Welcome to Part 3 of our Website Traffic Blueprint article series, where we show you how to automate traffic to your website using the WordPress CMS platform.
In Part 1 of this article series, we provided an overview of the process, and explained why using an expertly configured WordPress website is the key to generating automated web traffic …
(With an expertly configured WordPress website or blog, all you have to do is add fresh content consistently to start generating more web traffic!)
In Part Two, we focused on critical setup decisions. We helped you understand the best way to get started if you don’t have a website yet, how to set things up if you already have a site, and what to do if your existing site was built with WordPress.
(In Part two we show you how to set up a WordPress website or blog on your domain)
In this section, we discuss the configuration phase of the traffic automation process. We will show you how a WordPress site should be configured to automatically start getting traffic just by consistently publishing new content to your WordPress site.
WordPress Web Traffic Automation Blueprint – Configuration
Being able to drive more traffic to one’s website is often cited by most business owners as one of their greatest challenges online. With competition becoming increasingly more difficult businesses are looking for any and every advantage they can that can help you get better results online.
Having the ability to automatically generate traffic on demand can provide website owners with a huge advantage over the competition. For WordPress users, having an expertly configured website means having a significant advantage from the word “go”.
Configuration Is The Difference
There is a difference between an expertly configured WordPress site and a site that has been professionally installed and set up by an expert website developer but not necessarily configured to take advantage of everything WordPress can offer.
Here is a simple way to explain the main difference:
An expertly configured WordPress website gives you a web presence with an automated online business marketing system!
(An expertly configured site gives you a web presence and a built-in automated online business marketing tool!)
Not only is additional work required to build and integrate an automated online business marketing system into your website, but also a special type of expert knowledge.
Let’s illustrate this with a joke.
A Semi-True Story …
All is going fine in the widget workshop when things come to a sudden stop.
No one can figure out what’s happened and so the floor manager decides to call in an expert.
The expert arrives within in less than 20 minutes and, without uttering a word, goes immediately to the main control box. After staring silently at the control unit for about 5 minutes or less, the expert then produces a teensy-weensy hammer and makes a gentle tap near the left-hand corner of the unit.
Immediately, the machinery starts working as before.
The floor manager is relieved as he thanks the expert, who leaves just as quickly as he had arrived.
A couple of days after resolving the incident, the factory manager receives a request for payment of $5,000.
Outraged and furious, the manager dials the expert. Why were they expected to pay so much for less than 5 minutes work? He then requests an itemized invoice and hangs up.
The next day, an invoice arrives in the manager’s in-tray. Upon opening the envelope, this is what he sees:
The number one challenge most businesses face online is being able to consistently drive web traffic to their sites.
How much money did the gizmo factory stand to lose when production ground to a halt and no one on the factory floor had the expertise required to fix it? Did the expert in our story not have every right to be compensated fairly for having spent years developing the knowledge and expertise that allowed him to assess and repair a potentially costly problem?
Similarly, if you could have a website or blog set up so all you have to do is publish content to it and Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and dozens of other web properties would be instantly notified, how much time and money would this save you?
(How much time and money would you save if you could automate the process of driving traffic to your site?)
Although experts often make complicated things look simple, it rarely is that simple or easy when you try to work things out.
Knowing how to expertly configure a WordPress site involves more than adding some pages with content and configuring a few basic settings. It requires knowing where to tap! This includes knowing things like:
- Which plugins you need to install to add desired functionalities to your site.
- Which accounts you need to set up to get desired results
- Which options need to be configured in order to make sure everything will work as expected, etc.
(Driving new traffic automatically with WordPress is a process that requires knowledge and expertise)
Although this part of the traffic automation system may not seem technically difficult, it can be quite complicated. This is because it’s not just about installing and configuring a plugin, clicking on a button or two … it’s all this and so much more.
