The 7 Indispensable Plugins to Position Your Blog

WordPress

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Every time we at Nelio comment on how many things we would like to do on the blog, one of us always comes out saying: “Surely there is already a plugin that does it”.

And that’s what WordPress plugins are for, to make our lives easier and help us find new ways to work more efficiently and productively with the web. The only problem you encounter is that there are currently more than 55K plugins available to download from the WordPress Directory! 😱 More than enough to drive you crazy, right?

So to make your life a little easier, today I wanted to introduce the 7 plugins we use to help us position our blog better.

#1 Yoast SEO

I guess this plugin doesn’t need any introduction, as it’s one of the best SEO plugins out there and the most popular. It automates certain SEO tasks, has the ability to generate sitemaps, and has a very useful tool that helps to manually optimize posts and pages. Basically, this plugin allows you to have a visualization of what your post will look like on the Google results page, i.e. the snippet preview.

Snippet preview in Yoast
Snippet preview in Yoast

And the result:

Example of Google results
Example of Google results

It also incorporates a detailed analysis tab of the page or post you have typed, taking into account the density of the post with respect to the chosen keyword, the length of the title and the level of readability of the post.

Yoast SEO is definitely an essential plugin to improve search engine positioning. And also, as I’ll tell you below, we’ve incorporated some of Yoast’s quality indicators into Nelio Content.

#2 Nelio Content

I’m sure you already know it, but we’re the developers behind this awesome plugin. It may seem that I’m only saying this because it’s our plugin, but believe me when I tell you I honestly think Nelio Content is a great tool that’ll help you with your daily tasks. Nelio Content was created to help you write and promote your content, and it definitely delivers.

The plugin features an editorial calendar and several other features aimed at improving the SEO of your blog. Publishing frequently and making sure you don’t forget anything relevant are key aspects for ranking well on search engines. With Nelio Content you won’t forget to include tags, excerpts, featured image or internal or external links in your post. But it is also fully integrated with Yoast. The main difference between Yoast’s and Nelio‘s evaluation is that the former is exclusively focused on SEO data and the latter on making sure your posts are complete. Two totally complementary plugins.

Nelio Content Control Quality
Nelio Content Control Quality.

Additionally, Nelio Content, thanks to the automatic promotion in social networks, helps gives our posts greater visibility, thus making it much easier that social messages translate into visits.

#3 WordLift

We added this plugin to our website thanks to a talk by Gennaro Cuofano, who gave a very interesting talk in a meetup here in Barcelona. He talked about SEO and the different aspects search engines take into account when crawling and indexing sites, and their plugin seemed very interesting.

WordLift plugin
WordLift plugin. (Source: WordPress.org/plugins/wordlift/).

This plugin uses AI or Artificial Intelligence to increase organic traffic by “translating” pages and posts into intelligible content for chatbots, search crawlers, and personal digital assistants (such as Google Now, Siri, and Cortana) exploiting Semantic SEO.  WordLift creates a knowledge graph of your content (a Vocabulary) and these metadata are automatically published as linked open data and made available to the bots. It also measures the performance of content on Google in terms of search rankings and other factors that can influence organic traffic.

WordLift automatically classifies the content of a post and generates an understandable vocabulary for Google. With this plugin, the information of your posts will be completed with the Vocabulary that describes the content of your website and will make it easier to get a better SEO.

WordLift vocabulary
WordLift vocabulary.

#4 Thrive Leads

When we talk about positioning the blog, we’re not only referring to SEO, but also to the fact that real people has to know the blog exists. In this context, creating a list of subscribers to your Newsletter is perhaps one of the most powerful tools to create a community of fans around you. To create this community, you need some forms and pop-ups on your website to encourage your readers to subscribe to your Newsletter (making sure they comply with the GDPR 😇). Although we’ve used other plugins before, we’ve finally chosen Thrive Leads.

Pop-up Offer
Pop-up Offer

With Thrive Leads you can create forms for the sidebar, forms at the end of posts, pop-ups that appear after a while or when your visitors leave the page they are visiting, forms that are activated by clicking on a certain element such as a button, image, text, etc. And you also have the option to perform A/B tests on any of the forms you have created!

#5 WP-PostRatings

If you go to the end of this post you’ll see that you can rate it. We have this functionality incorporated with the WP-PostRatings plugin, which is completely free.

Post rating
Post rating at the end of a post.

Even though this feature might seem irrelevant, it isn’t. When Google shows one of your posts in a search result, it also shows (if available) its rating:

Caspar Hübinger
Viewing a blog post on Google.

The fact that the search includes this rating might make it more trustworthy (specially if it has a high rank). And if you get a lot of votes, Google will take that into account too.

#6 Multilingual Press

When we merged our websites to create our new Nelio Software website, we used a multi-site WordPress installation. It’s available in English neliosoftware.com and Spanish neliosoftware.com/es. As I mentioned in this post, having this type of installation instead of a single site with a plugin that adds multi-language capabilities has some disadvantages. For example, as they are independent sites, the contents of one are not related to those of the other, which penalizes our SEO.

Needing to overcome this problem, we decided to install the MultilingualPress plugin, which basically allows you to easily connect the content of one site to the equivalent translation in the other. It also adds automatic support for the hreflang attribute which is the attribute that Google uses to identify the language of a URL.  So, as you can see from this post, if you click on Spanish at the bottom of the page, you’ll be able to read it in Spanish.

#7 Nelio A/B Testing

You create a website not only to attract traffic, but also for all your visitors to end up doing the action you would like them to do, whether it is to buy your products, hire your services, subscribe to your Newsletter, etc.

I strongly recommend you run A/B tests of at least the main pages of your website. Create A/B tests of the content you write, the images you show, the buttons, menus, theme, widgets, etc. and you’ll discover that your website has a lot of room for improvement. With Nelio A/B Testing you can create all kinds of tests to optimize the conversion of your website.

Experiment Selection Screenshot
Nelio A/B Testing Experiment Selection Screenshot.

And not only that, you can also discover how your visitors move around the web thanks to heatmaps. Oh! And it’s GDPR compliant too 😇

Conclusion

With this post I didn’t mean to tell you about the plugins that most articles say should be installed in any WordPress, but to share 7 plugins that we’ve installed in our website. Surely, with the incredible number of plugins available, you’ll find alternatives to ours that can also be useful to you. In the context of WordPress, it’s all about finding and installing only those plugins that are right for you and that you need to use.

What plugins do you have installed in your WordPress? We’d all love to hear about other plugins you think are essential.

Featured Image by Rob Wingate on Unsplash

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Ruth obtained her PhD in Software Engineering at UPC and did a Master of Information Systems at DePaul University (Chicago). She has professional experience in the business world and at the University. Ruth has been University Lecturer at UPC, Vice-Dean for Corporate Relations of the Barcelona School of Informatics, and Associate Lecturer at ESADE. She specializes in software engineering and information systems management. She is also certified in Inboud Marketing.

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