Join Justin Seeley for an in-depth discussion in this video Five ways to improve your WordPress blog, part of Social Media Marketing Tips (2014).
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- Hey, everybody, Justin Seeley here with another edition of Marketing Tips. Today I'm going to be talking about five things that can improve your WordPress blog as a marketer. And so these are actually going to be five different plugins that you can add to your WordPress blog to make it easier for you to do things like communicate with your users, gain social media followers, track analytics, and also share customized content. And then I'm going to give you one at the very end that's going to help you add a little bit of security to your site as well. Let's go ahead and get started. So right here we have Livefyre, you can go to Livefyre, that's f-y-r-e for "fyre," dot com slash install, and you can actually install this plugin called Livefyre on your website.
Well, what is Livefyre, Livefyre is a commenting system that allows users to sign up for your blog commenting system with their social media login credentials, and it also adds several layers of functionality that make it so easy to create engaged conversations on your WordPress blog. It's a really interesting plugin that replaces the existing commenting system on WordPress, again, allows for that more interactive, social environment on your blog. So what exactly can you do with this? Well, you can at-reply people in comments, you can introduce people to one another, you can have threaded comments, people can sign up for your website comments using Facebook or Twitter and things like that.
Makes it super easy, they don't have to register directly with you, and it's just a really cool plugin that I highly recommend that you check out. One of the best things about it, it is absolutely free, so you can use it on your site without paying a dime. Number two, something called Smart Layers by AddThis. And if you've ever been to my website, you've seen this plugin actually in action. Basically what it does is it allows you to add these "smart layers" to your website. It can be something like "recommended content" that pops in at the bottom of your website, it could be a bar at the bottom that adds a Follow or Share button, or it could be something on the right-hand side or left-hand side of your website that has links to social media links.
If we go over to my website really quickly here, on my website you will actually see this in action. Watch down here on the right-hand side, you'll actually see these pop up, these are the "smart layers" over here that allow you to share my content directly with Facebook, Twitter, and things like that. You can also click the plus sign, gives you all of these different options for sharing content. It also adds this functionality at the top to allow you to go directly to things like my Facebook profile, Twitter profile, LinkedIn, et cetera. So that just gives an extra layer of interactivity to your audience, it's automatically put in there, you don't have to have any coding skills or anything else, you just basically download it, install it, and turn it on, and it starts working.
Another one that's great is something called Google Analytics for WordPress, and this is a great plugin that will automatically allow you to add the Google Analytics code to your website and then track your website through Google Analytics. It doesn't add a Google Analytics dashboard to your WordPress blog, it just enables your WordPress blog to use Google Analytics. And if you don't know exactly what that means, basically, when you sign up for Google Analytics, what you get is this code that you have to add to the actual coding part of your website in order for Google to sync up with it and start gaining information about it.
And if you don't know a lot about code, you might not know exactly how to put it in there, or how to use it. But this plugin basically takes care of all of that for you. And so you can see here that it is free, it's available from the WordPress Plugin Directory, it's a really cool plugin that I highly recommend you check out. If you really insist on having a contact form on your website, some people do, some people don't. I have one on my website, but others, you know, they're not really keen on letting people contact them directly. Contact Form 7 is a great WordPress plugin for just a simple contact form.
If you need more advanced forms, you might want to check out another plugin called Gravity Forms, but Contact Form 7 is one of the most basic ways to add in a contact form to your website. And it is really easily customized through CSS and things like that, so if you have a Web developer, they can easily plug into this and make it look exactly like your website, which is super cool. The last plugin that we're going to be talking about, number five, is WP Bitly, and this allows you to use Bitly-generated shortlinks on all of your WordPress posts and pages, including custom post types.
What makes this so awesome for me is the fact that I use my own custom domain shortener, and so I've hooked this up through Bitly Pro in order to deliver customized shortened links on all of my posts, so instead of seeing "mywebsite.com/article/date/posttitle" and things like that, basically, what I get now is a very simple "seeley.co/" and then a small URL after that. It's very, very cool for adding a little bit of a custom touch to the content that you're creating.
If you don't already use a custom short URL, I highly recommend that you get on board with that, and then tie in WP Bitly with your existing WordPress blog. It is very easy to set up, and it's also another free one that makes it super simple to create customized content out of WordPress. Okay, those are the five different things that I think will help improve the marketing aspect of your blog, Livefyre, Smart Layers, Analytics for WordPress, Contact Form 7, and WP Bitly, but let's also take a look at one more, I'm giving you one for the road here, a bonus that's going to add a little bit of security to your website.
It is Google Authenticator for WordPress. So exactly what does this do, this basically allows you to have two-factor authentication on your WordPress blog, meaning that you can log in with your username and your password, but you also have to put in a six-digit code in order to access your website. If you have problems with people hacking your website or gaining entry to your website, adding something like Google Authenticator is very, very important because of the fact that it's going to help protect you and protect the content that you're creating for your audience.
So whether you use this particular plugin or not, I highly recommend finding some way, at least, to protect your WordPress content, because as this becomes a more popular system for people creating content, it's going to become an even bigger target for hackers and people who want to do you harm, so I highly recommend checking out something like this as well. Well, there you go, there's five ways that you can improve your WordPress blog using plugins for WordPress, and also one to grow on. Hope you learned something, hope you enjoyed it, I'll see you next time.