Expertly configuring your website involves the integration of different parts including your web server, your website, and a number of external sites and services …
(The configuration stage involves more than just configuring a few WordPress settings)
If we create a simplified flowchart of the activities involved in the configuration process, it would look something like this …
(A simplistic diagram of all the steps involved in the configuration phase)
Let’s take a better look at these areas.
We’re not talking here about the process of configuring your web hosting account for installation purposes. What we are talking about, is tweaking settings in your web server that affect how your website will handle web traffic …
(In the configuration phase, your web server settings need to be fine-tuned for handling both good and bad traffic)
Not all traffic is beneficial traffic. Some of the web traffic your business will attract will be unwanted traffic like bot spam, security threats, bot-hacking attempts, etc.
This stage of the configuration process, therefore, is about planning for good and unwanted traffic and then adjusting settings in your server accordingly. This can include looking at things like configuring server-level spam protection and preventing security threats, to configuring your domain and email forwarding, etc …
(Have you configured your control panel settings for handling things like emails, page error redirections, etc?)
After your server settings have been fine-tuned and configured, the next step is to set up and configure a number of third-party sites and online services.
The basic concept of adding external sites is that all of your content should be posted to a central location (your WordPress site) and from there, it will get syndicated automatically to other parts of your web traffic generation system, or notify traffic-related web properties and applications.
Once you incorporate these external sites into your traffic system, content linked back to your site gets automatically fed to search, social and aggregator accounts. Your website will be exposed to new audiences and new sources of traffic.
Some external sites and solutions will need to be set up before configuring your site’s settings to speed up the configuration process and some will need to be done later, during the automation phase.
For example, here are just some of the accounts you will need to have set up before configuring your WordPress site:
(Google Webmaster Tools – create a Google-friendly site)
Google Webmaster Tools lets you notify Google about your site’s pages, submit XML sitemaps for faster page indexing, and provides you with important data, SEO tools and diagnostic reports about your website.
After setting up your Google Webmasters account, you can use this information with traffic-related settings and notifications in WordPress and other applications.
Google Analytics lets you improve your site’s traffic results, SEO, user engagement, marketing efforts, and more, by tracking all user engagement, pages visited, keywords searched for, social media referrals, etc.
Once your Google Analytics account and site data have been set up, you can add tracking code to all of your pages in WordPress via a Google Analytics plugin and feed data automatically to many other online applications.
(Bing Data And Tools)
Bing Webmaster Tools is similar to Google Search Console. After setting up your account and entering site details with Bing, you can use the information with traffic settings in WordPress and other applications.
As explained in Part 2, WordPress offers a self-hosted and a hosted option. We recommended choosing the self-hosted WordPress platform if you plan to grow a professional online presence for your business.
WordPress.com (the hosted option), however, provides a number of useful features, which can be accessed by various WordPress plugins. We recommend setting up an account with WordPress.com, therefore, and we’ll show you how to integrate this into your automated traffic generation system in the next installment of this series.
Social Media Sites
(Syndicate your content automatically to your social media and social bookmarking accounts and drive new traffic to your site)
You will need your various social media accounts set up in order to integrate these with your traffic generation system.
Once you have set up and configured everything, you will be able to syndicate your content automatically to your social media sites and social bookmarking accounts and bring new traffic to your site.
Make sure you have profiles set up with all of the big social networks – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.
There are many social sites you can You can syndicate your content to many social bookmarking sites. You don’t need to go crazy, just pick the ones that will work well with your system and/or content sharing tools.
(There are loads of social sites you can post your content to. Image: ShareThis.com)
Additional Services, RSS Aggregators, Etc.
There are a number of online technology platforms and content aggregators that can serve as second-tier traffic generation sources. Some are free or provide free levels, and some are paid services.
For example, here is a content aggregator site that lets you add a feed from your site …
RebelMouse is an aggregator for your RSS feeds and social profiles. Your content displays in a Pinterest-like format and users can follow your RebelMouse social feed.
