firefox As the web becomes more social and an increasingly important part of a marketer's day, the web browser is turning into one of marketers' most useful and powerful tools. Browsers are the software that connect us to the web. Browsers are how most of us use social networks like Facebook and Twitter and how we read blogs and news websites. Because browsers are so important, marketers need to understand how to make them more powerful while helping to save time and increase efficiency.

Popular web browsers like Firefox and Google Chrome allow users to install extensions. These extensions are add- ons often written by another developer or company to supplement browsers with features that are helpful to the people using them. While many types of browser extensions exist, let's look at some specifically made for Firefox that can help save marketers time.

21 Must-Use Firefox Extensions for Marketers

1. An SEO Extension -- Marketers today need to know where their company's online properties rank compared to the competition, and they need this information daily. Whether it is checking out the competition or evaluating the traffic and rank of a blog that you are considering partnering with, an SEO extension is a must-have for any marketer. I personally like the SEO Book extension , which is free, but you do have to create an account to get it. Other good SEO extensions are SEOQuake and SEO Stats . Regardless of which SEO extension you install, make sure it gives you important information such as traffic estimates, backlinks and online authority.

2. Image Capture -- Online marketers today are constantly creating reports, presentations and online content. A major component of all of these types of content are images from online applications and websites. Having an extension in your browser to easily allow you to take custom screenshots is a huge time saver. Some of the best extensions for this task are Aviary and ScreenGrab .

3. URL Shortening -- Shortened URLs are becoming an increasingly popular (and much more efficient) way to share content on social networks. If you use Twitter, you likely see hundreds of shortened URLs every day. As a marketer, having browser extensions can make it easier to deal with shortened URLs. While it doesn't help you shorten URLs, the Bit. ly Preview extension can save you a lot of time because it displays the "long" URL for any bit. ly link that you hover over on the web. This can help protect you from spammers and stop you from clicking on an article that you may have already read. Shorten URL is an extension that makes it easy to shrink a URL with your favorite URL shortening service such as bit. ly or TinyURL .

4. Twitter Sharing -- While Twitter desktop clients like TweetDeck and Tweetie are great, sometimes it is simply easier to share interesting information right from your browser. TinyTweet lets users simply highlight text on a web page and share it through Twitter. If you use Twitter through its web interface at Twitter.com, then you may want to consider installing Power Twitter , which adds a ton of features to the traditional Twitter web interface.

5. Blogging Tools -- Marketers are becoming publishers. As bloggers, marketers need extensions that can help save time while creating content. For example, Zemanta's extension recommends content based on the current article you are writing, making it easy to find interesting articles to link to in your blog posts.  Another extension, Apture , makes it easy for bloggers to include and embed media in their blog posts, helping to make stories more visual. Lots of other blogging related extensions exist, and I would encourage you to search the Firefox extension site .

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6. Online Video -- Regardless of industry, online video has become an important piece of media. Have you ever wanted to add a video from YouTube to a presentation but knew you weren't going to have access to the internet for that meeting? One Click YouTube Download is an extension that allows you to download any YouTube video to your computer, which is great if you want to embed a video in a PowerPoint. Pixelpipe helps solve the other side of the problem: video uploading. Instead of visiting a bunch of different sites to upload your video, this browser extension allows you to easily upload to multiple sites with only one upload.

7. News Reading -- Do you use an RSS reader to read articles from blogs and websites? The problem with RSS is that most readers are ugly. Feedly is a Firefox extension that turns articles from Google Reader, Twitter, YouTube and other sources into an attractive, magazine style layout for easy browsing and consumption. Making information easier to find and read means you can streamline your information consumption and maybe gain a few minutes back in your day.

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8. Social Sharing -- Sharing content online across social networks is an important part of displaying thought leadership and building an online community. Sometimes content should be shared across more than one network. For this problem, I recommend using Amplify as a simple way to automatically post shared content to Twitter, Facebook , Ping. fm , Posterous , Tumblr and other sites. Another interesting extension that is similar to Amplify is Pearltrees , but it takes a different approach to sharing.

9. Password Management -- How much time have you wasted in the past because you forgot a password? Today, marketers have too many usernames and passwords for a variety of online services and accounts. Xmarks is a Firefox add-on that helps users keep bookmarks, passwords and open tabs backed up and synchronized across computers and browsers. This type of syncing is especially important for marketers who use multiple computers.

10. Bookmarking -- Saving important and useful links for future use is a popular activity for marketers. While social bookmarking site Delicious may be the most popular, many other options exist for saving bookmarks on the web for access from multiple devices. Other good social bookmarking extensions include Read It Later and GMarks .

What Firefox add- ons do you use daily?

Photo Credit: M i x y


Originally published Jun 9, 2010 7:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016

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Business Tools