WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems in the world.
It’s estimated that WordPress holds around a 60% market share, with rivals Joomla, Drupal, Shopify and Squarespace following behind.
Simply put, WordPress is the Google of CMSs.
If you run a small business blog and want to improve your website and chances of success, then you might want to consider installing a WordPress plugin or two to add new functionality.
Below, we’ve rounded up five of the very best WordPress plugins that will improve your blog and help you make more money.
Read on to find out more, and let us know which are your favourite.
The Yoast SEO Dashboard
Arguably one of the most important and influential WordPress plugins of all time, Yoast SEO is a must for all small businesses that want to take their blogging seriously.
Not only does Yoast include all of the major elements needed to create content that will rank on search engines, but it’s entirely free to use, and is without a doubt one of the most useful plugins within WordPress.
After downloading and activating this plugin, you can connect your Google Search Console and Google Analytics to your account, and then get to work on optimising your blog posts, pages and homepage for keywords that you’d like to rank for.
The key here is to do your own keyword research, and then enter the keyword into the Yoast box on your pages and posts.
A simple traffic light system will determine whether you’ve correctly optimised that page for your chosen keyword, and offer recommendations to improve the technical SEO of your content.
You can also use the tool to add breadcrumbs to your pages, add text to your RSS feeds, add the correct images to your social media metadata to ensure they show up correctly, and much more.
A premium version is also available for those who want more advanced SEO features.
An overview of paid Jetpack plans
Designed by the makers of WordPress, Jetpack is another powerful tool for small business owners that want to improve their blogging and get more out of their WordPress installation.
It covers design, offering you hundreds of professional themes for your website, more customization tools, image and video content delivery to speed up your site, lazy loading of images, and integration with the WordPress mobile apps, allowing you to blog on the go.
For marketing, Jetpack allows you to view statistics and analytics about your website visitors, it includes automated social media posting, improves the performance of your inbuilt search, adds SEO tools for Google, Bing, Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress.com, allows you to add simple PayPal buttons for buying and donating, and gives you access to an advertising program to make money from your blogging, should you wish to use it.
Jetpack is also fantastic when it comes to security. As a small business owner, it’s essential that your website is safe and secure, to protect your brand and to protect your customers’ data. The plugin protects you against brute force, spam filtering, and monitors your downtime, allows you to create real-time backups of your website, scans your website for malware, and allows you to secure logins using two-factor authentication. All in all, Jetpack makes your site bulletproof.
Is Jetpack for everyone?
No, some of its features are limited or basic, and some require you to subscribe to their WordPress Premium service, but it’s a powerful suite of features that most small business owners will find useful. What’s more, it’s easy to use and understand, and you can access support for free should you get stuck during installation or setup.
If your readers leave your website after reading one blog post (i.e. you have a high bounce rate), then you can try to stop this from happening by encouraging them to check out more content on your website per visit.
The chances are that you have lots of great material on your website, so why not show it off?
This not only increases engagement but boosts the chances of them buying from you, too.
Related Posts for WordPress is one of the best options, allowing you to add related posts to the bottom of your blog posts and pages.
Thanks to a handy installation wizard, you can set up this plugin in just a couple of minutes, and every single blog post will be updated to include links to content that follows the same theme, based on keywords, categories and more. The best part is that you can manually edit or remove suggested posts if you don’t think that they’re appropriate, or you want to link to specific posts.
The plugin also includes a widget, which you can place in the sidebar of your blog posts to get your readers to spend more time on your website. It’s a simple and effective plugin that works.
Inside the Easy Table of Contents plugin
If your blog is packed with lots of high-quality, long-form content, then you might struggle to lay out your content in the most effective manner and get people to read the entire post.
Structure is everything in the world of content marketing, and the Easy Table of Contents plugin can help.
This user-friendly plugin allows you to add a table of contents into your posts, pages and custom content types, automatically generating links based on your posts’ headers.
Say you write an article that’s 10,000-words long, with lots of subheadings. With the table of contents plugin, you’ll see a box at the top of your blog post with links to each of those subheadings, allowing your users to navigate to the seconds they want to see immediately.
You can change the fonts, colour schemes and bullet points, and you can enable or disable the table on a post by post basis if you don’t want it to show up on every post on your site.
This plugin is all about improving user experience, and it will positively impact your SEO, too!
The Protection plugin allows for a lot of customisation
If you have built up a reputation for posting lots of great quality content on your website, then others might try to steal from you.
Indeed, the content marketing industry is set to be worth more than $300 billion by 2019, which makes content theft all the more attractive to online rogues.
As well as developing a writing style that’s immediately recognisable, putting your name on everything you publish, watermarking your images and adding a copyright notice to your site, you could try the WP Content Copy Protection & No Right Click plugin, which makes it harder for people to steal your content from your website.
However, it’s important to mention that this doesn’t stop copying altogether. People can still view your website’s source code and pull your content that way, so you must employ other tactics and be vigilant if you’re being targeted and having your content stolen by other webmasters.
How many of these plugins have you tried? Let us know using @MuffinMarketing.