Search Engine Optimization Plugins
True to its roots, search, and by extension search engine optimization (SEO), is what Google’s best known for. The plugins in this section include tools that make your website more easily found. There are also solutions that monitor and report on your site’s performance.
1. Google XML Sitemaps
A sitemap file like the one shown below contains a list of all the pages on your site and is used by search engines to index your site. Google XML Sitemaps is a free WordPress plugin that creates a sitemap file for your website so your site can be indexed more quickly by search engines.
Going an extra mile, the plugin automatically creates and submits your new sitemap file to the major search engines (Google, Yahoo! and Bing) every time there’s a change (e.g. you publish a blog post).
Lastly, there are many options to configure your sitemap such as the ability to change the ranking of each listing so search engines know, and can present in search results first, the pages you consider most important.
2. Google Analytics by Yoast
Want to know how many people have visited your website? How long they stayed? What they looked at, and clicked on, while visiting? Gathering metrics like these is the primary purpose of Google Analytics and there’s no easier way to implement that tool than by installing the Google Analytics by Yoast WordPress plugin.
What’s you might not expect are all the extra bells and whistles that Yoast packed into this plugin. The image below shows just some of the many options you can use to configure the data that Google Analytics does, or does not, track, a truly useful feature for measuring website performance and marketing results.
3. Google Analytics Dashboard for WordPress
Like the previous plugin, the Google Analytics Dashboard for WordPress plugin assures that the Google Analytics tool tracks your site activity. While it has less data configuration options, this plugin enables you to add Google Analytics reports directly to your WordPress dashboard screen, a time-saving way to keep up on the metrics that mean the most to you and your business.
4. Google Pagespeed Insights for WordPress
The speed at which your site’s pages load is one of the key factors Google uses when ranking your site in its search results. Put another way: slow loading pages = lower search result ranking = less customers finding your site through search.
The Google Pagespeed Insights for WordPress plugin identifies any problem pages and, as you can see below, even suggests areas for improvement to speed up the pages that are holding you back.
Google Drive Plugins
Google Drive is a fabulous tool for storing, sharing and collaborating on documents, spreadsheets, presentations, images and forms. Thanks to the three plugins below, you can now use Google Drive as an extended WordPress media library, and that’s a good thing.
5. Google Drive Embedder
The Google Drive Embedder plugin does just that: it enables you to easily add files from Google Drive to your WordPress posts and pages. As you can see below, you have the option to make the files either read-only or editable.
Our next WordPress plugin for Google turns the integration of Google Drive with WordPress up to 11. The Uploadcare plugin enables you to pull images to use on your posts and pages from not only Google Drive but from Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, VK, Dropbox, Box and Evernote as well. There’s even a built-in cropping tool so you can change the size of images before you use them.
7. Google Forms
Google forms come in handy when you want to collect data or run a survey. The Google Forms plugin enables you to embed your forms directly into a WordPress post or page where visitors can complete and submit them.
Google Adsense Plugins
Google Adsense is an advertising program in which site owners such as yourself display ads served up by Google based on your site’s content. Each time a visitor clicks an ad you make money. Nice, eh? These two WordPress plugins for Google help you integrate Adsense with your WordPress site.
8. WP Advertize It
A shown below, creating and displaying ads using the WP Advertize It plugin is as easy as 1-2-3: create ad blocks, determine where they’re going to show on a post or page and set display options that effect when and where ads are displayed.
9. Google AdSense Click-Fraud Monitoring
As with all companies, Google is very careful of fraud. If they detect too many clicks on ads coming from your site, clicks that don’t match the traffic your site receives, they may opt to exclude your site from the AdSense program, meaning you’d miss out on the extra income generated by ads.
The Google AdSense Click-Fraud Monitoring plugin reduces this risk by monitoring the AdSense activity on your site. If it notes certain patterns, such as a visitor from the same IP address clicking on your ads over and over, it can take an action like blocking that visitor from accessing your site. It’s like having the neighborhood watch on your side.
