You finished writing the world’s best article that will change the way the world lives forever. Your ready for an onslaught of web traffic; however, you only get two readers, your mom and your best friend from grade school. This might be a little dramatic, or at least I hope it is. The truth is you might be feeling like no one knows about your blog and some days you wonder why you even write new articles.
It’s tough to grow your traffic and standout from the crowd. You read stories on how this expert grew his site to 1 bazillion readers overnight and you wonder why you can’t get even 10 readers all week. These four plugins won’t give you overnight stardom, but we all know that it wasn’t the hare who won the race. Make sure you are always moving forward with steady progress to grow your readership. We are highlight four plugins to grow your traffic and will build a foundation of success that can scale as you reach critical mass.
1) Yoast SEO
If you are super loaded with deep pockets for advertising, you can pay for traffic, otherwise you can use Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO can drive boatloads of FREE, highly qualified, customers and readers to your website every month. Showing up in top google results does not magically happen without planning and optimizing. But don’t worry, Joost de Valk, founder of Yoast SEO, has created an amazing FREE plugin to help you do it with ease. Even google consults with him.
Further Reading on SEO: Get Your SEO Program Started Today!
Yoast SEO is not just an SEO plugin, it is a complete website optimization package. It will allow you to completely optimize your site, without any coding required. You can easily set the title and meta description, using the snippet editor functionality to see what it would look like in Google. It also allows you to edit the meta data, publish xml sitemaps and so much more. It sounds complicated, but each blog post will have a spot to enter these fields in simple text and Yoast SEO will turn it into magic Google lingo.
But that’s not even the best part, what’s best? Once you have written your article, Yoast lets you enter a keyword (short or long) and will automatically test your post for usage of the focus keyword, so you can optimize your post. It will show you a green, yellow or red rating assessment (see image to the right). Before you publish your article, you will know whether or not the article’s SEO is good. If you get a yellow or green warning, don’t worry. Yoast walks you through the issues that caused the low rating (image below), which allows you to correct them one by one. If I could figure it out, I know you can too. There is a free and paid version. I’m sure I would get a lot more benefits out of the paid version, but I use the free version and watch Google send me free traffic every month.
I might be a little over excited about this one, but SumoMe has to be one of, if not, the best free app you can use on your website. It is crazy awesome! If that wasn’t clear enough, if I had to choose only one app to use for the next six months, this would be it!
With one free app that is silly easy to install and use, you get 13 different tools. Currently I’m using 6 of the 13 tools, including:
- List Builder (email opt-in pop-up)
- Share (social media sharing bar)
- Content Analytics (shows how much of post is being read)
- Heat Maps (See where your website visitors are clicking)
- Smart Bar (An effective form to get new email subscribers)
- Google Analytics (same as google, but it is included in the same dashboard)
I could easily write an entire blog post about everyone of these tools, so I’m going to keep this short. These tools help you capture your visitors’ email addresses and achieve a high conversion rate and provide intelligence on what your readers are using, reading, clicking on and what they are not. (See the Heat Map image below: I know exactly what my visitors are clicking on, which helps me optimize each page and link). To sum it up in one sentence, SumoMe gives you the tools to grow your website’s traffic.
Check out my earlier article on SumoMe: On My Radar: Wickedly Awesome Email and Social Sharing Tool
Creating an engaging and lively comment section at the bottom of each post will help drive engagement and give your readers another reason to visit your site on a regular basis. WordPress comes with a standard commenting system that is OK at best. It doesn’t look great and it creates extra work for your readers if you want them to log-in first. This will likely deter your readers from commenting at all.
That’s where Disqus comes in. Most importantly, it is super easy for your audience to use, comment and engage with your content and other members of your audience. Since it is used on over 3 million sites, your audience has probably used it before, which means they will feel more comfortable using it on your site. It looks super sleek and allows users to log-in with Facebook, Twitter, Google or a Disqus account.
In addition, it offers analytics and insights for your audience, recommends other articles and posts on your site, email notifications and digests to pull readers back in and profiles let your readers explore and follow people in your community.
I’m going to be honest with you; I don’t know a ton about technical web jargon. So I can’t explain the details on this one, but I’ll explain it as best as I can. If you website doesn’t load super fast, visitors will leave your site before it even loads. I’m sure you’ve done this before. You click on a link and you patiently wait for about 1 second. If it hasn’t loaded, you move on to something else. There are many things that affect your website load time. Use Google’s free tool to asses your load time.
On easy thing you can do to improve your site’s load time is to start using a plug-in that cache’s your webpages. A Web Cache “(or HTTP cache) is an information technology for the temporary storage (caching) of web documents, such as HTML pages and images, to reduce bandwidth usage, server load, and perceived lag.Your site’s speed plays an important role in search engine rankings,” according to Wikipedia. Essentially, it makes your site load faster. Download and install the plugin, and your website will start loading faster.
Thanks for Reading to the End – I Appreciate Your Dedication to Making Yourself Smarter.
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