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Whether you are managing a company website, an online shop, or a simple blog, traffic is one of the essential ingredients of success. The problem is getting more traffic. It’s an art that is easy to understand but difficult to master. You can’t just build a site and hope for the best that the traffic will come. You have to acquire it. If you use WordPress to build your site, you can use these plugins to help get more traffic.Linking to Your Other Content
It’s clear that Google and other search engines hate junk content. That’s why they keep updating their algorithms to weed out such content and bump up websites with quality content. The first focus of any site is to create quality content. While creating great content is a craft that you should master by practice, you can use tools to help others discover your hidden gems.WordPress Popular Post
As important as creating quality content is linking one content to another. If visitors land on one of your pages or posts, you want them to stay on your site as long as possible and come back for more. You can do that by telling them about other interesting things that your site has to offer.
WordPress Popular Post is a plugin that creates a widget showing the ranking of posts. You can customize it to show the most views over the last 24 hours, 7 days, 30 days or all time. You can also filter the results to a particular category and place it anywhere on your site that can display a widget.Share the Content
The easy way to get more traffic is to let your visitor share your content with their friends, a.k.a potential visitors. These plugins will make it easy to do so.Sharebar
Sharebar connects your site with your visitors’ social media accounts. It allows your visitors to share your content quickly and increase organic exposure of your site. Other than increasing your traffic, this plugin will also help your site get stronger SEO ranking. You can choose which social networks that best fit your content and display them next to your post.WP to Twitter
The WP to Twitter plugin offers similar features to Sharebar but focuses more on Twitter. It posts your content to your Twitter account automatically. You don’t need to copy and paste links to your tweets as the plugin will do the job for you. You need to customize the tweet template beforehand, though, so that the plugin can use it to auto-tweet each new post and shorten the URLs. It also offers a sidebar widget to display your recent tweets.Facebook Comments AddThis Mobile Share Improve Site SEO
The goal of SEO is to turn your sites into something that search engines love, put it higher in search engine rankings, and eventually get more free, steady, and organic traffic based on keyword searches. While meddling with SEO manually will give you enough jobs to last a lifetime, your focus should be on creating quality content. Leave the complicated job to the expert.All in One SEO Pack
This plugin will help you address the most important SEO points while taking care of other SEO details that most ordinary people don’t need to know about. It will take away the headache of SEO work by automatically adding the relevant fields and tags on each page and post.
All in One SEO Pack will also optimize all of your titles for the search engines, generate meta tags for each post, and scan your content for duplicate files that can hurt your ranking. Everything happens automatically without you having to touch a single line of code.Google XML Sitemaps
Even the oh-so-powerful search engine giants get lost sometimes. And when they do, they can’t index the posts and pages. Unfortunately, the risk is on you since your site won’t show up in the search engine results if it can’t be indexed. Your job is to make the search engine job easier by creating a sitemap, and Google XML Sitemap plugin can help you do that easily. The plugin will guide search engine crawlers around and show them the complete structure of the site.
Image Credit: Amy West, WordPress Popular Post, Sharebar, WP to Twitter, AddThis
Jeffry Thurana is a creative writer living in Indonesia. He helps other writers and freelancers to earn more from their crafts. He’s on a quest of learning the art of storytelling, believing that how you tell a story is as important as the story itself. He is also an architect and a designer, and loves traveling and playing classical guitar.
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If you’ve ever searched a WordPress site, you have likely noticed the results you get back from any search query leave a lot to be desired. And if you use WordPress as your content management system of choice, you may have noticed pages finding their way into site search results, which you would prefer people didn’t see.
The unfortunate truth is that native WordPress site search needs some work to ensure it’s delivering your readers the best results. So what can you do to improve the relevance of your site search results? Fortunately, there are a number of easy-to-use WordPress plugins that can help – no need to mess around with code, just install, activate, and tweak the settings to make them work how you want them to.1. Search Everything
With over 80,000+ active installed, Search Everything has a solid user base and it’s served me well on several websites. There are no hoops to jump through, just activate, tweak the settings, and you’re ready to go. A useful feature included is search highlighting – whenever a search query is used, users will easily see it on the results page.2. Custom Google Search
Custom Google Search is a premium plugin by WPMU DEV, which allows you to replace the native WordPress search functionality with Google’s Custom Search. There are a few more hoops to jump through to set up this plugin, in comparison to other plugins like Search Everything, but setup is still straight forward.
