Having a powerful online presence is more important than ever.
No matter where you are in your business journey, with so much noise online, climbing search engines and standing out above competitors can feel like an impossible feat.
The fight for attention is harder than ever.
Today, to perform effectively online, you need to have eyes everywhere, all of the time. You need to know how your website is performing, where traffic is coming from, what your competitors are doing and what your prospects are looking for.
Sounds impossible, right?
How do you keep up with the ongoing changes in SEO algorithms, promote a reputation of expertise and authority and manage to keep your business afloat too?
Well, with the help of the right tools and plugins, you’ll arm yourself with a suite of valuable additions that will do all the work for you. They will help you achieve higher level of insights and greater understanding of your website’s performance and ultimately, more success online.
So you may have invested in a great website, marketing strategy and teamed up with a great agency, but do you want to keep that fire burning so your website performs consistently well, making incremental improvements month by month?
Here are 8 must-have plugins we seriously recommend you consider as you build your online presence and grow your business…
Google search console
Google search console is a free tool which helps you understand how Google views and crawls your website. It will provide you with real under-the-hood insight that everyone and anyone with a website needs access to. You’ll know how often your site appears in Google search and for which terms, and how often searchers are clicking through. You’ll also be able to access insights into your link architecture, identifying those all-important links from other sites which as we know, are essential to great SEO.
Armed with this knowledge, you can optimise your website’s content offering by identifying the queries which bring users to your site, tailoring your content and keywords so that your website satisfies users at that crucial stage in their journey.
Google Search Console is also extremely useful in helping you to identify and troubleshoot a range of issues including AMP (accelerated mobile pages) and mobile usability. And if that wasn’t enough, it will also help you to spot and resolve security issues like hacking and malware.
Bing Webmaster tools
On your quest to perfect your SEO you might, like most people, prioritise Google search.
But dismissing Bing could be a costly mistake.
Bing is the second-highest source of organic traffic, just behind Google. And it’s growing rapidly since it now powers Yahoo and AOL’s organic search which probably accounts for a healthy proportion of traffic.
Bing provides data for webmasters and marketers to steer their strategies and identify issues with SEO. And as with Google Search Console, you’ll be equipped with additional site security monitoring tools. Why bother with both? Well, neither can always be completely 100%, so it pays to have two which you can review simultaneously,
What’s more, Bing Webmaster tools also gives you keyword optimisation and research tools which you can use to enrich your content planning activities and guide a broader keyword strategy.
You’ve probably heard of Google Analytics – it’s one of Google’s biggest and most popular digital analytics software tools and again, it’s completely free.
Along with providing in-depth demographic insight, you can also use Google Analytics to create custom reports based on elements of your site you wish to focus on. It also integrates seamlessly with other tools and platforms.
And guess what else? You can measure internal site search too. That means you’ll have a greater insight into what users are searching for once they land on your site, providing you with a greater understanding of user intent. Bounce rate is also accessible through Google Analytics software, meaning you’ll be able to identify where and why users are leaving your site or not converting, allowing you to tweak and tailor the experience over time to optimise the user journey and increase conversions and ultimately, sales!
Google my business page
This is pretty much a no brainer, especially if you’re new to local SEO.
Optimising for Google my Business will give you the high visibility panel that appears on Google SERPS underneath the ads. It includes all of your details including contact information, location and opening times.
This an optimisation opportunity that will improve search visibility tenfold by pinpointing your physical location allowing you to grab those all-importance local users who could be ready to buy.
One in three Google searches has local intent, that means that one in three of your searchers could be nearby. And, 50% of all mobile searchers who search for a local business visit it too. These stats really do highlight the importance of setting up ‘Google my Business’.
Google my business improves your chances of attracting through local SEO, and for smaller start-ups, those customers could be your most important. This is something the Nettonic team specialise in – so take a look at our local SEO package if this is something you feel you could benefit from.
Yoast SEO WP plugin
Yoast helps you understand your content better within the entire context of SEO. Readability, keyword density, metadata etc – all of the technical nitty-gritty of SEO that might generally be more difficult to track from one page to the next, can be managed and analysed through the Yoast SEO plugin.
Some of the key plugin features include XML sitemaps which are created automatically and it will also inform Google and Bing.
It also comes with social integration which is important if you’re using social media for business. Yoast SEO comes with Facebook OpenGraph implementation to link SEO with social media which as we know, is huge contributor to great SEO.
Yoast SEO will be one of your most valuable plugins, and it’s free, it’s flexible, and it’s multisite compatible. It keeps all of your SEO tools wrapped up in one place – simple and easy.
WordFence Security Plugin
Putting your website out there in cyberspace unprotected is simply not an option, and the internet is full of security plugins. What’s so special about WordFence?
WordFence comes with an entire suite of security tools making it one of the most robust security platform. It will provide you with real-time protection as its firewall updates happen automatically and in real-time, meaning you’re always protected against things like stuffing and newer threats coming from increasingly cybercriminals. The plugin also comes with a constant detection functionality, giving you consistent protection from new malware and other vulnerabilities that could compromise your online presence.
Website speed is hugely important aspect of your overall SEO. Even if everything else is meticulously maintained, a slow-loading website could lose you hundreds of valuable leads. It’s said that if your website loads in less than 1.7 seconds, it’s faster than 75% of the web. Use this opportunity to move in front of competitors and capture viable leads before they have time to move onto somewhere else.
Optimising your site in GT Metrix will help you dramatically improve your website’s speed, and keep it that way. Not only that, but GT Metrix provides you with insight into how your website loads on different devices and in different countries, ensuring your website is always performing optimally no matter where the user is.
Local citation audit
And finally, it will be highly beneficial for you to undergo a local citation audit. A local citation includes a mention online of business name, address and other details. These details might appear across a number of business listing pages or local sites, and it’s important to be aware of this.
Local mentions of your business can either help or hinder your SEO, depending on the authority of the domain they are coming from. This is another no-brainer for smaller, locally-based businesses. The reason they are so important is because the number of citations, the accuracy of that data and the quality of those platforms can all affect SEO. Accurate and trustworthy citations can direct viable prospects to your site, whereas inaccurate information and misdirect customers, losing you business and damaging your reputation in the process.
This purpose of this article was the roundup what we consider to be the best and most valuable WordPress plugins available. But depending on your business size, type and goals, some might be better suited to you than others. We have the experience and knowledge to point you in the right direction should any of these be something you’re considering. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us so we can advise you on the best additions for your website. We offer a range of tailored SEO packages based on your needs. Feel free to browse our services by clicking here. Remember, there’s more to a website than the technical aspects. Great marketing, content and ongoing analysis and tweaking are the secrets to success online. Do you know which customers you’re targeting? Do you know what they’re searching for? And do you know what challenges and obstacles they have that could be preventing them from purchasing from you? We can provide you with ongoing marketing support as a part of your website and SEO services. Just get in touch and we can speak about your goals, and put you on the path to unwavering online success.