Welcome to Part Three of our Website Traffic Blueprint article series, where we show you how to automate traffic to your site using the WordPress CMS platform.
In Part 1 of this 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 blog, all you have to do is publish web content regularly to automatically generate more traffic!)
In Part Two, we discussed the setup phase. 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 website, and what to do if your website was built using WordPress.
(In Part two we show you how to set up WordPress on your domain)
In this section of the series, we will look at the configuration stage of the traffic system. We explain how a WordPress site should be configured in order to drive web traffic automatically simply by adding content consistently on your site.
WordPress Web Traffic Automation System – Configuration
Finding ways to drive more traffic to one’s website is often cited by most business owners as one of the greatest challenges they face online. With competition becoming increasingly more difficult businesses are looking for every opportunity they can to improve their performance online.
Having the ability to automatically generate traffic on demand can provide website owners with a tremendous competitive advantage. For business owners, having an expertly configured website means having a significant competitive advantage from the word “go”.
Configuration Is The Difference
There is a significant difference between an expertly configured WordPress site and a site that has been professionally installed and set up by an expert website builder but not necessarily configured to its fullest advantage.
Here’s one way to describe the main difference:
An expertly configured WordPress site gives you a web presence and an automated online business marketing system!
(An expertly configured website gives you a professional web presence with a built-in automated online business marketing system!)
Not only are more steps needed to build and integrate an automated online business marketing process into your website, but also a special kind of expert knowledge.
Let’s illustrate this with a story.
A True Story (Kind Of) …
Things are going fine in the gizmo factory when everything suddenly just stops.
As no one can figure out what’s happened, the manager decides to call in an expert to try and fix the problem.
Shortly after arriving, the expert walks immediately towards the control box. After staring at the wiring diagrams for what seems like about 2 minutes or so, the expert then takes out a teeny-weeny little hammer from his utility belt and makes a gentle tap near the left-hand corner of the control unit.
Immediately, all the machinery starts working again.
The plant manager is delighted as he thanks the expert, who then leaves just as quickly as he had arrived.
A few days after resolving the incident, the factory manager receives a request for payment of $5,000.
Confused and outraged, the manager picks up the phone and calls the expert. Demanding to know why they were expected to pay so much for less than 5 minutes work, he then requests an itemized invoice to be sent and hangs up.
The next day, an invoice arrives and is placed on the manager’s desk. Upon opening it, this is what he sees:
The number one challenge most businesses face online is being able to drive visitors to their sites.
How much money did the plant stand to lose when production ground to a halt and no one in the business had the expertise to get things up and running again? Did the expert in our story not have every right to be compensated fairly for having spent years building up the knowledge and expertise that enabled him to quickly assess and fix a potentially costly problem?
Similarly, if you could have your site set up and configured so all you had to do is publish new content and Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and dozens of other traffic-generating web properties would be automatically 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 website?)
Although the solution to many problems may seem quite simple in hindsight, it rarely turns out to be that way.
Knowing how to expertly configure a WordPress site is more than just installing a website and configuring basic settings. It requires knowing where to tap! In other words, knowing things such as:
- Which plugins need to be installed to get desired functionalities on your site.
- Which services need to be set up and activated to get certain outcomes
- Which settings need to be configured to make sure things will function as envisioned, etc.
(Generating new traffic automatically with WordPress is a process that requires expertise)
This part of the WordPress traffic automation system is not technically challenging, but it’s quite complicated. This is because it’s not as simple as installing and configuring one or two plugins, clicking a button, or tweaking some settings in your dashboard area … it’s all of this and so much more.
The configuration stage involves the integration of different components such as your server, your site, and various external sites and services …
(Expertly configuring your website involves more than just configuring a few WordPress settings)
If we try to flowchart all the steps involved in the configuration process, it would look something like this …
(A simplistic diagram of the activities involved in the configuration process)
Let’s take a look at these steps in more detail.
We’re not talking here about the process of configuring your hosting account for website installation purposes. What we are talking about, is configuring settings and options in your web server that affect how your website will handle all web traffic …
(In the configuration phase, your web hosting account 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 your business will attract will be unwelcome traffic like bot spam, security threats, brute-force bot attacks, etc.
This stage of the configuration process, therefore, is all about evaluating your needs, planning for both good and unwelcome traffic and then adjusting settings in your server accordingly. This includes things like implementing spam protection and security threat prevention, to configuring your domain and email forwarding, setting up 404 redirections, etc …
(Have you configured your hosting control panel settings for handling things like emails, page errors, etc?)
