16+ Social Media and SEO Plugins For WordPress
Setting up a blog is a lot of fun. If you do it on WordPress then the opportunities to customize, tweak and enhance the blog’s performance are endless. I’ve been playing around with some (and goofing up as well, as some of you know) and want to put them down here. A few of these are painfully obvious but I’m assuming some of you are just starting out on this journey. Please add your suggestions in the comment box.
These widgets can be placed at the end of blog posts and allow content to be shared by viewers on their social networks easily and quickly. They add tremendously to the traffic and page rank of a blog or site. The most commonly used and most comprehensive bookmarking and sharing services are listed below:
Add To Any
Having your blog’s Twitter feed on the blog provides an extension to its online presence. The guys at Twitter provide a bunch of customizable widgets that can be embedded onto WordPress. These update on their own and display the latest tweet along with the link to the Twitter account. Another place to find a widget for Twitter is WidgetBox
You can also add special Tweet count buttons on your blog – the most common ones being:
Adding images on your blog post is a great way to make them more pleasing to the eyes (all that text can get a bit drab don’t you think?) Chris Brogan does it with most posts. So if you have a Flickr account and want to upload images from there to your post, here’s a plugin for that. This will make your images readily and easily available. If this one doesn’t rock your world, then here’s a list of 10 Amazing WordPress Plugins for Flickr (from speckyboy.com’s blog)
If your posts are interesting, then the comment section pretty soon will take on a life of its own. This is a great chance to interact and engage with your community of readers and contributors. Here are some great plugins that allow for a stickier experience while at the same time allowing for the viral vector to set in. I’m not elaborating on the other social features that Facebook and Google Friends Connect offer. That’s been done to death already!
Diqus (pr. Discuss – clever eh? )
Facebook/Google Friend Connect
Remember I said some of these might be painfully obvious? Well, this is one of them. Anyhow, Feedburner is one of the best plugins doing the rounds (its been acquired by Google so requires a Google account) It offers custom RSS feeds and management tools for bloggers and publishers. It also provides analytical data to help improve your understanding of and relationship with the audience.
You know what’s the best part about setting up your blog’s RSS? Its picking the RSS icons!
So indulge the child in you and check out these two incredible resources of RSS icons:
This one came to my attention thanks to @cheth (he’s using it on his blog). Wibiya is a toolbar that boosts both traffic and interactions on your blog. It translates pages, displays short alerts when people visit, provides tracking and analytical tools. Wibiya is currently in beta and you’ll need an invitation to try it out. I got mine but haven’t got down to testing it out yet.
I haven’t tried Echo yet, but what I understand from their and Robert Scoble’s (he recommends it) building43 site, Echo displays comments, tweets, diggs etc in real time. It also allows rich media comments such as video, image and emoticon embeds. You can install it from their site. They have paid and free versions but apparently the free version is not available right now. My guess is its useful for high traffic blogs.
- Coming Soon – Comment RT Plugin
The guys at Tweetmeme blogged yesterday about a new plugin scheduled for release next week. Its primary goal will be to allow comments to be retweeted. It also embeds rich media into comments and comes with spam detection. Its completely Twitter-centric but my guess is it will have its uses. You can read the blog post here for details.
Search Engine Optimization
- All-in-One SEO
This is a must-have plugin for all WordPress bloggers. It optimizes all blog posts for search engines by automatically optimizing titles, generating meta tags and the works. Its easy enough for beginners to get started with and offers advanced functionality for the pros. Get it. Its great.
- Google XML Sitemaps
This plug-in will create a Google sitemaps compliant XML-Sitemap of your WordPress blog. It supports all of the WordPress generated pages as well as custom ones. Every time you edit or create a post, your sitemap is updated and all major search engines that support the sitemap protocol, like ASK.com, Google, MSN Search and YAHOO, are notified about the update.
- Search Pages
Since WordPress is a blogging platform, its typically designed to search blog posts. However if you’re setting up a site with a bunch of pages then this is a useful plugin. Search Pages 2.3 extends the search capability to static pages too. Check it out here.
- SEO Friendly Images
If you plan to use images with your blog posts then a plugin that optimizes them usually comes in handy. SEO Friendly Images automatically updates all images with proper ALT and TITLE attributes. If your images do not have ALT and TITLE already set, SEO Friendly Images will add them according the options you set.
- SEO Smart Links
From the developer of SEO Friendly Images comes SEO Smart Links. It automatically links keywords and phrases in your posts (and comments) with corresponding posts, pages, categories and tags on your blog. It allows you to set up your own keywords and set of matching URLs and also to set a nofollow attribute and open links in new window.
- Google Analytics
The Google Analytics for WordPress plugin automatically tracks and segments all outbound links from within posts, comment author links, links within comments, blogroll links and downloads.
- Super Cache
All those social media plugins will bring the traffic rolling in. This plugin helps you cope with large amounts of traffic. It generates static html files from your dynamic blog. After a html file is generated your webserver will serve that file instead of processing the comparatively heavier WordPress PHP scripts.
Imagine you’re writing a blog post. Zemanta will suggest tags, links and other content as you type in real time. This is both exciting and exasperating. Exciting because of all the possible contextual content that might show up. Exasperating because sometimes the suggestions are too vague. I tried it for a while but gave up eventually. But its definitely worth a try.
If you’ve tried any of these or other plugins and have an experience to share, write away!
Image Courtesy: Jason Paluck, Flickr
No related posts.