15 Best WordPress Plugins for Social Media and SEO Optimized Websites for 2011

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There are many “best of” blog posts that have been written about WordPress plugins, so I wanted to cover a different angle with this post.  I see WordPress and blogging like this:  If your company has a social media strategy, chances are you have a corporate blog.  Our friends at Hubspot released their analysis some time ago that blogging is good for SEO.  And if you are blogging, chances are you are using WordPress, which is the most popular blogging platform among the biggest blogs.  In this way, I see a natural relationship between blogging, WordPress, social media, and SEO.  The WordPress platform in itself, however, will not allow your blog to be found through social media or appear in search engines searches.  But because of its extensible architecture and the plethora of plugins that are readily available for it, there are many ways in which using these WordPress plugins can help enhance your website and allow your blog, your company, and yourself get found in social media and by search engines throughout 2011.

I looked at the best plugins which I either use for this site or have installed for my social media-optimized website development clients that 1) help make your WordPress-powered website more social media optimized and 2) are essential to ensure that your blog gets found online through enhancing the SEO of your website.  I believe the below list of 15 WordPress plugins will remain popular well into 2011:

Social Media WordPress Plugins for 2011

1. DiggDigg

DiggDigg has been one of the best kept secrets for awhile, but now that we’re heading into 2011 it’s time that you should know about it.  DiggDigg is an all-in-one plugin to handle all of your ReTweet, Facebook Share, etc. buttons which allows your visitors to easily share your content throughout social media.  Sure, there are other plugins which give you similar functionality, but I prefer DiggDigg because of its flexibility and rich functionality.  Here’s a summary of some of DiggDigg’s main features:

  • Not only can you display the normal ReTweet buttons right at the top of your content, DiggDigg also provides a floating widget of ReTweet buttons to the side of the content, just like you are seeing to the left of this text.  You’ve seen it on Mashable – now install it on your site!
  • The ability to choose which ReTweet button you want: Twitter, TweetMeme, or Topsy.  You’d be surprised by the different ReTweet numbers each one returns.
  • Display the new LinkedIn Share button as well as the StumbleUpon button.
  • Choose whichever URL shortener you want to use.

2. Disqus Comment System

There are a lot of different comment systems out there that take the place of the native WordPress one, but Disqus wins for both its functionality as well as its streamlined design.  It has full functionality which provides for threaded comments, white listing and black listing of commenters by username and/or IP address, and of course the ability to allow your users to post their comments to Facebook and Twitter in addition to your blog post.  Let your blog readers better comment and share their thoughts about your blog using Disqus.

3. Facebook Like Button

You’ll notice that, despite how much I rave about DiggDigg, I have another similar plugin on this list.  This is because the one thing that DiggDigg lacks is the ability to show the Facebook Like button displaying faces.  This is where this appropriately named Facebook Like Button plugin comes in.  Earlier this year I wrote a blog post about how to add a Facebook Like button to your WordPress blog or website.  Now that technology has caught up, you can simply use this plugin instead.

4. Feedblitz FeedSmart

RSS feeds are one way in which your blog readers consume your content, so you want to make sure that the ability to share you content in social media is displayed directly on the RSS page.  The native WordPress RSS feeds do not provide this functionality nor have the ability to provide email subscriptions, but Feedburner and Feedblitz are two 3rd party services that do.  I am someone who actually switched from Feedburner to Feedblitz some time ago.  It all started one day when my Feedburner RSS feeds were not displaying properly on this blog, just a few weeks before I was about to publish my LinkedIn book.  Unable to find or get help, I fortunately discovered Feedblitz, a company that offers highly customizable RSS feed management, with all of the additional social media-related functionality that you would expect, that also has additional email marketing capabilities built into it.  Most importantly, it offered responsive technical support that went out of their way to help me whenever I have run into any issues.  Yes, there is a nominal fee attached to it, but its value far exceeds its cost.  Once you have Feedblitz installed, this plugin will forward all of your RSS feeds to your Feedblitz account so you have an accurate count of how many RSS subscribers you have.  Not only does this provide you with a better metric to track, it’s also helpful in promoting how many RSS subscribers you have by displaying the Feedblitz-provided RSS subscriber chicklet on your website.

