There are a few tens of thousands of plugins available for WordPress which makes figuring out the essential ones a difficult task to say the least. The good news is you only need a handful of plugins to optimize your site. The essential areas that are worth focusing on include email marketing, content, security, and optimization. There is a few WordPress plugin must haves for each category and a few good reasons why each plugin might be good for your website.
Email marketing is a cheap and effective modern advertising solution for your online business. There are a few plugins to make your marketing efforts more effective, quicker and easier in the long-term.
This email marketing plugin is made specifically to track leads to your website. It details visitor’s actions and is a great resource for a website owner who wants to understand his audience better. It a detailed program that even lets you know how many subscribers each opt-in form brought in.
Rapidology is a perfect resource for the business owner who wants maximum control over his email marketing campaign. The plugin allows for multiple opt-in forms in a variety of formats. These include widgets, inlines, slide-ins, pop-ups and more. Its split-testable feature means that you get to choose which opt-in form to integrate with your preferred email delivery service. The best part is it’s free.
Even the best run email marketing campaign is useless if you don’t have good content that offers real value to the visitor. There is a few WordPress plugin must haves to help you manage your content better.
This plugin replaces the default plugin comment section with the Disqus version. The advantage here is Diqus looks better than the default option and is also much easier to use on both ends.
This plugin from SiteOrigin is extremely efficient and useful for crafting page layouts and posts. The winning feature is its drag-and-drop content builder shaving off precious minutes or hours when updating your content. It is definitely one of the best content plugins that you can get for free.
WordPress default installation doesn’t come with the classic HTML tables. TablePress solves this problem. It is free, functional and easy to use and is at least worth considering for your site.
Most business owners don’t need to be told about cyber security and the risks that hackers pose to a site or blog. The reality is investing in security is not a priority especially for small business owners working on tight budgets. Fortunately, there is a few security WordPress plugin must haves to help on this front.
WordFence security is a game changer because it allows virtually anyone to enjoy enterprise-level security without the matching cost. It is a free plugin to protect your website from hackers. It includes real-time updates and alerts for potential threats and is definitely worth having.
This plugin does exactly what it sounds like; it backs up your WordPress to your Dropbox account automatically. This guarantees that you can always recover your website even in a worst case scenario. It backs up daily.
This is an auditing and malware scanner that helps to get that extra level of security you need for your website. It automatically searches for malware and other potential security threats. It also has a variety of settings to give you ultimate control over your website security.
Lastly, there is no getting around SEO if you want your website or blog to rank high in search engine results. As with the other plugins suggested here, you don’t need necessarily need a huge budget to optimize your site. There are a few plugins worth considering for this purpose.
This plugin offers a simple solution to the common problem of visitors getting redirected to a missing URL. The plugin helps to easily redirect users to an existing page and solving the problem of 404 pages as you work on the missing URL.
Yet another optimization WordPress plugin must haves is the Yoast SEO. It ranks top 3 in the most widely used WordPress plugins of all time and for good reason. It offers some of the best functionality you could ever wish for in an optimization plugin and is very easy to set up. It is highly recommended for anyone who wants to optimize his site quickly, easily and cheaply.
It is an open secret that Google penalizes for broken links. Never lose out on high rankings because of faulty links courtesy of Broken Link Checker. The plugin checks your comments, pages, and posts for broken links so you are always on top of your site’s functionality and performance.
It is impossible to ignore the importance of social media in reference to websites and blogs. There are a few useful plugins to help leverage the power of social media.
This plugin helps to keep track of all your social media posts regardless of the platform and gives feedback on your performance for each site. The dashboard displays the numbers of likes, shares, and other important metrics so you are always aware of which posts or sites are working well and which ones need to be improved.
The aptly named website does exactly what it promises. It ensures that none of your posts go stale and is a great way to stay interactive on social media. The plugin randomly picks old posts from the archives and shares them on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter. All you need to do is set how often you want it to post and let it do its job.
These are just some of the notable WordPress plugin must haves that make the biggest impact on your website or blog’s performance and optimization. The best part is these plugins don’t require any coding knowledge or experience. Most importantly, they are cost effective and allow you to compete favorably with bigger businesses with much larger budgets.
We’re one month in the New Year. If you run a blog or website on WordPress, you need a couple of S.E.O. tips, tricks, and tactics to make yourself more visible to your target market.
I’m going to publish an in-depth look into WordPress SEO very very very soon!
Although achieving a high rank on search engines is no easy feat, you should be able to find success especially when you count on the WordPress SEO and keyword tips listed below.