Google Calendar Plugins
10. Google Calendar Events
Google Calendar is one of the company’s core tool and with features that enable you to access your calendar from anywhere, and share it with anyone you can see why.
With the Google Calendar Events plugin, you can display your full calendar as a WordPress post or page or, as shown below, by using a widget.
Google Maps Plugins
11. Google Maps Builder
12. Stellar Places
13. Basic Google Maps Placemarks
It’s likely that you’ve encountered Google Maps on one of your mobile devices however, the popular tool is useful for your website as well.
Each of the plugins above (Google Maps Builder, Stellar Places and Basic Google Maps Placemarks) enable you to add a customized Google Map to your website. The three plugins do essentially the same thing so try them out and see which you like the best.
While the plugins do offer slightly different features, they all enable you to add you own place-marks on a Google Map, a truly handy feature if you want to show your office and the landmarks around it.
Here’s an inside view from the Google Maps Builder plugin:
Google Places Review Plugins
14. Google Places Reviews
Google Places is a tool that displays a page with your business’ details along with any reviews that folks have made through that page. Showing your reviews on your WordPress site is a great trust-builder and that’s just what the Google Places Reviews plugin does.
The plugin enables you to display your Google Places reviews on your WordPress website using one of the six styles shown below.
Google Social Media Plugins
Google+ is Google’s social media network. As with other social media sites, you can post updates to your heart’s delight. Unlike other sites, Google+ offers Hangouts, live chats and video call sessions. The two plugins below integrate this social goodness into your WordPress site.
15. Google+ plugin
Just as it says, the Google+ Plugin integrates Google+ with your WordPress site. This includes the Google+ sharing buttons as well as the ability to both update Google+ when you publish a post and display your Google+ updates in your posts, pages and widgets.
16. Yakadanda Google+ Hangout Events
The Yakadanda Google+ Hangout Events plugin integrates WordPress with both Google Calendar and Google+ hangouts to present a schedule of upcoming hangout in your posts, pages and widgets.
Google Fonts Plugins
17. Easy Google Fonts
18. Google Fonts For WordPress
19. Google Font Manager
20. Google Typography
Google Fonts are online fonts you can use for free on your website. All four of these plugins (Easy Google Fonts, Google Fonts for WordPress, Google Font Manager and Google Typography) enable you to add and use any of the 600+ Google Fonts on your website. Their features vary a bit so give them a look and grab the one that fits you best.
Here’s a peek inside the Google Font Manager plugin:
Google Translation Plugins
21. Google Language Translator
Ever the worldly company, Google has been in the translation business for a while. Adding the Google Language Translator plugin to your website enables you to insert the Google Translator tool anywhere you wish, integrating translation functionality within your WordPress site. That’s very useful, especially if you cater to an international market.
Google YouTube Plugins
22. Srizon Responsive YouTube Album
YouTube? You bet – Google acquired the video powerhouse years ago. The Srizon Responsive YouTube Album plugin enables you to add video galleries to your WordPress site. As shown below, you can style the gallery in a couple of different ways. Videos play in a pop-up lightbox and can be shown in either a widescreen or normal format. Best part? The plugin is responsive which means your videos will look great, even on a mobile device.
Google Utility Plugins
The following two plugins add useful functionality to your WordPress site.
23. Google Apps Login
If your business uses Google Apps, then the Google Apps Login plugin enables users to log into the WordPress dashboard using Google Apps authentication as shown below. This is a handy feature that can save WordPress admins tons of user-administration time.
24. Google Captcha (reCAPTCHA)
If web form SPAM is a problem, you can use the Google Captcha (reCaptcha) plugin to add a SPAM security field to your login, comment and, as shown below, contact forms.
Multifunctional Google Plugins
25. SZ – Google for WordPress
Our final plugin, the SZ – Google for WordPress plugin, may be the only free WordPress plugin for integrating Google features into your site you’ll ever need. Here’s a peek at the functionality this plugin provides: