Marketing Bootcamp

The 7 WordPress Plugins Your Site Needs to Succeed

At least one website you visited today is powered by WordPress. In all likelihood, most of your favorite sites utilize the world’s most popular content management system (CMS). Perhaps your business runs on it too.

According to WordPress, across its network of sites, “Over 409 million people view more than 15.8 billion pages each month.” Furthermore, “Users produce about 43.7 million new posts and 58.8 million new comments each month.”

More content is created than audiences can handle. The challenge for entrepreneurs, then, is to find an underserved segment of consumers that would love nothing more than what you have to offer, whether it is blog posts, products or services.

Fortunately, you won’t need to build everything from scratch. In fact, a powerful website is possible even if you are a non-technical founder. To take your business to the next level with WordPress, here are seven outstanding plugins you will want to install immediately.

Related: 10 Questions to Ask When Optimizing Your Website for Mobile Users

1. Chartbeat

There is more to your audience than pure page views. Metrics such as engagement time and return rate are now tracked more closely as we enter an age of holistic analytics.

Chartbeat’s real-time analytics suite enables you to better understand reader behavior to make smarter decisions about what you can do to both capture and offer the most value during audience visits. With it, hopefully, you can begin responding to reader activity with solutions to keep them on site longer, visiting more pages and converting more often.

2. LinkPatrol

Spam’s persistence threatens to ruin the web. It is everywhere.

While smart filters and blockers protect you from getting duped by the seemingly honorable Nigerian Prince and his innocent business proposal, you might not even be aware of the spam that lives within your own website.

Built by the team at Search Engine Journal, LinkPatrol aims to help site owners analyze, manage and fix outgoing links to ensure your readers only end up clicking things that add to their reading experience and so you avoid getting on Google’s bad side, which can be pretty ugly.

Related: 4 Essential WordPress Plugins for Business Blogs

3. OptinMonster

Email has always been the ugly stepchild of marketing. It’s not as ego-inflating as public relations, and it’s surely not as novel as social media. That said, email marketing holds a valuable seat at the table due to its very intimate opt-in nature, which makes you confident that your lead is genuinely interested in engaging with your brand further.

A product of Syed Balkhi, OptinMonster allows you to instantly build and deploy compelling opt-in forms for your site. Advanced capabilities include page-specific targeting, A/B testing and built-in analytics.

4. Polldaddy

While a simple (and free) Google form can do you a lot of good, many businesses choose Polldaddy to take advantage of its more powerful and sophisticated survey capabilities.

With it, you can learn a thing or two from your audience when you build engaging surveys which ultimately give you the sorts of responses you need, in an easy-to-manipulate way, to make better informed decisions about product development, customer success and more.

5. Shareaholic

Built by my company, Shareaholic’s fully integrated content marketing suite includes a Related Content app and Social Share Buttons. These tools make it seamless to boost reader engagement and social media traffic.

Related: These Plugins Can Boost Traffic to Your Blog

By algorithmically surfacing contextually relevant articles your audience is most likely to engage with, the Related Content app works to drive targeted traffic to the best content within your website. Those recommendations lead to longer visitor time-on-site and increased page views per visit. Shareaholic’s customizable Share Buttons also stand out, encouraging your users to become active promoters of your content.

6. WooCommerce

For product-based businesses, WooCommerce is perfect. You can take an average WordPress site and turn it into an ecommerce machine.

WooCommerce is developed by the folks at WooThemes, a veteran within the WordPress community. The plugin’s flexibility and expansive extension store allows you to sell anything. Best of all, it helps manage payments, shipping options, inventory management, reporting, marketing and tax, so you can worry about the fun stuff, such as designing your next blockbuster product.

7. WPtouch

In an increasingly mobile world, we all have to remember the importance of responsive design. A report from eMarketer suggests, “4.55 billion people worldwide will use a mobile phone in 2014.” By 2017, 33.8 percent of our global population will be smartphone users.

A significant number of your visitors already spend a large chunk of their time browsing the web on their mobile devices. Fortunately, solutions such as WPtouch help make your site fully responsive, for both smartphone and tablet users. WPtouch also offers a wide variety of extensions so you can further enhance the mobile browsing experience for your visitors and capture more value from your hard-earned traffic.

Related: New Online Businesses Should Steer Clear of These 5 Mistakes