I’m a huge, huge fan of WordPress.
It’s one of the best website development solutions out there, powering almost one-quarter of the entire Internet.
More importantly, it’s incredibly easy to use. One of the best features about WordPress are plugins, which allow you to easily add complicated scripts to your website with the click of a button.
With thousands to choose from, selecting the right plugins for your website can be overwhelming. Personally, I like to use plugins delivering on function over form. In other words, instead of looking to enhance my site’s design, I’m looking to enhance performance.
These are my 5 go to WordPress plugins that I use to increase traffic on client sites.
These days, social media is one of, if not the primary driver of web traffic. If thousands of people share a blog post you write, you’ll instantly see an avalanche of traffic on your site.
To promote social media sharing, you need to use a plugin that makes it dead simple to share a post across all the social media platforms.
Although there are literally thousands of social sharing plugins, Shareaholic is one of the nicest. It has a clean dashboard, pretty icons, simple use, and it connects to every social platform out there.
If you want to promote related content or earn affiliate income, the plugin also makes that possible. If you only want to use the share functions, you simply turn off the related and affiliate options.
Click To Tweet brings Twitter sharing directly into the content of your blog posts, allowing you to create really nice looking call-out Twitter boxes. With Click To Tweet, you can turn the best quotes in your post into shareable Twitter updates.
In addition to the social sharing aspect, Click To Tweet adds a nice aesthetic touch to your posts. The call-out boxes break up the surrounding text nicely, making the posts easier to read.
If you want to drive organic traffic to your site, you really need to optimize it for search engines. Yoast SEO makes it incredibly simple to do just that.
The plugin allows you to see what your post will look like in search results, which then allows you to determine whether your title is too long or too short and if your metadata makes sense. The plugin also does page analysis, technical SEO, and a host of other SEO related tasks.
This plugin really is a must-have for any WordPress user.
One of the most strategic ways to drive traffic to your site is through careful email marketing. However, to create effective email marketing, you need to have email addresses. How do you get email addresses? You use a plugin like Optin Monster.
Using simple drag-n-drop tools, you can create attractive opt-in form which you can then use to build your email list. The service behind the plugin integrates with all the major email marketing services like Aweber, MailChimp, Constant Contact, and others.
This plugin doesn’t boost unique visitors to the site as much as it boosts the length of time a person stays on your site, as well as the number of pages they visit.
As the name indicates, this plugin allows you to highlight the most popular posts on your website. This, in turn, allows you to get more life out of posts that would have otherwise been buried in the archives of your site.
You can promote the most popular posts by a certain time frame (last 30, 60, 90 days) or category, and you can view the statistics of your most popular posts.
You can’t simply start blogging and expect visitors to show up. Rather, you must carefully and strategically build your traffic.
Thankfully, growing traffic is not a mystical art known only by a few. If you regularly create content and consistently promote that content using the plugins listed above, you can slowly but surely grow the traffic coming to your site.
Author: Ryan Stewart is a digital marketing consultant with 8 years of experience servicing Fortune 500 brands. He currently owns and operates WEBRIS, a Miami based digital agency.