WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) in the world and is used by a whopping 75 million websites. While WordPress started out as an easy way for people to make their own blogs, it has grown to be the most popular website platform for small businesses. There are a lot of reasons for this but the most obvious reason for its huge popularity is how easy it is to use. This allows reasonably tech-savvy individuals to update their own sites without having to contact a programmer to do this.
Clearly, we are big fans of WordPress at MarketTap. However, it can’t do everything, and this is why we’ve created this list of five free WordPress plugins that can be used to turbocharge your online marketing.
Search engines are a major source of traffic for nearly every website. If you work in the digital industry or alongside digital marketing experts, chances are you’ve heard the phrase “search engine optimization” a few dozen times.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is about sending the right signals to search engines (mainly Google) that your website’s content is relevant to search queries. In turn, these search engines reward you for your quality content by putting your website in front of the users who are conducting the search. Sounds easy, right? Unfortunately, the reality is that there are many factors that come into play that can be difficult to get right.
This is where Yoast SEO comes in. Yoast SEO is an awesome plugin that helps you create better, SEO friendly content on your WordPress site. It allows you to create an SEO title, meta description, and customize the URL of the page. It then provides helpful feedback on what you have created, taking into consideration the focus keyword that you have set. Creating better headlines and catchy meta descriptions can not only help you rank higher on search engines, but also greatly increase click-through rates on your Google listings.
Keeping with the theme of SEO, the next plugin worth installing on your WordPress site is Google XML Sitemaps. The plugin helps search engines better index your site with a special sitemap. They provide search engines with a “map” of your site, allowing these engines to crawl your website and retrieve the results more efficiently.
Another factor that impacts SEO is the performance and usability of your website. A significant contributing factor here is the speed of your website. While speed is important for search engines finding and ranking your website, it’s also important for user experience once they’ve landed on your website. A study by Tagman.com found that a one second delay in page-loading time could cause a 7% decrease in online conversions.
One free plugin that enables you to create faster page loading times is WP Fastest Cache. It’s easy to set up and unlike a lot of plugins, it’s not too advanced to confuse novice webmasters. Used by over 200,000 people and with great reviews, it’s definitely worth installing. Blog Aid offers a step-by-step guide on the best set-up for your website and is invaluable reading if you are interested in using WP Fastest Cache.
Images are consistently the slowest element of our client’s websites and as we’ve discussed, a slow website can be a big disadvantage in your search rankings. However, images are great for grabbing attention and making your website more visually appealing too. So how do you combat the need for appealing imagery while taking into account their storage consuming nature? You compress the images.
WP Smush allows you to compress all your websites image files, whether they are JPEG, GIF or PNG formats (or a mixture of all three). This saves a lot of storage space, making your post or page look attractive while also being very fast. Truly the best of both worlds.
Dead hyperlinks on websites are not just annoying, their existence can impact your business in negative ways. Apart from having a negative impact on your website’s rankings with search engines, it can also cause problems with attracting customers online, as dead web links can lead users astray and make it difficult for them to find the information or pages they are looking for.
The good news is that the Broken Link Checker plugin can check your website for broken links and notifies you instantly if any are found. Furthermore, the plugin has settings that allow you to prevent search engines from following any existing broken links or displaying the broken links altogether.
We’re not saying that these plugins will turn you into a web developing guru, but you’ll certainly be a few steps closer to mastering your SEO!
Need help getting the most from your website? Do you need to get the SEO ball rolling but you are unsure of which keywords or pieces of content to start with? We can help! Book a free consultation call with a MarketTap marketer today to find out more.