Do you know how many WordPress plugins are out there? Currently, there are 11,247 plugins, which means there is no way you know which ones you should be using.
Heck, I don’t even know all the plugins I should be using. But I do know the plugins that will help boost your traffic. Here are the 7 WordPress plugins that are worth checking out:
Plugin #1: Sharebar
The easiest way to get more traffic to your website is through social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. One way you can leverage these sites is to ask your friends for votes. A better way, however, is to place social media buttons on your website.
The cool thing about the Sharebar is that it places social media buttons on the left side of your blog post. And as your readers scroll down, the social media buttons move down along with the text, maintaining their visibility.
When using the Sharebar plugin, make sure you pick only a few social media buttons to place on your website. If you place more than five, your readers will feel overwhelmed.
On my blog, I only place Facebook and Twitter buttons as they are the most popular social sites. Facebook is the second most popular site on the web, and Twitter is the eleventh.
Plugin #2: Google XML Sitemaps
You write blog posts so that people can find them, right? Why not help search engines index your blog posts so that they can feed your website to their visitors?
Chances are you either don’t have an XML sitemap, and, if you do, you’re manually creating one.
This plugin helps generate a special XML sitemap, which will allow search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask to index your blog better.
The reason you want to use this plugin is that it automatically updates every time you write a new blog post. If you end up creating the XML sitemap manually, you’ll have to recreate it each time you write a new post.
Plugin #3: Popularity Contest
A good way to grow your traffic is to get new visitors to your blog. But what you’ll learn quickly is that most of these visitors will never come back.
You only have a few seconds to convince a visitor that your blog is worth reading. One way I do this is through the popularity contest plugin. It will allow you to show off the blog posts your readers love the most and your favorite blog posts.
Plugin #4: Top Commentators
Through the Top Commentators plugin, I was able to increase my repeat visitor count by over 6%. Although that may not sound significant, every little bit adds up.
This plugin encourages your readers to come back to your blog and comment on it. If they come back and comment enough, they’ll be placed on a leader board, which will drive visitors to their websites.
When installing this plugin, limit the leader board to five spots because it will encourage competition. If you create a ten-spot leader board, it will be easier for people to get on the board. As a result, they won’t come back as often and comment. I also recommend resetting it once a week so that new visitors have a chance of getting on the top five commentators list.
Plugin #5: All in One SEO Pack
Title tags and meta descriptions are something you take for granted, but you shouldn’t. Small tweaks to your title tag and meta description can drastically increase your traffic.
For example, I was able to double TechCrunch’s search traffic in 30 days by only tweaking its title tag and meta description.
Neil has advised TechCrunch for more than two years and been an important part of the growth of the TechCrunch Network by helping us implement SEO best practices. Search engines have grown to be responsible for 1/3 of all TechCrunch traffic, so Neil’s ongoing support is critical to our business.
– Michael Arrington, founder of TechCrunch
This plugin allows you to modify your title tags and meta descriptions with ease. And although this may not sound that useful, it really is. I modified the title tag on my “4 ways you can become rich” blog post to “how to become rich”, which resulted in an extra 100 visitors a day through Google.
When using this plugin, be careful because you don’t want to write title tags and meta descriptions just for search engines. You can do this by creating title tags that don’t just contain spammy keywords, but that are also relevant to your blog posts.
Plugin #6: Subscribe to comments
Why do you have comments on your blog? It’s because you want to create a conversation with your readers, right?
When your readers leave a comment, you should reply back to them because no one likes talking to themselves. But even if you do this, your readers may not know that you are replying back to them.
The way I solve this is through the Subscribe to Comments plugin. Every time I respond to commentators, they receive automated emails notifying them of my replies to their comments. This encourages them to come back to Quick Sprout and comment again, which helps increase traffic.
The plugin works by giving your readers an option every time they comment. The option is a small check box that says “subscribe to comments by email.” I personally use an older version of the plugin (2.1) instead of the newer one because the older one allows me to leave the check box ticked as a default.
Plugin #7: AWeber Integration
Your RSS subscriber count represents the number of readers you have. The problem with it is that not everyone uses an RSS reader.
Even though you may consider me as a sophisticated web user, I don’t use RSS, and I never have. But what I do use is email.
The cool thing about the AWeber Integration plugin is that it allows your visitors to subscribe to your blog by email instead of an RSS reader. And when they do, those subscribers get automatically pulled into your Feedburner account so that you can have an accurate subscriber count.
With this plugin, you can encourage visitors to become subscribers by offering them extra content for free. One idea could be to offer email subscribers a free eBook.
Don’t clutter your blog with hundreds of plugins because it will only hurt your readers’ experience. People visit your blog because they want to read your content. Having too many plugins may be distracting to your readers.
I personally only use a handful of plugins, and most of them help increase traffic. So, if you are thinking about installing a plugin, first think about what value it will provide to you and, more importantly, to your readers.
Do you know of any other plugins that can help increase traffic?