Welcome to Part Three of our WordPress Web Traffic Blueprint article series, where we show you how to create an automated web traffic generation machine using WordPress.
In Part 1 of this article series, we provided an overview of the process, and explained why using an expertly configured WordPress website or blog is the key to automating traffic to your site …
(With an expertly configured WordPress website, all you have to do is publish new content on a consistent basis to begin bringing more web traffic!)
In Part Two, we discussed the setup phase. We helped you understand the best way to get started if you don’t have a web presence yet, how to set everything up if you already have a website, and what to do if your existing site has been built with WordPress.
(In Part two we show you how to set up WordPress on your domain)
In this article, we will look at the configuration phase of this process. We will show you what makes an expertly configured WordPress site different than a professionally configured website, and what type of work needs to be done to make sure that when everything is set up and configured, you can automatically start to get new traffic just by consistently publishing fresh content to your website.
WordPress Traffic System – Configuration
Finding ways to drive more traffic to one’s website is often cited by business owners as their greatest challenge online. Businesses are becoming increasingly more competitive worldwide and are exploring any advantage available to get better results online.
The ability to automatically generate traffic on demand can provide website owners with a tremendous advantage over the competition. For WordPress users, having an expertly configured website means having an immediate advantage from the word “go”.
Configuration Is The Difference
There is a significant difference between an expertly configured WordPress site and a website that has been professionally set up by an expert website builder but not necessarily configured to its fullest advantage.
Here is a simple way to understand the key difference:
An expertly configured WordPress website gives you a professional web presence with an automated online business marketing process!
(An expertly configured site gives you a professional web presence with a built-in automated online business marketing process!)
Not only does a whole lot more work go into building and integrating an automated online business marketing system into your website, but also a special type of expert knowledge.
Let’s illustrate this with an amusing story.
Are Experts Worth The Money They Charge?
All was running smoothly in the widget manufacturing plant when things came to a sudden stop.
No one could figure out what has happened and so the plant manager decided to call in an expert to try and fix the problem.
Promptly after arriving, the expert immediately went to the control box. After staring at the box for no more than 2 minutes or so, the expert then took out a teensy-weensy little hammer and made a gentle tap about two inches from the right-hand corner of the unit.
Immediately, everything began working once again.
The plant manager was filled with joy as he thanked the expert, who left just as quickly as he had arrived.
A few days later, the manager received an invoice for $5,000.
The factory manager rang back the expert, demanding to know why they had been charged such a ridiculously high fee for less than 5 minutes work and then requested an itemized invoice before hanging up.
The next day, an invoice statement arrived and was placed on the manager’s desk. Upon opening it, this is what he saw:
The main challenge most businesses face online is being able to drive web traffic to their sites.
How much money did the factory stand to lose when production stopped working and no one in the business had the expertise to fix it? Did the expert in our story not have every right to demand fair compensation for investing years building up the knowledge, skills and expertise that enabled him to immediately assess and repair a costly problem?
Similarly, if you could have a WP web site configured so all you had to do is publish content to it and Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and dozens of other web properties would be immediately 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 attracting new visitors to your site?)
While experts often make complex situations and problems look simple, it rarely is that simple or easy when you are trying to work things out.
Knowing how to expertly configure a WordPress site involves more than installing a website and configuring a few basic settings. It also involves knowing where to tap! In other words, knowing things such as:
- Which plugins need to be installed to add certain functionalities to your site.
- Which accounts you need to set up to achieve specific results
- Which settings need to be configured to make sure everything will function as envisioned, etc.
(Generating web traffic automatically with WordPress is a process that requires knowledge and expertise)
Although this stage of the WordPress traffic automation system may not seem so technically difficult, it can be quite involved and time-consuming. The reason why is because it’s not as simple as installing a piece of software, configuring some settings in your dashboard area or clicking a couple of buttons … it’s all this and much more.
The configuration stage involves the integration of different components including your web hosting server, your web site, and a number of third-party sites …
(The configuration stage involves more than just configuring a few settings in WordPress)
If we try to flowchart the activities involved in the configuration process, it would look like this …
(A simplified flowchart showing the configuration process)
Let’s examine these areas in more detail.
We’re not talking about the process of configuring your hosting account for website installation purposes. What we are talking about, is tweaking settings in your web server specifically for handling all web traffic …
(In the configuration stage, your web server settings need to be fine-tuned for handling both good and bad traffic)
Not all web traffic is beneficial traffic. Some of the web traffic you may attract will be unwelcome traffic like bot spam, malicious threats, brute-force bot attacks, etc.
This stage of the configuration process, therefore, is all about planning for both good and bad traffic and adjusting settings in your server accordingly. This includes looking at things like server-level spam protection and preventing security threats, to configuring domain and email redirections, setting up 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 (if required), the next step is to configure various external sites and services.
