Wordpress is not only a blogging platform, but one of the most powerful and versatile content management systems available. It can be used to power business and corporate websites, as well as personal and hobby blogs. As well as a good variety of attractive and customisable templates, its benefits can be further extended through the use of powerful extensions and plugins. While some of these plugins offer greater aesthetic appeal for a website, there are those that can be considered powerful, effective, and efficient online marketing tools.
Lead Capture And Subscriptions
Building a list of subscribers enables you to market to potential leads and deliver regular, targeted content. Collecting email addresses and contact details may only be the beginning, but it is an important first step.
Contact Form 7 (free) - Contact Form 7 is a free and flexible form generator. Once you have installed the plugin, enter the form fields and a few basic settings. Once you have completed this, you need to add the provided shortcode to posts, pages, and widgets where you want the code to appear.
Gravity Forms ($39) - Using shortcodes can be beneficial when you want a form added to existing page content, but the premium Gravity Forms plugin offers much greater functionality. You can set up polls and surveys, easily add forms to the bottom of selected pages, and even set up guest blogging and curated content sections that automatically enable you to generate new content, as well as collect subscriber details.
Encouraging users to share your content not only means that they invest more effort into your website, it means that they start to seed the viral message that you want delivered. Make it as easy as possible for readers to share your content, and you increase the likelihood that they will do exactly that.
AddThis (free + $12) - With ten years' experience in providing social sharing buttons, AddThis is among the most widely used of all WordPress plugins, and is one of the best online marketing tools. There are options for more than 300 social media sites, and while the free version offers plenty of button designs and other features, for $12 you can add a floating social share bar on the side of your pages.
SEO isn't dead, but it has evolved. Keyword density is less important than ever, while ensuring that you have appealing and informative meta tags is even more important. Rather than installing a dozen SEO plugins, there are a number of options that offer a single solution.
Wordpress SEO by YOAST (free) - YOAST is free, and it offers so many useful functions that there really is no need to consider any premium options. It will manage sitemaps, enable you to define meta tags on every page and post, provide you with more attractive permalinks, and offers social integration too. YOAST now also offers the ability to add breadcrumbs to your site.
Wordpress does a decent job of displaying analytics about a Wordpress site, thanks to the Jetpack stats, but this may not offer enough information for all users.
Google Analytics Dashboard (free) - If you're invested in the Google Analytics package, then this is probably one of the first plugins you will install. Most website owners have struggled since Google stopped displaying a lot of the keywords used by searchers, but the Analytics Dashboard does enable you to see Google statistics directly on your Wordpress dashboard.
Wordpress Marketing Tools
There are many other marketing tools and plugins that can be used to help improve your online marketing efforts. There are link checkers, guest blogging plugins, and more, but the most important thing is to create an attractive site and to start filling it with high quality and appealing content.