Chrome Extensions for Startups: Marketing & Productivity
29th Nov 2016
Updated: 5th March 2019
15 min read
Ever hear that song that is all about time slipping into the future? Time. Time. Time. No time. Not enough time. I must say, these are constant pain points I hear among not just startups, but really people as a whole nowadays. Every Tuesday morning at the SpinLab, we have what we call a standup meeting. The SpinLab core team and our current class participating in our startup accelerator program get together for 90 minutes, and we basically go through the three P’s:
Everyone has got a different set of struggles and challenges, but two things do remain constant among all teams. First, they’re all trying in some way to find more money. I think this expected in the startup world, and should not come as any sort of surprise. Secondly, they’re all struggling to find the time to do things they need to do. Did that one catch you off guard? Where you expecting something like concept refinement or business model updating? Well, those challenges do exist, but week after week, each one of these startups could use more time and money. We do everything we can as coaches in a startup accelerator program to make sure our startups are prepped for success, so to help with the money issue, we connect them to a vast array of investment opportunities within Europe. Time is an entirely different beast though, I mean, how does one really coach someone to have more time? Either you have the means to prioritize the things that really need to get done, or you get distracted with lesser important things and fall victim to the concept of No time, too hard (NTTH), which I covered in another article highlighting the struggles startups have with online marketing. Then it got to me, maybe it’s not really all about coaching someone to be more time efficient, but rather, sharing tips with people to make the mundane tasks in life, especially with startup management, more manageable and efficient. Basically, you’ve gotta just shoot for better results with less effort. That’s the basis for this article, Chrome extensions I use basically everyday, that help make my life easier and more efficient.
Keywords Everywhere (FREE)
If you’re in anyway responsible for the SEO or PPC efforts of an organization, the folks over at Keywords Everywhere (KWE) have made a must-use extension that I cannot recommend highly enough. Basically, this extension puts search volume and cost per click (CPC) all over the place for you, so that you can easily get key data metrics around any given keyword. The app, as far as I can tell and at the time of writing this app, is completely free.
Integrated right into Google Search
I pretty much just leave this extension on all the time. As I am searching in my daily life, the search volume and CPC for those terms I search display right below the Google search bar as shown in the screenshot above. This integrates keyword research right into my daily life, maybe I come across that gem of a keyword that has great metrics, that I never would have thought about on my own otherwise. It’s absolutely invaluable to help you generate content around great keywords of opportunity. If you look at that screenshot closely, you can even see a little start to the right of the CPC amount, here you can favorite keywords as you search and KWE saves them for you in a list, ready to be accessed at any point in time. So even if you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to look into a keyword in great depth, you can always save it and revisit it from your favorites list.
Built in uploading tool is included
KWE have also integrated a built in upload tool, so if you do want to look at the search volume of multiple keywords you’ve put together, OR maybe you went too fast in Adword’s setup that you can’t access the keyword planner, now you can upload them right from the app in Chrome.
This puts a bulk uploaded right at my disposal, and like the theme of this article emphasizes, it puts it right at my disposal at anytime.
Look closely at the last screenshot, specifically at the header row. You’ll notice that there is two columns each for search volume and CPC. This is another little neat setting that KWE enables where you can select a primary country, and it shows you the metrics for that country against global averages. In my example, I have the UK selected as my primary country, so that’s why the 3rd and 4th columns have the UK showing up in their header row. This is a nice little feature to be aware of, so you can get a sense of how much of a trickling effect your keyword efforts can have into other markets. At the time of writing this article, KWE offers country settings for Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, South Africa, the UK, and the US, and they offer currency settings for all nations. This list is currently expanding, and my hopes are that it eventually expands into non-English speaking nations as well.
Keywords Everywhere integrates into some already awesome tools
This is the major feature set of KWE that I am absolutely in love with, if you use Google Search Console, Google Analytics, and/or Ubersuggest, you are in for a serious experience upgrade. KWE has the ability to actually inject the CPC and search volume directly into those apps! Check it out below:
This is absolute keyword researcher gold. For those unfamiliar, Ubersuggest, is a super helpful tool that content creators use to find different variations of keywords. While the tool on its own is a great asset, it used to be quite a pain to bounce back and forth, copy and paste, delete, repeat, over and over and over again. Now the search volumes are right in here, so I don’t need to expend extra time to figure out which keywords I should select from the list. This just freed up some serious time in my keyword searching strategy! The same concepts can be applied to Google Search Console and Analytics, both of which I use just as frequently as Ubersuggest, and now I have this information readily available as well. According to the KWE website, they also offer the same type of integration for Soovle, Answer the Public, Keyword Shitter, Majestic Anchors, and Moz Open Site Explorer. I haven’t tried those personally, but I have been pleased with the integration’s I do use so I would imagine that the results would be very similar in the other apps.
SEO Quake (FREE)
Tagging along on the keyword research theme, SEO Quake is also a very powerful extension I use to do things with…well…SEO :) The extension is also free, though it does offer some increased functionality if paired with a paired SEMRush account. So how do I use it? Mainly to get a more realistic idea of how much competition there is around a keyword. There was a time when simply looking at the competition metric in Adword’s keyword planner was enough of a indicator to tell you how much of a chance you had to actually claim that coveted number 1 spot in Search Engine Results Page (SERP). These days marketers need to be a bit more advanced in their thinking, and SEO Quake helps out with this. Let’s imagine that SpinLab is trying to rank number 1 for the term ”Startup Accelerator” let’s visit some key research points below on this term with the extension turned on:
- Keyword Difficulty Immediately we’re able to obtain the “competition” score that you’re used to seeing in tools such as Keyword Planner. The closer this number is to 100, the harder it is to rank for.
