Welcome to Part 3 of our WordPress Web Site Traffic Blueprint article series, where we show you how to drive visitors automatically to your website using the WordPress CMS.
In Part 1 of this article series, we described the process, and explained why using an expertly configured WordPress website is the key to generating automated traffic …
(With an expertly configured WordPress website or blog, all you have to do is publish fresh content on a consistent basis to begin attracting new traffic!)
In Part 2, we focused on the setup phase of the automation process. We helped you understand the best way to start 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 website was built with WordPress.
(In Part two we show you how to set up a WordPress website on your domain)
In this section, we discuss the configuration stage of the traffic system. You will learn how a WordPress site should be configured to begin getting web traffic automatically when you add content on your site.
WordPress Traffic Automation Blueprint – Configuration
Being able to attract more visitors to one’s website is often cited by business owners as one of the greatest challenges they face online. Businesses are becoming increasingly more competitive worldwide and are exploring every advantage available to get better results online.
Having the ability to generate traffic on demand is a huge advantage over other competitors. With an expertly configured website, you have a significant advantage from the word “go”.
The Difference Is In The Configuration
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’s a simple way to understand the main difference:
With a WordPress site that has been expertly configured you get a professional web presence and online business marketing automation!
(An expertly configured website gives you a professional web presence with an automated online business marketing system!)
Not only does it take additional work to build and integrate an automated online business marketing process into your website, but also a special type of expert knowledge.
To illustrate this here’s an amusing little story.
Knowing Where To Tap
All was running smoothly in the gizmo-making workshop when suddenly, things stopped.
No one could figure out what has happened and so the manager decided to call in an expert to fix the problem.
The expert arrived shortly afterwards and, without uttering a word, immediately walked towards the main control box. After staring silently at the wires and circuitry for 3 minutes, the expert then produced a teensy-weensy hammer from his shirt pocket and made a single tap near the left corner of the box.
Immediately, everything started working once more.
The floor manager was greatly relieved as he thanked the expert, who left just as quickly as he had arrived.
A couple of days later, the factory manager received an invoice for $5,000.
The factory manager rang back the expert, demanding to know why he had charged them so much for less than five minutes work and promptly requested an itemized invoice before hanging up.
The next day, an invoice notice arrived and was placed in the manager’s intray. Upon opening it, this is what he saw:
The #1 challenge most businesses face online is being able to drive traffic to their sites.
How much money did the gizmo factory stand to lose when production stopped functioning and no one in the business had the expertise required to fix it? Did the expert in our story not have the right to demand fair compensation for spending years developing the knowledge, skills and expertise that enabled him to quickly assess and avert a crisis?
Similarly, if you could have your WP blog configured so all you ever had to do is publish new content and search engines, social networking sites and dozens of other web properties would be immediately notified, how much time and money would this save you?
(How much better would your business be if you could automate the process of attracting new visitors to your site?)
Although the solution to many problems often seems ridiculously easy once it’s been implemented, it rarely turns out to be that way.
Expertly configuring a WordPress site involves more than adding some pages with content and configuring some basic settings. It requires knowing where to tap! In other words, knowing things such as:
- Which plugins you need to install to add various functionalities to your site.
- Which accounts you need to set up and activate to get desired outcomes
- Which settings need to be configured in order to make sure processes will work as planned, etc.
(Generating new traffic automatically with WordPress is a process that requires expertise)
This part of the traffic automation system is not technically difficult, but it’s quite involved. The reason why is because it’s not just about installing and configuring one or two plugins, clicking a button, or tweaking some options and settings in your dashboard area … it’s all of this and so much more.
Expertly configuring your website involves the integration of a number of different components including your web hosting server, your website, and various third-party sites and services …
(Expertly configuring your website involves more than just configuring some WordPress settings)
If we try to flowchart the activities involved in the configuration process, it would look like this …
(A simplified diagram showing all the steps involved in the configuration process)
Let’s examine these areas in more detail.
Your Web Server
We’re not talking here about the process of configuring your web hosting account for website installation purposes. What we are talking about, is fine-tuning settings in your server specifically for handling web traffic …
(During the configuration stage, your hosting account settings need to be checked for handling both good and bad traffic)
Not all traffic is welcome traffic. Some of the web traffic your site can attract will be unwelcome traffic like bot spam, malicious threats, brute-force bot attacks, etc.
This area of the configuration process, therefore, is about evaluating your needs, planning for both good and bad traffic and then adjusting settings in your server accordingly. This includes things like server-level spam protection and securing server files, to configuring your domain and email redirections, setting up 404 error page redirections, etc …
(Have you configured your webhosting settings for handling things like emails, page errors, etc?)
After checking your web server settings and configuring these, the next step is to set up and configure various external sites.
The purpose of setting up external sites is that all content should be posted to one central location (your WordPress site) and from there, it will automatically be syndicated to other parts of your web traffic system, or notify traffic-related web properties and services.
