Welcome to Part 3 of our Web Site Traffic Blueprint article series, where we show you how to drive new traffic automatically to your site using WordPress.
In Part One of this series, we explained why using an expertly configured WordPress website or blog is the key to generating automated traffic …
(With an expertly configured WordPress website or blog, all you have to do is add content on a consistent basis to automatically begin attracting web traffic!)
In Part 2, we looked at critical setup decisions. We explained the best way to start if you don’t have a web presence 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 where to set up a WordPress website on your domain)
In this section, we will discuss the configuration phase of the traffic system. We explain how a WordPress site should be configured in order to automatically get visitors simply by consistently publishing web content to your web site.
WordPress Traffic Blueprint – Configuration
Finding ways to attract more visitors to one’s website is often cited by many business owners as one of their greatest challenges online. With competition becoming progressively tougher businesses are exploring any advantage available to improve their performance online.
The ability to automatically generate traffic on demand is a tremendous advantage over other competitors. For WordPress users, having an expertly configured website allows their business to get off to a flying start as soon as their website is launched.
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 a website-building expert but not necessarily configured to take advantage of everything WordPress can offer you.
Here’s a simple way to understand the main difference:
An expertly configured WordPress site gives you a web presence and online business marketing automation!
(An expertly configured site gives you a professional web presence with a built-in automated online business marketing system!)
Not only are more steps required to build and integrate an automated online business marketing process into your website, it also takes a special kind of expert knowledge.
Let’s illustrate this with a story.
Knowing Where To Tap
Everything is going well in the gizmo-making assembly line when all of a sudden, things grinds to a complete stop.
As no one can figure out what is wrong, the manager decides to call in an expert to try and fix the problem.
Shortly after arriving, the expert heads out immediately to the main control box. After staring silently at the wires and circuitry for 5 minutes or less, the expert then takes out a tiny little hammer and makes a single tap near the top-right side of the unit.
Immediately, the assembly line springs back to life.
The floor manager is filled with joy 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 an invoice for $5,000.
Bewildered, the manager dials the expert. Why had he charged them such a ridiculously high fee for less than 5 minutes work? He then requests an itemized invoice and hangs up.
The next day, an invoice statement arrives on the manager’s desk. Upon opening the envelope, this is what he sees:
The main challenge most businesses face online is driving web traffic to their sites.
How much money did the gizmo plant stand to lose when production stopped functioning and no one in the factory floor had the expertise to get things up and running again? Did the expert not have every right to ask to be compensated fairly for years spent building up the knowledge, skills and expertise that allowed him to repair a very costly problem?
Similarly, if you could have a WP blog fully 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 you save?
(How much time and money would you save if you could automate the process of driving traffic to your site?)
Although the solution to many problems may seem ridiculously easy once implemented, it rarely turns out to be that way.
Expertly configuring a WordPress site requires more than adding some pages with content and configuring a few basic settings. It requires knowing where to tap! This includes knowing things such as:
- Which plugins need to be installed to get desired functionalities on your site.
- Which 3rd-party services you need to set up to get desired results
- Which internal and external settings you need to configure in order to ensure that things function to plan, 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 so technically difficult, it can be quite complicated. It’s not just about installing a plugin, configuring some settings in your dashboard area or clicking a couple of buttons … it’s all this and so much more.
The configuration stage is a process that involves your web hosting server, your site, and a number of third-party sites and services …
(The configuration stage involves more than just configuring a few WordPress settings)
If the configuration process were to be flowcharted, it would look like this …
(A simplistic diagram showing the configuration phase)
Let’s take a look at these areas in more detail.
We’re not talking here about the process of configuring your webhosting account for installation purposes (this should have been done during the Setup phase). We’re talking about fine-tuning settings and options in your web server specifically for handling all web traffic …
(During the configuration stage, your web hosting account settings need to be fine-tuned for handling both good and bad traffic)
Not all traffic is welcome traffic. Some of the web traffic your website may attract will be unwelcome traffic like bot spam, malicious threats, bot-hacking attempts, etc.
This stage of the configuration process, therefore, is all about evaluating your needs, planning for both good and bad traffic and then adjusting settings in your server accordingly. This includes looking at things like implementing spam protection and threat prevention, to configuring your domain and email forwarding, setting up error page redirections, etc …
(Have you configured your webhosting settings for handling things like emails, page error redirects, etc?)
After checking your web server settings and configuring these, the next step is to configure a number of third-party sites and services.
Integration With External Solutions
The purpose of setting up external sites is that all of your content will be posted to one central location (your site) and from there, it will get distributed automatically to other parts of your traffic system, or notify traffic-related web properties and applications.
