There is a multitude of WordPress plugins that can make your site more SEO friendly and the same ones are repeatedly recommended with little variation. If you have not installed WordPress’s All-in-One SEO Pack, W3 Total Cache, Google XML Sitemaps, SEO Slugs, Trackable Social Share, or similar SEO plugins, go do that right now.
If you have already addressed your SEO needs with these handy dandy helpers, then you might want to think about installing these less frequently lauded but still awesome plugins. After all, good SEO is about solid, engaging content, and these plugins will provide the opportunity to connect with your users in different ways.
BuddyPress elevates your site by enabling you to construct your own social network on your WordPress site. When installed, it will make your site more interactive and encourage users to build upon what you have started. This powerful plugin provides a whole host of social networking components including activity streams, fully editable extended profiles, and extensible groups that allow your users to form public, private and hidden groups for discussion. Other features include friend connections, private messaging, and forum discussions. WordPress Blogging and User Settings provide further agency to your users and foster the creation of a multisite blogging network. While it may not be for everyone, BuddyPress adds a whole other dimension and provides a more engaging experience for you and your users alike. As we all know know, heightened user engagement is an excellent way to boost your page rank.
(Editor’s note: If you have and love BuddyPress, be sure to check out our list of versatile BuddyPress themes!)
If you are unfamiliar, Storify is a site that curates social media so users can transform contributions to social networking sites into compelling stories. The Storify WordPress plugin allows you to embed these stories on your site. You can also create new stories and edit existing ones from your WordPress dashboard. Even better, it attaches SEO-friendly versions of your stories to each post, ensuring your stories are properly indexed.
Audio player is an incredibly simple but highly configurable plugin for those of us who delight in sharing audio. While it is relatively popular, it is not mentioned nearly as much as you might think. Among other things, you can customize this mp3 player with volume control to match your site’s design schemes.
WP-Post Ratings can be a bit intimidating, even if you are confident in your content, because it is quantifiable feedback on what resonated with your users. No one wants to see a low rating on a post, but it can help you identify strengths and weaknesses. Also, if you have excellent content and an appreciative audience, you will be mostly encouraged and not disheartened by your ratings. You can always uninstall it if it is not for you, but it really can help you gauge and chart the success of your posts.
FriendlyCase is a straightforward reformatting plugin that allows you to enable automatic formatting of the capitalization in posts and on pages. For example, it converts an “ALL CAPS” title to the far more palatable title case, “All Caps,” and you can customize it so certain acronyms will default to capital letters like SEO and FBI. Plugins like this may seem unremarkable, but it can actually help maintain a civil discourse and provide cleaner, more professional-looking content, especially when you have an active community commenting on posts.
These are just five nifty plugins that appeal to me and do not show up on every single list of recommended WordPress plugins. There are literally thousands and you could spend days browsing through what is available. It is time well spent, however, because I firmly believe that anything that makes your site better, even in small ways, leads to more effective optimization and higher page rank. A good plugin is like the Little Engine That Could. It may not seem like much, and you can easily underestimate its impact, but once installed, you will marvel at all it can do.
About the author: The same WordPress plugins for SEO are repeatedly recommended with little variation. These less frequently lauded but still awesome plugins can be just as useful for optimization. Learn More at Wpromote.com.