Once you add these external sites to your configuration, content with links pointing back to your site will get automatically added to these platforms, indexed by search engines and distributed to social media sites, even to visitors attracted to the platform itself. Your business will then be exposed to new audiences and new sources of traffic.
Some of the external sites will need to be set up before configuring your site’s settings to help speed up the process and some will need to be done later, during the automation phase.
For example, you will want to set up the following accounts:
(Google Webmasters – create a Google-friendly website or blog)
Google Webmasters lets you tell Google about your site’s pages, submit XML sitemaps for automatic page indexing, and provides site owners with a range of essential information, SEO tools, and reports about their website.
After setting up your account with Google, the details can be used with traffic-related settings and notifications in WordPress using plugins like Yoast SEO (see further below) and other applications.
Google Analytics lets you improve your website’s performance, SEO, marketing activities, sales conversions, and more, by tracking all user engagement, pages visited, keywords searched for, search engine and social media referrals, etc.
After setting up your up your account and entered your site details, you can add your account information to all of your pages in WordPress via a simple Google Analytics plugin and send data instantly to various other useful applications.
(Drive more traffic with Bing Data And Tools)
Bing Webmaster Tools is similar to Google Webmasters. After setting up your account and entering site details, use the details to automate web traffic settings and notifications in WordPress and other applications.
As explained in Part 2, WordPress offers website owners the option of a hosted vs self-hosted website. We recommended choosing the self-hosted WordPress option if you plan to grow a professional online presence.
WordPress.com (the hosted option), however, provides a number of useful tools, which a number of WordPress plugins can access. We recommend setting up an account at WordPress.com, therefore, and we’ll explain how to integrate this into your web traffic system in the next installment of this article series.
Social Media And Social Bookmarking Sites
(Syndicate your content automatically to your social media sites and social bookmarking accounts and bring new visitors to your site)
You will need your social media and social bookmarking accounts set up before you can configure these as part of 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 attract new visitors to your site.
Set up accounts and profiles with all of the big social networks – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc.
There are many social sites you can You can syndicate your content to many social sites. You don’t need to go crazy, just choose the ones that will work well with your system and/or content syndication tools (we will look at some of these tools in greater detail when we discuss the Automation phase).
(You can syndicate your content to loads of social bookmarking sites. Image source ShareThis.com)
Additional Services, Aggregators, Etc.
There are many emerging platforms and content aggregators that can serve as second-tier sources of traffic. Some are free or provide free access levels, and some offer a range of pricing plans.
For example, here is a content aggregator that lets you add your WordPress blog feed …
RebelMouse is a news aggregator for your social profiles and RSS feeds. Your content is displayed in a Pinterest-like format and users can follow your page.
There are many different solutions that can be incorporated into your web traffic system. Please feel free to contact us if you need assistance exploring some of these, or to discuss a configuration plan to suit your needs.
After you have configured your web server and set up accounts with external services, it’s time to configure your site’s settings.
The first step in configuring your site for traffic is to make sure that its global settings have been correctly set up.
Let’s go over some key areas.
Global Settings – WordPress
Your WordPress administration area contains a Settings section that allows you to modify your site’s main settings …
(WordPress dashboard menu – Settings)
Content entered into fields like Site Title and Tagline can influence your site’s SEO, search listings, etc …
(WordPress Settings – General Settings)
The Writing Settings section contains an important and frequently overlooked built-in traffic notification system …
(WordPress Settings – Writing Settings Area)
As described in this section,
When you publish a new post, WordPress automatically notifies the following site update services …
Unless you or your webmaster have purposely chosen to discourage search engines from indexing your site, then your site will automatically ping the list of services entered into the Update Services text area
By default, when WordPress is installed, only one service is available …
(Writing Settings – WordPress Update Services)
WordPress lets you notify dozens of update services automatically – just add a list containing all of the update services you want notified to this section …
(WordPress lets you 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 visitors when they visit your home page and blog pages.
The syndication settings in this section can have an influence traffic. For example, choosing to display the full content vs a summary of your post, affects how your content displays in RSS readers and RSS email campaigns, and could impact someone’s decision to explore your content further, and whether or not they will visit your site to view the rest of the content from a partial feed, or read the content in full without the need to click through to your site.
The main setting in this section as far as your traffic system is concerned is whether the Search Engine Visibility check box is ticked or not.
Typically, you want search engines to visit your site. Leaving this box unchecked enables WordPress to notify the list of update services when a new post gets published (see Writing Settings above). Unless you have a specific reason why search engines should not visit your site, leave this box unchecked …
(Settings Menu – Reading Settings Section)
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 sites linked to from your articles, 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)
Permalinks allow you to create search engine-friendly URLs …
(WordPress Settings – Permalink Settings)
Here are some of the ways permalink URLs can be configured …
(Configuring SEO-friendly URLs)
For a detailed tutorial about setting up permalinks, go here: How To Improve Your WordPress SEO Using Permalinks
Configuring WordPress Traffic Generation Plugins
The WordPress developer community makes available thousands of plugins that help to add almost every type of functionality imaginable to your site, including traffic generation.
