I wrote a Chrome Extension to perform on-page SEO analysis

The purpose of an HTML page is to provide content, styles, or behaviors to the browser to visually render the page and manage the interactions with the end-user. In addition, however, there are sections of the HTML, hidden from the end-user, added to monitor the page usage and help bots like Googlebot and Bingbot understand the page’s content, structure, and purpose when they visit the page.

Google Search Engine ranks every page by evaluating both HTML parts: user-oriented and bot-oriented. Revealing and analyzing the hidden parts can be a trivial task for a web developer with basic technical skills. However, it could be challenging for a digital marketer or anybody else to perform this on-page SEO analysis without technical skills. Therefore, we need tools to reveal, explore, and analyze these critical factors influencing on-page SEO. We should be able to check that information without having to become HTML gurus. Accessing this information is crucial because Google Search Engine heavily relies on it when deciding the page’s position on the SERP(Search Engine Result Pages.) I experienced this accessibility issue firsthand by watching my students of the Digital Marketing Bootcamp struggling to locate and analyze meta tags and structured data on a web page.

To make our professional life a little bit easier, I created and published a free Google Chrome Extension named Page Auditor to dig into the HTML code of any web page.

The extension extracts all the SEO-critical HTML components of a page. Then, it analyzes them and presents the results with the following easy-to-read reports.

Structured Data Report

Many pages include some Structured Data information as a JSON snippet included on the page with a <script> tag. The JSON code usually comes in a compressed format making it very hard to read for humans. To manually analyze a Structured Data snippet, we copy the JSON code from the page’s HTML code and paste it on one of the many online free JSON formatters. “Page Auditors” take care of the extraction and formatting of the code and automatically creates the Structured Data Report. The report provides excellent visualization of the JSON structure and hierarchy and provides detailed explanations to help understand the content of LD-JSON fields.

JavaScript Report

To generate this report, the Page Auditor scans the page to collect the content of all <script> tags. Using the collected data, it creates a detailed report explaining the purpose of each JavaScript included or embedded in the page. The JavaScript Report identifies each JavaScript code and classifies it based on the code’s purpose: tracking, advertising, analytics, etc. For each block of code, the report also provides links to the company behind it.

Meta Tags Report

This tool looks at all Meta Tags on the head section of the page and groups them by category. The Meta Tags Report provides a detailed description of each meta tag type and links to technical documentation.

Robots.txt & Sitemap.xml Report

Robots.txt and sitemap.xml are an essential part of the on-page SEO strategy of a website. Page Auditor makes it easy to locate those two important files and automatically generates an easy-to-read report to display their content, making this information accessible to everybody and ready to be analyzed.

How to Get Page Auditor

The Page Auditor is now available for free on the Google Chrome Web Store. You can easily install it with a couple of clicks. It’s a super safe app, validated and approved by Google. The project started a few months ago when I wrote a simple JavaScript snippet to analyze Structured Data: Exploring Structured Data With A Google Chrome Snippet

Technical Details

From that simple start, the project has now become a complete Chrome Extension. If you want to know more about the extension and how I built it using TypeScript, JavaScript, and CSS, I have good news: I made the entire source code of the extension open-source published it on a public repository on GitHub.

Franco lives and works in the eCommerce territory, a wild area between the Kingdom of Technology and the Land of Marketing. He speaks fluently the language of both realms. For many years, Franco has been helping people bridge the divide and successfully collaborate.

If you want to find out more about Franco, visit his LinkedIn profile or send him an email folini[at]gmail.com

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