All day, every day us monkeys are busying away doing all the things, doing them all of the time online. We can be getting our social on or downloading all of the words to Excel (with the occasional break to watch Stars in Their Eyes with Matthew Kelly) to be frank, we spend a lot of time on the web.
While we all have our favourite browsers most of the time Chrome comes out on top. Mainly because Jon has beaten it into us that it is the best and we must use it but also because there are some pretty nifty extensions that make our day to day jobs that little bit easier. We thought we'd share them with you in the hope that they make digital marketing a little easier for you too!
If you've never heard of Buffer (then you've probably never been to one of our talks where we harp on about it), it's a great social measuring and scheduling tool. We have a business account which allows us to schedule until the cows come home on Facebook, Google Plus, LinkedIn and Twitter (and kudos to Buffer for adding the option to add Pinterest).
As an added bonus, if you have a Buffer account, you can use the Buffer app via the chrome extension. Found a blog post you want to share? All you have to do is tap away at the chrome extension, put in a time and day you want it to go out and ya done. It's also really useful for buffering images straight from the site and is waayyy quicker than copying and pasting it into Buffer on your desktop.
Back in the old days when NLM worked in the showbiz ritz and glitz of Shepton Mallet, we used to use Excel to add URL Parameters to everything we shared on social and email so that we could see how successful each channel was at driving website traffic and conversions. That's why we came up with our very own chrome extension, Professor Traffic. Good ol Professor Traffic allows you to track any link you share which you can then monitor in Google Analytics. No need for excel, all you have to do is install it to you browser and then whenever you're on a website you want to share, click his little face in your chrome browser and it'll give you a URL to use with all the tracking required.
Not quite a social extension but if you find yourself spending hours on social and not knowing where the time has disappeared to or want to work out how you spend your day, Zen Time Tracker is really useful. We use Wrike to assign tasks and keep an eye on what we're doing but I find the time tracking really confusing so I use this extension instead. You can pin it to your desktop and open different timers (if you happen to be like me and try to do ten things at once) and then I just add my time into Wrike at the end of the day.
Window Resizer allows you to snap your browser to various device sizes. This means you can quickly check how your new look website might respond and look on an iPhone for example. We do have to admit that Chrome’s built in element inspector is a lot better as it gives you a good idea of tap targets, but it's nice to have an alternative option to check how a site responds.
Edge Inspect allows you to pair your devices and sync them with your computer. This means you can check the responsiveness of a website across all of your devices and perform remote inspection and debugging. This is one of the tools in the kit we use in our Open Device Lab.
ColourZilla is a browser based eyedropper which allows you to grab the hex or RGB of any colour you find on the web. This is great for helping you to create social images with consistent client branding (without having to write out all of the hex codes or constantly refer to your brand guidelines).
If you've got access to a website's analytics, this extension will allow you to see where / what links on a page get the most clicks. Useful if you're thinking about redesigning your website or trying to decipher your customer journey.
BuiltWith allows you to find out what CMS/framework a website is built with... Obviously. This becomes super useful for our tech team when we produce search audits as it helps us find out whether a site is in WordPress, Drupal etc. It will also show you if a Content Distribution Network (CDN) is in place and what document standards are being used. Really useful to quickly asses what framework and building blocks are used to make the page which you are currently viewing.
Ayima Redirect Path shows the status code of the URL you just loaded. This is useful because it shows you the header response from the URL you’re looking at. Really useful for spotting 404 “Not Found” errors that actually return a 200 “OK” status and 302 “temporary redirects” masquerading as 301 “permanent redirects”. Both these issues are likely to damage rankings for the domain.
Google Tag Assistant helps troubleshoot installation of different Google tags on page e.g. Analytics, Tag Manager, WMT etc. This means that you can evaluate if any new or existing analytics code is configured correctly and that any goals you have are firing properly.
Josh loves a good Hola! It's a browser based VPN tool that makes setting up a VPN much easier. If you need to quickly snap to browsing as if you’re a user from the United States or EU (maybe you have an international client), Hola will spoof your IP for you.
Once called ‘Grab All Yall’s Links’ which was a longer, but more understandable name, Tab-Snap will grab all open tab URLs from one window, or load a list of URLs into new tabs on the existing window. If you're like Jon and have multiple tabs open researching a blog post etc. and then you get called into a meeting – you can just click tab snap and it saves all the open tabs to a single bookmark folder with one click. You can also open multiple tabs at once by pasting them in from a notepad document. Once you paste in over 50 or so it slows down a bit, but other than that it’s pretty bulletproof.
If you’re making edits to a website and need to see the most recent version/iteration it's helpful to clear your browser's cache of that website, especially if your site levers browser caching. Clear Cache does it for you with just one click of a button.
This chrome extension will show you a red alarm in the address bar if you’re looking at a page on an out of date WordPress, Joomla, or other CMS. Really useful if you’re looking after multiple websites from a technical perspective.
Remember. A tool is only as good as the person who wields it.
I just took a quick straw poll. On average, the monkeys have 10.6 Chrome extensions to help with digital marketing which we use pretty much daily but it's important to remember that apps and tools are useful but only to a point; they might save you some time. Installing these tools will not make you a better digital marketer. Tools can't replace creativity and smarts. So, use tools to give you more time to create great campaigns and learn all the things.
Have we missed any great Chrome extensions or apps? Tweet @NoisyMonkey and enlighten us :)