When I talk about SEO Hacks (personally, I’ve come to hate the word hack), I’m talking about things that are simple enough in nature you can do to improve your website’s performance. Since I most often use WordPress for my sites, that’s what the focus will be in this post. I’m here to try and save you time, money and sanity.
1. Custom Contact Forms
I like flexibility in my site development. Sometimes, a simple name and email field will work for your needs, but sometimes, more specific information is what you will be after. I like using the Custom Contact Forms plugin because it’s flexible and easy to use. There is a small learning curve (there are tons of options, but if you load the default data when you first run the plugin, it makes it 100 times easier to learn!), but all in all, it’s my go-to.
- Contact Forms 7: Requires a basic understanding of HTML, but also very customizable, and many other plugins integrate well with CF7.
- JetPack by WordPress: If you are connected to JetPack, enable the contact form option from the JetPack menu and voila. This version is easy to use, but lacks some of the customizability found in the other two plugins.
2. Calls to Action
While I personally prefer building landing pages by scratch (or from recycled code), the Calls to Action plugin makes this process dead simple. It’s a power-pack of three plugins: Calls to Action, Landing Pages, and Leads. With these, you can create custom landing pages and calls to action (they even give you a handy visual editor) and track leads. Both the landing pages and the calls to action have the option of running multiple versions for immediate A/B/(C?) testing and provide data in a user friendly dashboard. This will save the #beginner, or even intermediate developer countless hours of time. And it’s free.
3. WordPress SEO
I almost hate to include this because the plugin has been mentioned in soooooooo many articles, but gee whiz, once you install it you’ll see why. In-page control of your title tags and meta descriptions; social plugin data; URL structure management; sitemap and robots.txt management are all made possible through this one plugin. Every website needs this plugin – it’s literally saved me days of my life throughout my development career.
- All in One SEO Pack: This plugin does allow for a lot of the same liberties – control over titles and metas, and most on-page stuff – and also integrates with WP Commerce plugin, and auto-generates meta descriptions (huge time saver, even if you edit them after).
- By the same author of WordPress SEO, the Google Analytics plugin connects directly with your Google Analytics account, and gives you full control over what is tracked and reported, from the comfort of your WordPress dashboard.
4. Internal Link Building
You want to talk time saving? This plugin, by the wizards at www.internetmarketingninjas.com, allows you to define keywords and give a URL destination for quick and consistent link building throughout your website. Add the data once, and the plugin takes care of linking key terms to relevant pages or blog posts.
There are tons of membership and user management plugins out there, but I have found the most success with the Membership plugin. The drag-and-drop interface makes it ridiculously to assign roles and permissions to different user levels. The Membership plugin is crucial if you plan on having any content hidden behind a registration form.
Nobody likes a boring 404 page that just says “The Page You Are Looking For Isn’t Found.” And beyond a visual opinion perspective, 404 pages often lead to visitors exiting your site. So, then, why not use the Custom 404 Error Plugin? Choose from a variety of templates and layouts to create visually engaging 404 pages that help keep users on site so they can visit more pages.
I trust you’ll find these simple WordPress plugins will save you time and energy, so you can focus on growing your business. Let me know if you have any other key plugins you like to use!