WordPress is arguably one of the most flexible and widely used content management systems on the web. The dynamic nature of the popular CMS allows a novice to easily set up powerful functionality or a seasoned development professional to bend it to their will. The system has been especially valuable for internet marketers with the variety of both free and paid plugins available for installation. If you are an internet marketer or simply interested in promoting your WordPress site, the following list of plugins are handy tools to have.
Every Marketer Should have a Good SEO Plugin
There are tons of SEO plugins made for WordPress. Some free, some paid and some specialized for specific SEO tasks. If you have one that is working for you then by all means, stick with it. However if you haven’t made up your mind I’d like to recommend a few. All of these plugins are easy for novices to use yet also offer some advanced functionality for SEO professionals. The first is SEO Ultimate which is a great general SEO plugin for WordPress. It features an easy to use interface that allows you to enter meta descriptions and title tags for posts right below the post editor. You can monitor 404 error pages and apply site-wide SEO settings. Another great optimization plugin is the Yoast SEO plugin which has some great features. Users can edit their robots and .htaccess files right from the Yoast interface and permalink cleanup is a snap. Finally the All in One SEO Pack is also a great option for WordPress sites. It has good support for Google Analytics, it generates meta tags automatically and works great out-of-the-box for beginners.
Analytics is a Must
For any internet marketer, being able to measure success is imperative. WordPress integrates very easily with Google Analytics making it easy to generate actionable data. The Google Anlytics plugin for WordPress makes setting up tracking super simple. It provides an easy-to-use interface along with short descriptions on how to configure analytics to get you the data you need. Of course you can still use the traditional Google interface if you prefer but setting things up within the plugin is much simpler and doesn’t require pasting code snippets into HTML on your website. A notable feature of the widget is that you can select a check box to log outgoing links as events, a process which is much more tedious without the plugin and that requires programming knowledge.
Show Your Visitors more Content While Lowering Your Bounce Rate
Showing your visitors related content to the posts they are reading is a great way to both lower the bounce rate of your blog or website and also keep visitors there. I highly recommend Yet Another Related Post Plugin (YARPP). It has a Templating system that allows you to configure how your posts look to readers. Best of all, it has a customizable algorithm that can find related content from across your site. The plugin is especially useful if you have been blogging for a long time and have tons of content on your site that you may not even remember is there.
Reach Out and Touch Someone
If you are running a business website with Worpress or if you just want to have a way for visitors to contact you, having a good form is essential. Setting up forms with validation is next to impossible if you don’t have programming knowledge and finding a good one for WordPress can be trickier than meets the eye. If you don’t mind spending a little cash, it doesn’t get much better than Gravity Forms. Not only can you create visually appealing and professional looking forms, but layout and validation are a snap. It integrates with Paypal and Mailchimp and it also allows you to create forms where users can upload images or documents among other things. For about 40 bucks you can get an individual user license. If you are looking for something free, Contact Form 7 is a good alternative. The interface isn’t as user friendly but there is a lot of good validation and form field functionality.
Sharing is Caring
Social Media should be an essential component of any internet marketing campaign. Giving your visitors a way of sharing your great content is a must. You should make it as easy and simple as possible for visitors to spread your content across social networks. A great way to do that is with the Sociable plugin. While there are many great sharing plugins out there, Sociable is an easy to use and easy to customize option. Some social sharing widgets don’t allow you to select the social networks that appear which is important if you know where your target audience is spending most of their time.
WordPress is a brilliant platform for internet marketers because it allows those with little or no programming knowledge to build intuitive and attractive websites on their own. The best part about it is all the amazing plugins available for accomplishing your marketing goals. If you wanted to market something online in the past, it used to mean being a programming wizard. WordPress and all the awesome plugins available for it have changed all that. With the right tools, internet marketers can now easily look like superstars without a lot of effort.
What are your favorite plugins for WordPress that aren’t included in this list?