3 WordPress Plugins for First Impressions
If you have a website for your business there are a few plugins I think you should have no matter what your goal is (make contact, make a sale, etc.)
To start, contact forms will always make you look more professional than using a naked email address, especially if it’s with gmail or hotmail (get email on your own domain).
Aside from the impression someone gets from your website, there’s the impression they get on the search engines that list your website.
1) Contact Form 7
Sometimes I see sites with contact information that is in plain text. They do this often because they don’t want to get spam email. Your best bet however is to install Contact Form 7 which has a wide array of features such as a captcha filter or a sidebar widget. What’s nice about this plugin is it allows me to create and customize as many forms as I’d like to. I can embed any one of them using a short code into a page or post. It even works within widgets if you load the Contact Form 7 Widget (don’t worry about it not being updated for 2 years… it’s the actual Contact Form 7 plugin that gets the updates). Here is an example of the plugin being used as a quote form using the widget; http://nauticalprogressions.net/services/multimedia/cinematography/ and here is an example of the plugin being used as a regular contact form within a page; http://nauticalprogressions.net/company/contact/
2) Google XML Sitemap
Now your website is more than just a pretty page, it’s got to be on radar and the best way to do that is to have a Google XML sitemap. This is not the common sitemap that is publicly viewable, this sitemap is designed for search engine robots mostly (also known as crawling spiders). What I like about this plugin is that it will dynamically recreate itself any time you post new content or change content. Unlike your typical public view sitemap, this sitemap will set priorities for your content based on comment count or your own custom settings. As soon as I get this baby loaded in, that’s when I create my Google Webmasters account (where SEO begins). In short, this plugin helps keep Google and other search engines up to date on what your website is doing automatically. There are a number of other sitemap plugins but I find this one to be the easiest to setup.
3) All In One SEO
Now I’ll be honest and say that I’ve recently become a very big fan of the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast but I do find the ALL In One SEO plugin is more simplified and thus less intimidating to learn. What you may not realize is that you have full control over how your pages/posts are displayed on Google with this plugin. Google uses your Title tag to fill in that blue title for each of their search listings… it then uses your description meta tag to fill in that black paragraph beneath it. It’s important that you customize that title tag and description tag for each page you wanted indexed on Google because that’s when your visitor will decide whether to click on your web link or your competitor’s. So be sure to load this plugin and spend some time writing “ads” for each of your pages/posts using the Title tag and description tag.