The WordPress CMS (Content Management Service) offers a wealth of opportunity to any business or website owner as it provides a large variety of ways to customize and automate each component of website success.
WordPress accomplishes this by the use of plugins. By standard Wikipedia definition, a plugin is “a piece of software which enhances another software application and usually cannot be run independently; a browser extension, which modifies the interface and/or behavior of web browsers.”
What does this actually mean when it comes to the infamous WordPress platform? It means a wealth of opportunity for the website owner or business. There are currently more than a thousand different WordPress plugins that enable users to enhance various features of their site such as: custom contact forms, social media integration, SEO (search engine optimization) application and of course, the management of your page redirects for broken url links.
These features alone can create: a valuable interface for your target market; a stronger website presence for the search engines that can potentially direct traffic to your site and an easier and more reliable management system for you. Let’s take a look at the top three ways to utilize WordPress plugins to increase and enhance your business' online presence.
Using Social Media Plugins for WordPress
Social media marketing has become a valuable part of business and in turn, website development. With a wide variety of social media integration plugins to choose from, it really all depends on how many social media sites you utilize for your business and how often you choose to update the individual accounts.
Some plugins such as SexyBookmarks, allows you to integrate social media icons at the bottom of each web page and published post that enable users the ability to share the elements of your website easily onto their personal accounts – increasing your exposure to their friends and family.
Other plugins such as SocialMediaWidget allows you to integrate icons to your own social media networking sites so that your target market can find you easily – giving them more opportunities to stay up-to-date with your business.
Using SEO Plugins for WordPress
All-in-One SEO plugins allows you to easily add SEO page titles, descriptions and keywords to each web page and published post, giving the search engines valuable information about the relevancy of your website, in turn giving them the information to showcase to your potential target market that may be searching for services or products such as yours.
Consider it an instant link between you and your target market. Other beneficial plugins include WordPress SEO by Yoast, SEO Rank Reporter and SEO Ultimate.
Using WordPress Plugins for Lead Management
Without effective lead management, where would your business be? Simply adding a contact form to your website is a great start but just not enough. There are several plugins that give you the ability to add lead generation forms throughout your website, some even linking to your current management system such as Lead ROI and Encompass (for mortgage professionals.)
The majority of these plugins funnel through the email address associated with the WordPress account, however most can be customized to the email address of your choice; this option giving you the ability to designate one email address solely for leads.
Contact Form 7 is a great plugin that utilizes a simple copy and paste HTML code to generate a custom lead form that can not only provide a potential email address but also give the user the ability to write a message, place an order or pose a question directly in your inbox.
How Much Do WordPress Plugins Cost?
The beauty of 75% of the WordPress plugins that are available on the market is that they are completely free to use! More importantly, they can be uploaded and implemented on your website in just three simple steps. Although these plugins are free to use, donations to the developers are always appreciated and recommended as these are the funds utilized to advance, update and fine-tune plugins for future use.
There are also many plugins that require a monthly membership or one-time fee to use. These plugins are usually either more advanced to use or offer a wider variety of features that can utilized as well. No mater what plugins you choose to use for your site, they all add their own value and benefits. Each one, in its own way, can help automate your process, as well as increase your exposure, traffic and potentially your sales conversions as well. Isn’t that worth the shot?