WordPress makes blogging and podcasting much easier. And plug-ins are part of what makes publishing blogs and podcasts a breeze. In this episode, Tracy Hazzard brings Alexandra Hazzard, COO of Podetize, Inc., to talk about how they can help up your game. Alexandra takes a look at five useful WordPress Plug-ins they just can’t blog (or podcast) without while giving us the lowdown on these plug-ins, how they work, and how they enhance your blog. Tune in for more great podcasting tips.
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Top 5 Podcast WP Plug-Ins We Can’t Blog (Or Podcast) Without With Alexandra Hazzard
I’m doing a special intro because I’m not giving you coaching, neither is Tom. We have somebody else doing the coaching. I occasionally have members of our team and on this episode, we have Alexandra Hazzard. Yes, there’s a relationship. You’ll have to figure it out for yourself, but yes, she’s related to us. Alexandra is going to do an episode on the top five podcast WordPress plug-ins that we can’t blog or podcast without. She’s covering that because she’s an expert on managing our web team, our entire team. She’s our Operations Director and Chief Operating Officer. She’s been that and built all the systems and team up for everything we do, especially on the website.
That’s why she’s the expert here. Not me, not Tom. We wanted to bring her in to talk with you about what those things are. Let’s go to the coaching call that Alexandra hosted for us with our clients that we’re sharing with you for this episode. We’ll be covering it for the Top WordPress Plug-ins that you can’t podcast without.
We, as a company, as you all know, recommend having a WordPress website. The reason for that is because we’ve found that it is the most effective for Google SEO. What I mean by that is we found that we can get the best organic results with WordPress websites in growing the keyword rankings and that organic traffic through podcasting, the way we do with the transcription-based blog posts, rather than on the other platforms we’ve tested.
We split tested the same items and recommendations with Wix, Squarespace, Kajabi, Weebly, Webflow. ScaleX even has some stuff in there we were testing in there with the SEO, making sure it’s ranking when we do posts through them and messages through them. That’s working well. We’ve been testing every platform we come across that you guys have.
HubSpot is another one. We’ve tested HubSpot before. There are also a few random ones out there too. Simplero is a website builder we’ve tried. We found all of them. None of them compare to WordPress. We can get about 60% to 80% better results with WordPress than with the other ones. The reason why I give you that range is because it depends on which platform you’re looking at. That’s why we go with WordPress. Granted, WordPress is awesome because it has that SEO value, but it also can be a bit of a headache because with WordPress comes plug-ins.
Let’s talk about what a plug-in is. A plug-in is a tool that a third-party developer a lot of time not hired by WordPress, built so that way, people who are working in WordPress and want to do some other function that their WordPress team builder or website, in general, can’t do. A developer will make a plug-in. They might make it paid so they can make some money from their work.
They post it up into the WordPress plug-in store, so you can download it and install it. Sometimes, you have to go to the developer direct to download and install a plug-in. Other times, it’s listed in the generic WordPress plug-ins shop when you can search for them. That’s what a plug-in is. That being said, not every plug-in works for every website. It’s always very important to test your plug-ins when you want to try one out for the first time. We always do that when installing them on your websites.
There are a few key plug-ins that every WordPress website, whether it’s a podcast website or not, should have, but I’m going to go through the top five ones every podcast website specifically should have. That’s because maybe you’re not aware that you should have these things and you want to add them in and start using them. If you are one of our done-for-you episode production clients and we’re doing the blog post-production for you on your episodes, do not worry about these plug-ins. We have already examined these five plug-ins, making sure they’re working and installed or figured out a workaround if, for some reason, we couldn’t use that one on your website. Don’t be alarmed if I mentioned one you weren’t aware of before. We’ve handled that for you.
If you aren’t a production client and you’re curious about these plug-ins, feel free to reach out to us to our emails. You have them. Our Success@Podetize.com is the success team’s email and we have Hello@Podetize.com as well for the more generic email. That way, you guys can go ahead and get that information if you have any questions that I don’t go over on this episode. The first plug-in we want to make sure every WordPress website, whether a podcast website or not, has is some kind of Google Analytics connection.
That Google Analytics connection has to be set up from day one of your website being live or Google does not have analytics to show you, which is sad because there’s a lot of information that can be learned from simply setting up that connection. You can’t set up Google Analytics in a WordPress website. It doesn’t quite work like that. You need a plug-in to do it.
With us, we use a plug-in as a part of our whole website management process. We have a website maintenance program I’ll go over at the end. In that program, we use a specific set of plug-ins for security performance and all that things. It comes with a Google Analytics plug-in we like to use. It’s called Beehive Pro. If you see it in the backend on your website, you’re able to view the last month or even week, different ranges there within the backend, but it’ll only show you a couple of key areas of information.
