5 WordPress plugins to boost your blog

Engage your audience and improve SEO

As real estate professional, your blog is your publishing platform. It’s an opportunity to distribute information, engage your audience and hopefully improve search engine optimization (SEO). Let’s take a look at five WordPress plugins that will enhance your blog posts:

1. MediaElement.JS HTML5 Video and Audio Player

Creating cross-platform content is critical in the Post-PC era. It’s imperative that real estate professionals publish content that can be consumed on multiple platforms and devices, especially mobile devices. The MediaElement.JS HTML5 Video and Audio Player allows you to quickly add cross-platform video and audio content to your blog post or WordPress website without having to be a programming ninja.

The plugin supports all major browsers and devices. Typically, these types of players offer Flash fallback, which simply means that if your desktop browser version does not support the HTML5 video or audio file format, the video or audio will play in the Adobe Flash player. However, the MediaElement.JS does the opposite — it serves up video using Flash, unless the user is using an iOS device like an iPad or iPhone, which does not support Flash. In that case, the app falls forward by mirroring an HTML5 application programming interface (API). The plugin is super easy to install and configure. You can download it here.

2: WP Biographia

The WP Biographia WordPress plugin adds a customizable bio box to your posts or pages. News outlets and industry publications often display the author’s biography, which adds a layer of professionalism to the publication. It’s also the perfect plugin if your blog utilizes multiple authors.

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The bio box is clean and simple and includes a photograph. It also supports links to social profiles such as Facebook and Twitter. There are many biography plugins available, but WP Biographia is easy to install and configure. You can download it here.

3: Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP)

Yet Another Related Posts Plugin displays links to similar articles on your blog that is related to the content of the current post. This technique improves the usability of a blog as well as the internal linking, which is extremely important for SEO.

The YARPP plugin has been around for quite some time. In fact, Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam team, gave the plugin a rave review way back in 2008.

I have attended a local WordPress meetup hosted by Michael Yoshitaka Erlewine, the developer of the YARPP plugin, and he has developed many useful plugins for the WordPress community. You can download it here.

4: Download Manager

Download Manager is a useful WordPress plugin that allows you to manage, track and control the files being downloaded from your blog or WordPress website. For example, if you create market reports in a PDF format, Download Manager enables you to quickly track the number of downloads right from the WordPress admin. The plugin also features password protection, which can come in handy when delivering sensitive files to a client. You can download it here.

5: NextGEN Gallery

We are living in a photo economy. Popular platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest have built the foundation of their businesses on the sharing of photographs. The photograph just may be the single most important piece of media in real estate.

The NextGEN Gallery is a beautiful image gallery plugin for WordPress. It’s a WordPress staple and has been downloaded over 5 million times. The plugin features an elegant, lightbox effect slideshow that comes in two flavors: slideshow and thumbnail.

The NextGEN Gallery is perfect for showcasing a property listing, neighborhood or community. If you’re looking to add engagement to a blog post and improve time on site, The NextGEN Gallery is the perfect plugin. You can download it here.

There are hundreds and hundreds of WordPress plugins available to enhance blog posts and I have just covered five of them. Have a favorite plugin to enhance a post with? Leave a comment below and let me know. I’d love to hear it!

Tom Flanagan is the director of information technology at Residential Properties Ltd. in Providence, R.I. You can contact him at tflanagan@residentialproperties.com or @tflan on Twitter.


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