"Social & Search Engine Optimization WordPress Plugins" is the third part of review about WordPress plugins that we use and recommend. You can find first and second part of this article here: Part2. Plugins that Improve your WordPress blog & Part1. Performance & Security plugins. In this part of review we consider Social & Search Engine Optimization plugins for WordPress.
1. Search Engine Optimization Plugins
Your site/blog may be for fun only or may be a resource of your income but it is hard to underestimate the importance of attracting more visitors to it. Therefore you have to give chance for any SEO plugin to work– fulfill your site with content, pay attention to the content itself, add meta tags and meta descriptions.
There are lots of WP plugins improving search engine traffic but we would like to focus attention on WordPress SEO plugin. WordPress SEO plugin is a powerful toolset for improving search optimization issues of your blog. Among its features are customizable breadcrumbs navigation and controlling of the excessive data which you don't want to be shown from tag in html. It offers possibility to create patterns for titles and descriptions for any kind of pages in your blog, to edit .htaccess and robots.txt, cleans up links from the annoying stuff like useless variables in the end of the link, using redirect. A nice tool for generating XML sitemap with a smart XSLT transformer for a human readability is included. WordPress SEO plugin also supports the canonical link element which highlights the original page and not the derived ones. It also allows to preserve some pages from indexing using robots.txt. if you don't want these pages to be found by search engine.
Google analytics, a well known web analytics solution is now available as a plugin for WordPress. It is always better to know the statistics of your site - popularity, views etc. Simple in installation, this plugin provides a detailed summary of the whole activity during the last 30 days. The result will be seen on your admin page. You will get the number of visitors, average time they spent on your page, statistics of the registered and not registered visitors, and there is even a day by day attendance scheme, top pages, top referrers, top searches and much more. Thanks to this statistic analysis of the site you can also see which pages were viewed more often and that will show you how and where to improve your blog. The traffic data results will be much more precise because of asynchronous tracking Google Analytics uses. And faster load times and avoiding of tracking errors in situations when Java script is not fully loaded make this deal even more attractive.
2. Social plugins
You often see the sharebars on sites and blogs which let you share the news, posts or any other content with your friends/subscribers in various popular social networks: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc to name a few. You must have heard of Mashable's bar for example. Of course with every share your popularity multiplies. We recommend the Sharebar plugin for WordPress – by default it is a vertical sharebar to the left of your post. If the page is wide or resized to 1000 px the horizontal bar with the popular social networks icons will appear below your post instead of the vertical one.
If you don't like the default settings, customization can be done from the admin page under the Settings. And that is where you can choose location of the main bar (left/right or below if resized), put them in the wanted order, choose the buttons design, add new buttons to the bar if needed or delete those you don't need.
Having RSS feed in your blog is a must-have. The default WordPress webfeed provides an excellent service, but first class is always more preferable. Apart from being easy in use and customizable Primary Feedburner plugin for WordPress also tracks the feeds from your site and redirects your readers who use the old feed to your Feedburner with the help of http redirects.
Please take notice you will need a Feedburner account.
Having a Facebook fan- or likebox in your blog is too common to speak of it as of something super new. But an experienced blogger knows the benefits. One of the special features of Facebook Fanbox plugin for WordPress is that you may customize the look of this fanbox using your own CSS to match the design and style of your page. All you need is to add the ID of your facebook-fanpage and there you are!
TwitterTools plugin for WordPress is an excellent chance for any blogger. Integration with WordPress doubles your results and your audience – as you may post your tweets and twitter your posts.
You may send your messages to the Twitter service being in your blog and display the freshest messages from the Twitter service with a possibility of replying to these messages from the checkbox or admin panel. All your posts will be announced in Twitter right after posting. You may even send messages to the other services etc. And with a chance of creating daily and weekly digests it makes you and your blog even more interactive.
BuddyPress, a completely free child product of WordPress was called “a social network in a box” by many. And no wonder. As you may create a network within any group of people with extended profiles, private communication and possibility to comment, start forums, discussions, create groups and connections and much much more.
First part of this review:
Part1. Performance & Security plugins
Second part of this review:
Part2. Plugins that Improve your WordPress blog
We hope you’ll find this article useful.
Remember that it’s only our opinion/choice and we would be pleased to know yours! So feel free to comment.