Here are some types of plugin categories that affect traffic and plugin examples
Blog Defender WordPress Security Plugin
Once again, it’s important to configure your website for dealing with both good traffic and bad traffic. No website or blog is completely safe from being attacked by hackers.
Security plugins like Blog Defender help to make your WordPress blog invisible to malicious attacks from hackers and bots.
For more information, go here:
- How To Prevent Malicious Attacks On Your WP Websites By Hackers And Botnets With Blog Defender Security Plugin
SEO Plugins – Yoast SEO
SEO plugins help drive more traffic by making your site more search engine friendly …
(WordPress SEO plugins help increase traffic by improving your site’s SEO)
A plugin like Yoast SEO can improve your SEO. Once properly configured, the Yoast SEO plugin not only makes your website easier for search engines to index, it allows you to configure how your content will show up in Google’s search results and social media pages, e.g. Twitter, Facebook, and GooglePlus.
WordPress Social Plugins
Allowing visitors to share your content with their social networks can help boost traffic to your site, especially if your site provides content that adds value to readers.
(You can add social sharing buttons to your website easily with WordPress plugins)
You can easily add social sharing to your website with free or inexpensive WordPress plugins.
Many social sharing plugins let you specify which sites your content can be shared to, embed social buttons into your content, set up default post messages, display/hide share counters (e.g. number of likes), etc. Some plugins even allow you to set up protected content sections on your pages which users can unlock by linking or tweeting your page.
As well as configuring various plugins, many WordPress themes also include features that can help improve your site’s traffic generation capabilities.
For example, in addition to options and settings for configuring the layout and design of your site, some themes also include built-in features that let you improve SEO and site linking structure for faster indexing, easily add analytics, social sharing buttons, etc …
(Many WordPress themes include built-in traffic optimization features)
With a number of themes, adding social sharing features to your site is as easy as clicking a button …
(Many WordPress themes provide built-in social sharing features)
WordPress Traffic Automation – Additional Configuration Steps
Last (but by no means least) in the WordPress traffic system configuration process, are the things that need to be configured outside of the global settings.
These include the following:
Legal Web Pages
Once again, when preparing your website for an increase in traffic numbers, it’s important to plan not only for both good and bad traffic but also for all the things that can go wrong as more and more people begin to visit your website.
If you are making money online, it’s important that your website is found to comply with regulatory agencies.
If you need help understanding why it’s important to have a compliant website, refer to this article:
Tags and post categories help search engines better organize and index your pages, which helps to increase traffic.
(Categories help to improve your site’s SEO, which helps to increase traffic.)
In the configuration phase, you will want to review and make sure that your site’s categories and tags have been set up correctly to deliver optimal benefits.
Add A WordPress Site Map
A site map that displays all of your posts and pages to visitors is not only a useful navigation tool for users, it can also help external applications discover more of your web content …
(A site map is not just great for visitors, but for traffic too!)
Note: An HTML site map and an XML sitemap are not the same things. An HTML site map is a web page that links to all other content on your site, while an XML sitemap is mostly filled with code that only search engine bots can read. Although Google can index your site just using an XML sitemap (which plugins like Yoast SEO can provide – see earlier section), making it easier for visitors to find more pages on your site can result in increased traffic.
404 Error Page – Another Source Of Traffic!
When online users type in the wrong web address or click on a dead link, they are greeted with an error – page not found message …
(Default WordPress 404 Page)
Configuring your 404 Not Found page allows you to recover traffic that may otherwise be lost. …
(Configuring your 404 Not Found page allows you to redirect traffic that may otherwise be lost.)
Although a 404 page can be set up on your server, there are WordPress plugins that allow you to easily configure your 404 page from your WordPress dashboard.
WordPress Traffic Automation Blueprint: Configuration Stage – Summary
Once you have your website fully set up and expertly configured, all you need to do to attract more traffic is post web content regularly.
The process of expertly configuring a WordPress site, however, can be quite involved , requiring the configuration and integration of various components and external web properties …
(WordPress Traffic System – Configuration Checklist)
The knowledge and expertise involved in expertly configuring a WordPress site can take some website developers a long time to learn.
Once you have configured your WordPress site, the next step is to automate the process. This step is explained in the next article in the WordPress Traffic Automation System series.
This is the end of Section Three
To continue reading about this topic, click on the link below:
- Website Traffic Blueprint Part 4 – Learn How To Turn Your WordPress Website Into An Automated Traffic Machine
This tutorial is part of a comprehensive article series designed to help you learn how to grow your business online inexpensively and drive traffic organically with a WordPress-powered website or blog and proven online marketing methods.
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