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6 WordPress Plugins for Marketing and SEO

Marketing, SEO, Content

There are WordPress plugins for pretty much every purpose out there, but when it comes to Marketing and SEO, you can count the good ones on the fingers of one hand (maybe two, if your search goes deep enough).

In my 12 years old of blogging for personal and professional reasons, only 6 WordPress plugins made it to my top ranks in terms of user experience and quality of service, and in this round-up post, I briefly review each of them and tell you why it’s a good plugin to use for your blog.

1. SumoMe

Plugin URL: https://wordpress.org/plugins/sumome/

Also known on WordPress’ plugin page as the “Free Tools to grow your Email List, Social Sharing and Analytics”. SumoMe is an amazing plugin, easy to use soon after installation: all it asks is for you to register an account (name and email address), after which you will be shown a list of in-plugin functions you can activate, like a conversion bar, a newsletter, social buttons and more.

Some of the features I have found particularly helpful in running my blog are the lightbox “List Builder”, the full-screen CTA “Welcome Mat” and “Highlighter”, a function that allows readers to select part of the text and tweet it with a link to the full article. One of the big benefits of having SumoMe installed is that this all-in-one plugin will fullfill most of your marketing and SEO needs, so you need nothing else. You may as well have only SumoMe and be done with that.

You can also integrate SumoMe Can with MailChimp or Aweber to have the best of both platform.

2. Social Media and Share Icons (Ultimate Social Media)

Plugin URL: https://wordpress.org/plugins/ultimate-social-media-icons/

Ultimate Social Media is a special plugin, one that asks you questions upon installation. For example, it asks which icons you want on your site and what do you want them to do, or if you want to display share count next to them (more details here). You will then select which icons to use (RSS and Email are labeled as “Mandatory”). Icons come in several designs (16 overall), so you get to choose the one that matches your blog design better.

This plugin allows your visitors to subscribe to your blog via email, too.

3. Marketing Optimizer for WordPress

Plugin URL: https://wordpress.org/plugins/marketing-optimizer/

This is an A/B testing and conversion rate optimization software for WordPress that tracks and analyzes all your content and landing page, as well as offer professional landing page templates.

It helps optimize your conversion rate for better ROI and to work on your most trafficked pages.

4. SEO Post Content Links

Plugin URL: https://wordpress.org/plugins/content-links/

This plugin automatically links to your categories when it meets the keyword in your posts. You can also add lists of keywords and key-phrases to automatically link to each of your posts from other posts.

If you need automated help to complement your internal link building efforts, go for this plugin. As the plugin author reassures, “You own links, that was created without this plugin, will stay untouchable.”

5. Yoast SEO (ex WordPress SEO)

Plugin URL: https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-seo/

When it comes to SEO plugins for WordPress, Yoast SEO is the plugin. Almost all of the most popular bloggers and SEOs out there use it to optimize their websites for search engines.

Yoast SEO can make a difference for your blog posts, because it helps you analyze every aspect of your On-Page SEO, from keywords to readability to alt tags. Every analysis comes with recommendations and a yellow or green light to let you know whether you optimized the post just fine or if it needs more work.

I also recommend you watch Neil Patel’s “How to Fine Tune the Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin” video tutorial at QuickSprout.

6. Broken Link Checker

Plugin URL: https://wordpress.org/plugins/broken-link-checker/

Why is this plugin here, while not strictly SEO or marketing software? Well, first of all, because broken links negatively impact your SEO and UX; secondly, because bad UX leads to lost opportunities to market your content and anything your content tries to convey.

Broken Link Checker monitors your links, internal and external, to see whether they’re broken or not, or if they redirect to some different URL. You can also use an option to make the plugin add a rel=nofollow attribute to all broken links, to save your rankings.

More Plugins?

Check out the following resources (thanks awesome bloggers for sharing these gems!):

What plugins do you use to aid your Marketing and SEO efforts?

 

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4 Ways to to Stay on Top of SEO in 2016

2015 SEO Techniques

Search Engine Optimization Matters

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can make or break a new business, and has a huge impact on whether a new site is commercial success. The general concept, for the uninitiated, is that search engines use criteria from your site, plug them into an algorithm, and then use the result to decide if your site contains the information people are looking for.