5. My Recent YouTube Widget

You already know why you should have a YouTube channel, so why aren’t you introducing it to your website visitors?  This handy little widget allows you to choose how many of your latest YouTube videos you want to display in your sidebar and footer.  Simple, customizable, and it works.  Help your website visitors easily discover content on your other social media properties.

6. PollDaddy Polls

Polls can provide important content to help engage with your followers and fans throughout social media.  They can also provide priceless feedback which can be invaluable to your company.  With PollDaddy polls, not only can you easily create a customized look-and-feel to your poll in minutes, this poll can now be embedded into a sidebar widget and/or a post.  Furthermore, PollDaddy automatically creates a shortened link for you to tweet about or even a Facebook link to allow your fans to join in the poll.

7. Social Media Widget

This handy little widget allows you to easily place social media icons on your sidebar which link to your social media properties by simply inputting the URLs of each of your profiles.  There are a host of websites that are supported, and there are even different icon types and sizes that you can choose from to advertise your social media presence.

SEO WordPress Plugins for 2011

8. All in One SEO Pack

This is the default plugin to manage many SEO aspects of your website.  Most importantly, it provides you a way to easily change the title and description of each blog post and page so that you can optimize them for SEO.  A necessity for every blog.

9. cbnet Ping Optimizer

It has been said that every time you update a previously published blog post, WordPress automatically informs the world by pinging them.  What if you end up revising your blogs on many occasions to provide further clarifications, update categories, add links, and perform SEO optimization?  That’s right, that same blog post will be pinging servers for each time you revise, and this could make you look like a ping spammer.  This cbnet Ping Optimizer ensures that for every published blog post, there is only one instance of a ping being transmitted.

10. Dagon Design Sitemap Generator

Some suggest that it is good SEO practice to have an HTML internal sitemap created for your site above and beyond an XML one.  This plugin will automatically do that for you, and then all you need to do is enter one line of code and your HTML sitemap has been created.  You can see an example of this plugin’s output in the Maximize Social Business sitemap.

11. Google XML Sitemaps

The most important sitemap for search engines to spider your site is your XML one.  This plugin easily and automatically creates an XML sitemap to allow search engines to find your site.  If you don’t have this plugin installed, your content might not be as easily found by search engines.

12. Scribe SEO ($)

I like to think of Scribe as my personal SEO assistant.  There are two sides to SEO: Offsite and onsite.  Scribe gives you all of the assistance you need with your onsite SEO by providing each page or post that you analyze with a score and then assisting you in reaching their recommendations for 100% SEO optimization.  I wouldn’t blog without it.  Note that Scribe SEO is the only WordPress plugin on this list that requires a paid subscription.

13. SEO Friendly Images

I’ll be honest with you in informing you that while this plugin looks like it provides killer functionality, it has never worked for me.  That doesn’t mean it may not work for you, hence my including it on this list.  When working, this plugin will automatically populate the Alt-Text of your images with relevant keywords, which will help your images be found on search engines and provide more visitors to your blog.  Sound too good to be true?  Give it a try and let me know if it works for you!

14. SEO Smart Links

There are certain keywords in your blog that you probably would like to link to the same post or page on whenever they appear to help with your website’s internal SEO.  Register the keywords and associated URLs with this plugin, and it will automatically insert them into your blog post for you.

15. Zemanta

If you’re not linking to the outside world in your blog posts, search engines may not consider your post a resourceful one.  That’s why external links within your blog posts to relevant and authoritative content on the Web are an important part of onsite SEO.  Zemanta uses its proprietary semantic search engine to analyze your blog post and then find related articles to link to in addition to finding relevant photos to insert into your blog post, in-text links, and even tag recommendations.  If you register your blog with Zemanta and they accept your submission, your blog might now show up inside the Zemanta results on someone else’s WordPrss dashboard, potentially creating more relevant backlinks for your website.

The power of WordPress is in its plugin architecture, so utilize these WordPress plugins to take full advantage of it and make your blog-powered website more social media and SEO optimized for 2011.

Are your favorite social media and SEO WordPress plugins for 2011 included on this list?

