’ ability to index content efficiently.
Avoiding problems starts with understanding how each redirect works. Understanding redirects is easier when you can see all the hops in the redirect path. You need to quickly know where the redirect started, where it ends, and if the redirect goes through other URLs along the way.
An easy way to understand a redirect is with the Redirect Path Chrome Extension. After installing the extension, load a URL that redirects or click a link that redirects. The extension will track all the redirect hops, like the example image below. If you find any problems, refer to my redirect guide to understand how to fix redirect issues.
Diagnosing Core Web Vitals issues can be tricky. For example, for CLS, you need to know what element is shifting. For LCP, you need to know what element is the largest on the page. For INP, you need to know how quickly the website responds to interactions. (Not sure what the metrics are? Learn more about Core Web Vitals.)
The Web Vitals Chrome Extension can help gather the information you need to understand each metric and diagnose problems. After installing the extension, open Chrome DevTools (right click and inspect or press F12) and then go to the Console tab. Reload the page and data about Web Vitals will appear. Expanding the information in Console will tell you what the LCP element is, what element is shifting, and provide details about why the speed may be slower. This is shown on the right side of the image below.
This extension is especially helpful for diagnosing and understanding INP. Leave Console open as you interact with the page, and the data will show you how quickly the website responded to the interaction. It will also break down if the problems are with the input delay, processing time, or presentation delay.
You can also click on the extension icon in the extension tray at the top of the browser to view a summary of the Core Web Vitals metrics for the page. Along with showing the data observed during your current session, this will compare each metric to field data (what you see in PageSpeed Insights). That is pictured on the right side of the image below.
Accessibility Insights for Web
While accessibility is not a direct SEO ranking factor, it does indirectly influence SEO. Many of the techniques used to make a website more accessible will also make the website easier to crawl. When conducting an SEO audit, it is helpful to review the website’s accessibility to help identify potential problems Googlebot may encounter.
The Accessibility Insights for Web extension offers a wealth of tools and information about a website’s accessibility. It provides automated checks for some accessibility issues and guides you through a checklist to manually review other issues. These assessments include reviewing landmarks used on the page, headings within the text, and information about the links on the page—all of which directly and indirectly change how Google crawls the website.
Along with the assessments, Accessibility Insights also provides Ad Hoc tools. These tools can highlight page headings, tab stops, change the page colors and more. One of the more helpful tools provided reveals the accessible names of each element.
Some of those names are obvious and presented on the page. Others are hidden in the code—only visitors using assistive technology and Googlebot will see them. By reviewing accessible names on a page, you can make sure Google is seeing each element’s name correctly (and make sure nothing sneaky is going on).
How you fix technical SEO issues will vary depending on how the website is built. If you are working in-house, you probably know how your website is constructed. If you are auditing a new website, the BuiltWith Chrome Extension can help.
You can view this on BuiltWith’s website too but this extension saves you a step and shows you this information as you browse a website.
Google uses different crawlers to access a website. You need to make sure that each crawler sees your website correctly. If a crawler does not see your website correctly, that could cause a page to not be indexed and that page may not rank in search results.
To figure out how each crawler sees your website, you want to load your website as that crawler. This can be done by changing your browser’s user agent. The user agent is, essentially, the name of the crawler.
One of the easiest ways to change your user agent is with the UA Spoofer Chrome extension. After installing, right click the extension and select options. You can then enter the different Googlebot user agents, which you can find listed on Google’s website. The screenshot below shows each of these steps. After adding the user agents, go up to the UA spoofer extension and left click on the icon. You will now see Googlebot listed and now you can toggle from one Googlebot user agent to the next before loading the website. After loading the website as that user agent, see if you can spot any differences between Google’s view versus a regular browser view. Those differences might include missing text or added text. If you do spot differences, that might indicate problems for your website’s SEO performance.
Save Image As Type
You need to review images when conducting an SEO audit. There are many parts of image SEO to review. One of the more important things to check, though, is if the image is saved in the right format. If an image is presented as a PNG, there may be opportunities to speed up the website by presenting that image as a WebP or JPG file.
One way to review these different file types is with the Save image as Type Chrome extension. Once added, you’ll see a new item the next time you right click on an image. You’ll be able to save that image as a JPG, PNG or WebP file. Save the image as each type to your local computer and then compare the file size and image quality.
There are other tools available too, like Squoosh.app, that can help with this assessment, but I find having this available within the browser is handy for a quick assessment.
Open Multiple URLs
As part of auditing a website, you need to open lots of URLs at one time. Instead of opening URLs one by one, you can make this process easier with the Open Multiple URLs Chrome extension. This extension allows you to paste in a list of URLs and then open them all up at once.
There are other extensions like this. However, I like this extension more than others because it will extract URLs from any text you paste into it. For example, I often paste in a bunch of HTML code that includes links alongside all other kinds of tags. Clicking “Extract URLs from text” in this extension will remove the excess tags and leave only the links.
The one thing that the Open Multiple URLs extension does not let you do is run bulk Google search queries. However, as part of an audit you usually want to check multiple queries at one time. The OpenList Chrome extension will let you do exactly that. Simply paste in the search terms, as shown in the following screenshot, and click Open, new tabs will open conducting those searches.