- Amount of indexed pages by Google This number tells you how many URLs Google actually has indexed by the domain, in this case, wikipedia.org.
- Domain Score and Trust Score Sadly, these are only offered if you’re connected with a paid SEMRush account, but you can read about the details of those metrics here.
- Links coming to this specific URL This is the number of external links coming back specifically to this URL in search results. For example, if I was to create a new link on www.spinlab.co that goes to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seed_accelerator, then the number here would eventually increase to 48.
- Links coming to this domain This is the number of external links that go to ANY URL on wikipedia.org. Please comment below if you need this clarified, the L and the LD tend to confuse a lot of people. I’ll do my best to clarify this for you.
- Site Age When Google first picked up the domain.
Ok, so that’s a lot of reading, but why is it all important? These all factor into play when you’re considering a keyword. It’s not just about the competition score anymore, this analysis tells me I basically have no chance of ever overtaking wikipedia.org on the term ”startup accelerator” because they simply have too much authority. They have way more links indexed by Google than I do, way more links coming into the link and domain that I do, and their site is way older than mine! Forget it, I’m going to go put my effort into a keyword that has a better opportunity for ranking number 1. These are things you only come across when you do in-depth research on your keywords, an inexperienced marketer may see the difficulty score of 60 in another tool for this term, and think, “Oh that actually isn’t so high, let me go optimize my entire site for this term!” Then BAM hours of time wasted, no results, and there you go back into the no-time complaining and crying corner. Don’t be that guy, be a smarter marketer.
“Don’t be that guy, be a smarter marketer.”
SEO Quake also gives you some insight into your competitors
Let’s say your a auto-manufacturer and you consider BMW to be your main competitor. Let’s use SEO Quake to do a quick evaluate of their site:
By clicking on the ”Page Info” tab within SEO Quake, you can get a nice little table that shows a breakdown of how many words are on the page, total 2 word phrases, total three word phrases, total four word phrases, and where these terms can appear. If you see a recurring 1, 2, or 3 word phrase that is showing up in various areas on their site, you can make a pretty safe assumption that they are trying to rank for those terms. Once you establish that, you can then following the steps in the first part of SEO Quake in-depth keyword research analysis to see what your chances of beating them are.
This next part is also a form of competitor analysis, but something more loosely used that I like to call the ”How much does my competitor actually know about SEO?” metric. If you expand the ”Diagnosis” tab, you’ll see how well the page is actually doing with technical SEO. If obvious symptoms still exist such as heavy use of meta keywords, no page titles, 400 character long meta descriptions, etc. you can get a good indicator that good SEO strategy is not a priority for your competitors. If this is the case, the chance is there for you to go in with your super-optimized pages with great content to knock them right off the face of the SERPs.
The last thing you can do is use SEO Quake’s ”Compare URLs” option to get a sense of how your domain as a whole ranks against a competitor. This one is pretty self explanatory, so I’ll just include a screenshot below to give you an idea of how this would look if SpinLab was to go up against BMW :)
Buffer (Starts at $10/month, a bit cheaper if you pay annually)
There’s a ton of information out there on Buffer already, so I’m not going to try to reinvent the wheel by re-writing a tutorial on what Buffer is, and how it’s helpful. What I am going to do is try to summarize the key points I love about the extension, and how their queueing system works. In the simplest way I can describe this wonderful app, they find the optimal times in the day to post to your various social media channels, you then build a ”queue” of posts and Buffer simply sends the post out at the designated times, automatically. The extension allows you to also add content to your queue as you’re just searching the internet, this way you don’t have to make content sharing this whole dreadful effort of finding the content, thinking of when to post it, thinking of what channel it suits best, going to that social channel, posting it manually, using that site’s analytics to figure out how well it did, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Buffer just sums that all up into one, and it’s queueing capability is the best one I have personally used so far, I find it even more intuitive than Hootsuite or even HubSpot’s social media tool. It’s a small cost, but in my opinion, is worth every cent.
Like Buffer, I won’t spend too much effort here trying to re-create articles that already exist, but the truth is this little extension saves me a ton of time! Dashlane is a password app, that basically utilizes every security feature you can think of to make password management easier. It also can auto-fill forms for you, and save secure notes. When you get into the startup world, chances are you’ll have logins to at least 30 different things that you’ll use often. If you’re like me, before Dashlane I had one pathetic password to everything, and if the wrong person got a hold of that info, I’d be done for. So do yourself a favor, protect yourself, and save time at the same time, and sign up for Dashlane or another good password app of your choice. There’s a lot out there, but I have been a happy customer of Dashlane for quite some time. Oh, and the cost thing is weird. I am a paying member of Dashlane, but I was just on their site today and it seems they have adopted a sort of Freemium model that I don’t recall from when I signed up. Hmmmm, maybe time to do some research to see if I can get by with just with what the free option offers now ;)
Honorable Mention: Google Tag Assistant & Facebook Pixel
These are both great extensions for the marketer who wants to get a bit better with troubleshooting and better understanding implementations. They’re both free, and both work well at verifying that the technical setup for your analytic tools and Facebook pixels are all functioning as well as they should be.
So what are you using?
Time’s hard to make, and it’s even more painful to lose. These are may favorite extensions that I use in Chrome, but what are yours? Would love to hear about it in the comments below so we can expand the knowledge base for startups around the world!
Oh, and by the way, in case you read my last article and are wondering, yes this article was happily created with Ulysses, which is also a great time saver!