The only thing that I dislike about this plugin is the cost which comes in at a steep $19/month for the plugin alone, or $49/month to get all of WPMU DEV’s plugins and themes. The $49/month option holds the most value considering the sheer number of plugins you’ll get access to, although the important question to consider is – do you really need them?
There are several alternatives which include adding Custom Search manually following this tutorial by WP Beginner or a free plugin; WP Google Search.3. Relevanssi
Similar to Search Everything, Relevanssi has over 80,000+ active installs and receives regular updates. Relevanssi is a free plugin with the option to purchase a premium version that gives you extra control over your search functionality. The price of the premium version starts at $49.95. In comparison to Search Everything, the setup process is more complex but should enable the plugin to provide more accurate search results.
Results can be ordered by relevance or publication date and by default the plugin will use fuzzy matching when straight search terms get no hits. Fuzzy matching matches everything that begins or ends with the search term.4. Swiftype Search
Swiftype Search is a newer plugin that boasts some powerful features. Unlike Search Everything and Relevanssi, this plugin won’t make your server work harder. Everything is hosted on their servers which is awesome.
Pricing is worked out on a quota based system. You can sign up for a free account, this will give you a quota of 500 total unique pages and up to 1,000 searches per month which should be sufficient for most small websites. Paid accounts range from $19/month to $249/month depending on the size of your website and the number of queries. Paid accounts also remove branding and unlock additional features such as search analytics.
One feature I particularly like is the option to customize specific search queries to make them more relevant. For example, if you notice particular terms are being searched for in the analytics, you can manually edit them to give more accurate results – if those results aren’t as accurate as you would like.
You can also utilize the Swiftype platform to add mobile search to apps and leverage their API, which I imagine can be incredibly useful for developers. And for marketers, the real-time analytics functionality can deliver some valuable insights, especially for larger sites.Conclusion
This is not an exhaustive list by any means; however the plugins I’ve discussed will provide something suitable for almost any situation. Whether it is the option to leverage Google’s Custom Search, provide an easy way to remove particular pages/posts from your site’s search, power the internal search of a large e-commerce site or simply improve the relevance of search results for your personal blog – you’ll find a plugin to help you.
Whether your small business niche is plumbing, SEO services, or wedding planning, you want your small business website to deliver on your business goals.
One of the many benefits of using the WordPress platform is the ability to use plugins. They extend functionality and add needed features to help you grow your small business.
Table of Contents
In this article, we will discuss ten plugins every small business website needs:
Broken Link Checker
W3 Total Cache
Smush Image Optimization, Compressions, and Lazy Load
Google XML Sitemaps
Simple Author Box
Google Analytics DashboardYoast SEO
Get more visitors to your website and increase your search engine rankings with Yoast SEO.
With millions of users worldwide, this SEO plugin for WordPress offers the toolset you need to please search engines and users.
Below are some of the powerful features of the free version of SEO Yoast.
Create an XML sitemap.
Avoid duplicate content by setting canonical URLs.
Add title and meta descriptions to improve branding.
Take control over site breadcrumbs by setting primary categories and determine taxonomies.
Write SEO-friendly text, including focus keyphrases and SEO snippet.
Get SEO analysis and actionable suggested results.
See a snippet preview of how your post or page will look in search results.
Optimize your site structure with internal linking and content features.
Control access to different sections of the plugin for teams or colleagues.
Use the bulk editor to make large-scale edits.
SEO Yoast offers a premium version with even more capabilities. They also offer paid training. Anyone can read the helpful tips on their blog.