After fine-tuning your web server settings and configuring these (if required), the next step is to configure a number of third-party sites or online services.
The idea behind choosing external sites is that all content gets posted to a central location (your WordPress site) and from there, it syndicates automatically to other components of your traffic system, or notify traffic-related web properties and applications.
Once these external platforms have been added to your network, content linked back to your website will be automatically published on these platforms. Your content will then be given exposure to new sources of traffic and new audiences.
Some external sites and online services will need to have accounts set up before configuring your WordPress site 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 Search Console – create a Google-friendly site)
Google Webmaster Tools lets you inform Google about your site’s pages, submit XML sitemaps for automatic page indexing, and provides site owners with a range of essential data, SEO tools, and reports about their website.
Once your account and site details with Google have been set up, this information can be used to integrate and automate traffic settings and notifications in WordPress using plugins like Yoast SEO and other applications.
Google Analytics lets you improve your website’s results, SEO, user engagement, marketing campaigns, and more, by tracking all user behavior, pages visited, keywords searched for, social media referrals, etc.
After setting up your Once you have set up Google Analytics, you can add traffic tracking code to WordPress using a simple plugin and feed data automatically to various other useful applications and reporting tools.
(Drive more traffic with Bing Data And Tools)
Bing Webmaster Tools is similar to Google Webmaster Tools. After setting up your account with Bing Webmaster Tools, you can use the information with web traffic settings and notifications in WordPress using plugins like Yoast SEO and other applications.
As discussed in Part 2, WordPress offers a hosted and a self-hosted option. We recommended choosing the self-hosted WordPress option if you are planning to grow a professional web presence.
WordPress.com (the hosted option), however, provides some great features, which various WordPress plugins can access. We recommend setting up an account at WordPress.com, therefore, and we’ll show you how to integrate this into your automated traffic system in the next installment of this article series.
(Syndicate your content automatically to your social media and social bookmarking accounts and get new traffic to your site)
You will need your various social media and social bookmarking accounts set up 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 get new visitors to your site.
You should have pages set up with all the main social networks – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, etc.
There are many social bookmarking sites you can You can syndicate your content to lots of social bookmarking sites. You don’t need to go crazy, just choose the ones that will work with your system and/or content syndication tools (we discuss some of these tools in more detail further below and during the Automation phase).
(You can syndicate your content to lots of social bookmarking sites. Image: ShareThis.com)
Additional Services, RSS Aggregators, Etc.
There are many new online platforms and RSS aggregators that can serve as secondary sources of traffic. Some are free or provide free levels, and some are more suitable for enterprise-level applications.
For example, here is a content aggregator that allows you to add your WordPress blog feed …
RebelMouse is an aggregator for your social profiles and RSS feeds. Your content is displayed in a Pinterest-like format and users can follow your account.
There are various technologies and third-party applications you can add to your web traffic blueprint. Please feel free to contact us if you need assistance exploring this area further, or to discuss a strategy to suit your needs.
After you have configured your server settings and set up third-party site accounts, it’s time to configure your WordPress site’s settings.
WordPress Site Configuration
The first step in configuring your site for traffic is to make sure that its global settings have been set up correctly.
Let’s go over some of the important areas.
Global WordPress Settings
The WordPress admin area contains a Settings section that allows you to configure your site’s main settings …
(WordPress settings menu)
Fields like Site Title and Tagline can influence your site’s SEO, search listings, etc …
(WordPress Settings – General Settings Section)
The Writing Settings area contains one of the most important and frequently overlooked traffic notification systems available to WordPress site owners …
(WordPress Settings – Writing Settings)
As stated below the Update Services section title,
When you publish a new post, WordPress automatically notifies the following site update services …
Unless you have purposely configured your site settings to discourage search engines from indexing your site, then your site will automatically notify the services entered into the Update Services box
By default, this section lists only one entry …
(Writing Settings – WordPress Update Services)
WordPress lets you notify dozens of update services automatically …
(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, choosing to display the full text vs summaries of your post, affects how your content shows up in RSS feeds and RSS email campaigns, and could play a part in someone’s decision to explore your content further, and whether or not they will visit your blog 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.
As far as your traffic system is concerned, however, the most important setting in this section is whether the Search Engine Visibility feature is ticked or not.
