5 MUST-HAVE WordPress Plugins for your blog

If you’ve been following my articles, you’ll know that one very effective strategy for essentially removing reviews is to dilute the search engine results with other pages about your brand. Doing this will push the negative reviews down to Page 2 or 3 of Google – which effectively means that they are invisible to your visitors.

Creating a blog is very effective because it allows you to control what is being said about your brand, and can sometimes be very easy to rank.

When it comes to creating a blog, I always recommend WordPress as the CMS of choice. This is due to its simplicity and amount of free resources available.

So with that said, here are 5 plugins that I always install for clients IMMEDIATELY once the site is setup. These plugins will help with ranking, integration with other tools, or will simply just make your life easier.

Without further ado…here they are:

1. All-in-one SEO plugin

This plugin is an absolute must if you want your website to be found by anyone. What this does is it allows you to enter titles, descriptions and keywords about your site and each post.

All-in-One SEO

How does this help you?

Since Google isn’t always able to accurately tell what your site is about, they resort to looking at these tags. Your title tag will tell Google what your site is about, and the description and keywords sections should support this.

Using this tool alone (along with a few other optimization steps), I’ve seen my websites rank on page 2 or 3 of competitive keywords without building any backlinks. It’s awesome!

2. Google XML sitemaps

xml-sitemap

A sitemap also helps with having your pages crawled and indexed by Google. In short, it also helps your website rank in the Google search engines.

Think of it as a directory like you’d find at the mall. It helps visitors know exactly which stores you have and where they’re located. This is very much similar to your sitemap – except in this case your visitors are Google, Bing and other search engines.

This plugin will help you generate these sitemaps and you won’t ever have to worry about it again.

3. Header and Footer

The header and footer is the simplest plugin that I’ve found that allows you to easily integrate other tools with your WordPress.

For example, adding Google Authorship to your pages requires you to add code to the header of your homepage. Adding Google Analytics requires you to add code to the header of each page.

Most of these would require some code tweaking, but thankfully for the non-tech savvy individuals, we have the header and footer plugin.

header-footer

4. Simple social icons

simple social icons

Simple Social Icons is the easiest way to display all your social media profiles on your blog. Some WordPress themes have this feature already built into it, however, in case it doesn’t, this plugin will do the trick.

So how does this help you?

Not only is social media a great way to gain more followers, develop trust and build your brand, but believe it or not, it builds trust with Google. The more trust you have in Google’s eyes, the higher you rank.

(Need I remind you that a large purpose of building this blog is to have it outrank the negative reviews?).

You’ll want to get your social profiles up and connected to your blog as quickly as possible, and this plugin will help with that.

5. Akismet

akismet

All of the plugins so far have ranking benefits in some way or another. Akismet can’t help in that regard, but it will make your life A LOT easier.

Anyone who has ever started a blog on WordPress can tell you how much SPAM they receive on a daily basis. You will literally receive several emails a day from fake blog comments. This is both annoying and frustrating as you’ll have to go through them individually to flag as SPAM.

That’s where Akismet comes in. Akismet is a free tool that detects SPAM and automatically blocks them. It’s very accurate so you won’t have to worry about legitimate comments being blocked.

Wrap-up

There you have it! I hope this saves you some time and that you see your blog moving up in the rankings.

Let me know if you have any questions using any of these plugins and I’ll be glad to help!

If you found this post useful, please share it or leave a comment below!

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