A standard WordPress website is one of the most powerful tools an online marketer has at their disposal. WordPress makes it easy to create a high quality, well organized website, to regularly update that website without knowing any HTML, and to personalize the look and feel of the site by using one of the thousands of freely available customizable themes.
But savvy online marketers can take things one step further and make their WordPress websites even more powerful. By using plugins that are well designed to accomplish various marketing goals, you can achieve the highest possible conversion rates and sign-up numbers.
Here’s a list of the top 10 WordPress plugins for online marketers
- Speech Bubble Ads. This plugin allows you to create small advertisements on your site that look like stylized speech bubbles, and which appear in the bottom right corner of a reader’s screen. You can add images, text and links to these speech bubbles, and specify that the ads appear only in specific posts, or on specific categories of pages throughout your site. This makes it easy to target your readers with the appropriate message, and in the appropriate place, at the appropriate time. Get it here.
- Google Analytics. Being able to evaluate the effectiveness of various posts on your site – as well as the methods you’re using to drive traffic to your site – is invaluable. The free Google Analytics service is one of the most powerful options you have for doing this.
You can quickly and easily integrate your site with your Google Analytics account by using a plugin such as this one. It allows you to customize your tracking settings, automatically insert the tracking code and more.
- Open Up to Mobile. If you don’t want to find a new theme that’s optimized for mobile devices, but still want to target individuals who come to your site on their smartphones or tablets, then consider using a plugin such as WPtouch, which can create a mobile only version of your site and present that as an option for mobile visitors. It also gives users the option to switch back to the standard version of your site if they prefer.
- Build Your List. Having a strong (and growing) mailing list is essential for online marketing success. Plugins that are keyed to particular mailing list services – such as the MailChimp Widget or the Aweber Web Form Plugin – can make it easier for you to bring in new mailing list subscribers through your site.
- Subscribe to Comments. Sometimes it might take some time before the comment discussion on one of your posts gains a critical mass. You can use a plugin like Subscribe to Comments Reloaded to allow your visitors to subscribe to a particular post’s comments section, so that they’re notified whenever new comments appear. This can help your comment sections stay robust, and keep your readers coming back to participate in the discussion.
- Shorten Your Links. In this age of twitter, sometimes long URLs simply aren’t practicable for marketing purposes. You can use a plugin such as Pretty Link Lite (or upgrade to the premium Pretty Link Pro) to enable various options on your site for shortening and cloaking various links. This is great for affiliates and for using a branded link on social media or in emails.
- Make it Easy to Share. Use a Plugin such as Async Social Sharing to make it easy for your visitors to easily share your posts via their Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn accounts. This could help your site traffic really grow.
- Sell Directly. If you want to be able to monetize your content directly, then you’re going to want strong and reliable eCommerce capabilities on your site. The newly released WooCommerce 2.0 plugin is one of the most powerful solutions out there, and its premium extensions can allow you to process virtually any amount of ecommerce business traffic.
- Limited Time Offers. With this plugin you will be able to automatically insert and remove “limited time offers” from whichever posts or pages on your site you choose. These offers can be comprised of text, images, sign-up forms or any other element of a WordPress post. If you’re familiar with the promotional value of these types of offers can have, you’ll want to start using this plugin immediately. Get it here.
The snippet of code below shows promotional text that will automatically appear on the site until November 8.
- Good SEO Practices. Regardless of your niche or product, people need to be able to find your site before you can convert them into paying customers. This means your site should be optimized for the major search engines. But because WordPress runs on a PHP framework, it can be difficult and confusing for relative novices to implement SEO practices manually.
Thankfully, the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin has done all of the work for you. This plugin makes it extremely easy to optimize your site, and it has become the de facto industry standard for WordPress sites.
As with any plugin, make sure that you tested it on your particular theme and WordPress setup before you make it live. Not every plugin will work perfectly with every theme, but there are generally multiple plugin options for whatever website function you have in mind, or goal you want to accomplish.