There are various technologies and third-party applications you can incorporate into your own web traffic blueprint. Please feel free to contact us if you would like to explore some of these and discuss a strategy to suit your needs.
After you have configured your web server and set up third-party site accounts, it’s time to configure WordPress.
WordPress – Configuring Your Web Site For Traffic
The first step in configuring your site for traffic is to make sure that your global settings have been correctly set up.
Let’s go over some of the important areas.
Global Settings – WordPress
By default, all WordPress installations include a Settings section that allows you to configure your site’s global settings …
(WordPress admin menu – Settings)
Sections like Site Title and Tagline affect traffic by influencing your site’s SEO, search listings, etc …
(Settings Menu – General Settings)
The Writing Settings area contains one of the most powerful and often overlooked built-in traffic notification systems available to WordPress site owners …
(Settings Menu – Writing Settings Section)
As described in the Update Services section,
When you publish a new post, WordPress automatically notifies the following site update services …
Unless you or your webmaster have purposely configured your settings to discourage search engines from indexing your site – see next section, then your site will automatically notify the update services entered into the Update Services text box
With an ‘out of the box’ WordPress installation, only one service is available …
You can notify dozens of update services automatically with WordPress – just add a list containing all of the update services you want notified to this section …
(Notify dozens of update services automatically!)
Download A Comprehensive List Of Ping Services For Your WordPress Site!
Click the link below to download a comprehensive list of reliable and authoritative ping services for your WordPress site or blog:
Note: If you need help setting up the list of ping services on your site, we recommend using a professional web services provider. You can find professional WordPress service providers in our WordPress Services Directory.
This section affects how your content gets seen by readers when they visit your home page and blog pages.
The syndication settings in this section can influence web traffic. For example, your choice of displaying the full content vs summaries of your post, affects how your content shows up in RSS readers and blog post digests, and could impact someone’s decision to explore your site further, and whether or not they will visit your site to view the rest of the content from summaries, or read the content in full without the need to click through to your site.
As far as your traffic system is concerned, however, the main setting in this section is whether the Search Engine Visibility feature is ticked or not.
Generally, you want to encourage search engines to visit your site. Leaving the box unchecked enables WordPress to notify various update services whenever new posts get published (see Writing Settings above). Unless there is a specific reason why search engines should not visit your site, do not check this box …
(WordPress Settings – Reading Settings)
Although the settings in this section are mostly concerned with how users engage with content on your site, you have the option to allow notifications to blogs linked to from your posts, and to allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks). This can work for you, but it can also drive bad traffic in the form of SPAM comments …
(Global Settings – Discussion Settings Screen)
Your Permalink settings allow you to create search engine-friendly URLs …
(WordPress Settings – Permalinks)
Here are some of the ways site’s permalinks can be configured …
To learn more about setting up permalinks, refer to this step-by-step tutorial: Using Permalinks To Improve Your WordPress SEO
WordPress Plugins – Configuration
WordPress provides users with plugins that can add almost every type of functionality to your website, including traffic generation.
Let’s take a brief look at examples of plugin categories and plugins that can help to attract more visitors to your site
Blog Defender Security Plugin
Once again, it’s important to configure your website for handling both good traffic and bad traffic. Regardless of the type of business you run or plan to run online and how small you think your web presence is, securing your website is something you cannot ignore.
Security plugins like Blog Defender help to make your WordPress site invisible to botnets and hackers.
To learn more, go here:
SEO Plugins – Yoast SEO
WordPress SEO plugins help drive traffic by improving your site’s SEO …
(WordPress SEO plugins help increase traffic by improving the search engine friendliness of your website)
A plugin like Yoast SEO (previously known as WordPress SEO by Yoast) can improve your SEO. Once properly configured, the Yoast SEO plugin not only makes your website easier for search engines to find and index, it also lets you configure how your content will show up in Google’s search results and social media sites Facebook, Twitter, and GooglePlus.
