While working on SEO the majority of your time is spent looking at your website in a web browser, performing queries in all the various search engines in a web browser and looking over competitors websites in a web browser. If you’re not using Firefox to do all this your not being time-efficient and the quality of your work may not be up to par. Why? Simply because of all the SEO Tools for Firefox there are in the form of tool-bars and add-ons. I couldn’t imaging performing SEO without using Firefox and all of my Add-ons. Below you will find a list of my favorite Firefox tools I use on a daily basis to perform my search engine optimization duties.
This was my very first Firefox add-on and it’s still my favorite. This plugin completely changed the way I built and tweaked websites. Firebug allows you to inspect and edit the HTML and CSS of the page your working on directly in your web browser all in real-time. No more fudging padding over one pixel at a time, uploading to your server, refreshing your page and hoping it worked. Simply work on the source code for a web page directly in Firebug until it’s perfect and then copy the code into the real file.
This doesn’t sound particularly useful as an SEO tool yet though right? Where it really comes into play is when you are working on your on-page SEO. You can edit your XHTML structure or content directly in the browser and tweak the visible effects of, for instance, changing some text on a page to an <h1> tag. Once you are happy you can push your edits and not sweat the outcome.
Start using this add-on immediately. Get Firebug
This plug-in is fantastic. It will analyze the page your on checking the most important on-page-SEO-criteria and calculating a grade of how good your site fulfills these criteria. It will point out issues like your page title not including your keywords or there not being alt text on an image.
It’s also great for inspecting other peoples work. It’s “Show Components” function is great for being able to easily see a pages SEO tactics. You can type in a keyword and it will highlight all it’s iterations in the view helping you spot opportunities or deficiencies on a web page.
This plug-in is my tool of choice for getting a quick feel for the competitive landscape for a particular keyword. After you install this plug-in go to Google and run a quick search on a key phrase of your choice. You will notice that there is now a ton of extra information per search result such as PageRank, in bound link count and delicious bookmark count just to name a few. You will also notice a few things at the top of the search results. You can re-sort your search results by any of the parameters shown! This is a really great feature to get an idea about what you are up against and if it would be even possible to compete.
The best part is the “Save to File” function. This will export your search results page to a CSV file. The benefits of getting this kind of data into a spreadsheet has wide spread implications. One example would be to use this while link building. Being able to get data for a “Directory” type search into a spreadsheet where you can then filter and sort out the best possible pages to go after for a link building campaign is invaluable.
Web Developer Toolbar
Last but not least is the SEO Toolbar for Firefox made by my heroes at SEOmoz. It will quickly show you metrics such as page and domain authority without having to leave the page you are on. This is powered by their awesome Linkscape engine. There is also an extremely handy toggle for highlighting “Nofollow” links on a page. If you are wondering about getting a link from a page you no longer have to view source or Firebug a link to determine if it is a Nofollow link or not.
The toolbar becomes even more feature-filled if you become a pro member of SEOmoz. At that point, you get to see mozRank, mozTrust and link metrics in the toolbar. Becoming a pro member of SEOmoz isn’t a cheap purchase but if you take SEO seriously and are looking for an amazing array of tools I would highly recommend their service to anyone.
If you haven’t already discovered the addicting world of Firefox add-ons then the 5 listed above is a terrific place to start.