Dec 272010
 

Installing plugins on a WordPress.org blog is an important step to get your site up and running.  There are 4 essential Plugins I chose to start with.  They are all important for marketing your blog in regards to optimizing it for search engines.

(this image was taken in Calcutta, India – this man was selling a delicious street snack.  He requested I take a photo of him – which I think came out nice with the India flag in the background)

Google Analyticator

Tracking your site stats is important if you hope to monetize your site.  It is also important just to give you an idea of how successful your marketing efforts are.  First you will need a Google Analytics account: http://www.google.com/analytics/.   After installing Google Analyticator, you will need to wait a day or two for the statistics to show up.  Even though you can’t see them yet in Google Analytics, it is still keeping track (you will see the stats over the past few days once it starts working).  Once it’s up and running, the Google Analyticator widget displays these stats under your site’s dashboard with some useful information (visits, page views, time spent on site etc.)  You can also log in to your Google Analytics page to view a full stat summary.  You can learn more about this plugin here: http://ronaldheft.com/code/analyticator/

All in One SEO Pack

Next, I installed the All in One SEO Pack.  This is a very robust tool, suitable for beginners or experts.  It helps optimize your blog for search engines and will make it so search engines will actually look for information about your site.  It automatically generates META tags and optimizes your titles for search engines among many other features.  There is some configuration required.  In your plugin menu, there will be a red bar stating that All in One SEO Pack needs to be configured.  You click that, and then need to fill in some information.

First off, you must enable SEO Pack.  Next, there is a section asking for a Home title.  This is the title that will be shown at the top of your browser on your homepage and in the bright blue letters on the Google Search Engine Results Page.   Home description is the paragraph that gets shown under the bright blue letters in the Google search results.   Try to keep it descriptive and emphasize important keywords.  A better description can help get you more clicks even if you are ranked lower in the search results.  Last, fill in the Home keywords related to your site.  Try to include relevant phrases you know are being searched for in regards to your blog.

Google XML Sitemaps

This plugin will generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Ask.com to better index your blog. With such a sitemap, it’s much easier for the crawlers to see the complete structure of your site and retrieve it more efficiently.  Just install and activate – there are no special setup requirements.

Easy Privacy Policy

Easy Privacy Policy is an all in one solution for making sure that your blog has an adsense compliant privacy policy.  Sites without a privacy policy get penalized by Google.  You need to go into the setting and change @blogname to your blog (i.e. for me I changed it to @EiConnectLink) and change your @email to your email address (for me, nick@eiconnectlink.com).  Next, you click create privacy page.

After this page is created, it will show up in your main blog navigation bar (with Home, About, etc.)  Because I didn’t want it featured so prominently there, I used another plugin called Exclude pages.  You have to navigate to the privacy page and uncheck “Include this page in lists of pages” – this will take it off the navigation bar.  Next, I just inserted an HTML link into the footer section of my blog to directly link the privacy policy page.

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With these 4 plugins your blog will be in a great position to begin marketing.  With analytics set up, you can track what is going on.  The other 3 plugins will set it up so search engines can start driving organic traffic to your site.  Leads generated organically will typically be highly targeted, thus bringing relevant visitors to your blog.  Thanks for reading!  Please comment if you have any other WordPress.org plugin tips for me!

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