5 WordPress Plugins For Your Dental Website
Many businesses across the world of all types and sizes use WordPress to improve the functionality of their website, but many of them fall short of taking full advantage of the platform because they fail to utilize the best plugins. The right plugins can help you transform your website experience for you and your users alike, so let’s dive into how WordPress plugins work, why they’re so important for optimizing your content management system (CMS) experience, and which are the must-have WordPress plugins that you should start using today.
What are WordPress plugins, and why does your practice need them?
WordPress plugins are dedicated software programs that each serve a particular purpose and add increased functionality to the WordPress platform. You can run WordPress perfectly fine without using any of them, but when you use them correctly you can customize your WordPress experience for increased productivity and functionality.
At the moment, there are tens of thousands of WordPress plugins in existence, and they cover just about any type of function you could think of, from spam protection to digital retail tools and much much more. Many of them are free to use, some have a cost, and some operate on the freemium model (featuring both a free version and a paid version with enhanced functionality), which is why it’s important to do your research well before deciding on which plugins make the most sense for your practice.
With so many options available, it’s important to understand which plugins will actually make your practice work better, smarter, and faster, and help you reach patients more easily through your content marketing ecosystem. Let’s discuss some specifics about the WordPress platform, and then delve into the plugins that can help you reach your marketing potential.
The prevalence of WordPress websites
WordPress has become the most popular CMS platform in the entire world largely because it is simple to understand and use, as well as incredibly versatile. The sheer variety and breadth of available plugins is a major factor in the platform’s versatility because it allows businesses to truly customize the website experience both for their users and for the people who create and manage the content.
Additionally, WordPress has gained a massive user-base in part because the software is open-source, and it is free for companies to download and use apart from the domain fees associated with maintaining a web presence. Various WordPress themes are also available for purchase so that you can give your website the professional look of one created by a large corporation with massive web development resources for a fraction of the price.
WordPress was originally created as a simple blogging platform, but it now boasts a full suite of content management features including search engine optimization (SEO) tools and e-commerce functionality. When you add in all of the functions enabled through the vast array of plugins available, you have a system that you can tweak and continually refine in order to increase your marketing potential and optimize your website for new patient conversions.
How WordPress plugins help you get the most out of the platform
If you use the WordPress platform to help you manage your content and improve your SEO, then it’s absolutely worth your time to install and utilize some WordPress plugins to improve the overall experience. Of course, not all plugins are created equal: with over 50,000 options available for download, many are going to be outright duds, too buggy to effectively use, or provide trivial improvements at best. However, there are definitely some plugins that will vastly enhance the things you are able to do with the platform with just a small investment in time and cost. At the end of the day, if you’re using WordPress and not taking the time to optimize it through plugins then it’s only dragging your marketing down instead of taking it to a higher level.
WordPress plugins fit into a variety of diverse categories, and the offerings in every category run deep. Some categories that are likely to be most applicable for your practice include SEO performance, website optimization, content management features, and security.
Why you should fit plugins into your ongoing needs
The world of plugins for WordPress is so vast that you could easily spend all of your free time downloading and trying out various options to see if they work for you. And while some experimentation is encouraged, a better path is to do your research well and know what kind of functionality and results you are looking for based on your website goals.
For instance, there are many plugins that offer robust e-commerce features that are must-haves if you sell any products through your website. That typically isn’t very useful for dental practices, however, and you might want to focus on a plugin that prioritizes security but is not as focused on payment encryption. Assess your marketing and SEO needs, and evaluate any potential plugins based solely on those needs without any hype from the software developers. Although WordPress plugins should be intensely customized to your business in order to have the biggest impact, here are a few of the most outstanding WordPress must-have plugins.
The main reason why Yoast SEO is one of the very best WordPress plugins available is because it actually improves the true core function of SEO and content marketing: making content valuable for the people who read it. Of course, it accomplishes this by giving you tools to improve your page rankings, utilize keywords and meta descriptions effectively, and make your content more easily digestible for the reader. Without accessible content, you’ll have prospective patients bouncing from your website far too often, so take the opportunity to ensure that your content is as beneficial for them as possible.
You may not give much consideration to the security of your practice’s website, but it can still be a target for hackers and other malicious actors. WordPress currently powers approximately 30% of all websites in existence, so the platform is naturally a prime draw for cybercriminals. Security is a crucial concern for any business with an online presence, and Wordfence helps you safeguard your domain and protect the integrity of your site. It creates a firewall to detect and block unsavory traffic, and it also continually scans for signs of danger and can send you updates and alerts for issues.
Google Analytics is a powerful solution that helps you stay on top of your SEO performance. WordPress is a versatile platform that helps you solidify your content management strategy. Put them together and you have a powerful marketing tool in your kit, but you need something to bridge the two, and that’s where Monster Insights comes in. This free plugin migrates your Google Analytics data into your WordPress dashboard so that you have all the information you need on a single platform, and includes additional features as well.
WP Scheduled Posts
Staying organized and ahead of the game is one of the best ways to improve your content marketing performance. If you’re constantly having to keep up with content at the last minute, you’ll find yourself missing post deadlines and not having the right material in place at the optimal time for your patients. WP Scheduled Posts makes content management a breeze, as it allows you to create calendars and keep posts in a queue for future dates.
The more you learn about SEO, the more you understand about how much website performance factors into your page rankings. Not to mention that studies show over 50% of your visitors will leave your page if it takes longer than three seconds to load. Creating a beautiful website with illustrative images is helpful for your visitors, but including more images and graphics can slow your speed to a crawl. Optimole works by streamlining every image that you add to your WordPress site so that they load faster, and also improves other aspects of site speed through a cloud-based system.
Keeping your marketing up to date with the latest and best WordPress plugins
Your marketing strategy should be continually evolving, so it makes sense that you will need to incorporate new plugins into your rotation from time to time to ensure that you are achieving as much as you can through WordPress. Because the WordPress platform is so widely adopted, software developers are constantly devising new functions and introducing new plugins to exploit the possibilities of the CMS, so you should frequently browse the available options and research which ones make sense for your needs.
Getting help with WordPress plugins so you can maximize the value of your marketing
The WordPress platform and the enhanced features made possible by plugins change what is possible for your content marketing and SEO, but using WordPress to its fullest extent still requires plenty of planning and work. Thankfully you don’t have to do it alone, because the marketing experts at Connect the Doc can help you create a content program run through WordPress that drives the results you have always dreamed of for your website. We can help you discover the right plugins for your practice and utilize them effectively so they make turn your CMS into a valuable asset for your organization. Reach out to one of our representatives today to learn more about how our full line of online dental marketing services can help you grow your practice reliably.