WordPress Social Plugins
Allowing visitors to share your content online can help boost traffic to your site, especially if you publish great content that adds value to readers.
(You can add social sharing to your website easily with free or inexpensive WordPress plugins)
There are loads of social sharing plugins available for WordPress users.
Most social plugins allow you to specify which sites visitors can share your content to, embed social buttons into your content, set up custom notifications, display/hide share counters (e.g. number of followers), etc. Some social sharing plugins even allow you to ‘lock’ content which visitors can unlock by sharing your page.
As well as configuring various plugins, many WordPress themes also include features that help grow your site’s traffic.
For example, in addition to options and settings for configuring the design and layout of your site, some themes also provide options for improving SEO and site navigation structure for better indexing, easily add tracking snippets, social sharing buttons, etc …
(Many themes allow you to configure settings and options for improved traffic results)
With many WordPress themes, adding social sharing buttons and features to your website is as easy as clicking a couple of buttons and enabling the feature …
(Many WordPress themes include built-in social sharing features that can be easily turned on with the click of a button)
Other Areas To Configure For Improved Traffic Results
Last but not least in the traffic configuration process, are the areas that need to be set up outside of the global settings.
Website Legal Pages
Once again, when preparing your website for an increase in traffic numbers, it’s important to plan not only how to handle good and bad traffic but also for all the situations that can hurt your business as more and more people start finding and visiting your website.
If you are making money online (or are planning to), you need to ensure that your site is compliant with legal requirements of government agencies that regulate business practices online.
To learn more about the importance of having a compliant website, refer to this article:
Tags & post categories help improve traffic by improving your site’s search optimization.
(WordPress categories help improve traffic by allowing search engines to better understand and index your web pages.)
In the configuration phase, you will want to review and make sure that your site’s post tags and post categories have been set up correctly to deliver optimal benefits and results.
A Site Map Of Your Posts And Pages
A site map that displays all of your pages and posts is not only a useful navigation tool for users, it can also help external tools find your site’s content …
(A site map is not just great for visitors, but for web traffic too!)
An HTML site map and an XML sitemap are not the same things. Although search engines like Google can index your pages just using an XML sitemap (which a plugin like Yoast SEO will create for you – see earlier section), making it easier for visitors to find more pages on your site results in increased traffic.
Your WordPress 404 Page Not Found
When online visitors type in the wrong URL or click on an invalid hyperlink, they are presented with a 404 error page …
(A WordPress 404 Error Page)
A 404 Error Page can redirect confused visitors to your functional pages …
(Configuring your 404 page allows you to recover web traffic that may otherwise be lost.)
Although a 404 error page can be set up in your server, there are WordPress plugins that let you easily configure your 404 page from your WordPress admin area.
WordPress Traffic Blueprint: Configuration Phase – Summary
Once you have your website or blog fully set up and expertly configured, all you then have to do is post fresh content on a consistent basis to automatically generate traffic.
The process of expertly configuring your WordPress site, however, is quite involved and elaborate , requiring the configuration and integration of various components and external web properties …
(WP Traffic System – Configuration Phase Checklist)
The kind of skills and expertise involved in expertly configuring a WordPress site typically takes some web developers a long time to learn.
Once you have expertly configured your WordPress site, the next step is to automate the aspects of the process that can be automated. This step is addressed in the next article in the WordPress Traffic System series.
This is the end of Section Three
To continue reading, click on the link below:
- Web Site Traffic Blueprint Part 4 – Discover How To Turn Your WordPress Website Into An Automated Traffic Generation Machine
This article is part of an article series aimed at helping you learn how to grow your business online cost-effectively using a WordPress website or blog and proven marketing strategies that are easy to implement.
Get Notified When New Tutorials Are Published – Subscribe To WPCompendium.org!
"If you're new to WordPress, this can stand on its own as a training course and will stay with you as you progress from beginner to advanced and even guru status." - Bruce (Columbus, Ohio)