This week, I wanted to share some of my top WordPress plugins for small businesses that I think they should be using. WordPress is possibly the best content management system small businesses can use for their website. I actually use WordPress on all my websites as it’s incredibly easy to use. The Digital Heart website and blog is also built on WordPress.
When I’m setting up a new website, there are some go-to plugins I always install. And today, I’m going to reveal this list and also why I use them and why they can be beneficial to you.
(If somebody else looks after your WordPress website for you, ask him/her to help setting these up for you!)
SEO by Yoast
This is a plugin that makes implementing and understanding SEO for your website incredibly easy. In general, WordPress is already fairly well optimised for SEO. However, as a small business, you want to make the most out of everything, so installing SEO by Yoast will help take you to the next level.
I’m an avid follower of the team who created this plugin, as they have an excellent and up to date blog on SEO best practices. If you have any spare time, I encourage you to follow it and even sign up to their newsletter.
If, for your small business website, your team writes a lot of content, this plugin offers insights while you write that ultimately shows you how to develop more SEO friendly (and optimised) content. It encourages you to choose one keyword to focus on while writing a blog, and shows you how to rank best for that keyword. It will tell you how often you’re using the keyword, where you are using it, if you need to add the keyword to the alt tags on your blog images, and much more!
If SEO is completely new to you, then trust me, download this plugin because it will show you, without minimum technical jargon, how to optimise your blogs effectively.
This is what the plugin looks like in practice – the WordPress SEO by Yoast block appears below the text editing/writing box when you are writing a blog post. Helpfully, next to each section, there is a question mark where if you hover over it, it will give you a brief explanation of what that feature is and how to use it.
Recently I’ve been working with a friend on his extremely popular eCommerce store. Until then most of my own sites have focused on selling Digital Products and I had no need for platform like WooCommerce.
WooCommerce is a plugin that allows you to turn your WordPress website into an eCommerce website. Once installed, (which is very easy to do by the way) you can start selling T Shirts, cups, jewellery, anything you want! Since working on WooCommerce over the past few months, I’ve realised how powerful and useful it is. Oh, and if you combine it with SEO by Yoast, it’s even better!
They make issues like Tax, shipping, and accepting payments easy to sort. They seem to keep adding new features all the time, which keeps me constantly learning! According to them, WooCommerce powers 24% of all eCommerce websites, which is more than 663,153 websites world-wide!
So, if you’re looking to sell products online through your own website, I highly recommend WooCommerce. The final great thing about this plugin…it’s free!
Now this is a plugin that I’ve come across in the last few months, and is very interesting. Ivy lets your website visitors highlight a certain piece of text and share this straight to Facebook, Twitter, or email to to people. It’s a social sharing tool.
Now why is this useful? It’s useful because it makes sharing your content very easy for website visitors. When they share your content, they are effectively spreading your brand message and making people aware of your company. A great, cheap marketing boost for your business!
One issue is that even though you have this installed on your website, users may not know this feature is possible. That’s why I suggest doing this:
At the top of each blog on your site, just add a piece of text in a small font, saying ‘Highlight any text on this article to share directly to Twitter, Facebook and email’. That should help to encourage visitors to use this feature.
WordPress Notification Bar
There are several other plugins with the same functionality as this one, however, so far this plugin has been the best for me. It’s easy to setup and works straight away.
WordPress Notifications Bar basically does exactly what it says in the title. It provides a notification bar across the top of your WordPress website.
For example, this is the notification bar we have on the Digital Heart website.
Right at the top it says, “Free eBook! What You Need To Know Before You Embark On A Web Project ”. What we are doing here is advertising a free eBook that encourages people to click on the ‘Click Here!’ icon, where they are taken through to a page to submit their email, so they can have the ebook emailed to them.
This is a great tool you can use to help build your email list. We recommend you tweak the title from time to time to find out which title gets the best click through rate. The plugin is free.
As we are doing for Digital Heart, I would recommend offering something for free, like a free pdf download, with this notification plugin. Or, if you are an eCommerce store, you can use it to advertise a Flash Sale. Just change the bar to red, and include text that’s something along the lines of ‘Flash Sale: 25% Off All Swimwear’. You can test how effective it is by using it in once Flash Sale campaign, and not using it in another, and see what happens to the sales numbers.
In this post I’ve suggested 4 plugins that I believe are fantastic to use with WordPress websites. Why not try them on your WordPress site?
Keep an eye out for part 2!