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Helpful Chrome Extensions for Digital Marketing Professionals

Published February 2, 2017
As digital marketers we’re always on the hunt for ways to improve speed and efficiency without sacrificing the analysis that leads to those campaign defining “Aha!” moments. That’s why there is an entire industry comprised of tools and platforms designed to make our jobs easier. One part of that industry is browser extensions that are created to provide at-a-glance details in a consolidated view.
While they may not necessarily make our work less complex, a number of these extensions can help you streamline tasks like testing analytics configuration and analyzing SEO metrics. In this article, we’ve listed several Chrome extensions that we recommend for improving your digital marketing workflow.

 

Google Page Analytics Chrome Extension

 

Tracking Tag Identifiers

Whether testing a new analytics configuration or scouting out competitor configurations, you can use a Chrome extension to identify what tags are in place on sites. Here are a couple of our favorites.

Tag Assistant

Google’s Tag Assistant extension identifies tracking tags installed on your site, such as the Tag Manager script, Analytics tracking code, AdWords remarketing, AdWords conversion, and DoubleClick tracking code. This plugin will tell you if scripts are installed properly and find red flags such as duplicate codes. In addition, you can see further details beyond the mere existence of a tracking script, like seeing pageviews fired within a Google Analytics tag.

 

Google Tag Assistant Chrome Extension

 

If you want to troubleshoot a Google Analytics configuration, such as testing if custom event code is firing, you can use the Record feature within this extension. After clicking “Record,” Tag Assistant will track interactions related to Google Analytics and show what actions are being tracked.

Ghostery

While Google Tag Assistant is tremendously helpful for assessing tracking script placement, it primarily identifies scripts from Google products and won’t pick up on many third party codes. Ghostery allows you to pick up on tracking tags from a wide range of providers all via a single plugin. You’ll find yourself amazed at the number of tags you’ll spot on mainstream news sites, explaining in part why some major sites load so slowly at times. For instance, the plugin found 44 trackers on cnn.com.

 

Ghostery Chrome Extension

 

Ghostery can identify tags related to analytics, advertising, social media, media players, comment threads, and more. Use this plugin to verify installation of tags on your own sites, and also to see what platforms competitors are using. For instance, you may see that a competitor has an AdWords remarketing tag installed, implying that they’re running display campaigns, as well as an Optimizely tag, implying that they’re running A/B testing.

Ad Platform-Specific Extensions

Several ad platforms create Chrome extensions allowing you to test for proper pixel configuration.

Facebook Pixel Helper

Facebook’s Pixel Helper extension tells you if a Facebook pixel is accurately installed on a site, as well as if any event codes are firing. You can use Facebook’s pixel to create custom audiences for retargeting and tracking conversions. You can also use this to track user events within a page, for example, stages of a checkout process.

 

Facebook Pixel Helper Chrome Extension

 

For more details, see our article on using the Facebook Pixel to track advertising efforts.

Twitter Pixel Helper

Similar to Facebook’s extension, the Twitter Pixel Helper allows you to test for proper installation of the pixel used in conjunction with Twitter Ads. With the right configurations, you can build tailored audiences and track conversions via this pixel. This extensions tests for the presence of the pixel, with the ability to click for more details, such as Pixel ID and installation problems.

 

Twitter Pixel Helper Chrome Extension

 

Bing Ads UET Tag Helper

Bing’s UET Tag Helper lets you test configuration of the Universal Event Tracker tag, which enables configuring conversion tracking and remarketing for search audiences. You can see if the tag is installed properly, while also tracking if events are firing properly, such as tracking an event tag that fires on an in-page form submission.

Google Analytics Extensions

Google itself makes a couple of useful extensions for Analytics, one which allows you to view data related to the page you’re on and another that lets you troubleshoot configuration on a technical level.