Neal Schaffer
The Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Maximize Social Business, Neal Schaffer is a leader in helping businesses and professionals strategically maximize their use of social media. Neal is the author of three social media books, including the recently published definitive social media strategy book Maximize Your Social. Forbes lists him as a Top 35 Social Media Power Influencer and AdAge lists his blog, Maximize Social Business (formerly known as Windmill Networking), as a top 100 global marketing blog. Neal provides social media strategy consulting and coaching, having worked with Fortune 500 companies and a Grammy-award winning musician. He has presented worldwide on social media at more than 150 events and also teaches social media marketing at Rutgers University. +Neal Schaffer
Neal Schaffer

@nealschaffer

Author, @MaxYourSocial | Founder @msocialbusiness | Trilingual Social Media Strategy Consultant, Coach, and Speaker | 日米ソーシャルメディア専門家|G+: https://t.co/BqaJvubiP8
Neal Schaffer
Social Media Marketing World - Save $550

Comments

  1. says

    I think you should add BackWPup to your list. It is NOT really a social media or SEO plug-in, but if you ever lose your database, or have to rebuild your site, you will be thrilled that you have it installed. I have mine set to email weekly backups of the sites I manage, and also to save a copy on my servers. I think it is pretty much an essential plug-in, and like insurance, one that you hope you never have to really use.

  2. says

    We came out with a new plugin last September that guarantees more search engine results, more readers and more traffic for your blog. The GTS Blog Translation plugin is the only SEO-enabled blog translation solution in the market. Unlike most of the other translation plugins, the GTS plugin writes the translated content into the blog database where it is indexed by search engines. The translated content can also be retweeted and shared on social networks. You can download the plugin from http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/gts-translation.

    • says

      Thanks for the comment. Wasn’t familiar with BackWPup, but remember,this list is only for SEO and/or social media-related plugins so not sure if that plugin is relevant for these purposes.

  3. says

    The newer Social Media plugins are exactly what any blog owner needs going into 2011 to stay ahead of the curve. I couldnt agree more with All-In-One SEO being the best free SEO plugin overall for WordPress. As the grandaddy of all SEO plugins it set the standard for all other SEO plugins.

    It’s nice that you actually gave us the bullets on the plugin features while most bloggers just give it a quick mention and move on. That’s definitely the mark of a blogger who knows his plugins.

    I’ll be referencing this post on my main blog.

    • says

      Appreciate the content. I am learning that using old plugins that haven’t been revised can screw up your site in terms of performance and even functionality. I also think that people should know why the plugins that I recommended should be used, and as a blogger, I am only recommending those that I have used in the past or present.

      Appreciate the reference in your blog post!

      @Neal

  4. says

    Excellent post Neal. I’ll be bookmarking this post for future reference. I’ve built my blog in WordPress and love the extensibility of the architecture. What are your thoughts about having posts from your fellow bloggers showing up in your sidebar? I’ve been thinking about building a network with other blogger friends, and having each other’s post show up on our sidebars. I hear that over time, as our page ranks increase, we would be giving each other’s blogs very valuable backlinks.

    • says

      Hey Reza,

      Thanks for the comment! I agree that WordPress is the best, not just for bloggers, but also for businesses.

      As for your suggestion, bloggers are always talking about building up secret and not -so-secret alliances with other bloggers. I think your sidebars are prime territory where you need to be advertising YOU! Rather than do that, I would honestly use your Google Analytics to guide you as to what content your readers like, and maybe spend more time in social media engaging with your potential readers.

      What do you think?

      • says

        I think that’s excellent advice. What would you suggest for creating great link exchanges with bloggers that you admire. I read several blogs religiously, and many of them are very relevant to my blog’s main focus. I’d love to be able to collaborate and support them, and create long term link relationships.

        • says

          Hello again Reza!

          I think the whole idea of “link exchanges” is a thing of the past. If you really want a link with a blogger that you admire, why not do any of the following:

          – Feature them in one of your blog posts with a backlink
          – Comment regularly on their blog
          – Promote their blog to your social media audience

          I think after doing this for awhile you will get noticed, and once you start to build a rapport, why not offer to write a guest blog post for that blogger? Many bloggers accept guest blog posts, including this blog ;-)

          By the way, I had a chance to chat with ProBlogger at Blog World recently about guest blogging. I will be featuring his advice in an upcoming blog post, so stay tuned!