It’s the stuff you want to know. It’s the general traffic, how many users, how many sessions. Those general things are what’s going to display in your WordPress backend side of things, but then you also have your Google Analytics property, which is the literal connection between the website and Google Analytics that lets them read each other. That way, Google can tell you, “This is how many people visited your website in the last month.” Literal people, not just sessions, how many visits or views but literal individual users, it can tell you. That can be very valuable information to you.
You can even dive deeper. It gives you demographic information. All of that data that Google is collecting on all of us carry big brother data. It can show you all of that for all the users of your website and you can dive in deep over in Google Analytics. If you didn’t have Google Analytics set up when we started working on your episode production, we did go ahead and set that up for you. If you want to be shared the Google property, we can share it and change ownership over to you.
It’s easier for our team usually to set it up for you and make sure it’s at least connected, so it’s there and collecting the data. From there, on an as-needed basis, we go ahead and share it with those of your clients who are interested in it. Some of you don’t seem to be interested in it, so we like to make sure it’s connected.
Let us know if you want that connection. We’ll make sure it’s there, but if you already had Google Analytics set up, then we let it be. We didn’t change anything. We wanted to make sure it was at least there, to begin with. That’s the number one plug-in every WordPress website can make sure they have, some Google Analytics plug-in that connects it up and displays a little bit of the data for you in the backend of WordPress. That’s the first one.
The second plug-in we have is Yoast SEO. This second plug-in is important for telling Google what information to display in its search. Yoast SEO is a tool that ends up showing up at the bottom of every post in the back end when you’re editing it and at the bottom of every page even too, where you can set up the title and it’s different. It’s called metadata information.
Yoast SEO is the second plug-in that I’m talking about here. Yoast SEO is a third-party plug-in. It isn’t owned by Google and that’s a very important thing to know. Yoast SEO then allows us to set that metadata information. Metadata is that information when you search in Google and you say, “I want to pull up all the articles on artery health.” You type in best artery helps into Google and those items pop up. It has a little title of every article, the URL and a little blurb. Sometimes it even will have a picture if you’re pasting a URL into social media. It adds on that picture as well. All of that information is set in these metadata settings within Yoast SEO in your website. I know this is technical, but that is the point, to dive in deep to this, so that way, you have the information for those of you who are looking at it.WordPress is awesome because it has that SEO value, but it also can be a bit of a headache because with WordPress comes plug-ins. Click To Tweet
This metadata can be set individually separate from the title of the post and whatever content you’ve put on the page and even whatever photo you’ve set as the featured image. It can be separate from it, which is why some of you have not wanted us to put that square image as the featured image on your website because it messes with what’s displayed in other areas. That’s fine. What we ended up doing is we make sure this metadata photo is the square version at minimum. That way, when it’s out on the internet, everything is talking to each other the way that it should.
This plug-in is mainly used for that. It’s an important thing you need for every page, every post, throughout your entire website. When they’re building a website, most people don’t check that and most developers don’t follow through and do that. You need to make sure you’re doing that. If we have hosted your website, we do an entire SEO audit, including checking that information before we send you on your way, so don’t worry. We cover that but know most developers don’t, so you need to be checking every single page and post if we are not your website maintenance team to make sure SEO is set, that Yoast SEO plug-in.
There’s a lot of nuances with Yoast SEO. We get a lot of questions about it because in the back ends of your posts, I will show you guys on one of ours and I’m even going to pull up or FAQ. I talk about this in the FAQ and you will hear the same regurgitated information from our team again because it is so technical that they copy it out of our FAQ when they get questions. With Yoast SEO, specifically, on your posts, you’ll see scores in your backend. Some clients will ask us, “I have green on SEO. I have green on everything except for readability. Yoast is telling me my readability is red or orange or something like that.”
Our Podetize blog posts, our Feed Your Brand blog posts look very similar to many of the websites that you all have. This is your Yoast SEO score. We have a lot of posts that are showing up orange and not green. You might be curious why because you’d think if a company is saying, “This helps your SEO. Why is this SEO score showing up anything but green or good?” Let’s take a look at it. This is a future blog post that I haven’t scheduled yet. When I come into the backend here and scroll down to the bottom, I can find this Yoast SEO section.
In this Yoast SEO section, we have gone ahead and filled in our SEO title, our slug and our metadata description. It seems the team is still adjusting this one. I’m going to go ahead and pick the new planning a podcast topic. What is shipping? I’m going to pick the keyword phrase and I’m going to update that. I’m checking this. This is the metadata description I told you about, but it still says it’s orange. A lot of these orange reasons are image key phrases out of the five images. Five attributes have words from your key phrases. That’s what is supposed to be done. I have personally gone through every single item on this checklist with Yoast SEO with our development team to make sure that the items that show up commonly as orange or red that is considered readability.