If your target audience can’t find you online, they can’t purchase your products or services. SEO Yoast helps your potential customers find you.WordFence
WordFence makes it harder for someone to hack your WordPress site and protects it from potential hacking, brute force attacks, and other security vulnerabilities. WordFence will scan your site, track, and alert you of suspicious or malicious behavior.
See an overview in the dashboard of the security of your website, including status features, notifications, and attack statistics.
Some of the features of the free version include:
Blocks and identifies malicious traffic with the web application firewall.
Limits login attempts to protect from brute force attacks.
Protects your website at the endpoint.
Checks core files, plugins, themes, backdoors, bad URLs, malicious redirects, SEO spam, and code injections with the malware scanner.
Alerts you to known potential security issues and security vulnerabilities.
Blocks administrator logins when passwords have been compromised.
There is also a premium version with more security options and resources.Social Warfare
Social Warfare is a fast and visually appealing social sharing plugin. Unlike other sharing plugins that may slow down your website, Social Warfare doesn’t.
The plugin is easy to set up and enables users to customize the share buttons.
If you move or change your domain name, there is no need to worry about losing existing social shares.Social Warfare’s Share Recovery feature protects your social proof and saves your share counts.
The free version of Social Warfare comes with:
Social sharing buttons for the major social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.
Button placement locations.
Popular posts widget.
The free version can be downloaded from the WordPress repository. There is also a premium version if you want expanded capabilities.Akismet Anti-Spam
Akismet comes pre-installed in WordPress but must be activated to use. You will need to get an Akismet API key to use the plugin. Keys are free for personal use. Commercial and business sites must get a paid subscription.Broken Link Checker
Broken links will hurt your search engine rankings. Broken Link Checker will monitor your site for broken links and missing images. It will notify you if any are found.
With Broken Link Checker, you can:
See broken links in content differently than other links if selected in settings.
Edit broken links from the plugin page.
Broken Link Checker is highly customizable. Change the settings in the plugin dashboard.
Fixing broken links can create a better user experience, reduce bounce rates, and increase page views.W3 Total Cache
Website speed and user experience are essential ranking factors for SEO. Webpages that take too long to load will reduce your search engine rankings. They will also create negative experiences for your users who don’t want to wait.
W3 Total Cache increases your site performance by increasing load speed. It creates cached HTML files so that visitors don’t have to wait for all your site’s functions to load every time they land on a page.Smush Image Optimization, Compression, & Lazy Load
Large, unoptimized images take up a lot of space on your website, slow down site speed, and harm your search engine rankings.
Some of the many features and benefits of Smush include:
Optimize your images while preserving the quality.
Automate the image optimization process.
Detect incorrect image sizes.
Compress any image in any directory.
Increase your rankings by using Smush to help your small business website load faster.Google XML Sitemaps
Every website needs a sitemap to tell the search engines which pages and posts on your site to crawl.
If you are running Yoast SEO, you don’t need a separate plugin for this. Google’s XML Sitemap Generator helps you create and upload one without coding or using HTML.
With this sitemap, it is easier for the search engine crawlers to see the structure of your site and retrieve it.
Also, every time you create a new post or page, the search engines will be notified. The plugin is free for personal and commercial use.Simple Author Box
For sites that have multiple bloggers, Simple Author Box is a must-have. Easily add a mobile responsive box at the bottom of your blog posts.
The main features enable you to:
Customize options to match your brand design.
Show author name, website, gravatar, description, and social icons.
Insert the author box at the end of each post automatically.
With Simple Author Box you can clearly differentiate between different authors on your site. The plugin is free, but if you want additional features, you can upgrade to Simple Author Box Pro.Google Analytics Dashboard
Knowing how visitors are getting to your small business website, how long they stay, and which pages they are landing on is essential to small business owners.
Rather than having to log into your Google Analytics account, track your stats and get in-depth posts and pages reports inside your WP installation with Google Analytics Dashboard.
Some of the robust features include the ability to:
Track events easily.
Customize dimensions to track.
Use Google Tag Manager as an alternative tracking code.
