Do you have a WordPress website or manage WordPress sites for clients? Then you’ll appreciate this shortlist of my favorite WordPress plugins.
Yoast is my favorite SEO plugin. You just have to make sure you're setting it up the right way and really optimizing it so you don't have to worry about SEO. When I first started doing marketing there wasn't a really good SEO plugin out there that took care of everything at once.
For example, when I have a post or a page that I want to index, I can do it easily from within Yoast SEO. I don't know how to code, so it's easier for me to just make the SEO changes that I want.
Related Content: Effective SEO Techniques that Work in 2017
Another plugin that I love is called Thrive Leads, which lets you do content upgrades. Let's say you write a post on seven SEO tactics that will double your traffic. Thrive lets you create an opt-in within your blog post. You can add it after the first few paragraphs. The trick is to make sure that the opt-in is very relevant to that specific blog post.
The opt-in could be something like “Download this checklist of seven tactics,” or it could be “Enter your email to get seven more advanced SEO tactics to double your traffic.” Thrive lets you leave a relevant call to action within each of your blog posts, and that will help you collect the most emails you can compared to any other type of opt-in you have on your blog.
Better Link Plugin
The third plugin is called Pretty Link. Let's say I'm promoting an affiliate, or I'm promoting somebody else's products as an affiliate. Pretty Link lets me cloak the link or make links on the fly. For example, if I’m using Growth Everywhere to promote Kissmetrics, I could use a URL like “growtheverywhere.com/kissmetrics” instead of a weird, long URL where the affiliate link actually resides.
That way, I can share a really nice link but still track what's going on in the backend of WordPress. I can see how often it's getting clicked as well. When I'm running Facebook ads I'll also create Pretty Links for the landing pages.
A fourth great plugin is called Polylang. This one requires quite a bit more work, but it produces the highest ROI from a traffic perspective. Polylang allows your blog to work in multiple languages.
Everyone creates their blog in English. It's a really popular language. But the majority of the world doesn't speak English at all; in fact, it's the third-most-spoken language. A greater percentage of the world reads and consumes content in Spanish or Chinese.
There are over 400 million Spanish speakers and billions of Chinese speakers. Why not translate your content into Spanish or Chinese? It only takes a year before you see results.
What Polylang allows you to do is manually translate your content. The reason I say manually and why that's important is I used to use another plugin called Transposh. It automatically translated my blog into multiple languages and I saw a huge increase in search traffic and then I realized that I was getting way too many complaints about the quality of the translations. I was worried that one day I was going to be hit with the Panda penalty, so I just removed that plugin and started doing it manually.
Neil Patel has been seeing some incredible results. He’s at the point where Brazil Portuguese is the second most popular language on his personal blog, Neil Patel. It'll overtake English in popularity very soon.
Related Content: How to Generate GREAT Headlines in WordPress in No Time [podcast]
Content Calendar Plugin
The fifth plugin I love to use is CoSchedule. This is something that really works well, especially if you have a content team. CoSchedule basically allows you to organize everything into a nice editorial calendar that automatically syncs up with WordPress. You can schedule social posts, assign posts to other people, etc. It just makes the whole editorial process a lot easier.
CoSchedule is paid, so if you want a free plugin that does almost the same thing, look for the WordPress Editorial Calendar.
For backup, there’s VaultPress. I pay really good money for awesome engineers and have a good team because we create complex software products. I pay for amazing hosting. From Amazon to WP Engine to Rackspace, I've tried it all. But a lot of these solutions run into issues, and a lot of these hosts claim they back up your site when they do not.
VaultPress has saved us so many times. It's worth whatever money they charge you each month. Every time I create a blog, I make sure I sign up for a new VaultPress account.
For image files, there’s Smush, which allows you to condense really large image files and makes pages load faster for your readers. That one's pretty straightforward.
For WordPress admin functionality, I use WordPress Popular Posts. The reason I love this plugin is because you can showcase your most popular posts. This is a great resource for your readers, but it’s also a turnkey way to get your top posts to rank higher through SEO hacking.
For example, Neil puts all of his best, most popular guides in the sidebar on every single page of his site. He doesn’t necessarily use rich keyword anchor text. Just by linking to these guides in the sidebar, Google notices the links and slowly moves those guides up in the rankings.
Related Content: 15 Free SEO Tools to Improve Your Google Ranking
Content Management Plugin
There’s also Checklist. This allows whoever's writing, whether freelancers or full-time writers, to see a checklist of the criteria I'm looking for every time they enter a new piece into the blog. If your blog posts are long-form, have lots of images, require everything to be backed up by links and references and case studies, etc., then a checklist of requirements is handy.
You do want to have a process for content creation or things will be a mess. It's the same with hiring. You have to have criteria. Checklist is going to let you set these criteria so your writers will be able to visualize what's going on with the post.
Page Takeover Plugin
Finally, there’s Hello Bar, which helps you create simple, unannoying page takeovers. You can use it to promote your Facebook page. If you haven't liked it, it says, “Hey, like this Facebook page.” From doing just this one simple thing, I get anywhere from 2,000 to 3,000 new Facebook fans every single week. It's really effective.
There you have it. I hope you found this list of WordPress plugins helpful. Let me know what your favorite ones are in the comments!
This post was adapted from Marketing School, a 10-minute daily podcast in which Neil Patel and Eric Siu teach you real-life marketing strategies and tactics from their own experience to help you find success in any marketing capacity. Listen to the podcast version of this post below:
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