With thousands of WordPress plugins to choose from, finding the best ones is not easy. We all want a blog that's optimized for the search engines, our visitors, and ultimately our business. Based on these three objectives, here are 10 of my favorite WordPress plugins you can use right away to make your blogs function a lot better!
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Plugins
Creating a blog that is optimized for search engines can increase your number of targeted, high quality visitors. Here are 6 great WordPress plugins to help you improve your on-page SEO.
1. All-In-One SEO Pack WordPress Plugins
This is one of the most well-known SEO plugins that's been around. It automatically optimizes your WordPress blog for the search engines. Because of its effectiveness, it's considered a must have plugin and continues to be one of the best free SEO plugins.
In case you have not used it yet, this plugin allows you to add the best meta data, tags, and descriptions about your blog. It helps the search engines understand what your blog is about and then categorize your site with better accuracy.
In the main settings of this plugin, you can decide on what keywords, titles, and descriptions to be used for your website. Within each post, you can add more keywords for that specific post. This is extremely important for the search engines in order for it to place your posts on the top results and drive targeted traffic to your site.
2. Google XML Sitemaps
Google XML Sitemaps is another popular and must-have WordPress Plugin due to its powerful function. With the sitemap it creates, you can place it anywhere you want to accommodate your site's layout. What this plugin does is it helps the search engine spiders to crawl your site to get an accurate layout of its structure. In addition, it allows the search engines to track your site whenever a new post, page or other contents are added.
3. Scribe SEO
Scribe SEO is a new plugin created by CopyBlogger, one of the most influential websites for many bloggers and online marketers. This is an effective SEO plugin when it comes to SEO for both posts and pages.
This plugin goes through your post and evaluates it based on its keywords, text layout and other relevant factors to give your a score along with tips to optimized it for the search engines.
4. SEO Pressor
SEO Pressor is one of the top picks for 2011. Similar to Scribe SEO, it provides each post with a score. It also tracks your H1, H2 and H3 counts and the number of internal links. It makes your posts more appealing for the search engines and helps improve your rankings
5. SEO Smart Links
This is a simple plugin that saves you a lot of time. It makes internal links automatically within your posts based on your keywords. NOTE: This plugin is no longer recommended
6. SEO Friendly Images
Having images in your posts is a plus for SEO and your visitors. This simple plugin adds an alternate text (alt) and title description to your images for the search engines, making it easier for the spiders to crawl your content.
WordPress Plugins To Encourage Readers Interaction
If you have quality content that gets you traffic and comments, that's great. But you may also need some plugins that provide additional functions that help your visitors feel more encouraged and excited about commenting on your blog, right? Here are 2 WordPress plugins that help you do the work.
CommentLuv is a widely used plugin considered a must have by many bloggers. This plugin encourages comments, allowing the commenters latest post to be linked back to their blogs. This is a win-win situation where you get more traffic to your blog, interact with your visitors, and they get the rewards for commenting.
8. WordPress Threaded Comments
As what its name suggests, this plugin allows your readers to interact with each other and the discussion will be displayed threaded. It also allows you to interact directly with your readers in an organized manner. You need this plugin if your existing theme doesn't have this function built in.
Business Boosting Plugins
When you have impressed the search engines and your visitors, you want some WordPress plugins that help boost your business.
9. Popup Domination
Many bloggers think popups are frowned on. But many high earning bloggers find this plugin extremely effective. According to Yaro Starak of Entrepreneurs-Journey, this plugin has helped increase his opt-in rate by 150%. It's also known for increasing the subscription rate by up to 400%. It comes with various attractive templates and guides to help you build your list.
Your visitors are greeted with a user-friendly box where you can promote your product or free offer to your potential subscribers. Within the box you can list the benefits of your product or free offer to new visitors to your blog.
10. Widget Context
This is one of my favorite free WordPress plugins that's very handy if you want to dictate which pages or posts show which sidebar widgets.
With this plugin you can tailor which widgets to show based on the word counts, categories, tags, etc. of a post. This is perfect if you have a specific ad, product offering, or list signup that you want to present to a targeted prospects. So the outcome is an increased conversion and more cohesive content.
That's it, 10 of my favorite WordPress plugins. This is by no means an exhaustive list, it helps to get you started and you can add some more WordPress plugins to your list as you go to further improve your blog to raise its search rankings, drive more targeted traffic, and increase your conversions.