WordPress has long been praised for its flexibility and simplicity for conducting business in an efficient manner. One of the key features that allows businesses to take full advantage of the online tools at their disposal are the “plugin feature” within the CMS.
Plugins and Widgets are what give you the ability to grow revenue and increase profits regardless of the niche you are in. Whether you have a physical store and want to drive more foot traffic or operate purely within the virtual space, understanding how to properly use WordPress plugins can greatly benefit your bottom-line.
Social Media Integrating Plugins
It’s pointless to create a website if you don’t optimize the “social elements” of your business. This includes integrating social features such as “Facebook Comments”, allowing your customers to participate on your website without having to log in and can natively use their own Facebook profiles.
“Share buttons” are also important if you are interested in obtaining increased organic reach. “Word of Mouth” marketing is still one of the best ways to gain free traffic and increase conversion. By implementing social sharing buttons on your content, it makes this approach much easier to achieve. You’ll always want to make it as simple as possible for your prospects to share your content as people tend to dislike “complicated” things online.
Don’t simply make a website for the sake of having a website. You should have goals to rank for certain keywords online when users are searching for your business. You do this by properly creating SEO Meta Tags and content related to your targeted keywords. One of the best and most used plugins for all purpose SEO is “Yoast”.
Not only will Yoast help you optimize your pages, it gives you a check list that makes creating high ranking SEO-optimized content on the fly. Yoast also gives you the ability to Meta Tag your pages and connect with a multitude of other services like Analytics and many others.
SEO is vital in every online endeavor if you’re serious about generating traffic to your website and increasing revenue.
In addition, you should also get “Google XML Site map” plugin. This plugin will create a sitemap to your website allowing Google to index your pages. This plugin will conflict with Yoast as Yoast has this integrated in the plugin itself however it’s faulty. It’s better to use the Google plugin and to deactivate the XML on Yoast. Yoast will prompt a warning message which you can ignore and dismiss.
Pop Up and Opt in Forms
If you’re not building an email list, you should seriously start thinking about doing so. Email Marketing is still considered the most profitable way of making money online. Email Marketing is so effective because once you have captured the email of a lead, you can nurture them into making a purchase over time without spending a dime.
Depending on your ESP you will have several options to create “opt in forms”. Typically your EPS will have the integration necessary to set this up, however, to drive your email marketing efforts up, you’ll want to think about Pop Ups. WP Pop Up Plugin is a good option to consider when you’re thinking about collecting emails. With a lot of customizable options, you can optimize your “Pop Up” timing to increase conversions and create a profitable email list.
Speed things up
You want to provide your customer with a user-friendly experience. This means your website needs to load fast. There are a couple of approaches you can take in this endeavor, however, the two easiest plugins you should get is “WP SmushIt” and “W3 Total Cache”.
The first plugin will dramatically reduce the size of your images without compromising quality. Images are typically the cuplrits in slowing down a website. Thereby, approaching your “speed problem” by downsizing the weight of your images will definitely increase the loading time of your website.
The second plugin will cache your pages. With cached pages, your returning customers will be able to load your page even quicker. Combining the two plugins can increase the loading speed of your site dramatically. This is not only important for a “user-friendly” experience, but also counts towards “good SEO practices”.
It’s a definite win-win situation and a must have in our books.
Headers and Footers
To insert all your external services like Analytics, Adwords and so forth you’ll need to get the “Headers and Footers” plugin. This plugin will create an option in your “Settings” tab allowing you to simply paste the necessary codes where it needs to be.
This will allow you to analyze your data, insert Adsense and so forth. If you’re thinking about making money through Adsense, there is also a plugin called “WP Simple Adsense Insertion” which will help you out in monitizing your website.
If you’re thinking about selling things online, you should consider WooCommerce which is an e-commerce plugin. This plugin will essentially give you an online store with Paypal integration and everything you need including a “Check out”, “Add to Cart” and much more.
The plugin includes a Free Theme, however, you can also customize it to fit your own theme as well. You might need some help with the integration but the plugin also comes equipped with a lot of tutorials and guides for those who want to brave uncharted lands by themselves. However, paying a developr $50 could save you a lot of time in the long run.
Define your Website
There are tens of thousands of plugins on WordPress.org that will help you in many different ways. While we have covered some basic plugins that we consider “essentials”, the truth is that you will have to go out and find plugins that can benefit your specific approach to online business.
Do you need leads? Sales? Social Engagement? Advertisement? Once you know what it is you want to get out of your website, you will be able to hone in on the necessary plugins to optimize your performance.
If you need any help defining these aspects, you can get in touch with us and we’d be more than happy to get you on the right path. The WordPress world is vast, sometimes it’s good to have a guide.