See your analytics in real-time right inside your WP dashboard.
One of the many reasons people choose to use WordPress for their website is the ability to enhance and customize it using plugins. Consider the plugins listed above to help your small business grow.
Even though Banner Ads Rotator isn’t the most popular ad rotation plugin in terms of active installs, I like it a lot, and this is why I decided to include it here. This plugin is easy to use yet flexible and offers great stats. As you can guess from its name, you enter banners to be rotated. You do this with the help of shortcodes. In addition to image banners, you can also rotate video and HTML banners.6. Easy Plugin for AdSense 7. Popup Maker
Popups might not be a user’s favorite, but they do have their place among ad inventory. With the right plugin there are less annoying ways to display popups. Popup Maker is such a plugin. It comes in free and paid versions. The free version offers quite a lot – EU cookie notices, optin popups, slide-ins and slide-outs, modal forms, notifications, floating stickies, etc. The best is all these are responsive, and you can set rules for precise targeting for who sees what.
I am a fulltime freelancer who loves technology. Linux and Web technologies are my main interests and two of the topics I most frequently write about.
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Google loves to index long text content. However, reading lengthy content is a difficult task from user’s perspective. Most of the users may be interested to read only certain portion of the article. In this case, you should have a clear structure with table of contents so that users can easily navigate to the required portion. In this article, let us explain how to add table of contents in WordPress posts.Let’s Take an Example
Let us take an example case where table of content is required. We write many shortcut tips to quickly get things done. However, the shortcuts of a same app are different in Windows, Mac and on mobile devices. The fact is that users want to check the Mac shortcut may not be interested in Windows / mobile portion and vice versa. In this case, it makes sense to have a table of content at the start. This will help Windows, Mac or mobile users to quickly navigate to their interested section without going through other content.
Most importantly, Google will show the links from table of content in search results. When user searching with Mac in keyword, Google will show the “Jump to” option in the search result with the link to go to Mac section directly.
Table of Content Link in Google Search
The final published table of contents will look something like below on your site:
Table of Content Example in WordPressHow to Add Table of Contents in WordPress?
You can manually create an ordered list for your article using Word / Pages document or with HTML list tag. Add the list on your post using list block or embed the HTML code using Custom HTML block. However, this is time-consuming task when you have large number posts to create or have many existing posts. The easy option is to use a plugin to get the task done.Using Easy Table of Contents Plugin
Install Easy Table of Contents Plugin
The plugin has 80K+ active installations with good rating.Setting Up Table of Contents
After see single page settings in an easy to understandable manner.General Options
General options section is the main section you can setup to control where the TOC should appear on your site.
When you have multiple post types on your WordPress, select which post types you want to add table of content. Select posts and pages to enable support.
Enable Support and Auto InsertAuto Insert
This is useful option when you have existing posts on which you want to insert table of contents (TOC). Select the post types to auto insert TOC. Uncheck all the items, if you don’t want to insert TOC on older posts. Auto insert also will insert TOC on newer posts, however you can control the behavior in post editor.Position
The plugin allows you to insert TOC in four different positions:
Before first heading – this is a default option
After first heading
Set Position for TOC
We recommend you to use the default option, so that you have TOC before first heading on the article.Other General Options
Remaining general options are to control the behavior of TOC.
Show TOC only when the article has certain number of headings.
Add header label and show / hide.
Allow users to toggle the visibility of TOC. Enabling this option will allow users to expand or collapse the TOC display.
Initially hide or show the TOC when the page is loading first time.
Show the headings in hierarchy based on H1 to H6 level.
Use the counter as decimal, numeric, roman or none.
Enable or disable smooth scroll.
These are exhaustive options to setup the TOC on your site. You have two moreAppearance Options
Under this section, you can customize the width, font size and weight for your TOC display. You can also select one of the predefined themes or create your own color theme to suit your site’s display.
Appearance OptionsAdvanced Options
Advanced section allows you to include the heading levels and exclude the wildcard words. For example, you can exclude the heading with words “fruit*”.
