In recent years we have seen a large number of quality WordPress plugins that help index, edit, optimize, promote, schedule and distribute posts across the web, all aiming to give bloggers and webmaster better control over their online interactions and search presence.
While many of the content marketing tools for WordPress are paid extensions, a few good ones are still available for free. In this article we will go over some of our favorite free SEO & content marketing tools that will make your WordPress site a million times better!
WordPress SEO by Yoast
We cannot stress enough how useful this plugin is. It gives you actionable insights on improving your on-page optimization, which means that if you’ve done your keyword research right, the rest will be a piece of cake. It lets you perform actions like redirects and rel canonicals for specific pages, as well as define the visibility of posts when they reach popular social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. What many people don’t know about WordPress SEO by Yoast is that it actually does a lot more than that. The free version allows you to create and control files which are crucial if you want your site to be indexed properly, such as robots.txt, htaccess and xml sitemap. On the “titles and meta” tab you can edit meta-data for post types and taxonomies in bulk. To make a long story short, this plugin is a must-have for any WordPress website.
Simple 301 Redirects
Judging by the name, you can probably guess what simple 301 redirects is all about. Indeed, it is very simple to use, and allows you to insert redirects from any page or post on your site. This comes in handy if you find 404 errors on Google Webmasters tools. It should be noted that the functionality of this plugin is also available with Yoast premium edition, however, it works fine and does not clash with the free edition. Simply insert the old slug on the left, the new slug on the right, and you’re done!
One of the greatest challenges that all bloggers experience at one point or the other is having to stay on top of things and publish posts regularly. Either you’re too busy or you’re having a writer’s block, you still need to put something out there for your readers. The WP Editorial calendar helps do just that, by placing all your posts, published and draft, in a nice calendar format that lets you drag and drop posts between dates. You can use it to plan ahead, republish old posts, or move posts around when a special event is coming.
There are many plugins that can add social sharing buttons to your site, and they all do more or less the same thing. The reason we like Ultimate social media plus is that unlike many of its competitors, it lets you choose which actions you want to assign for each social button. For example, you can set your twitter button to direct the visitor to your twitter page, retweet the post content, or follow you. It also lets you create a pop-up that asks visitors to sign into your newsletter, though there are probably plugins that can do it better.
CM Pop-up banners gives a perfect solution for cases when you need to manage banners on your site. It lets you create and publish promotional banners and display them on any page or post, as well as follow their performance with clicks and impressions. Banners can be displayed in the middle of the screen or at a bottom corner, and are triggered by scrolling the page or post. The clicks and impressions stats make it very easy to know how your campaigns are doing and moderate them accordingly. If you’re looking to do this on multiple websites, or start a cross-domain campaign, CM Ad changer will give you even more options, with a clever server-client side advertising system.
Many WordPress websites use the related posts functionality, which has been found to increase internal traffic by up to 10%. This plugin takes it a few steps further by giving the ability to offer related posts not just from your own website but also from other related websites. Then, just as you display other people’s posts, yours can be displayed on other people’s websites, so that everyone gets more traffic. It a win-win!
Quizes make a great way to engage followers in your business activity and turning them into customers. With Quiz Master Next you can build quizzes with unlimited questions, multiple types of answers, unlimited quizzes and forms and a tracking system that saves all results for research purposes. In addition, it lets users share their result on social media, helping to spread your message across. It also has quizz categories, notifications, and lots of other cool features.
Newsletters are probably the oldest form of online content marketing as we know it today. It survived chat rooms, forums and social media and managed to remain one of the strongest conversion tools that actually work. The newsletter plugin provides an easy way to set up your newsletter subscriptions, send out emails to your site users and even include your RSS feed inside it. If that isn’t enough, it lets you track how many people have opened your emails and how many links have been clicked. So if you want to build up an audience and send out newsletters, the free version of newsletter plugin should be just right for you.
CM Tooltip Glossary
The CM Tooltip Glossary plugin allows any website to host its own glossary of terms and definitions, and display them in an easy and engaging way. Once a term is defined in the glossary, all occurrences will become highlighted in posts and pages, and when hovered, a tooltip will appear over the word, containing the summarized definition of the term and a link to a dedicated term page.
Last April, Google has turned mobile responsiveness into a top rating factor that all websites should prioritize. By now, most of the themes available online have made their tweaks to provide a reliable mobile website version, but most developers will still need to do some manual labor before safely saying their sites are 100% mobile friendly. WP mobile pack provides valuable tools that give your website an app-like look and feel when viewed on mobile devices. For example, you can choose which pages or elements should be hidden from your site when viewed on mobile devices, and choose from a variety of mobile templates to display tags, categories and custom post types on mobile.