Book a consultation call

3 WordPress Plugins I Can’t Live Without

blog blogging business seo Jun 24, 2016

If you have a small business or blog, you probably already know that WordPress is one of the top platforms to use for your website and blog. While there are many reasons for this, one reason is the multitude of awesome plugins available to users.  There are so many awesome plugins, in fact, that it was difficult to me to choose just 3 to list here.  Because of this, you will get a Bonus App that I tested out and absolutely love!

If you are like most business owners, when you researched building a website, you probably heard two stories about WordPress. Some people were probably huge advocates of WordPress, like myself, and told you how much they love it.  Then there were probably others who told you that WordPress is complicated and you won’t be able to manage the site yourself.  Many entrepreneurs and business owners I meet believed this and used other platforms to host their websites and blog.  Many of those same folks are now seeing why so many people love WordPress.

One of these reasons is the availability of plugins to make your website and blog do the things you need it to do in order to make the user experience intuitive, increase your reach, and improve your SEO.  The 3 plugins I chose for this blog are the ones I depend on to increase my SEO, improve my reach and gain new potential clients who visit my website.  I should note that I did not list them in any particular order. They are ALL worth investing in and they will all help get the word out about your website or blog.

1. Click to Tweet WordPress Plugin

Why I Like This Plugin

This plugin is great for highlighting tweetable snippets.  It creates a Tweet Box that stands out on your page so the important snippets you want readers to see will be right there in an already Tweetable format! You can choose several different looks for the Tweet Box and Twitter Bird, so you can choose whatever color works for your website or blog.  As the website or blog owner, YOU choose the Tweet snippets.  Each time a reader (or you) tweet this message out, it reinforces your brand and your expertise and can bring new readers to your blog that may never have found you if a reader had not shared that great Tweet.

What I Don’t Like About This Plugin

Because it is a Tweet, you are limited to 140 characters.  If your sentences are longer, you may need to break up a sentence and make one point into two different points in your writing. Another point to make is that the Tweet Box can appear a little intrusive, so choose the color scheme that works for your website.  If it seems intrusive because your Tweet is in the middle of a paragraph, it is okay to repeat the point in the Tweet Box after the paragraph. Either way is fine and it really depends on which you prefer.  Another issue with the 140 character limit is the plugin gives you the ability to include your Twitter handle in the Tweet. If you do include it you have fewer characters to work with.  At times I have found the character limit to be frustrating, but I overall LOVE this plugin!

Why You Should Use This Plugin

If you want readers to share your content, I highly recommend you use this plugin.  The beauty with this plugin is that YOU choose the content to be Tweeted.  Also, the plugin makes it super easy for readers to just click a button without thinking much; it makes the user experience positive in sharing your content. After all, you want readers to share your content.  Why not make it as easy as possible?  If you are choosing content for Tweets that resonates with your readers, you will get your content Tweeted.

2. Yoast SEO for WordPress Plugin

Why I Like This Plugin

My blog would not be as successful as it is without Yoast SEO.  If you are not using this plugin, I highly recommend you start today!  Yoast SEO provides real-time feedback on your blog post or page as you are writing the content.  The plugin alerts you about many of the key factors of SEO for your website or page, so you can fix them or adjust your content.

It is so simple to use, too!  You have built-in green, yellow and red buttons similar to a traffic light and corresponding colored buttons next to the key factors for SEO. If it has a green button, that category is good.  But is the button is yellow or read, you need to address that issue. You can fix each factor as you go, or wait until you are finished writing to make the corrections.  The ideal place you want to aim for is all green.  If this is not possible, aim for as many green pieces of content as you can. As long as your overall rating is green, you should be good.  Most of the time there are simple changes you can make to make a huge SEO difference. Taking the time to correct the issues can go a long way in your SEO.

What I Don’t Like About This Plugin

Okay, let me start by saying that I cannot see anything NOT to like about Yoast SEO.  However, the free version does have some limitations.  For instance, the free version only allows for one focus keyword.  Many times a blog post or web page may have more than one focus, so you would have to choose.  If you want to maximize your website and blog SEO, it may be best to try the Premium version.

