This collection of plugins focuses on making your content more findable on the web.
Let’s start with the basics. Jetpack. It’s often chided for being a bloated piece of software, but I disagree. It’s a great all-in-one solution. Without it, you would need to install a bunch of separate plugins to handle the features that it provides.
For content discovery, I recommend using it for the following:
- Placing contextual calls-to-action on your sidebars by controlling widget visibility.
- Improving the visitor experience with fast-loading images.
- Pushing new posts to your social media channels.
Social Sharing: AddThis
If you’re publishing content to attract visitors to your site, you should make it easy for those people to share your content. (After all, even if someone isn’t a potential customer, they may share your content with someone who is.)
There are many social sharing plugins available for WordPress (including Jetpack, mentioned above). AddThis is my personal favourite for a few reasons:
- Visuals. You can place AddThis in various locations throughout your site. For example, it can appear as a floating bar to the side of the screen. It’s also a slick design that works with pretty much every theme.
- Intelligence. The AddThis service knows about your visitors’ geographic location and web activity. Let the plugin determine the best icons to display.
- No registration. You don’t need to create an AddThis account to use it. Just install the plugin, activate it, and off you go.
If you do register an account, you’ll get access to the rest of the AddThis suite of tools. This includes sharing stats, displaying related content, and triggering pop-ups for promotions and offers.
Search Optimization: Yoast SEO
Want potential customers to find your website through search results? Of course you do. But first you need to make sure you’ve optimized your pages. That’s where Yoast SEO comes in. Yoast SEO (previously called WordPress SEO by Yoast) is the de-facto standard for search engine optimization in WordPress.
What should you do with it? A few suggestions:
- Figure out what people are searching for. Do some basic keyword research straight from the Editor screen. Once you have a keyword set, use Yoast SEO to analyze your page’s content to see if it’s optimized for that keyword.
- Tweak your meta titles and descriptions. They should include the focus keyword for the page. There’s preview included in the Editor screen so you can see what it’ll look like in search results.
- Verify your site with Google Webmaster Tools. Once that’s done, submit the generated sitemap to ensure all pages on your site are crawled.