You can make the anchors in lower case and use hyphens instead of underscores.
Restrict the TOC to posts or pages only on certain path.
Add default anchor prefix and widget suffix selector.
After changes. If you have enables auto insert then the plugin will automatically insert TOC all existing posts.Using Table of Contents in Post Editor
The global settings will control the behavior of table of contents on all the posts. However, you can have control on individual post level using the meta box in post editor.
You can enable or disable TOC on individual post.
Select the heading level for TOC and insert alternate custom TOC heading.
Exclude heading from TOC.
Table of Contents in Post EditorTable of Content Sidebar Widget
The plugin also offers a TOC widget that you can add in sidebar widget area.
The widget will show the TOC of the corresponding post in sidebar. You may need to use fixed widget sidebar so that the widget will float when user scroll down the content of the post. You can highlight the active section in different color, so that users can easily understand when reading the content.
Be careful when using TOC widget on default site wide sidebar. This may create PHP error when the post is not eligible for TOC as per your settings. Also, it will create PHP errors when you only enable TOC on posts and show the sidebar widgets on pages and custom post types. You can try using different sidebars on different post types to avoid this issue or use widget visibility option with Jetpack plugin.Conclusion
Table of Content plugin is a forked version of the Table of Contents Plus plugin. on the dashboard. You can easily insert TOC anywhere on the content or sidebar and control behavior. Remember, it is a free plugin so the support will not be instant as you can see the support forum on WordPress site. If it doesn’t work, you can simply delete and try another plugin without any issue.
How do you get more clients? I went freelance just about a year ago (for the second time in my career), and though it’s been sometimes more exciting than I’d like, it’s been a great ride and pretty successful. I’m celebrating a year of independence today on Independence Day! So I thought I’d share with you what’s worked to get me clients and a few other aspects of the journey. I hope you find it beneficial to your search consulting business.
Get More Clients With Facebook Ads
Here’s an ad I used mainly for awareness that got me 138,736 impressions for just $26.31.
A similar ad I ran before I spoke at the AllFacebook conference was seen by a prospective client I had talked to 6 months earlier- this reminded him of me and led to a conversation and him becoming a new client.
Just think about what you know about multi-touchpoint analytics and the value of top of the funnel awareness. Act on it.
Get More Clients With AdWords
Get More Clients With Facebook Pages And Like Boxes
Facebook Pages are a double-edged sword. Despite the benefits, you have to post regularly and you want to grow enough fans to not look lame, but they do provide social proof (put a like box on your website showing how many fans you have) and can show up as organic search listings in the Google top 10.
Get More Clients With SEO
If you know how to get SEO results for clients, should you rank for your own profession? I know there are good reasons why you might not- maybe you work on your clients so much that you always push your own sites too far down the priority list to actually work on them. I’d urge you to change this. If you don’t use a calendar to schedule and organize your work, start doing that. Then schedule some time every week to SEO your sites and blog.
I can’t tell you how many clients have told me they wanted to work with me because I ranked so well for “adwords consultant”. In fact, for a while, my name was a suggestion when you typed “adwords consultant” into Google.
Get Clients From Conference Speaking
It’s not easy to get traction in the beginning, but it’s worth it. What establishes your expertise and authority more strongly than getting picked to speak at a conference? Obviously, the conference organizers believe you’re in the top group of experts, and that’s a third-party endorsement.
So how do you get to speak at conferences? First off, you have to keep track of them and then when they open up for panel idea submissions, send some ideas- this could help you get picked. When they open up for speaker submissions, send one in with your best bio that describes your platform and accomplishments. Conference organizers want to know that you know what you’re talking about and will give attendees good value. It’s easier when you have spoken before, so put down anywhere you’ve spoken, even if it’s not a search conference. In my opinion, even having gone to Toastmasters can help, because then they know you have some speaking abilities.
