We are often approached with the following comments "I really want to start doing inbound marketing, but my site is already set up on Wordpress." or "I would love to use HubSpot, but just don't have the budget for it right now." Most people are very concerned that they can't participate effectively if they don't use the HubSpot platform. While there is no doubt that HubSpot is the world's best service to use for inbound marketing, just because you can't use HubSpot doesn't mean you are out of the game. WordPress is one of the best open source CMS solutions available today. Granted you will not have access to all the tools and aggregation capabilities of HubSpot, with a proper WordPress setup you can be a very effective Inbound Marketer. Below is our list of 5 WordPress Plugins That Inbound Marketers Can't Live Without.
WP Super Cache
Prepare for the Worst… err I mean BEST THING EVER!
Having a post or page on your site go viral can be an exciting experience - If you are set up to handle it. Otherwise potential viewers have to wait for pages to load.
Since one of the fundamental goals of inbound marketing is to drive traffic to your site it's important to make sure that your WordPress site is optimized to deliver on those requests. While choosing a reliable host is a great start another way to do this is to take advantage of a caching plugin. WP Super Cache is my favorite. It has a plethora of configuration options and even special settings if you are expecting a traffic spike. (As a matter of fact that WAS a hilarious cat video!)
Because I don't want to put you all to sleep I will not go into the specifics of caching your WordPress site. Just know that NOT CACHING can totally be a viral buzzkill. If you want more information on caching (and some help understanding the settings) click here.
Yoast WordPress SEO
Now that your site is prepped and you are writing ridiculously good content you might want to pay a little attention to your on page SEO. Don't worry Yoast makes it pretty easy! For starters each post and page will have an icon on it letting you know how good your on page SEO is for that particular item
If Yoast gives you the "check engine" light you can also do a full analysis of the page and it will tell you exactly what is going on and how to fix it. (It will also not charge you $120 bucks to replace the air filter.)
And what SEO plugin would be complete if you couldn't target keywords, edit your titles, and all your meta data. Yoast also gives you a search engine snippet preview so you can see exactly what a search engine result for your content will look like.
ShareThis Social Sharing Plugin
Now hold on before you get your panties in a bunch I know that there are 572 different WordPress social sharing plugins (literally) and everyone has their favorite. I like ShareThis because as a web designer it actually goes well beyond WordPress. ShareThis supports sharing for a number of different platforms. On top of that they have a decent selection for different styling and customization options.
Google Analytics for WordPress
This probably goes without saying, but you better be measuring and analyzing the traffic that is visiting your site. The best way to do that is with Google's free analytics software. It allows you to do a ton of stuff to break down the traffic and adjust your strategy to take advantage of this. There is an abundance of information online about Google Analytics. But the Google Analytics for WordPress plugin adds alot of the monitoring capabilities right into your WordPress dashboard. You can even track your goal conversion rates! When viewing the list of your posts it will also show you a traffic graph for each post. This plugin will definitely save you time switching between WP and Google Analytics when wanting to take a look at your traffic.
Nmedia MailChimp Widget
Another key aspect of inbound marketing that HubSpot does so well is to capture lead information. This information is critical if you want to continue to target and market to your followers. To substitue this on WordPress I recommend using MailChimp to store your lead data and use for your email campaigns. Getting your lead data from your site and into MailChimp is where Nmedia''s plugin comes in. Nmedia has a simple setup process, but still allows you a ton of flexibility for capturing data into different lists and groups. Also it comes with a built in sidebar widget AND shortcodes that makes deploying multiple data capture forms a breeze!
We hope that these plugins will help you become an inbound marketing hero! Let us know what you think or if you have any recommendations for other plugins we can check out!