Once these external sites have been added to your setup, content linked back to your site will be automatically added to these platforms, indexed by search engines and distributed to social media sites, even to visitors attracted to the platform itself. Your website will be given additional exposure to a new audience and new sources of traffic.
Some third-party web properties and online services will need to be set up before configuring your settings to 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:
(Google Search Console)
Google Webmasters lets you notify Google about your site’s pages, submit XML sitemaps for faster page indexing, and provides you with a range of useful information, tools and reports about your website.
After setting up your account with Google Webmaster Tools, your account details can be used with web traffic-related settings and notifications in WordPress (e.g. using plugins like Yoast SEO) and other applications.
Google Analytics lets you improve your site’s performance, SEO, marketing campaigns, and more, by tracking all user behavior, pages visited, keywords searched for, organic referrers, etc.
After setting up your account, you can add traffic monitoring information to WordPress using plugins and feed data instantly to various other applications and reporting tools.
(Bing Webmaster Tools)
Bing Webmaster Tools is similar to Google Webmaster Tools. After setting up your account and entering site details with Bing, this information can be used with web traffic-related settings and notifications in WordPress (e.g. using plugins like Yoast SEO – see further below) and other applications.
As explained in Part Two, 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 some great tools, which a number of WordPress plugins can access. We recommend setting up an account with WordPress.com, therefore, and we’ll explain how to integrate these features into your traffic generation system in Part Four of this series.
Social Media And Social Bookmarking
(Syndicate your content automatically to your social media and social bookmarking accounts and bring new visitors to your site)
You will need to have already set up your various social media and social bookmarking accounts in order to configure these as part of your traffic generation system.
After setting up and configuring everything, you will be able to syndicate your content automatically to your social media and social bookmarking accounts and attract new traffic to your site.
Make sure you have accounts set up with all the big social networks – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc.
There are lots of social sites you can set up. You don’t need to create accounts with all of them, just choose those that will work with your setup and/or content sharing tools (we will look at some of these tools in more detail during the Automation phase).
(You can post your content to loads of social bookmarking sites. Image source ShareThis.com)
Additional Sites, Aggregators, Etc.
There are many emerging web platforms and RSS aggregators that can serve as secondary-level traffic generation sources. Some are free or provide free plans, and some are paid services.
For example, here is a content aggregator that allows you to add a feed from your site …
(RebelMouse – Distribute social content to social networks)
RebelMouse is an aggregator for your social profiles and RSS feeds. Your content displays in a Pinterest-like format and users can follow your website.
There are various platforms that can be incorporated into your traffic system. Please contact us if you would like to explore some of these further and discuss a configuration strategy to suit your needs.
Once you have configured your web server and set up accounts with external sites, it’s time to configure your WordPress site’s settings.
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 set up correctly.
Let’s go over some key areas.
WordPress – Global Settings
By default, all WordPress installations include a Settings menu that allows you to set up your site’s main settings …
(WordPress settings section)
Content entered into fields like Site Title and Tagline can affect your site’s SEO, search indexing, etc …
(WordPress Settings – General Settings)
The Writing Settings area contains an important and often overlooked automated traffic notification system …
(Settings Menu – Writing Settings)
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 specifically configured your settings to prevent 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
By default, when WordPress is installed, this section contains only one entry …
(Update Services – A Powerful Traffic Feature)
You can notify dozens of update services automatically with WordPress …
(Notify dozens of update services automatically with WordPress!)
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 visitors will see your content when they visit your home page and blog pages.
The syndication settings in this section can have an influence web traffic. For example, your choice of displaying the full content vs summaries of your post, affects how your content displays to users in RSS feeds and RSS email campaigns, and could play a part in someone’s decision to explore your site further, and whether or not they will visit your blog 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 main setting in this section as far as traffic is concerned is whether the Search Engine Visibility feature is enabled or not.
Normally, you want search engines to visit your site. Leaving this box unchecked allows your site to automatically notify your update services list when new posts get published (see Writing Settings above). Unless there is a specific reason to discourage search engines from visiting 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 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 …
(WordPress Settings – Discussion Settings Section)
Permalinks allow your site to publish posts with search engine-friendly URLs …
(Settings Menu – Permalinks)
The examples below show some of the ways permalink URLs can be configured …
(Configuring post permalinks)
To learn more about setting up WordPress permalinks, refer to this tutorial: Setting Up WordPress Permalinks
WordPress Traffic Generation Plugin Settings – Configuration
The WordPress developer community makes available plugins that can add just about every type of functionality imaginable to your website, including plugins that add traffic generation capabilities.