Read on to learn more:
The first step to optimizing your WordPress website/blog is to install the right SEO plugin. By so doing, you will have greater control over the optimization of what search engines see from your site.
In terms of popularity, the free All-In-One SEO Pack and the Yoast SEO plugins are the best. They come with end-to-end search engine optimization capabilities. More specifically, you might want to opt for Yoast because most of the tips and strategies provided below are related to this plugin.
With Yoast, you will be able to churn out higher quality content – complete with keyword and page analysis. The plugin will also generate XML sitemaps automatically, and allow you to add schema markup and social to your website.
Remember, however, that this plugin will not do the SEO on your behalf. Rather, it will provide you with the recommendations needed to effect data-driven optimization on your WordPress website.
WordPress automatically creates weird URL structures (referred to as permalinks) by default. Since search engines are looking for more descriptive permalinks, you need to adopt new keyword tips to change these URLs.
To do this, edit your URLs so that they contain the right keywords and/or the title of your blog post. Remember, however, the shorter the URL, the higher you will rank.
One particular WordPress SEO strategy you should never forget revolves around the keywords you use. Google is a machine algorithm, meaning that keywords will continue being key to overall website optimization in 2017 and beyond.
Therefore, even as you focus on generating content that is targeted at your customers and visitors as recommended by search engines, remember to write smart. It is quite easy coming up with amazing, actionable content while keeping smart SEO optimizations in your text.
To this end, every time you post a page or write a post for your WordPress website, you should have a keyword in mind. Never publish content simply because you feel like adding to your collection of content. Instead, tailor your writing so that it attracts higher ranks for your website on different search engines.
The focus keyword you picked in (3) above should also go right into your title tag. In fact, this keyword should appear as close to the beginning of your title as possible because they will carry more weight with search engines.
To increase your click-through-rates (CTR), you should also perform A/B testing and split-testing on your titles. This is because it will help search engines rank your WordPress site/blog higher because your content will look more relevant.
Over and above everything else, Google relies on optimized title and H1 tags. Therefore, even the smallest of data driven changes that have been well researched will make a world of difference to your overall organic search performance.
Although meta descriptions will not affect your WordPress SEO with regards to website rank, they will improve your CTR. The better your write your meta descriptions, the easier it will be for your content to get users to click on the post you wrote instead of the ones below or above it in the search engine results.
Since a high CTR makes your authority seem more relevant to Google, the search engine will start ranking you higher. Therefore, well-written meta descriptions will help with your WordPress SEO albeit in an indirect manner.
Set the meta description to use in your Yoast plugin. As long as the description is in less than 156 characters, you should be able to observe a direct increase in the traffic coming to your website.
Of course, you should also include the focus keyword you picked out within the meta description. This way, Google will automatically highlight the relevant search terms in bold for users to see, further helping your post and website stand out even more.
Most websites on WordPress fail at S.E.O. because they get their image file names all wrong. To change this for your website, ensure you name your image correctly. A couple of these changes will go a long way in giving you a good boost both in Google Image Search and SERPs.
Before you upload your images, therefore, ensure that you name them with words that are related to the content the images will accompany. For instance, instead of uploading an image titled DC001.JPG, rename it to “fashion dresses for 2017” if the topic you are writing about is fashion.
If the image file name has more than 2 words, include hyphens in between the individual words. For instance, for the example above, the actual name of the image should be fashion-dresses-for-2017.JPG.
With regards to WordPress SEO, there are 2 main types of links: nofollow and dofollow links. Every link created on a WordPress website is an automatic dofollow link. These links are great for building authority and ranking higher on Google.
NoFollow links, on the other hand, contain the rel attribute of the nofollow hyperlink. As such, they inform Google that they ought to be ignored.
Your backlink profile, therefore, should have a good ratio of nofollow and dofollow links.
Most bloggers and businesses using WordPress add affiliate links to their blogs and websites. This is because affiliate marketing is a growing business, which promises attractive returns over the long haul.
However, Google does not generally like these types of links. To this end, your website might even end up getting penalized as a result of overusing affiliate links. The safest way to use the links, therefore, is to peg them as nofollow link. By so doing, you will still be able to track your commissions and referrals without attracting negative penalties from Google.
So, there you have it – top 8 actionable WordPress SEO and keyword tips to work on in 2017. There are many other tips out there, each of which will continue contributing to a higher rank for your website/blog this year. Search these tips out and combine them with the guide above for higher ranks, greater CTR, and increased earnings from your WordPress website/blog.