There are many article that have been written about WordPress plugins, so I am think to cover a different with this article. I see WordPress and blogging like this: If your company has a social media strategy, chances are you have a corporate blog. Our friends at Hubspot released their analysis some time ago that blogging is good for SEO. And if you are blogging, chances are you are using WordPress, which is the most popular blogging platform among the biggest blogs. In this way, I see a natural relationship between blogging, WordPress, social media, and SEO. The WordPress platform in itself, however, will not allow your blog to be found through social media or appear in search engines searches. There are many ways in which using these WordPress plugins can help enhance your website and allow your blog, your company, and yourself get found in social media and by search engines throughout 2011.
I looked at the best plugins which I either use for this site or have installed for my social media optimized website development clients that
- Help make your WordPress-powered website more social media optimized
- are essential to ensure that your blog gets found online through enhancing the SEO of your website.
I believe the below list of 15 WordPress plugins will remain popular well into 2011:
DiggDigg has been one of the best kept secrets for awhile, but now that we’re heading into 2011 it’s time that you should know about it. DiggDigg is an all-in-one plugin to handle all of your ReTweet, Facebook Share, etc. buttons which allows your visitors to easily share your content throughout social media. Sure, there are other plugins which give you similar functionality, but I prefer DiggDigg because of its flexibility and rich functionality. Here’s a summary of some of DiggDigg’s main features:
- Not only can you display the normal ReTweet buttons right at the top of your content, DiggDigg also provides a floating widget of ReTweet buttons to the side of the content, just like you are seeing to the left of this text. You’ve seen it on Mashable – now install it on your site!
- The ability to choose which ReTweet button you want: Twitter, TweetMeme, or Topsy. You’d be surprised by the different ReTweet numbers each one returns.
- Display the new LinkedIn Share button as well as the StumbleUpon button.
- Choose whichever URL shortener you want to use.
2. Facebook Like Button
You’ll notice that, despite how much I rave about DiggDigg, I have another similar plugin on this list. This is because the one thing that DiggDigg lacks is the ability to show the Facebook Like button displaying faces. This is where this appropriately named Facebook Like Button plugin comes in. Earlier this year I wrote a blog post about how to add a Facebook Like button to your WordPress blog or website. Now that technology has caught up, you can simply use this plugin instead.
3. Feedblitz FeedSmart
RSS feeds are one way in which your blog readers consume your content, so you want to make sure that the ability to share you content in social media is displayed directly on the RSS page. The native WordPress RSS feeds do not provide this functionality nor have the ability to provide email subscriptions, but Feedburner and Feedblitz are two 3rd party services that do. I am someone who actually switched from Feedburner to Feedblitz some time ago. It all started one day when my Feedburner RSS feeds were not displaying properly on this blog, just a few weeks before I was about to publish my LinkedIn book. Unable to find or get help, I fortunately discovered Feedblitz, a company that offers highly customizable RSS feed management, with all of the additional social media-related functionality that you would expect, that also has additional email marketing capabilities built into it. Most importantly, it offered responsive technical support that went out of their way to help me whenever I have run into any issues. Yes, there is a nominal fee attached to it, but its value far exceeds its cost. Once you have Feedblitz installed, this plugin will forward all of your RSS feeds to your Feedblitz account so you have an accurate count of how many RSS subscribers you have. Not only does this provide you with a better metric to track, it’s also helpful in promoting how many RSS subscribers you have by displaying the Feedblitz-provided RSS subscriber chicklet on your website.
4. My Recent YouTube Widget
You already know why you should have a YouTube channel, so why aren’t you introducing it to your website visitors? This handy little widget allows you to choose how many of your latest YouTube videos you want to display in your sidebar and footer. Simple, customizable, and it works. Help your website visitors easily discover content on your other social media properties.
5. PollDaddy Polls
Polls can provide important content to help engage with your followers and fans throughout social media. They can also provide priceless feedback which can be invaluable to your company. With PollDaddy polls, not only can you easily create a customized look-and-feel to your poll in minutes, this poll can now be embedded into a sidebar widget and/or a post. Furthermore, PollDaddy automatically creates a shortened link for you to tweet about or even a Facebook link to allow your fans to join in the poll.
6. Social Media Widget
This handy little widget allows you to easily place social media icons on your sidebar which link to your social media properties by simply inputting the URLs of each of your profiles. There are a host of websites that are supported, and there are even different icon types and sizes that you can choose from to advertise your social media presence.
This is a fantastic free plugin that adds social media sharing buttons to your posts, pages and RSS feed. It supports over a dozen of the most popular social networks and is updated regularly. Choose from simple icons or buttons that show the number of times an article has been shared, retweeted or liked.
The tagline that appears above the icons and buttons can easily be changed in the settings. Customizing the sharing area is easy; simply check off the websites you want to include. The order of icons can easily be changed, too, by dragging and dropping the boxes.
The icons come in three styles, with the main style coming in four color variations. Icons can be set at 16×16, 32×32, 48×48 or 64×64 pixels. You can also use your own custom icons if you prefer.
You can allow Sociable to be automatically inserted on your pages or control over where it appears. Possible areas include the home page, blog index, posts, pages, category archive, tag archive, date archive, author archive, search results and RSS feed. Alternatively, you could add it using a shortcode or PHP code.
The default style sheet should suit most WordPress users, but you can use your own if you prefer (which is useful if you want to float the icons vertically or align the box to the center or right). Links can be opened in new tabs, and icons can be shown at the top and bottom of the content area.
8. Share This
One of the most popular sharing solutions on the Web, ShareThis is apparently being used on more than 1 million websites worldwide. The plugin lets Facebook users share and like and has support for Google+, too.
Seven types of displays are available, including large icons, horizontal counts, vertical counts, various button styles and the classic ShareThis button. The order of icons can be set in the settings.
9. Disqus Comment System
Disqus is a separate comment blogging system that supports threaded comments and replies with varied indentions. WordPress does not support this by default, so this will make reading comment threads much easier. It also adds the ability to have your readers easily share their comments – and a link to the commented blog post – in social media. If you haven’t looked at Disqus recently, they have revamped their user interface and it is now much more responsive and easier to use.
10. SEO Facebook Comment
This plugin helps you leverage the power of Facebook by embedding comments in your site. It’s easy to setup and you can have it running within a few minutes. The plugin also allows you to define the width of the Facebook comment box to better fit your site’s theme. The debate is out as to whether you should utilize an all-inclusive comment system like Disqus or leverage the power of Facebook to help spread the wealth of your content on the world’s largest social networking site. But if you do want to take the Facebook route, this is the plugin that I would recommend to you.
11. Tweet Old Post
If you have been engaging and building a community of followers on Twitter, then this plugin is the perfect way to sprinkle your archived posts into your tweets. Tweet Old Post simply creates a tweet out of your previous blog posts, and sends them to your Twitter account. It even has options to add hashtags and leading text to it. The customization capabilities – and ease of doing so – give this plugin my thumbs up in the field of Twitter integration.