7 Google Chrome Extensions

Local Agents and Small Business Owners are always looking for the best small business software. While small business tools and apps for small business abound, some remain undetected right under our nose. None more conspicous than Browser Tools. Browser’s have tools? Yes, the good ones do. We could argue that Local Agents and Small Business Owners utilize an Internet Browser more than any other single small business tool. In fact, most of the software we now use is web-based and can only be accesed through a web-browser. Making our webbrowser then the software we use, for all the software we use. 

So perhaps it’s time we started thinking of our browser more as an essential Software and less like wallpaper. It’s time we gave our Browser a little attention.

  • Have you considered why you use the Browswer you use? 
  • Have you spent any time examining how you can optimize your Browser?

Choosing the Best Browser

Internet Explorer used to dominate the web as the browser of the masses. Then came Mozilla’s Firefox. But these days Google Chrome is quickly becoming the browser of choice. The Adobe Digital Report (ADI) found that Chrome makes up 31.8% of all browser usage on the web. And for good reason.


2014 Is the “Year of Google Chrome.”

Google Chrome’s layout is simple, easy to navigate, and offers great personalization. Chrome can be entirely customized for each user with “Extensions” which tailor the browser experience to the needs of the user. Increasingly the extensions in the Chrome Web Store are my desktop equivalent to iPhone’s App Store. I search for functionality that I need an inevitably find an extension that serves my purposes (and usually for free).


Don’t know how to add Extensions in Google Chrome? 

Here’s how:

  • Click on the 3 stacked lines icon on the far right of your Chrome Browser
  • Select “Setting
  • Select “Extension
  • Search Extensions by keyword (e.g. “Pocket”)
  • Click to “Add Extension

7 Essential Google Chrome Extensions for Local Agents & Small Business Owners

1) Pocket 


The Pocket App, perhaps more than anything else, has helped me to become more disciplined online. Before I had Pocket I felt compelled to read great content as I discovered it out of fear that it would be forever lost in the worm hole of the web. In Getting Things Done, David Allen talks about the mental rest we experience when we have a system. We all relax when we have a place to put things where we know we can find them when we need them. Pocket is just such a system for great online content. Pocket syncs with my iPhone as well so whenever I have down time I scroll through and read the great content on my terms. I then delete content to keep the Pocket current and to ensure it is not becoming a glorified bookmarking service. Adding the Google Chrome extension means with a single click on the top right-hand side of my browser I have captured great content for later. It takes 1 sec to add something and I can get back to what I am supposed to be working on. 

Compatibility: iPhone/Android/Tablet/Google Chrome Extension   

Cost: Free

Benefit to Insurance Agents:

  • Ability to stay focused on the task at hand
  • Ability to come back to great content at the proper time and place
  • Time saving. Less Friction. Pocket offers a convenient mechanism for capturing content with one click so you don’t spend time creating bookmarks and shuffling through links to find that great article you are looking for.


2) Awesome Screenshot


The web is more visual than ever because people are more visual than ever. Rather than going into long textual descriptions, I often find it faster and more effective to use the “Awesome Screenshot” extension in Chrome. I capture a page, add arrows and notes or whatever I need to quickly communicate my message to a coworker or reader. With this extension I can quickly create how to guides or describe a fix we need on our website. Crop out a portion of a page, drag a circle or rectangle over what you want them to focus their attention on, and clearly show them where they need to go and what they need to do. Awesome Screenshot also gives you the blur option to block out sensitive information such as e-mails or passwords. After you save your image, you are given the option of saving it temporarily, to your desktop, or Google Drive. Ultimately, I love Awesome Screenshot because of its simplicity and how it allows me to communicate quickly and clearly. 

Compatibility: Google Chrome (Extension)

Cost: Free

Benefit to Agents & Owners:
• Quickly create online screenshot images
• Utilize visual content for marketing and customer service

3) Evernote


Evernote – Accessing mobile notes and data is becoming more and more important every day. Whether you take notes on your laptop, iPad, Android, or iPhone, you can store and organize them cleanly all in one place – Evernote. Thanks to its cross-platform support, (desktop apps, web apps, mobile apps) you really can offload all of your reference materials, ideas, to do tasks, or other digital items to Evernote and never worry about where you’ve collected all those random bits of information. It’s one container to store them all. Evernote’s search is good enough that you can retrieve all those docs quickly, but it also has great notebook and tagging organization that really make it stand out. Never copy and paste your mobile “notes” into your email and convert them into a word document on your computer again. Simply type everything into Evernote and enjoy unlimited access to your notes no matter where you find yourself.  