  5. says

    Great list! I have many of these plug-ins installed…but didn’t know some existed (Zemanta for example). Thanks for taking the time to compile this!

    • says

      Glad you liked the list! Yes, Zemanta is a gem of a plug-in giving many ideas for photos, links, and tags all based on the content of your blog. Give it a try and let us know what you think!

  6. says

    We added your link to our blog and found it useful.. Not only is it a great list but packed with info that I have always wondered about.. cbnet Ping Optimizer sounds like a must have if you update alot! I will give it a try and review it!

  7. says

    Excellent blog Neal, there is so much hype and fluff about WordPress plug-ins that it’s great to read such a thorough and well-researched summary.

    My next blog post is going to point people right here!

  8. says

    Appreciate your comment on Yoast’s plugin. He definitely is a WordPress guru and has some great plugins but I have yet to play around with that particular one. Would love to hear your reasoning as to what makes it “far more better” than All in One SEO!

    • says

      Ari, I am using Zemanta, but I use it with the following understanding:

      – It sometimes causes conflicts with other plugins, especially Scribe

      – The photos never seem to insert the right way and display correctly on standard WordPress themes. Zemanta should do something to correct this.

      – There have been times when the Zemanta database didn’t connect and nothing displayed ;-(

      I introduce Zemanta to all of my social media consulting practice clients as well as my social media optimized website development clients and they all love it!

      What issues do you have with Zemanta that cause the “hate” part of your relationship?

  9. says

    Good Post! I personally use ALL these plugins on my website.

    Would love to hear a comparison between All-in-one-seo-pack and WordPress SEO by Yoast. I think Yoast’s includes Redirect functionality as well and moves away from core focus on SEO. I use AIOSP and love it, redirection is using Smart 404 and Redirection Plugin.

    • says

      Thanks…and what a pleasant surprise that you use all of the same ones I do!!!

      Yoast is defintiely a WordPress guru and has some great plugins. I use Scribe, which is configured to work with All in One, but if Scribe could use Yoast, I may experiment with it as I like the idea of being able to combine 3 different plugins into 1 for a more robust stack of code.

    • says

      Yes, I used that one as well but it stopped appearing in the standard WordPress directory so now I recommend this other one. I assume that they are doing the same thing…

  10. Sand Infotech says

    Hey, very informative and interesting. Looks like you put a lot of effort and research into it. Keep up the good work!!

  11. yoopits says

    I very much appreciate the information in this article. I second Sand Infotech’s observation “Looks like you put a lot of effort and research into it.” I find it valuable, well written, and I thank you for it.

    And now for a little nit-picking: you grouped the list of plugins into “Social Media WordPress Plugins for 2011″ and “Social Media SEO Plugins for 2011″. I think the second heading should not have repeated the words “Social Media.” Or am I confused?

  12. Alexis says

    I am trying to find a search bar plugin that allows the user to search my blog for specific things…. suggestions?

    • says

      Hi Alexis,

      Well, WordPress has their own default search widget. There are also plugins for a Google search widget as well as Lijit, which I have also used before. The best search plugin is to do it custom, similar to what I have done on my site, by combining the functionality of a few widgets and placing them in one singular container.

      Have you tried any of the above? What functionality are you looking for?

  13. says

    Yes , this is right that WordPress in the best blogging platform now-a-days and it is proved now that WordPrtess sites are optimised faster than any other sites and to be honest , we are just blessed with the plugins .WordPress is so user friendly and no extra coding knowledge is required to operate the application. However , the names of the plugins you have mentioned here are really good. I too use some of the plugins you have mentioned here. The Google XML Sitemap generator is a nice plugin .But I don’t know why it has stopped working for me .Perhaps there is any problem .However , now using my feed as sitemap and it is too working fine. However , appreciate your insights and efforts for sharing all these things here.

  14. says

    Thanks for your comment Som. Yes, WordPress is the best and the plugins that are available are one of the biggest reasons. Don’t know why that particular XML plugin doesn’t work for you, but there are plenty of alternatives out there for you to try.

  15. Anonymous says

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  16. Anonymous says

    Interesting information are pass this Article, As  the Word Press is so user friendly and no extra coding knowledge is required to operate the application. Also the adjoint of services for training and like to hunting with it’s penalty rowing.

