A basic knowledge of search engine optimization (SEO) is essential for website owners and content curators of all types. You can’t succeed if people can’t find you, and it’s just not feasible to build a business off of paid traffic alone. SEO is a constantly changing thing, requiring new learning and constant tweaks to keep your website current and ranking well. Suffice to say, there are a lot of hoops to jump through to evaluate your site’s level of SEO success. Luckily, there are some shortcuts that are especially helpful for SEO novices or people who want to devote the majority of their time to content creation. Firefox browser plugins are one of those shortcuts; they’re free and easy to use, and help give you a better in-depth understanding of your site at a glance.
Here are six top-ranked Firefox plugins for SEO. I’ve used all of them myself at one point or another, and love the flexibility of using multiple add-ons. Currently, I get the most use out of SEO Quake, NoDoFollow and SEO Doctor. Another helpful one is PageRank, which adds a little box to your toolbar that shows the Google PageRank of every page to which you navigate.
In-depth reports don’t get much easier than WooRank. This plugin generates a report in PDF format that covers over 50 different parameters for your website. Some of the information is the same you’ll get from Analytics, but it also includes such useful tidbits as your social media impact, meta tags, usability, security and more. The one drawback is that the free portion permits users to get one report per week on their website; if you need more than that, you do have to buy a membership plan. If you’re just getting started, a once-a-week report can still offer tremendous insight.
While it’s a little more lightweight than WooRank, SEO Quake still offers in-depth insights in easy-to-read, streamlined reports. It’ll let you know at a glance how many backlinks you have to your site, which pages are indexed by the search engines, and the page rank of every page on your site. It’s 100% free to use as often as you need.
Search engines like to see links, but it’s important to know what kind of link you have or are placing. NoDoFollow is a simple plugin that highlights every link on a page: Green for dofollow, red for nofollow. This can help you identify potential avenues for “link juice” for your site, or make sure you placed the right type of link on your own pages. For instance, if you’re placing affiliate links or anything that’s otherwise paid, it’s important to ensure that the links are nofollow so that neither you nor the affiliated business are penalized by the search engines.
Webrank SEO Toolbar
Sometimes it’s just critical to understand someone else’s site. Maybe they’re your competitor or a similar site that’s ranking much better than you, and you want to know what they’re doing right. Maybe you’d like to request a backlink, but need to make sure the site is worthwhile first. Whatever the case, Webrank SEO Toolbar can give you those insights. This offers insights into keyword density, Google and Alexa ranks, WHOIS information, nofollow links, the number of backlinks that page has and more.
After you set up you website’s SEO – acquire backlinks, optimize your on-page content and so on – you have to know how it’s doing in order to continue improving. SEO Doctor makes it easy to do just that. It takes aspects of current search engine algorithms into account and “grades” each page of your website. Along with each grade are suggestions of how you can improve that page, or what needs to change in order to properly index the page. While the plugin developers do request a donation, you can still get it for free if you don’t have the $2 to devote to future plugin improvements.
Remember that there are literally thousands of SEO-related Firefox plugins. These are just a few suggestions that I’ve personally used and found useful, but your exact needs and preferences may differ. Most plugins are absolutely free, so take some time to look around and experiment with the ones that sound good to you.