Page Analytics

Google’s Page Analytics extension allows you to overlay metrics from Google Analytics onto a page, helpful to see a quick snapshot of performance. Of course, for this plugin to work, you need to have access to an Analytics account for the site you’re viewing.

 

Google Page Analytics Chrome Extension

 

You can even modify date ranges, segments, and which metrics you view within the overlayed top bar, as well as choosing from among different Analytics views. Finally, you can overlay a heatmap of sorts to measure click volume for links on the page.

Google Analytics Debugger

For more technical individuals, the Google Analytics Debugger extension helps you troubleshoot if your Google Analytics code is actually working. With the extension enabled on a site, you can see the scripts that are firing within Chrome Developer Tools. This can allow you to check if codes are actually firing for pageviews and events. This will also allow you to identify code issues that may be interfering with analytics scripts.

SEO Extensions

SEO professionals can use extensions for a number of tasks related to assessing a page’s attributes for organic search. Here are a couple of our favorites:

MozBar

The free MozBar extension allows you to view page elements like title tags, descriptions, and headings. It also enables you to highlight internal, external and nofollowed links on a page. Other details include canonical tags, load times status codes and more. There is a paid version that offers a great deal more insight and both the free and paid options require being logged into a Moz account.

 

Moz Bar Chrome Extension

 

SEOquake

The powerful SEOquake extension also allows you to access a number of metrics without requiring a login. You can see links (internal and external), key in-page elements, keyword analysis, link metrics, site age, indexation and numerous other valuable metrics. This toolbar also offers the option to export data into a CSV for further analysis and use in reporting.

 

SEO Quake Chrome Extension

 

Conclusion

If you’re not yet using Chrome extensions in your workflow, try installing some of the ones listed here that relate directly to your work. You’ll find that these can help you improve and diversify tracking, efficiently analyze data, and evaluate SEO. Do you have a favorite extension that’s not in this list? Let us know in the comments!

ALSO IN THIS BLOG

When the client first came to you, you talked up the value of Google Analytics. You emphasized the importance of seeing where your traffic was coming from. You went on and on about how Google Analytics can show traffic sources to pinpoint whether people came from search, social media or a specific site referral, and how valuable this data was. You sold them on it, so much so that your client looked forward to receiving that first report, the magical day when they would finally understand where visitors were coming from.
But then the report came, and it looked like this:

 

 

It showed that 10% of your client’s traffic came from “(direct)/(none)”. What does this label mean? How do you explain Direct traffic to your client? Better yet, how do you explain “none”?
Let’s take a closer look at understanding Direct traffic in Google Analytics and how we can address it with clients.
Remember how your mom told you not to stand too close to the television because it might hurt your eyes?

The same rules can apply to data. If you’re too close, you may miss the patterns and trends that are crucial to understanding your website’s performance. You can’t judge a site’s performance looking at data in the bubble of a single day, you must consider any day’s traffic compared to the days before and after.

Google Analytics makes it fairly easy to analyze trends over long periods of time. But it also allows you to stand right in front of that TV, to look at more granular levels of time, right down to the hour.
There’s a better way to get that close to the data, without burning your retinas. We’ll cover how to analyze traffic effectively in today’s post.
Digital marketers spend a lot of time focused on PPC and SEO campaigns in order to drive desirable traffic to a website. The phrases we’re ranking for and bidding on get meticulous attention, so much so that we often forget about some of the other ways that visitors find us.

We put a tremendous amount of the effort we put into reviewing organic search data and PPC campaign performance in analytics. But how closely do we monitor referral reports?

If that’s not a channel you review regularly, you may be missing out on seeing traffic that is coming directly from links you’ve obtained around the web, local business listings, news mentions, and more. Many times, links are only considered as a means to an end, a metric that Google uses in determining how to rank sites in the SERPs (search engine results pages). But the fact is, many of a site’s links may be directly contributing to its traffic.

In this article, we’ll review how to look at referral reports in Google Analytics, and some of the many ways to use that data to better inform your web marketing decisions.