When you start speaking, you have to speak for free. I was very fortunate, and I’m grateful to Loren, Dave and Jordan with Blue Glass/SEJ for asking me to speak at Scary SEO in 2008. That and speaking about AdWords at SES took my career to another level. Having those on my resume helped me speak at Pubcon, SMX, Socialize and the AllFacebook Expo. They also ultimately helped me get a book deal. All of this builds your reputation over time and makes the next level of success possible.
Later, you start getting your travel and expenses paid for, and eventually you may get paid speaking gigs. Keep working on your platform and bio. These need to progress over time. If you aren’t rewriting your bio every three months, you may not be doing enough to build your platform.
Get Clients By Attending Conferences
When I first started in this industry, I went to several conferences as an attendee. This led to friendships and partnerships with some industry peers. I also tweeted with those peers, and those relationships were essential to growing in the industry. I interviewed some of them for blog posts and webinars. Some of them were SEO’s who gave me AdWords business. In fact, I got a client I was really excited to get to work with in 2011 from someone I met and hung out with at conferences in 2008. You never know when and how your industry friends might help you. As I say about social networking, the ROI is inestimable- in a good way!
Is it worth the fees and travel costs? In my experience, it is. You simply can’t assume you’ll make strong enough connections with people while sitting at home. If you do have good Twitter and FB friends, go to a conference with them, because then you create real friendships in person. I think somehow we compartmentalize our purely Internet relationships and they don’t impact us emotionally in the same way. If you’ve ever heard of that book Never Eat Alone, and you’ve lunched a lot with peers, you can attest from your own experience that the bonds created and the value of same are worth it. Besides, we need friends, and they need us. Stay human, oh Internet geek!
Get Clients From Blogging, Your Platform & Self-Promotion
What better way is there to establish expertise and get some attention to your services, than to write something attention-grabbing and authoritative? You can build up your own blog over time, guest post on established blogs, and even get regular gigs on big blogs. You must give valuable information for free in these posts, but it builds a platform. What’s a platform? Anyone who’s looked into writing a book for a conventional publisher or tried to get paid speaking gigs has run into this concept. Your platform is the sum of your brand, expertise, voice, reach, and influence. It includes things like:
Your blogs and blog posts
Your internet radio show
Your appearances on traditional radio
Your published books
How many unique people can you reach, and how often? A lot of these things are what we’d call credibility markers. If you’ve seen me around the internet, sometimes you see my photo above a list of well-known periodicals I’ve appeared in or been interviewed by:
Although the downside is that it looks unashamedly self-promoting, it has worked for me in terms of growing my business. One new business partner told me that he chose me precisely because those big names separated me from the competition.
If you want more business, you need to get over your worries about what peers will say about your marketing. The only people whose opinions matter are the ones that pay you or help you. The other people are just holding you back. There’s a story about crabs in a bucket that may or may not be true- I’ve never had a bunch of crabs in a bucket. But supposedly, at a certain point, there are enough of them in there that one could climb out, but the ones below them grab onto the top ones and pull them down. Don’t let your peers drag you down, or you’ll get stuck in a more or less unhappy situation with a lot of friends to commiserate with. Look at that word- commiserate- if you want to live in co-misery, go ahead. If you want to move ahead, you may have to promote yourself if no one else is promoting you.
Also, use blogging to interview others that you’re networking with. It’s a win-win-win, because you can get them some exposure while getting blog readers valuable information, and it gives you a great blog post. It builds your relationships, which can lead to all kinds of opportunities.
Get Clients With Social Networking
As I’ve mentioned before, combining this with face-to-face meetings is very worth it. I would say, on average, for every meet up or conference I’ve gone to, it has resulted in at least one client. Sometimes it creates relationships that lead to multiple clients from the same person. And I’ve passed clients to these people as well.
Form relationships with people who do what you do, and people who do other pieces of the Internet Marketing puzzle that you don’t do. Find friends that do web design and wordpress consulting, for example. Develop relationships with PR people. They respect and are mystified by your search marketing prowess, and their clients will need it at some point.
Go Forth And Grow Your Business
This blog post covers enough tactics to keep you busy for a year! Let me know how it works out for you. You can always contact me here.
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