Blogs are a must-have to establish an online presence. With blogging, you get to communicate with your visitors about the latest trends, showcase your products and services, and even ask for their feedback.
But blogging is more than just writing a few words or posting a couple of videos. To run a successful blog, you also must consider search engine optimization, security measures, and promotion.
Luckily, WordPress plugins can help you with these pressing needs. Check out the six best WordPress plugins for blogs below.
1. Yoast SEO
Blogging is a long-term strategy to bring attention to your brand. It’s a combination of writing relevant content and getting people excited to visit your website.
Search engine optimization plays a huge role in helping visitors discover your content on the web. Using the right keywords can ensure you’re attracting the right people. Adam Enfroy, a full-time blogger and affiliate marketing expert, says:
“Optimizing your blog posts is not about stuffing as many relevant keywords into the article as you can (that can actually hurt your SEO now). It’s about writing for humans first, and search engines second.”
Yoast SEO is an essential WordPress plugin to get your blog content ranked on search engines. This plugin comes with a readability analysis feature, title and meta description templating, breadcrumb controls, and XML Sitemaps functionality.
Visitor engagement doesn’t stop when people land on your blog. The next step is to capture their email address, so you can send visitors more relevant content. That way, you can build a quality relationship with your audience.
Newsletter is a WordPress plugin that helps you with list building and sending emails. This email marketing tool allows you to create responsive newsletters with its drag-and-drop composer. There’s even a subscription spam check to block unwanted bots.
Experts suggest building an email list as soon as you create your blog. It’s also wise to try different methods to boost your subscribers. Belle Beth Cooper, the first content crafter at Buffer, writes:
“When you’re asking readers to sign up for your email list, you might want to try experimenting with a different language. Willy Franzen found that his subscription rate jumped 254% higher when he changed his call-to-action from ‘subscribe by email’ to ‘get jobs by email’.”
3. Wordfence Security
Reports indicate that 43% of cyber-attacks are made against small businesses. One reason for this staggering statistic is the lack of security infrastructure. Similar to adding an alarm system to your new home, your website needs tools to protect it from potential breaches and suspicious attackers. There’s no better time to add security to your site than right now.
Wordfence Security keeps your website safe with its firewall and malware scanner. This plugin identifies and blocks malicious traffic and checks core files for malware, bad URLs, and SEO spam. You’ll get access to a dashboard with an overview of your site’s security including notifications and total attacks blocked.
This tool also comes with two-factor authentication and CAPTCHA to stop bots from logging into your site. If you upgrade to the premium version, you’ll get real-time malware signature updates along with checks to see if your site has been blacklisted for malicious activity.
A blog serves as a central location for your brand to discuss topics relevant to your audience. Your blog posts will give insight into your business’s culture, products, and team.
But it’s also important to get feedback. The comment section of your blog gives readers a chance to express their opinions directly to you. Every once in a while, it’s okay to get a little controversial.
“Begin a conversation in which you share your position and invite others to disagree. Be careful of overdoing this, though, as being contentious all the time can get weary. It can look like you’re just trying to pick a fight,” writes Jeff Goins, best-selling author of five books.
Supercharge your blog comments with wpDiscuz. This plugin adds an interactive comment box on your posts. You can accept and deny specific comments, sort the comments by newest or oldest, and enable comment voting.
5. Google Analytics Dashboard for WP
Getting traffic to your blog matters to your brand. So much so that there’s been a 93% increase in blogs using promotional techniques to drive traffic to their posts.
You need a way to observe your traffic as it comes in. Google Analytics Dashboard for WP helps you set up all your tracking features without writing any code or hiring a developer. No more leaving WordPress to view key stats in Google Analytics; now, you can monitor them inside your dashboard.
Get real-time stats of who’s viewing your website, where they’re coming from, how they found your site, and how long they’re staying on your site. You also can automatically track clicks on affiliate links and track every file download with just one click.
Haven’t set up Google Analytics for your WordPress blog just yet? Read our step-by-step guide.
6. Social Media Share Buttons & Social Sharing Icons
Writing great content is only one part of a successful blog. The other part is actually getting people to read and engage with your blog posts. Beyond SEO, you will need additional content distribution channels to attract visitors to your blog.
Social media is an effective way to spread the word about your website. Ben Sailer, inbound marketing lead at CoSchedule, states:
“Another way to connect your audience to your content and encourage them to share it is to create content that revolves around their values. Your audience wants to know that the values of your company or product align with theirs.”
Encourage your current visitors to share your blog posts with the Social Media Share Buttons & Social Sharing Icons plugin. You can pick from 16 different designs to match your brand’s site.
This tool gives you the option to make your social media icons static or dynamic. You also can add a counting feature to the buttons.
Upgrade Your Blog With These WordPress Blog Plugins
It’s time to attract new visitors to your blog. Use these six WordPress plugins to boost your SEO results, gain traffic from social media, and track your site’s analytics.
Shayla Price creates and promotes content. She lives at the intersection of digital marketing, technology, and social responsibility. Originally from Louisiana, Shayla champions access to remote work opportunities. Connect with her on Twitter at @shaylaprice.