These are items that Yoast SEO has deemed important to user satisfaction and feeling like the article was easy to read. That’s a subjective thing to be measuring. It’s something that’s different for each individual. It’s hard for a computer to tell you a real true score for that. Also, a side note about that, these posts we’re posting for you are not truly intended to be read. They’re more intended to be seen by Google’s box and give you all the nice traffic and rankings you need, so people find you and listen to you or watch you if you’re doing video. At the end of the day, your users, the people who are going to engage with you, are going to go to social media after your website. They’re going to give you their email and engage with services.
They’re going to listen to the podcast or watch. Most people aren’t going to skim through that blog post but it’s there and ready for them. We have run it through Grammarly and all that jazz to double-check even human error and make sure that even though we have it going through a very nice QC process, it is also being run through some system checking for that grammar and spelling well. That’s what ends up publishing. Rest assured that the grammar and spelling will be correct. It should flow nicely along with the audio file if you’re listening to it together. You should be able to follow along and understand it well. Beyond that, all of the SEO power is for those Google box, so those listeners can find you because your listeners isn’t going to search Feed Your Brand.
Our listeners don’t. Our listeners search, “Help me launch a podcast. How do I plan my next podcast topic? Podcast topic planning. I need help finding guests.” Things like that are what they search into Google and they don’t know Podetize and Feed Your Brand is their solution, much like many of you didn’t until they stumbled upon it on the internet. We’re trying to help you guys get stumbled upon on the internet by those looking for the topics you’re talking about.
The Yoast SEO score, keep in mind, is a third-party company. You’re welcome to follow the readability scores. If you would like our team to follow them more closely, we have a few clients who like that. We’re happy to do that, but it’s not recommended. At the end of the day, we find that 37% conversion that we can get off these podcasts come from these blog posts we’ve been doing and we test all of those items that Yoast flags for you.
If you have any more specific questions on that, you’re welcome to send in an email about it. Check out our FAQ, under Performance Questions. I list the more jargon about it, essentially, if you want to know the technical behind all of the different readability stuff. Please, let me know and I’m happy to share. That’s Yoast SEO. I know that was a complex one. The next three are super easy. We’re going to breeze through them.
Hide Featured Image
The next plug-in we have is Hide Featured Image. This will depend on your website. Each website is different. If you have DV, Hide Featured Image won’t work on your website, so I’ll go over that. Hide Featured Image does what it sounds like. There’s a little image setting on every single blog post within every WordPress website called a Featured Image. This has to be set for SEO. If you don’t set this, it is a huge problem.
Our team sets it with your square image so that way it all flows properly for that metadata we talked about in Yoast SEO. If we are able to, we prefer to embed that banner image, which is the longer rectangle one within the post content because that’s what’s better. SEO then sees or Google sees that you have an image at the top that has that alt text to that keyword in it, then we flow into the post. It’s a nice way to start it and the Google box. We usually use a plug-in to hide the featured image from defaulting to the top of the post.
Whenever you set a featured image in the blog posts, most websites start with displaying that on the front end at the very top before you go into anything, even the title of the blog post. We find that’s not effective because you want that photo to be different from what you would like to slate at the top of your blog post in most cases. That featured image also displays on your podcast page, where you see that list of every single blog post we’ve ever published for you. It also displays out on the internet and we find that it needs to be a square.
For us, we prefer to make that a square and hide the featured image. That varies for every client. We have plenty of clients we don’t do that on and we make that featured image or banner and we don’t hide it. It is completely up to you and what your needs are, but that plug-in is a little hack. It’s literally called Hide Featured Image when you go looking for it. For those of you out there who aren’t our clients, it’s a super easy check box. You check-in and it literally makes the featured image no longer display at the top. It’s that simple.
For DV, it’s a global setting. You have to go into all the posts throughout the whole website and set them all to disable that featured image from displaying at the top. If you have DV, it’s an all-or-nothing thing with all your posts. You don’t get to do it on individual episodes as we do for our other clients. The reason why I like Hide Featured Image is because if we have a client that does blogs outside of the podcast, they could keep that featured image as they had it before we worked with them and keep displaying it by default on the top and we can disable it only our posts with this plug-in. It’s nice and it allows your whole team to decide for each category of posts you’re making on your site if you want that featured image there.
Better Click TO Tweet
There’s number four, Better Click To Tweet. It makes social media a breeze. Mitch Russo always talks about it because he loves it. We take those little quotes. We take about a sentence every couple of paragraphs and we alternate it. Usually, we try to make it, so there’s a tweet and a couple of paragraphs, then a captioned graphic and a couple of paragraphs in a tweet. As you guys know, those blog posts get long if you’re talking for 30-40 minutes on a podcast. That’s a lot of words to have to go into a transcript and it can get overwhelming if we don’t break up about every 3rd or 4th paragraph.
