After reading how to choose the best website host with WordPress, you’ll start customizing your website both in terms of the look but also in terms of what it offers you and your readers. As I mentioned, one of the wonderful things about WordPress is all the plugins you can add to your site – add ons that add special functionality. You don’t want to add too many plugins as they will slow your site down, but plugins are a great feature and one which you absolutely need to take advantage! I want to share my TOP 5 WORDPRESS PLUGINS for increasing pageviews, improving your SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and getting visitors to sign up for your newsletter – all of which contribute to your site’s lifetime strength!
The Best Social Media WordPress Plugin
One of the best things you can do for your website is make it easy for followers/readers to share your content. There are a variety of ways to do this, but the most effective is to have popup buttons for popular social media platforms (as you can see on the left side of this screen if you’re on a desktop or below if you’re on mobile). The Sumo plugin, in addition to many other things, offers customizable social share pop up buttons. You can pick which platforms appear in addition to when and where they appear. They also offer share counts if that’s of interest.
That’s not all that Sumo does, however. This plugin also lets your create popups. If you’ve spent any time on my site, you’re familiar with the welcome mats (that big thing at the top asking if you’d like my social media tips) and popups down in the corner letting you know how to you can stay up to date! You can design them to your heart’s content, including images, font colors, sizes, information you want to gather, links, etc. I use pop ups to interest readers in staying connected through my email newsletter. You can create social media “follow” popups or offer a chat service – really the world is your oyster!
Increase Traffic w. the Best Related Posts Plugin
When I first had my WordPress site designed, I wanted it to be very clean and free of clutter. Because of that, I opted not to have a sidebar away from the homepage. One of the things I missed with my less-cluttered site, however, was a ‘related posts’ feature. Much of my traffic isn’t from my normal followers but rather new people unfamiliar with me and my site. I wanted to keep these new visitors here and show them what I had to offer. Having a ‘related posts’ section, therefore, became mandatory. I tried a few different plugins for this on my wpengine staging site (more on that here) and the best one was Jetpack. It’s not fully customizable on the interface, but it did what I wanted the best of all the plugins I tried! Jetpack offers a lot of features which I haven’t tried out yet, but the free version for the ‘related posts’ features is an absolute must. My traffic increased immediately. Additionally, with each extra page these new visitors saw, the more they got to know me, and the more invested they became in the Luci’s Morsels world!
The Best SEO Plugin for WordPress
One of the things all website owners struggle with is SEO. What is SEO? In a nutshell SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is trying to rank higher in search engine (e.g. Google) results. Since this is no easy task and the ‘necessities’ change from time to time, it can be a lot to keep up with. Yoast is a free plugin that helps you learn what’s important and if you’re doing it right. The Yoast plugin pops up at the bottom of each blog post drafting page. You select a phrase or word you want to try to rank for (previous keyword research is important) and write that in. Then it shows you what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong. Examples include if your post is long enough, if you’ve used the keyword phrase enough times, if your photos have the right titles, etc. If you’re new to SEO, this is a lifesaver. And if you aren’t new to SEO, this is your new best friend!
REMEMBER WHEN ADDING ANY OF THE BEST WORDPRESS PLUGINS YOU CAN ‘STAGE’ YOUR SITE ON WPENGINE TO SEE WHAT IT’LL LOOK LIKE WITHOUT AFFECTING YOUR BLOG!
Get More Email Subscribers w. the Best Viral Giveaway Plugin
Giveaways. I was never a fan of running giveaways. They seemed to be a lot of work without much return. The same people would sign up for them each time and they garnered little improvement in numbers, following, or anything really. That was until I got the King Sumo plugin that hosts giveaways and helps them to go viral! The main goal of King Sumo giveaways is to increase your email subscriber list – the most effective way of communicating with your followers! Secondary, but still important, is that entrants can follow you on Facebook, Twitter, and now YouTube (sadly not Instagram or Pinterest – yet)! So, how does the plugin make giveaways go viral? King Sumo offers a ‘lucky url’ for each entrant. When someone clicks a ‘lucky url’ and enters the giveaway, the original entrant gains extra entries in the contest. So the more you share the giveaway, the more people are likely to enter, and the more entries you get in the giveaway. The difference between running a giveaway through the website I used to use and King Sumo is ASTOUNDING – 100s of times more effective. I’ve run a handful of giveaways through the plugin and it is no surprise that the better the prize, the more entrants you get. The best part is that you can integrate King Sumo with many email clients, making the process easy for you! There is a hefty price tag for the plugin BUT it’s a one-time buy; I think it’s absolutely worth it; and you can get 20% OFF if you use code “lucismorsels20.”
The Best WordPress Recipe Plugin
If you have a food blog, then you absolutely have to have a recipe plugin. There are a few options, but Cookbook is one of the most advanced and latest options. From the creators of Feast Design Co. (who designed the theme for my site), Cookbook is the best WordPress recipe plugin. It’s super easy to use and has a variety of options for cooking times, descriptions, nutrition information, and a photo. Without getting technical, it’s also appropriately integrated to help with SEO and Pinterest – the sites can read your recipe through the plugin and help it perform better in recipe searches on search engines and on Pinterest. And since we know customer service is important to me – they’ve got it! There’s a contact form directly in the plugin on your site and on their website. They’ll always respond rather quickly too, which is a lifesaver for someone like me!!
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