  17. Anonymous says

    Interesting information are pass this Article, As  the Word Press is so user friendly and no extra coding knowledge is required to operate the application. Also the adjoint of services for training and like to hunting with it’s penalty rowing.

  18. Anonymous says

    Interesting information are pass this Article, As  the Word Press is so user friendly and no extra coding knowledge is required to operate the application. Also the adjoint of services for training and like to hunting with it’s penalty rowing.

  19. says

    There are a number of them – go to WordPress.org and search for them and you should find a few. I haven’t done what you are trying to do, but I do recommend you check out WP-Subscribers, a for-fee plugin, which allows you to do that as well. Good luck!

  20. Steve Lawrence says

    Thanks for the article. But the best use of the social plugins I’ve seen are right here on this page. I can’t quite make out which it is. Can you tell me?

  21. says

    As per view mostly people use the internet so at that time it’s more then use a social media. There are many social media site which is popular in short time like a facebook. I am really happy to use my facebook account for the entertainment and business purpose.

  22. says

    Yes, right after I published this post ShareBar stopped working with the most recent version of WordPress. For that reason, I moved back to the social share plugin that I recommended in my 2011 post: Digg Digg.

  23. says

    Thanks for chiming in here as well Nathan! I am still a Scribe user, and to be honest with you I had never heard of Clickbump SEO until your comment. How would you compare the two?

    As for Zemanta, you will notice that it did not make my 2012 list. I find that as I blog, I find it easier to find more relevant external content than using a plugin which at sometimes had conflict with other plugins. That being said, Zemanta now has its own network of users so that if you use them a lot, you might have a better chance of getting backlinks from other Zemanta users.

  24. says

    On-Page Optimization process depends upon the nature and business of the website. It helps in updating content on regular basis and whenever the website gets updated. On-page Optimization boosts your website in a way that it ranks better in search engines and increases local monthly visits. It is required to take special care about the website’s user interface too, which should always be designed aiming for the visitors, and not for search engines.

  25. says

    Entrepreneurs, who are used to using WordPress as their running a blog service, may already know that this is a very highly effective and versatile CMS (Content Control System). With this program you will be able to easily utilize changes to your blog’s framework, so that you will be able to have a effective SEO promotion.

  26. says

    Your post is an excellent example of why I keep coming back to read your
    excellent quality content that is forever updated.I would like to read
    newer posts and to share my thoughts with you.Thanks a lot….

  27. says

    SEO is a way to promote your business on the Internet .The main objective of Internet marketing is to convey a company’s specifications and specializations to customers. A good Internet marketing company should conduct extensive research to provide desirable user content to existing and potential clients for selling goods, services and to advertise the benefits of the business.
     

  28. says

    Hi Neal, despite this being a 2011 list, a lot of these are still going strong.

    Especially Digg Digg, one of my favourite social plugins right now, and I’m so glad they were acquired by buffer to get some much needed TLC. 

  29. says

    Thanks Adam! Yes, I always thought Digg Digg was the unsung hero, and seeing Buffer buy them make total sense. Because Digg Digg didn’t support Buffer, I actually was using Sharebar for awhile (which I featured in my 2012 list: http://windmillnetworking.com/2012/01/10/best-wordpress-plugins-social-media-seo-2012/), but the day that Sharebar stopped working when WordPress upgraded was the day that Buffer bought Digg Digg! Huge sigh of relief indeed!!!

  30. says

    SEO company for reaching higher search engine renking.SEO companies are professionals who know their way around google and understand the formula used by them for position sites.

  31. says

     I have used Digg Digg, ShareBar and Sexy Bookmarks but did not satisfied
    with their performance. Each one loads their javascript increasing load
    time. I prefer to use own codes.

  32. says

    Hi Rohit, yes, plugins come at a cost to performance. If you can write your own code that is ideal. Unfortunately, many WP users are not technically capable of doing so, which is why they need to rely on the plugin architecture that WP provides them.

  33. says

    OMG! These are some awesome plugins for WP. I have had blog for time but was confused regarding which plugins to opt for. There are so many and everybody claims to have beneficial for your but not really it may be. I am straight into these for my blog now. Many thanks for sharing these. Cheers!

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