These elements help us do that. The tweets need a special plug-in in order to work because, unfortunately, we don’t work with Twitter. We’re not Twitter. You need a special plug-in to be able to do that. All it does is it takes that quote that we’ve set our copy team has selected for you, puts it in the plug-in, and displays it as it looks like literally it’s going to be a tweet on the page. It’s like a call-out. You have probably seen it before. When you click it, it opens Twitter in a new tab, the quotes already in there. It gives you a little short URL to the blog post, so you’ve got your link back going. It will even tag your Twitter handle if I program it into the back end. I used to check it. Now, our team does it. It usually checks your website.
If you have a Twitter listed, we’ve already programmed it in there because we want to make sure that you’re getting tagged when people use this plug-in. That is Better Click To Tweet. It is such a great plug-in. I love using it. They even have a paid version and you can customize the colors if you so choose. We do that for Tracy’s websites. She’s a colorist, so she loves to mess with her colors on her site. If you’re one of those people, you could upgrade yours as well and we’re happy to configure it for you.
Yoast Duplicate Post
The final plug-in that I want to recommend to you is a duplications plug-in. Some plug-in allows you to duplicate pages and posts. I know it sounds funny, but WordPress doesn’t public that by default. This is where WordPress falls a little short from a user interface perspective for your average person who wants to build an entrepreneurial website. It’s intended for developers who know a little more about websites and what they’re doing, so they don’t have a clone teacher already for the pages and posts. You have to install it.
Luckily, Yoast has one. We use a Yoast version. It makes it easy and makes sure the permalinks stay correct because Yoast is all SEO conscious already. They make sure that when it duplicates, it is adding on a two to the URL and it is changing it, so that way if it accidentally published the duplicate, you wouldn’t have any SEO issues going on with that.Plug-in updates can sometimes cause problems in your website, so it is recommended you have a maintenance company. Click To Tweet
That’s why we like to use the Yoast Duplicate Post plug-in. It is literally called Duplicate Post by Yoast SEO. That one adds a little duplicate option next to every post and page in the backend, so you can clone it. It clones it as is. Every setting comes and clones, so it looks identical. That’s what our team does because it ensures that if someone’s sick and I have to have a new blog or do your blog posts that week because I happen to have someone gone, it’s going to look the same every single time because everyone has been briefed on your SOP and we even duplicate the previous post to make sure the next one is following that same format even if you made an adjustment in that previous week because we’re duplicating the most recent one.
Bonus: Plug-Ins You’ll Want To Try Out
That is the final plug-in. Those are the top five plug-ins that I recommend. There is one that I want to give as a bonus. Some of you may be aware in WordPress, how to change in their posts, an editor. They have the Gutenberg Editor and they used to have the Classic Editor. I love the Classic Editor. I feel like I’m working in Word when I’m using it like a Word Document. It feels like I’m in a text editor. It’s nice. I feel like I can embed things there. It’s like I’m working in a Google Doc almost but in the backend of my website. I prefer working in Classic Editor. When I switch to the Gutenberg visualet, the block editor they have there, my brain breaks. I don’t understand where to find anything anymore and I’m lost.
I needed a plug-in that switched us to only using the Classic Editor, but my team needed the new version because they liked the Gutenberg editor and didn’t care. We found a plug-in called Classic Editor. Most of you have it on your website already. All it does is allow you to toggle between the two types of editors on the backend of your WordPress, so that way, no matter what your team’s preferences, they could use whichever version they preferred in that backend editor. It’s right on the top ten plug-ins list in WordPress because they know it’s a popular one. That was the last bonus plug-in I wanted to give you. It’s not needed, but I know a lot of people struggled with that shift. It’s a nice little hack, that little bonus plug-in. That’s all the plug-ins.
- Alexandra Hazzard
- Google Analytics
- Beehive Pro
- Yoast SEO
- Better Click To Tweet
- Feed Your Brand
- Hide Featured Image
- Yoast Duplicate Post
- Gutenberg Editor
- Classic Editor
About Alexandra Hazzard
As Chief Operations Officer, Alexandra, is extremely productive every day with her systems mind and inherent resourcefulness. She liaises with clients, as well as sets-up and maintains our internal systems to make sure things run smoothly in our operations across the board.She enjoys seeing (and listening to) all the different podcasts we have in our roster, taking each unique discussion as a learning opportunity. Alexandra takes pleasure in creating efficient systems for our internal team and in making things easier for our clients to help their respective brands grow.
Alexandra became an assistant pastry chef at a bakery before working full-time at Brandcasters. Her favorite thing to make is banana creme pie, and she bakes and decorates all the family birthday cakes!
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