In principle, it’s very straightforward. In practical terms, it’s a real challenge because search engines tend to be very secretive about what those criteria actually are. Because of this, there is a whole industry of modern day code breakers attempting to reverse engineer Google’s algorithms day in and day out. Placing higher in the search results is big money, so, sooner or later, the inner workings of the black box are puzzled out.

Booms and Busts

People being people, about a tenth of a second after someone figures out what the rules are, everyone starts gaming them, and optimizing their pages to appease the search engines and inflate their ranking for various search terms irrespective of actual content value.

This is, as we’ve said, a huge industry.

Of course, once everyone starts gaming the system, spam begins to sprout up everywhere, and the overall quality of the search results begins to drop.

SEO Rules Change

The big search engine companies don’t take this lying down, however, no; Google and Bing are constantly updating and changing their algorithms to weed out spam, prevent us from gaming the system, and, also, to improve the predictive ability of their search engines.

That’s why, a few years back, SEO was mostly a matter of keyword stuffing (but not stuffing too much) but 2015 was the year of long-from content and long-tail keywords.

What 2016 will be remains to be seen, but Google has already been busy shaking up the rankings in January, so it’s likely there’s going to be more to see in the months ahead.

What’s New in 2016

The biggest SEO change for developers this year has been Google’s update of their core algorithm. Everything they’ve done and changed isn’t apparent just yet, but there’s not too much mystery, because changes aren’t incorporated into Google’s core algorithm until it’s a fair bet they don’t need to be watched constantly to avoid disaster.

In other words, Google’s probably just taken their big changes from 2015 (and before) and set them free to run without supervision. In other words, Panda has been moved to the core, and no one’s completely sure what that means, but it’s probably important. It seems likely that various mobile search ranking preferences have also been subsumed, but it’s too early to tell.

All of which sort of leads to the question, “If everyone is unsure what’s going on, how am I supposed to keep the sites I manage optimized?”

Well, there are a few things you can do to stay ahead of the curve.

How to Stay on Top of SEO Trends

1. Install Plugins that do most the work for you.

If you’re using WordPress, and you probably should be, unless you’ve got a custom coded site, there are a number of plugins that do much of the heavy SEO lifting for you by automating many tasks and telling you if you’re making mistakes. They update regularly to reflect consensus changes in SEO practices.

The big one is Yoast.

2. Follow a few search engine blogs.

When all else fails, turn to the experts. The thing is, you need to be sure you’re finding sources who stay on top of developments. An expert who knew absolutely everything about SEO in 2014, but hasn’t kept up on things, is the next best thing to useless in 2016.

You don’t have to turn yourself into an expert, but very rarely is knowing more than you need to a disadvantage in life. On top of that, the evolving means and methods of how we find, collate, and deliver information is one of the most salient issues of modern civilization. If the internet is a lever moving the world, then search engines are the fulcrum on which it rests. So find a blog and follow it.

3. Learn the rules of the system.

Google makes a real effort to tell you what not to do, so you don’t get penalized. Make sure you check in on that regularly, or, if this is your first site, learn them. Since they’re setting the rules, even if the exact process might not be clear, following their rules should keep your site from being penalized.

The process is more than worth the time invested, and the will probably help you create better content—which is the next point on this list.

4. Create Great Content

While we don’t ever know exactly what’s going on inside the search engine algorithms, we know exactly what the goal of those search engines happens to be: Delivering users to the best content on the subject they’re looking for.

In this, at least, nothing has changed since the beginning. The take-home, then, is that you should create content with value to the people who find it. If your content is the best answer to a search query then whatever changes Google makes will be with the goal of bringing people to your content (you know, in a large and impersonal sense).

If you’re working to create great content that users will find helpful, well, you’re probably going to make content that’s pretty close to optimized, whatever minor tweaks and changes come your way in the months ahead.

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Online Reputation Management

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Google Penalty

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Company mission statement: do you need one?

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Increase Blog Traffic

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Customer Reviews - What are they saying about you?

How can you encourage customers to leave reviews for your business? Our Brandon wrote a great post in August 2014 on 13 ways to get online customer reviews, but I thought to write a follow up to his post, because the more alternatives you can keep in your toolbox, the better. A word of advice: [...]

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