Compatibility: Google Chrome Extension

Cost: Free

Benefit to Agents & Owners:
• Allows you to catelogue all of the essential digital data for your business
• Allows you to quickly search and find essential digital data for your business
• Clip things quickly and all to one central repository


4) Buffer


Buffer – Makes it easy to share information, blogs, and links with customers and followers across social networks. Do you have a large quantity of content you don’t want to blast out all at once? Use custom scheduling to schedule updates for the appropriate times in the future. Receive detailed analytics on all your posts to every social network to learn how to maximize your efficiency. If you have multiple people posting content, invite all of them to make consistent sharing easier. Anyone on your team can manage the account from the internet or Buffer apps. All 3 business subscriptions provide the same features, but contain a different number of team members and connected accounts. Purchase the small package for 5 members, medium for 10 members, or the large for 25 members. Simplify the management and execution of social media by using Buffer.

Compatibility: Google Chrome Extension

Cost: Free

Benefit to Agents & Owners:
• Allows you to post social media content at optimal times
• Allows you to schedule posts out so you don’t saturate your followers all at one time
• Time saving. You can manage all of your social media posting in bundles so it doesn’t require as much daily attention.

5) PageRank Status


PageRank Status – The beauty of this extension is its simple way of displaying Google Page Rank to users. Upon installing the extension, you will see a white bar with a different number on top depending on which website you are stationed. The bar loads a certain amount of green and a number from 1-10 to indicate the strength of a website’s search engine optimization (SEO). A website with a very strong SEO such as Facebook or Apple.com would be ranked a 9, which is incredibly hard to match. These types of websites are countlessly cross-referenced across the internet and boast tons of daily visitors. Any website with a PageRank of 0-3 is not doing too hot. This extension is for any company seeking to measure it’s website viability. It also provide in invaluable resource in link building. Remember, the site with the most and highest quality links, wins in Google. With PageRank Status you can quickly discover which sites to pursue for links (look for 3+) to increase your own PageRank. Increasing your PageRank shoots your company up the Google Search mountain, increasing exposure and sales.

Compatibility: Google Chrome (Extension)

Cost: Free

Benefit to Agents & Owners:
• Quickly assess which websites are the most highly ranked
• Search out link-building opportunities to increase your pages rank with Search Engines


6) HoverReader


HoverReader — We are quickly becoming a people who “scan.” We don’t have enough time to view every site or to read all of the content available online. We need tools that can help us quickly determine whether or not a site is worth our time. HoverReader is all you need to read any article by simply hovering over the link. This is the browsing equivalent to “try before you buy.” Perhaps better termed “preview before your click.” This saves you clicks which saves you time.

Compatibility: Google Chrome (Extension)

Cost: Free

Benefit to Agents & Owners:
• Scan websites before clicking
• Discover Great Content more Quickly
• Avoid unhelpful or irrelevant sites


7) LastPass



LastPass— Have trouble keeping up with all of your passwords online? The LastPass extensions allow you to securely integrate all of your sign-ins so you never have to remember a password again. Chances are, the problem of password management is only going to get worse as you utilize more online applications. Get the LastPass extension now and save yourself tons of time tracking down passwords or compromising security by using the same password everywhere. When 10451 reviewers give an extension a 5 out of 5 you can be certain it an essential and it does exactly what you need it to do. 


Compatibility: Google Chrome (Extension)


Cost: Free

Benefit to Agents & Owners:
• Keep track of your myriads of passwords, securely
• Never lose another password


All the Local Agents and Small Business Owners I respect are learners who are always on the look out for the best small business software available. They add/subtract/optimize their software application consistently for reasons that makes sense in their context. I hope this post on Google Chrome has supplied you with some small business apps that can help you take your business or local agency to the next level. Remember, your Browser is best FREE small business software you use…everyday. Optimize it. 


Which Chrome Extensions do you consider essential and why?



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