Here are some types of plugin categories that affect traffic and plugin examples
WordPress Security Plugins – Blog Defender
Once again, it’s important to configure your site for handling both good traffic and bad traffic. No blog is safe from being attacked.
Security plugins like Blog Defender help to make your blog invisible to bot and hacker attacks.
For more information, go here:
WordPress SEO Plugins – Yoast SEO
SEO plugins help drive more traffic by making your web pages more search engine friendly …
(Yoast SEO – WordPress Plugin)
A plugin like Yoast SEO can improve your SEO. Properly configured, the Yoast SEO plugin not only makes your site easier for search engines like Google to find and index, it also gives you control over how your content is presented in Google’s search results and social media sites Facebook, Twitter, and GooglePlus.
WordPress Social Sharing Plugins
Allowing visitors to easily share your content with members of their social communities can help boost traffic to your site, especially if you provide great content that adds real value to readers.
(You can easily add social sharing buttons to your site with free or inexpensive plugins)
WordPress users can easily add social sharing features to their site using WordPress plugins.
Most social sharing plugins let you select which social sites visitors can share your content to, embed social buttons into your content, set up custom post messages, display/hide share counters (e.g. number of followers), etc. Some plugins even allow you to set up protected content areas on your site which users can unlock by liking your page.
WordPress Theme Settings – Configuration
As well as configuring various plugins, many WordPress themes also include features that can help you drive more traffic to your site.
For example, in addition to options and settings for configuring the design and layout of your website, many themes also provide options for improving SEO and site navigation structure for better indexing, add analytics, social sharing buttons, etc …
(Many themes can be configured for improved traffic results)
With a number of quality themes, adding social sharing buttons to your pages is as easy as clicking a button …
(Many WordPress themes provide built-in social sharing features that can be easily enabled on with the click of a button)
WordPress Traffic – Other Important Features To Configure
Last (but by no means least) in the configuration process, are the areas that need to be configured outside of the global settings.
These include the following:
Website Compliance Pages
Once again, when preparing your website for an increase in traffic numbers, it’s important to plan not only how to handle bad and good traffic but also for all the things that can go wrong when more and more people begin to visit your website.
If you do any kind of business online (or plan to), it’s important that your website stays compliant with legal requirements of government agencies that regulate business practices online.
If you need help understanding why it’s important to have a legally compliant website, go here:
Tags & post categories help improve traffic by improving your site’s search optimization.
(Post categories help improve traffic by improving your site’s search optimization.)
When looking at ways to automate and improve web traffic, you will want to review and make sure that your site’s post tags and categories have been correctly set up to deliver optimal results.
HTML Site Map
A visitor site map that displays all of your posts and pages is not only a useful navigation tool, it can also help external sites discover your website content …
(Site Map – great for visitors and beneficial for web traffic too!)
It’s important to note that an HTML site map and an XML sitemap are different things. Although search engines like Google will index your pages just from an XML sitemap (which plugins like Yoast SEO will create for you – see earlier section), allowing visitors to find more pages on your site results in increased traffic.
404 Error Page – A Source Of Lost Traffic Opportunities!
When online visitors type in the wrong URL or click on hyperlinks pointing to an incorrect destination on your website, they are greeted with a 404 error page …
(Default WordPress 404 Not Found page)
Configuring your 404 Error Page allows you to redirect traffic that may otherwise be lost. …
(Configuring your 404 Not Found error page allows you to redirect traffic that may otherwise be lost.)
Although a 404 error page can be set up on your server, there are several WordPress plugins that allow you to easily configure your 404 page from your WordPress dashboard.
WordPress Traffic Automation Blueprint: Configuration Process – Summary
Once your site has been fully set up and expertly configured, all you then have to do is post great content on a consistent basis to automatically begin attracting new traffic.
The process of expertly configuring your WordPress site, however, is quite involved and elaborate and requires the configuration and integration of various components and external web properties …
(Traffic System – Configuration Phase Checklist)
The kind of knowledge and expertise required to perform this process typically takes many website professionals months to learn.
Once you have expertly configured your WordPress site, the next step is to automate as much of the process as you can. This step is covered in the next section of the WordPress Traffic System series.
This is the end of Section 3
To read more, click here:
- Website Traffic Blueprint Part Four – Learn How To Automatically Grow Your Traffic For Your Business With WordPress
This article is part of a comprehensive series of articles designed to help you learn how to grow your business online inexpensively using a WordPress-powered website or blog and proven web marketing strategies.
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