If you are a small business / solo entrepreneur marketing your business online, I hope by now you are already blogging as part of your internet marketing strategy.
Traffic and conversion are the two main things you need to get right when you are actively marketing your business online, so it helps if you configure your blog to have functionalities designed to help enhance these areas.
(If you don’t have a business blog yet, head on over to watch our free videos here about why you need a business blog.)
If you have a business blog already, take a look at the following plug-ins and install the ones your blog is lacking.
Plug-ins that Help Boost Traffic
All in One SEO Pack – Optimizes your WordPress blog so that Search Engines are more likely to find your page, get indexed and therefore benefit from more traffic from the Search engines (Search Engine Optimization).
Ultimate Plugins Smart Update Pinger - How would you like it if every time you post something to your blog, several other websites are notified? Well that’s what “pinging” is. Services are only pinged when a new post is created (not when an existing post is edited).
SEO Friendly Images - automatically updates all images with proper ALT and TITLE attributes. ALT attribute is important part of search engine optimization. It describes your image to search engine and when a user searches for a certain image this is a key determining factor for a match, giving you more chance of pulling traffic using the images you use.
Twitter Tools – creates a complete integration between your WordPress blog and your Twitter account.
SEO Slugs – SEO Slugs plugin strips common words like “what”, “you” or “can” ‘a’, ‘the’, ‘in’ from a post slugs to improve SEO by making it more search engine friendly.
Subscribe To Comments – enables commenters to sign up for e-mail notification of subsequent entries. The plugin includes a full-featured subscription manager that your commenters can use to adjust what notifications they receive. The result: some commenters end up coming back to your blog.
SEO Smart Links –can automatically link keywords and phrases in your posts and comments with corresponding posts, pages, categories and tags on your blog. It also lets you set it up so that certain links are nofollow and open links in new window. Bottomline, it provides automatic SEO benefits for your site.
WP-Post Views - Enables you to display how many times a post/page had been viewed. Great to use as a social proof-boosting element.
Google XML Sitemaps - generates a special XML sitemap which helps search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask.com to index your blog more efficiently.
FD Feedburner Plugin – Redirects the main feed and optionally the comments feed to Feedburner.com. It does this seamlessly without the need to modify templates, setup new hidden feeds, modify .htaccess files, or asking users to migrate to a new feed.
Ping.fm - Integrates with Ping.fm’s Custom URL feature to collect pings and post them to your blog. By default, status updates are posted to a sidebar widget and blog/micro-blog entries become full-blown WordPress posts. Many other options are configurable at the settings page.
RSS Footer – Allows you to add a line of content to the end of your RSS feed articles. Great to use for your Calls to Actions!
SexyBookmarks – adds a (X)HTML compliant list of social bookmarking icons to each of your posts. Social bookmarking can help boost your traffic.
Plug-ins that Boost Engagement
CommentLuv – When someone comments on your blog, this plugin shows a link to the last post from that person’s blog. So what? Well, it rewards your readers who also happen to be bloggers, and it also encourage more comments from other bloggers (which is really helpful, because if you established great relationships with other bloggers they could promote you to their tribes).
Disqus Comment System – makes commenting easier and more interactive, while connecting websites and commenters across a thriving discussion community.
Smart Youtube – lets you insert YouTube videos in posts, comments and RSS feeds with ease and full customization.
podPress – gives you everything you need in one easy plugin to use WordPress for Podcasting.
Popular Posts - Displays a highly configurable list of the most popular posts in your blog. This gives you an insight as to what topics are hitting your readers’ spots. You just need to write more about those topics to boost further engagement.
Yet Another Related Posts Plugin - At the end of each blog post you publish, this plug-in adds a list of related blog entries. Very useful as it encourages your readers to read another article related to what they just finished reading, thus boosting page views!
Amazon S3 for WordPress – Allows you to retrieves objects stored in Amazon S3 and post them in WordPress.
Subscribe To Comments – Allows readers to receive notifications of new comments that are posted to an entry that they commented on.
Audio Player – a highly configurable but simple mp3 player for all your audio needs. You can customize the player’s color scheme to match your blog theme, have it automatically show track information and more. Great if you plan to post a lot of audio interviews, music, or any audio file.
Wapple Architect - Mobile marketing is the new frontier. Nowadays there are 5 Billion mobile phone users but there are only 1.7 Billion internet users. This plug-in makes your blog mobile phone-friendly!
WP-Super Cache – Helps your site load faster and protects your server from massive traffic surges.
Plug-ins That Make Your Blog Look Better
Fancybox WordPress - Acts like a JQuery Lightbox but looks 100 times sexier and adds additional functionality rarely found elsewhere. A definite must for displaying images and hyperlinks on your blog.
MaxBlogPress Favicon – Easily add favicon to your blog without editing any wordpress files. Adjust your settings here.
Plug-ins for Monitoring / Measurement
Blog Stats by W3Counter – Display stats for your blog on the dashboard and add the tracking code to your site with a widget.
Google Analytics for WordPress – This plugin makes it simple to add Google Analytics with extra search engines and automatic clickout and download tracking to your WordPress blog.
Pretty Link – Shrink, track and share any URL on the Internet but using your own domain name. Useful for tracking affiliate links.
Post Views Summary - A dashboard plugin that shows the most and least visited posts and pages.
Plug-ins for Stress-free Maintenance
Akismet – checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not.
WordPress Database Backup – On-demand backup of your WordPress database.
Login Lockdown – Keeps hackers out by restricting the rate at which failed logins can be re-attempted from any given IP range.
Scissors – enhances WordPress’ handling of images by introducing cropping, resizing, rotating, and watermarking functionality.
Redirection – Manage all your 301 redirects and monitor 404 errors.
Really Simple CAPTCHA - Really Simple CAPTCHA is a CAPTCHA module intended to be called from other plugins. It is originally created for the Contact Form 7 plugin mentioned above.