So how do you stand out in such a vast ocean of digital options?
Short answer: Having a really kickass website.
10% of all retail in America is happening online right now. And that number is expected to keep going up into the foreseeable future.
That’s why at BKMedia Group, our web dev team loves Wordpress. WordPress is a super flexible website platform that allows us to build sites that slay in SEO and generate leads like nobody’s business.
Plus, it comes with a bevy of plugins that make customization a breeze.
Plugins are sort of like apps for your website, designed by people all over the world and made available in one central database to make managing your website even easier.
Need to block spam? There’s a plugin for that. Want to set up a sick online store.? Plugin, please! As of right now, there are nearly 55,000 plugins waiting to make your website a winner.
Of course, you can’t use all of those plugins — lest you risk looking like this website. So how do you choose?
The question you want to answer when looking at essential plugins is which ones can make our websites more successful with SEO campaigns, email list building, lead generation and conversions.
Read on to check out the 7 most essential WordPress plugins that can turn your site from a slug into a slugger.
1. MonsterInsights — An Analytics Powerhouse
How are you supposed to talk to your customers if you don’t know anything about them? Enter: MonsterInsights.
MonstertInsights a Google Analytics feature that can communicate directly with your WordPress site.
With this tool, you’ll be able to learn a lot about your customers, including:
- Age and gender
- How they find your website
- Which keywords brought them to you
- What they clicked on
- How long they stay on certain pages
With that kind of information, you can focus your content on what people are most attracted to, fine tune your site to improve your keyword results, find and fix blockages in your sales funnel and create ads that speak to what your customers care about.
Your conversion rate (i.e., the number of people who visit your site but don’t make a purchase) could be suffering from any number of problems, including:
- A slow website: Every second of load time will cost you 4 to 5% of your visitors
- An ugly website: Ugly is subjective, we know — how about we say a hard to read or navigate website instead?
- Abandoned carts: Maybe finishing an order is too complicated or confusing, or maybe there are distractions along the way to completing a purchase.
- Security issues: If a customer feels wary that their credit card information isn’t safe with you, they’re probably going to run for the exit.
OptinMonster helps resolve these problems by helping you design product pages that are designed with only one thing in mind — conversion rate optimization (CRO).
Their product pages make the purchasing process streamlined and easy, and give you the option to add incentives to completing a purchase, like limited time offers with countdown clocks and email signup forms in exchange for coupons.
The plugin also has a slick feature which will put customized offers in front of individual customers based on their history on your site.
If a user comes back to your site but still isn’t making a purchase, you can hit them up with a discount code as a “thanks” for being a repeat customer.
Finally, OptinMonster lets you see which deals and offers are working and which ones are falling flat, so you can optimize your strategy to get those conversions where you want ‘em!
3. Yoast SEO
To get your company to show up high on the list of search engine results, you need search engine optimization, and that’s what Yoast helps you achieve.
Making the most with Yoast starts with some essential features:
- Getting important keywords into your website content
- Making sure you’re readability be goodest (um, can we get Yoast over here, please?)
- Checking for duplicate content and getting rid of it
- Checking for duplicate content and getting rid of it (and here too…thanks Yoast)
- Automatically fixing broken links
This kind of attention to detail makes all the difference in SEO. Plus, it’ll help you show up in more Facebook and Twitter feeds, too.
When more people have the chance to click through to your website, you’ve got more chances to turn them into customers.
SEM, or Search Engine Marketing, is like the naughty little brother to SEO.
With SEO, you get into Harvard because of your good looks and charming sense of humor. With SEM, you get in because your dad sent the dean and his wife on an all-expenses paid trip to the Bahamas.
You know when you search for something on Google, and the first couple listings have a little icon saying they’re ads? Or have you noticed the sponsored links that show up on the side column of the search results? Those are there because of SEM.
Search engine marketing should be part of your digital marketing strategy. You might not always win the battle for organic SEO, but SEM can keep you in the game.
But just because you put an ad in front of someone doesn’t mean they’ll check it out. That’s why we use SEMRush.
At BKMedia Group, SEMRush helps us audit our clients’ websites and find out what their competitors are beating them at. It also gives us insight into what keywords and content are more effective when coupled with paid ads.
The result? Ads that are optimized to get more clicks, improving the value of your ad spend.
WPForms is the go-to when you want to connect with your website’s visitors.
This plugin allows you to easily set up everything from contact forms and surveys to donation collection and subscription sign-ups. And that includes signing up for your email list. It even integrates directly with Mailchimp, which is one of our favorite email marketing tools.
Building that email list is one of the most affordable ways to market directly to people who’ve already shown an interest in what you do. It’s powerfully effective at retaining customers, increasing interaction, and maintaining high conversion rates.
For example, when we used Mailchimp to promote our client Weatherall’s products, we saw a nearly 3,000% increase of sales via email.
But you won’t see numbers like that if you don’t have an email list to work with. WPForms will help you get there.
If your website is the hub of your online presence, then your social media profiles make up the spokes which reach out to encompass the wheel of potential customers.
Some people prefer Facebook. Others pin on Pinterest all day, and others are addicted to Twitter.
If any of these social media lovers end up on your website, shouldn’t you give them the chance to connect with you on the platform of their choice?
That’s exactly what DiggDigg does. This plugin allows you to create a customized bar of social media links on your site.
That bar could include a “Like” for Facebook, a “Follow” for Instagram or Google+, or a “Pin It” for Pinterest.
The bigger your social media presence, the more people you have to market to. Can you Digg it?
Imagine dumping hundreds of hours of work into the perfect website, creating and uploading original content, and using our tips to set up a bunch of cool plugins to boost your SEO rankings into the stratosphere...just to lose the whole damn thing in an instant.
That’s where BackupBuddy has your back.
Many things can go wrong on the backend of your website to mess it up: malware, hackers, an error in the programming or a server crash. BackupBuddy makes it simple to return your website to perfection with the click of a button.
It keeps secure backups of your site archived for you to access whenever you need, and stores everything from your site including files, product pages, comments, and user databases. This data gets backed up automatically, according to a schedule you set.
If you’re going to put all this work into making your website the best of the bunch, having a backup system is a no-brainer.
Perfecting Your Plugins — Easier Said Than Done
It might seem like we’ve given away the keys to the castle with this blog. Why hire a team of digital marketing experts to help you with your WordPress plugins you when you could just do it yourself?
We’re glad you asked.
Reasons you should hire us to handle your plugins, web design, and overall digital marketing strategy include:
Downloading and installing a plugin is just the first step.
- We’ve got the experience to analyze the data from these plugins and create a plan of attack to improve your sales numbers while increasing the efficiency of your ad dollar.
You’ve got your business to run.
- Even if you could figure out how to utilize these plugins as expertly as we can, that’s not your business.
- How are you supposed to focus on connecting with your customers needs and creating the highest quality product if you’re hunched over a computer all day optimizing keywords? Let us do it for you so you can lead your company to success.
There’s no plugin for good taste
- These plugins give you the tools to improve your digital marketing, but they won’t do a lick of good if your website looks and runs poorly.
- Our web dev team makes beautiful customized websites everyday for high-end clients. And they aren’t just pretty faces — our websites are all made with SEO, SEM, and CRO as top priority.
Bottom line, we’re WordPress web development experts. Let us take your website to the next level. Learn more about BKMedia’s web design and development services >