The basic idea of choosing external sites is that all of your content is published from a central location (your WordPress site) and from there, it then gets distributed automatically to other components of your traffic system, or notify traffic-related web properties and services.
After incorporating these external services into your system, content linking back to your site will be automatically syndicated to these platforms. Your site will then be given additional exposure to new audiences and new sources of traffic.
Some of the sites will need to have accounts set up before configuring your WordPress site’s settings to help speed up the configuration process and some will need to be done later, during the automation phase.
For example, you will want to set up the following accounts before configuring your site:
(Google Search Console – create a Google-friendly website or blog)
Google Webmasters lets you tell Google about your site’s pages, submit XML sitemaps for faster page indexing, and provides you with essential information, tools and reports about your website.
Once your account has been set up, your details can be used with web traffic-related settings in WordPress using plugins like Yoast SEO and other applications.
Google Analytics lets you improve your site’s results, SEO, user engagement, marketing activities, and more, by tracking all user engagement, pages visited, keywords searched for, organic referrers, etc.
After setting up your Google Analytics account and site details, you can add visitor tracking information to all of your pages in WordPress using plugins and send data automatically to many other online applications.
(Drive more traffic with Bing Webmaster Tools)
Bing Webmaster Tools is similar to Google Webmasters. Once your account and site details with Bing have been set up, you can use this information with web traffic settings in WordPress using plugins like Yoast SEO (see further below) and other applications.
As discussed in Part 2, WordPress offers users the option of a hosted vs self-hosted website. We recommended choosing the self-hosted WordPress version if you are planning to build a professional online presence for your business.
WordPress.com (the hosted option), however, provides some great tools, which can be accessed by a number of WordPress plugins. We recommend setting up an account at WordPress.com, therefore, and we’ll show you how to integrate this into your automated web traffic generation system in the next installment of this article series.
Social Media Sites
(Syndicate your content automatically to your social media sites and social bookmarking accounts and drive new traffic to your site)
You will need to have already set up your social media and social bookmarking accounts 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 pages and attract new traffic to your site.
You should set up profiles with all the popular social networks – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.
There are lots of social sites you can set up accounts with. You don’t need to go crazy, just pick the ones that will work with your system and/or content syndication tools (we will review some of these tools in greater detail in the Automation phase).
(There are loads of social bookmarking sites you can post your content to. Image: ShareThis.com)
Additional Platforms, Content Aggregators, Etc.
There are many new online web platforms and content aggregators that can serve as secondary-level sources of traffic. Some are free or provide free plans, and some are more suitable for enterprise-level applications.
For example, here is a content aggregator that lets you add your WordPress site feed …
(RebelMouse – Publishing platform for distributed content)
RebelMouse is an aggregator for your RSS feeds and social profiles. Your content is displayed in a Pinterest-like format and visitors can follow your RebelMouse page.
There are various sites and platforms you can incorporate into your web traffic system. Please feel free to contact us if you would like to explore some of these and discuss a strategy to suit your needs.
Once you have configured your web server and set up accounts with third-party services, it’s time to configure WordPress.
WordPress – Configuring Your Site
The first step in configuring your site for traffic is to make sure that your global settings have been set up correctly.
Let’s go over some key areas.
Configuring WordPress Settings
The WordPress administration area contains a Settings menu that allows you to configure your site’s main settings …
(WordPress settings section)
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 area contains one of the most powerful and frequently overlooked built-in traffic notification systems available to WordPress users …
(WordPress Settings – Writing Settings Area)
As described below the Update Services section title,
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 prevent search engines from indexing your site – see next section, then your site will automatically notify the services entered into the Update Services text box
With an ‘out of the box’ WordPress installation, this section contains only one entry …
(Update Services – A Powerful Traffic Feature Of WordPress)
You can notify dozens of update services automatically – just add a list of update services to this section and WordPress will do the rest …
(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 readers when they visit your home page and blog pages.
The syndication settings on this page can influence web traffic. For example, your choice to display the full content vs summaries of your post, affects how your content displays to users in RSS readers and blog post digests, and could impact someone’s decision to explore your content further, and whether or not they will visit your site to read the rest of the content from summaries, or read the content in full without the need to click through to your site.
The most important setting in this section as far as traffic is concerned is whether the Search Engine Visibility feature is ticked or not.