Typically, you want to encourage search engines to visit your site. Leaving the box unchecked allows WordPress to notify all the update services you have listed whenever a new post is published (see Writing Settings above). Unless there is a specific reason to discourage search indexing spiders from visiting your site, do not check this box …
(Settings Menu – Reading Settings Screen)
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 …
(WordPress Settings – Discussion Settings)
Permalinks enable WordPress to publish posts with SEO-friendly URLs …
(Global Settings – Permalinks Section)
Here are some of the ways SEO-friendly URLs can be configured …
(Configuring search-friendly URLS)
To learn more about setting up permalinks in WordPress, go here: Using Permalinks To Improve Your WordPress SEO
WordPress Traffic Plugins – Configuration
WordPress provides users with thousands of plugins that can add almost every type of functionality imaginable to your website, including many plugins that improve traffic generation.
Let’s look at examples of plugin categories and plugins that affect traffic generation
WordPress Security Plugins – Blog Defender
Once again, it’s important to configure your website for dealing with the effects of both good traffic and bad traffic. No site is safe from cyber-attacks.
Security plugins like Blog Defender help to make your website invisible to attacks from hackers and bots.
For more details, go here:
WordPress SEO Plugins – Yoast SEO
SEO plugins help drive more traffic by improving your website’s SEO …
(SEO plugins help increase traffic by making your site more search engine friendly)
A plugin like Yoast SEO (formerly known as WordPress SEO by Yoast) can significantly improve your SEO. Properly configured, the Yoast SEO plugin not only makes your site easier for search engines like Google and Bing to find, classify and index, it also lets you specify how your content will show up in Google’s search results and social media pages, e.g. Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.
Allowing your visitors to share your content online can help to increase traffic to your site, especially if you post content that adds value to readers.
(You can add social sharing features to your website easily with free or inexpensive plugins)
You can easily add social sharing buttons to your site with free or inexpensive WordPress plugins.
Most social plugins allow you to specify which sites your content can be shared to, embed social buttons into your content, set up default update notifications, display/hide share counters (e.g. number of followers), 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.
WordPress Traffic Theme Features – Configuration
As well as configuring various plugins, many WordPress themes also include features that can help grow your site’s traffic.
For example, in addition to options and settings for configuring layout and design elements of your site, many themes also provide built-in features that let you improve SEO and site linking structure for better indexing, easily add tracking, social sharing buttons, etc …
(Many WP themes like Graphene (a highly customizable free theme) include built-in traffic optimization features)
With many themes, adding social sharing features to your content is as easy as selecting the option to enable this functions …
(Many WordPress themes have built-in social sharing features that can be easily turned on with the click of a button)
Configuring Other WordPress Sections
Last (but by no means least) in the configuration process, are the elements that need to be configured outside of the global settings.
These include the following:
Once again, when preparing your site for a growth 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 find and begin to visit your website.
If you do business online, you need to ensure that your website remains compliant with legal requirements of government agencies that regulate how business online is done.
If you need help adding legal pages to WordPress, see this article:
WordPress post tags & categories help improve traffic by improving your site’s SEO.
(Post categories help search engines index your website, which helps you get more traffic.)
When looking at ways to automate and improve web traffic, you will want to review and make sure that your site’s categories and tags 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 site’s posts and pages is not only a useful navigation tool for users, it can also help external applications find more of your website content …
(A site map is not just great for visitors, but for web traffic too!)
Note: An HTML site map and an XML sitemap are not the same thing. Although search engines like Google will index your site just using an XML sitemap (which a plugin like Yoast SEO will create for you – see earlier section), allowing visitors to find more pages on your site results in increased traffic.
Your 404 Page
When visitors searching for your website type in the wrong web address or click on an invalid hyperlink, they will typically be presented with a 404 error page …
(A WordPress 404 Page)
Configuring your 404 Not Found page allows you to redirect traffic that may otherwise be lost. …
(Configuring your 404 page allows you to redirect traffic that may otherwise be lost.)
Although a 404 Not Found page can be set up in your web server, there are several WordPress plugins that let you easily configure your 404 page from your WordPress admin.
WordPress Traffic Blueprint: Configuration Phase – Summary
Once your site has been expertly configured and fully set up, all you need to do to start generating new web traffic is post great content consistently.
The process of expertly configuring your WordPress site, however, is quite involved and elaborate and requires the configuration and integration of various elements and external web properties …
(Traffic System – Configuration Phase Checklist)
The knowledge and expertise involved in expertly configuring a WordPress site typically takes many website professionals a long time to acquire.
Once you have 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 section of the WordPress Traffic Blueprint series.
This is the end of Section Three
To read more, click here:
This tutorial is part of a comprehensive series of tutorials designed to help you learn how to grow your business online and drive traffic automatically using a WordPress-powered website or blog and proven web marketing methods.
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