Crucial WordPress Plugins for Competitive Business Blogs

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WordPress is the most popular blogging software available today, whether its used on WordPress.com or a hosted WordPress.org solution, being used for personal blogs, professional blogs, informational sites, and CRM backends for businesses around the globe.

A lot of this is due to the slim price tag that comes with WordPress, but another major reason that WordPress is so popular is the bevy of plugins available for download. With the right set of plugins you can create a completely unique website that can essentially do whatever you’d like it too. That being said, there are a few plugins that almost everyone should look into, regardless of what they’re looking to do. Here are some of the most useful plugins in existence right now, for your business, blog, or whatever else you may be trying to put together.

 

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Shopp

There’s no sense in making your product information hard to find, because people simply aren’t going to buy something that they can’t scrutinize. If your pictures are hazy, your descriptions are weak, or your stats and features are buried, people won’t be interested in looking very closely at your product. The Shopp plugin helps to address this problem. Shopp makes it easy to host pictures of your products and arranges them nicely, while making it a cinch to link to the actual product purchasing page. It also provides an easy space to provide statistics or lists of features which will be listed attractively next to the pictures.

Unfortunately, the plugin produces fairly uniform arrangements despite individual site themes or design, and given the amount of companies that use Shopp, this may be a problem. However, if you want your products to look nice and you aren’t worried about appearing generic, Shopp is extremely helpful.

Customer Manager

Most shoppers are lazy people. This really shouldn’t come as a surprise given that most people, as a general statement, are lazy people. What this means to the internet marketer though, is that products will be far more likely to sell if they can be easily found by their target market. There are several ways to make this happen, and one of those is by installing Customer Manager.

Customer Manager includes an extremely useful feature that will view the buying habits of each potential customer and decide which of your products seem to fit those habits most closely. Then, in an unassuming but attractive box, it offers these products to the customer. Essentially, the plugin does the browsing for your customers. That being said, Customer Manager really only excels in this area. This would be fine if it were marketed as such, but since the plugin claims to be an all purpose business template, you might expect more than it delivers.

WordPress-to-Lead

If your business uses Salesforce as your CRM solution to track, monitor and close leads and contacts, then the Salesforce WordPress-to-Lead plugin is the essential solution for your WordPress contact forms and utilizing your blog for lead generation and the growth of your business.

In a nutshell, WordPress-to-Lead allows you to pull data right out of the contact forms, allowing you to track all interactions, sync with Yahoo!, Gmail, Outlook and many others, as well as organize all your contacts and lead information in central Salesforce platform. With the functionality of the plug-in, you will no longer need to go through the painstaking tasks of from inbox to CRM in order to keep track of your leads… whether they be for direct business, companies interested in white papers, or advertising leads for your blog.

Live Chat

One of the major reasons that good customer service is so difficult to achieve in an Online marketplace is that there’s never a direct link between customer and shop operator. Comments are left anonymously, shopping carts are maintained or abandoned anonymously, and recommendations are generally made anonymously. There’s simply no accountability on either side of the transaction. By establishing an easy and personal connection between sales rep and customer, Live Chat goes a long way toward eliminating this problem.

Live chat enables a free flow of conversation from either end of the purchase. It allows sales reps to ask a customer why they decided not to buy an item, while at the same time allowing the customer to ask the rep to elaborate on any confusing area of business. The Live Chat plugin is indispensable for a company whose products are often confusing or technical for customers. The necessity of a live-bodied representative to work one end, however, can make it very impractical for some smaller companies. There is no denying the usefulness of the application, but with price constraints, a well-tuned faq page might be the better decision.

 

Loren Baker
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Loren Baker

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6 thoughts on “Crucial WordPress Plugins for Competitive Business Blogs

  1. I think W3TC is better than super cache. Thesis theme would be another thing that I would add since it takes care of a bunch of stuff too.

  2. Wow! Great list of plugins. Almost all business class manage their wordpress blogs. I think this would be very useful to them. Personally I liked Shopp, Customer manager..

  3. Hi all,
    Every day I wake-up in the morning and Open my Desktop and I found some new technique or version related to WordPress. I think It is the beautiful of the Open Source Language.It keep going on on on.
    Thanks Guy …