Why You Should Use This Plugin

Of all the plugins I mention, this is the one I would suggest you stop everything and get it now! Yoast SEO understands Google search engines and helps you achieve better SEO by alerting you to things that need to be fixed.  Does this mean you will achieve page one on a Google search? Probably not, but this plugin will help you be as good as you possibly can if you cannot afford an SEO professional.  If you are not sold, try the free version, review your website and pages and make the necessary changes.  See the difference just the free version can make before you invest in the paid version. Caution: If you have never done SEO on your website, you may see drastic results after reviewing and correcting each page.

Not blogging yet? CLICK HERE to schedule a FREE call with me to see how I can help you get started. #blogging

3. Sumo

Why I Like This Plugin

Sumo is one of the most helpful plugins I use for list building and to help me better understand my readers.  This one plugin has 13 built-in apps to help you build your list, and better understand your readers. First, there are a variety of list-building apps such as List Builder, Scroll Box, Smart Bar and Welcome Mat.  Use one or all of them to build your list when people visit your website or blog.

There are also several share apps built into Sumo.  The Share App adds share buttons that have a counter so you can see how many times your page or article have been shared (counter will not show for Twitter). No need for other share plugins. There is also an image share app.  It appears when someone hovers over an image on the page. The last, and often overlooked, share feature is the highlighter, which is used to highlight text that can be shared by clicking on it.

The measurement apps such as the Heat Map, Content Analytics, and Google Analytics help you learn more about your readers.  Other apps to help you run your business are Discover, Buy Button, and Contact Forms, which means you may be able to delete another contact form in lieu of Sumo.  Sumo really has a lot of what you need to build your list and get to know your readers.  The best part?  There is a free version! Of course, there are many limitations on the free version.  I would recommend upgrading to the paid version to get the most from SumoMe for your business (No. I am not an affiliate).

What I Don’t Like About This Plugin

Truth be told, I was hesitant to use Sumo because of the intrusiveness of the pop-ups.  However, in doing more research, I came to the realization that they work.  Plain and simple.  Look, you are running a business and you need to use the tools that are available to be effective.  While most people are not fans of pop-ups when they visit a website or blog, most realize they are a necessity to the website owner.  There are settings for them, so you can choose the settings that you feel are fair.

Why You Should Use This Plugin

Sumo is one of the most effective plugins for lead capture, sharing and measuring right in your website or blog.  It is not JUST a plugin.  It does a lot more than any other plugin I have found.  The best part is you can try the free version to see how all the apps work.  I know you will want to upgrade this app, though.  It is just that effective!

Bonus: CoSchedule

Why I Like This Plugin

This is the only WordPress plugin I am recommending that has a paid version only.  I recently tried out this plugin on a trial basis.  It was amazing!  If you are a blogger or have a blog with plenty of content on your website, I highly recommend this app.  Basically, CoSchedule is an editorial calendar that allows you to schedule your blog posts and other content to be distributed to your social media platforms.  You can do it all through your WordPress site.  The plugin integrates with Google Docs and Evernote, Google Analytics, and Pinterest. It also has a Headline Analyzer and a Chrome Extension so you can add content right from your browser.  There is a 14-day trial, after which the plans are $15, $30 and $60, depending on the features you want and need.

What I Did Not Like About This Plugin

Overall, I fell in love with this plugin.  However, I found the content calendar to be confusing to figure out.  I also felt that in order to get a good feel for the app and the features, I would have liked a 30-day trial.  Of course, if you do purchase the plugin, you may cancel at any time, according to their website.  This is one plugin I will definitely pay for.

Why You Should Use This Plugin

If you are a blogger or have a fairly robust business blog, this plugin will help you distribute new and old blog posts in a systematic way that will keep older blog posts in the mix integrated with other content in your marketing calendar.  Recycling older green content is a great way to get new eyes on your content and new readers to your blog.

So, what plugins do you love?  Do you have a favorite or one you would not want to live without?  I would love to hear what you like.  Comment below and let me know!