When you’re just starting out with your online marketing efforts, you need to hustle like crazy to get your product and content in front of the right people, including your audience. That’s why, especially in the beginning of your website’s lifetime, you’ll need to mimic your competitors.
Think about it. Pretty much any niche in the internet is saturated now. And for most new websites, even one competitor that does proper SEO is a death sentence. But fear not—you can analyze your competition, do a better job, and end up on top.
Having a heavy load tool where you can find tons of data is great and will help you out a lot. But most often you need to check things on the go. That’s where you can rely on an SEO browser toolbar.
9 Most Commonly Used SEO Toolbars
- Open SEO Stats
- Ahrefs SEO Toolbar
- SEO Site Tools
- Alexa Toolbar
- SEO & Website Analysis
There are a wide variety of SEO toolbars to choose from, but for your browser to work fast and smooth, you probably will need to limit yourself to one or two extensions at a time. So let’s dive right in and see which of them deserve your attention.
This toolset collects and shows you open data about a website you’re on. It looks a bit outdated, yet you can get a general idea from it about the state of a website.
As a website owner, you can check out the kind of links there are on a website, the site’s approximate page load speed, regular on-page SEO info, and some traffic stats.
But upon testing, I noticed that quite a few of the metrics of Open SEO Stats are off. For example, the toolbar shows incorrect pagespeed and Alexa’s traffic stats, which aren’t as accurate as, say, SimilarWeb’s.
Ahrefs is well known for its huge index size and a super fast crawler that sometimes finds links even faster than Google itself. With this toolbar, you get fast access to this exclusive data.
To use it, you need to have an Ahrefs account (which can be a free trial).
The most beneficial ways to use Ahrefs SEO Toolbar are for competitive analysis and for link building.
You can see the rank of a domain, a page, what pages backlink to this post or website, etc.
With this bar, you also get information under each URL on the SERP. This way you can quickly check who ranks for needed keywords and if you can outrank them, depending on their domain ranking and page ranking.
The bar itself is fully customizable. You can choose which metrics to show and which to hide.
And if you need more data of any kind, just click on any number and you’ll be redirected to the Ahrefs interface with full reports on backlinks, keywords, referring domains, etc.
As of January 11th 2017, this toolbar was updated last in 2011, which isn’t a good sign in the dynamic world of SEO.
When it was created, it was probably an awesome tool. And it still has some competitive and nice features even compared to younger opponents.
With this toolbar, you can check the on-page optimization elements, see the rankings according to several indexes, and use links to WhoIs services to find out who owns the website.
But many features, such as the social media tab, didn’t work once for me. Also, I found several broken links in the tool itself. So there is an expiration date on web products after all.
Alexa is also one of the older players in the SEO toolbars world. Yet some still refer to Alexa ranking as an important metric for a website. However, at first glance I noticed that for GrowMap Alexa found 2.5 times fewer referring domains than Ahrefs found.
You can’t get much data on the go from this toolbar. For most of your info, you need to go on Alexa’s website and see the details there.
SEOquake was recently revamped and now looks and feels a lot better than it used to look. You need an active SEMrush account to use it to full capacity though.
As with Ahrefs, you get a toolbar with data in the top of your browser window, information on SERP, and options to customize the way your toolbar works and what it shows you.
From SEOquake you can see pretty accurate social media, bounce rate, traffic and advertisement analysis.
It can be a bit confusing that for some info you’re redirected to the SEOquake interface and for some to SEMrush, but overall this tool can become a strong asset in your online endeavours.
The Majestic toolbar can only be used with the paid subscription to Majestic, which isn’t that advantageous since you don’t get a chance to test it out to decide if you like it or not.
Majestic also has its own crawling index and a couple of custom metrics like Trust Flow and Citation Flow. Those features are Majestic’s way of showing you the authority of a domain.
The most important data you can get from Majestic is the backlink data of your competitors. But Ahrefs SEO Toolbar and SEOquake do that too and have plenty of additional features as well.
SimilarWeb is one of the first toolbars I was introduced to when I was just starting to work in marketing. And it remains one of the most popular and reliable ones.
You can see how much traffic a website gets a month, its sources, geos, who refers to it, social stats, audience overview, etc.
The guys over at SimilarWeb also collect their own data and form their own stats based off of it. Plus, you don’t even need to have an account with SimilarWeb to use it.
This toolset is mostly aimed at giving you tips about the ways to optimize your own website rather than analyze your competitors for marketing purposes.
This extension by WooRank has a lot of info stuffed into a very small space. Unfortunately, it feels like you can’t really find anything.
I’ve seen my fair share of SEO toolbars. This one was, for some reason, one of the hardest to figure out. For example, what does 76.3 on the screenshot above mean?
Basically, you go through the icon menu on the top, and the extension gives you advice as to what can be improved. But, honestly, it’s not much help. For example, you see that your backlink score is bad. Well, it’s a pity, but you knew that already. And the toolbar doesn’t help you find a solution; rather, it just states problems.
The last, but not least, is MozBar. It also has been around for a while, but company leaders regularly update it, and in 2017 it still looks fresh.
As with most other tools that have their own data, you get access to all the features only if you’re a registered Moz user.
What I like most about this toolbar is a convenient highlighting tool that shows you which links on the page are do-follow or no-follow and which are internal or external.
You can also see pretty standard on-page optimization info and check for what keyword the page is optimized.
Personal Finalists for Best SEO Toolbar
The most important qualities in an SEO toolbar are accessibility of data, lightness, integration with parent-software, and design. And as you can see, there are just a couple of tools really worth installing.
Here are my personal finalists:
After a while, I kept only SimilarWeb and Ahrefs installed. The former I use for traffic analysis and the latter for backlinks, keywords, content research, and so on.
Let me know what toolbars you prefer and if I missed any worthy toolbars.