When it comes to blogging systems, few can compare to the popularity and functionality of WordPress. A site can be created and put to use in no time flat, but the real draw is the platformâ€™s customization. And the extent of that customization is almost staggering. Versatile and often open sourced, plugins allow you to expand your user engagement, and do everything from customizing comments to redesigning the look and feel of your site. Naturally, they can also be used to increase visits.
As an online marketer, you should familiarize yourself with the plugins included below. Adding them to your WordPress site will boost your site traffic and allow you to optimize not only your visitorsâ€™ experience but also increase your siteâ€™s reach via social integration and SEO.
Tackling SEO: All-in-One SEO Pack Plugin
The name says it all. All-in-One SEO Pack is the ultimate search-rank-boosting, traffic-driving plugin available for WordPress. Just doing a quick Google search will convince you that this one has earned the WordPress communityâ€™s stamp of approval. The plugin is jam-packed with features, including:
Google Analytics support
Support for custom post types
SEO integration for ecommerce sites
Automatic optimization for titles in search engines
Meta tag generation
And thatâ€™s really just the tip of the SEO iceberg. This tool allows you to easily optimize some of the most important elements of your blog, including keywords, title tags, and descriptions. What makes this plugin shine is that it works at both ends of the experience spectrum: for the newbie, it works right out of the box; for WordPress and SEO pros, you can customize everything. Itâ€™s great to have this one in your toolbox for whenever youâ€™re ready to get serious about your traffic.
Going Social: Sociable Plugin
Do you currently have a presence in the social space? If so, Sociable is the WordPress plugin to connected to your site. Sociable provides a convenient way for readers to share your content across the web through popular social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
This plugin allows users to save and share interesting pages they find and include them as links at the end of their blog posts. This brings in more readers who may not have been looking for you, but who share your interests. With exposure like this, your traffic is poised to grow significantly. Another plugin that has been embraced with open arms by the WordPress community, Sociable has evolved steadily with well over 1 million downloads and counting.
Adding Email: WP-Email Plugin
WP-Email is a WordPress plugin that can be considered a genuine must-have for the budding email marketer. Once up and running, WP-Email gives readers an easy way to share your posts with their contacts via email through a single click.
Once installed, a menu panel in your dashboard will let you configure your SMTP server. You and your users can then send emails directly, and inside your menu youâ€™ll even be able to track your stats: how many emails have gone out; what posts/pages are being emailed; and who is receiving them. You can even customize the subject titles of the email that goes out.
Search rules all, and social is the flavor of the day, but email continues to be a powerful tool for driving traffic. Giving readers the ability to harness its power to share your content is a highly effective way to reel in some new visitors and get on the road to converting them to loyal readers.
Opening Up Comments: Subscribe to Comments Plugin
Here is another cool WordPress plugin that is fully capable of helping you grow your traffic numbers. With Subscribe to Comments, readers can receive email notifications whenever new comments are made to a post they want to follow. The big payoff? Commenters donâ€™t disappear once the initial response is made. An email notification can inspire them to come back to your blog and re-engage with the discussion.
Notification is easily facilitated with a check box that visitors can mark to receive follow-up comments. This option has been proven to increase site traffic by making comments and blogs more interactive. With Subscribe to Comments, users can moderate their subscriptions, view posts theyâ€™re subscribed to, unsubscribe from comment streams, block notifications, and change their email address. And it is widely enabled in WordPress itself.
Disqus versus Subscribe to Comments
If youâ€™re familiar with the comment WordPress plugins, then youâ€™ve probably encountered heated debates about Subscribe to Comments versus Disqus, another plugin that expands user subscription options. The truth is, Disqus does allow more features, but itâ€™s also a bit of a monster.
Subscribe to Comments dovetails nicely with your existing WordPress framework, but Disqus doesnâ€™t like to share. In fact, installing Disqus will negate your existing comment-related plugins, including Subscribe to Comments and Akismet. Akismet is the built-in WordPress spam comment moderator, so unless youâ€™ve got an alternative, this can be a huge annoyance.
In addition, Disqus doesnâ€™t allow hotlinks for names in comments and replaces names with an ID and houses comments and moderation on its own Disqus servers. This means that if you ever uninstall Disqus then youâ€™ll need to remoderate your blog comments. And the lack of links diminishes the SEO value. Sound like fun to you?
Of course, thatâ€™s really the point. It is ultimately up to you, which plugins you add to your site. Thankfully, WordPress is SEO-friendly by nature, and the vast number of plugins that have been designed to support the platform increases that value tenfold. Start adding them to your collection and you will be able to make sure your blog is never left lonely.
About Francis Santos
Francis Santos is a best practices activist and advocate for leading web and permission-based html email marketing software.He Graduated from Cal State Long Beach and holds a degree in Journalism. In Addition, he is also the executive editor for separate popular news blogs.