Generally, you want to encourage search engines to visit your site. Leaving this box unchecked allows your site to automatically ping all the update services you have specified in the Update Services section whenever new posts are published (see Writing Settings above). Unless you have a specific reason to discourage search indexing spiders from visiting your site, make sure this box is left unchecked …
(WordPress Settings – Reading Settings)
Although this section is mostly concerned with how users engage with content on your site, you have the option to allow notifications to blogs linked to from your content, 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 …
(Settings Menu – Discussion Settings)
Your Permalink settings enable WordPress to publish posts with SEO-friendly URLs …
(WordPress Settings – Permalinks)
The examples below show some of the ways permalinks can be configured …
(Configuring search-friendly URLS)
We have written a detailed tutorial on using WordPress permalinks here: Configuring WordPress Permalinks
WordPress provides users with plugins that can add almost every kind of functionality imaginable to your site, including many plugins that improve traffic generation.
Let’s look at some types of plugin categories that affect traffic and plugin examples
Once again, it’s important to configure your WordPress site for dealing with 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, website security is something you simply cannot afford to ignore.
Security plugins like Blog Defender help to make your blog invisible to malicious attacks from hackers and botnets.
SEO Plugins – Yoast SEO
WordPress SEO plugins help drive more traffic by improving improving the way search engines like Google and Bing find, crawl and index your website …
(WP Plugins For SEO – Yoast SEO)
A plugin like Yoast SEO can significantly improve your SEO. When properly configured, the Yoast SEO plugin not only makes your web pages easier for search engines like Google to find and 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 Google+.
Social Sharing Plugins
Allowing visitors to easily share your content with their networks can help boost traffic to your site, especially if you publish great content that adds real value to readers.
(You can add social sharing buttons to your website easily with WordPress plugins)
WordPress users can easily add social sharing buttons to their site with free or inexpensive WordPress plugins.
Most social plugins allow you to choose which sites your content can be shared to, embed social buttons into your content, set up custom update notifications, display/hide share counters (e.g. number of followers), etc. Some social plugins even allow you to protect content or downloads which visitors can unlock by linking or tweeting your page.
As well as configuring various plugins, many WordPress themes also include features that help grow your traffic.
For example, in addition to options and settings for configuring the design and layout of your website, some themes also provide options for improving SEO and site navigation structure for faster indexing, easily add analytics snippets, social sharing buttons, etc …
(Many WordPress themes include built-in traffic optimization features)
With a number of quality themes, adding social sharing buttons and features to your website is as easy as selecting the option to enable this functions …
(Many WordPress themes come with built-in social sharing features)
WordPress Traffic Automation – Additional Configuration Areas
Last but not least in the traffic configuration process, are the components that need to be configured outside of the global settings.
This includes the following:
Website Legal Pages
Once again, when preparing your site for an increase in visitor numbers, it’s important to plan not only for both bad and good traffic but also for all the situations that can cause serious damage to your business as more and more people start finding and visiting your website.
If you are making money online (or are planning to), it’s important that your website is compliant with regulatory agencies.
We have written a detailed article about why it’s important to have a legally compliant website here:
WordPress post tags & categories help to improve your site’s search optimization, which improves traffic.
(Post categories help improve traffic by improving your site’s search optimization.)
In the configuration phase, you will want to review and make sure that your site’s post tags and categories have been set up correctly to deliver optimal results.
Add A Site Map To Your WordPress Site
A site map that displays all of your site’s posts and pages to visitors is not only a useful navigation tool, it can also help external applications 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 different things. An HTML site map is a web page that links to all other content on your site, while an XML sitemap is mostly code that only search bots can understand. Although search engines like Google will index your pages just using an XML sitemap (which plugins like Yoast SEO can provide – see earlier section), allowing visitors to find more pages on your site results in increased traffic.
404 Page – Don’t Forget This!
When online visitors enter the wrong URL or click on links pointing to pages on your site that no longer exist, they will typically be presented with a 404 page …
(A 404 Error Page)
A 404 page can redirect confused visitors to your functional pages …
(Configuring your 404 Error Page allows you to redirect traffic that may otherwise be lost.)
Although a 404 page can be set up in your server, there are plugins for WordPress that allow you to easily configure your 404 page from your WordPress admin area.
WordPress Traffic Automation System: Configuration Stage – Summary
Once you have your website or blog fully set up and expertly configured, all you have to do is publish new content regularly to bring traffic.
The process of expertly configuring a WordPress site, however, can be quite involved and elaborate and requires the configuration and integration of various elements and external web properties …
(Traffic System – Configuration Phase Checklist)
The kind of knowledge and expertise required to perform this stage of the traffic automation process typically takes some website professionals 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 explained in the next article in our WordPress Traffic Blueprint series.
This is the end of Section Three
To read the rest of this article, click on the link below:
This article is part of a comprehensive tutorial series aimed at helping small business owners learn how to grow their business online cost-effectively with a WordPress-driven website and proven marketing methods that are easy to implement.
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