Welcome to Part 3 of our Web Traffic Blueprint article series, where we show you how to create an automated traffic generation machine using the WordPress CMS.
In Part 1 of this series, we described the process, and explained why using an expertly configured WordPress site is the key to generating automated traffic …
(With an expertly configured WordPress web site, all you have to do to attract new traffic is post fresh content consistently!)
In Part Two, we discussed the setup phase of the automation process. We explained the best way to start if you don’t have a website yet, how to set everything up if you already have a site, 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 section of the series, we will look at the configuration stage of the traffic blueprint. You will learn how to configure a WordPress site so you can drive web traffic automatically when you post new content on your site.
WordPress Traffic Automation System – Configuration Phase
Finding ways to drive more traffic to one’s website is often cited by most website owners as one of the greatest challenges they face online. With business getting ever more competitive on a global scale, it’s worth exploring any and every advantage available to increase your own competitiveness online.
The ability to automatically generate traffic on demand can provide you with a huge advantage. With an expertly configured WordPress site, your business has an immediate advantage from the very start.
The Difference Is In The Configuration Process
There is a difference between an expertly configured WordPress site and a site that has been professionally set up by a web-building expert but not necessarily configured to take advantage of everything WordPress can offer.
Here is a simple way to understand the differences:
An expertly configured WordPress website gives you a professional web presence and online business marketing automation!
(An expertly configured site gives you a professional web presence with an automated online business marketing process!)
Not only does it take more work 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 …
Everything is going well in the gizmo manufacturing plant when the machines suddenly grinds to a complete stop.
No one can figure out what’s gone wrong and so the floor manager decides to call in an expert to fix the problem.
Soon afterwards, the expert arrives and immediately heads to the main control box. After staring at the electronic components for about 2 minutes or less, the expert then takes out a teeny-weeny hammer and makes a gentle tap about 1 cm from the right edge of the box.
Immediately, the assembly line comes back to life.
The floor manager is greatly relieved as he thanks the expert, who then leaves just as quickly as he had arrived.
A couple of days after resolving the incident, the manager receives an invoice for the sum of $5,000.
Angrily, the manager picks up the phone and rings the expert. Demanding to know why the expert has charged them such a ludicrous fee for less than five minutes work, he then requests an itemized invoice and hangs up.
The next day, a bill of payment arrives in the manager’s intray. Upon opening it, this is what he sees:
The number one challenge most businesses face online is driving visitors to their sites.
How much money did the plant stand to lose when the equipment ground to a halt and no one in the factory floor had the expertise required to fix it? Did the expert in our story not have the right to demand fair compensation for years spent developing the knowledge and expertise that enabled him to assess and fix a costly problem?
Similarly, if you could have your WordPress website fully configured so all you had to do is publish content to it and Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and dozens of other traffic-generating online properties would be automatically notified, how much time and money would you save?
(How much time and money would you save if you could automate the process of attracting new visitors to your website?)
Although the solution to many challenges often seems ridiculously simple in hindsight, it rarely is that simple or easy.
Knowing how to expertly configure a WordPress site is more than adding some pages with content and configuring some of the site settings for the client. It involves knowing where to tap! This includes knowing things like:
- Which programs you need to install to get desired functionalities on your site.
- Which services need to be set up and activated to achieve desired outcomes
- Which settings you need to configure in order to ensure that things function exactly as you have planned, etc.
(Driving new traffic automatically with WordPress is a process that requires knowledge and 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 as simple as installing a plugin, clicking on a button or two … it’s all of this and much more.
Expertly configuring your website involves the integration of a number of different parts including your server, your site, and various external sites and online services …
(The configuration phase involves more than just configuring a few settings in WordPress)
If we try to flowchart the configuration process, it would look something like this …
(A simplified diagram of the activities involved in the configuration phase)
Let’s take a brief look at what’s involved.
Configuring Your Web Server
We’re not talking about the process of configuring your webhosting account for installation purposes. What we are talking about, is tweaking settings and options in your server that affect how your website will handle all web traffic …
(In the configuration stage, your webhosting account settings need to be checked for handling both good and bad traffic)
Not all traffic is positive traffic. Some of the web traffic your business can attract will be unwelcome traffic like bot spam, security threats, brute-force bot attacks, etc.
This aspect of the configuration process, therefore, requires planning for both good and bad traffic and then adjusting settings in your server accordingly. This can include looking at things like integrating 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 email forwarding, page errors, etc?)
After fine-tuning your web server settings and configuring these (if required), the next step is to set up and configure various third-party sites and services.
Third-Party Sites Configuration
The purpose of setting up external sites is that all of your content should be published to one central location (your site) and from there, be automatically distributed to other components of your traffic generation system, or notify traffic-related web properties and applications.
Once these external platforms have been added to your configuration, content with links pointing back to your website is automatically published on search, social and aggregator accounts. Your content will receive increased exposure online, helping your business tap into new audiences and new sources of traffic.
Some sites will need to have accounts set up before configuring your site 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 before configuring your WordPress site:
(Google Search Console)
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, tools, and diagnostic reports about their website.
After setting up your account, you can use this information to integrate and automate traffic settings and notifications in WordPress (e.g. using plugins like Yoast SEO – see further below) and other applications.
Google Analytics lets you improve your site’s performance, SEO, marketing campaigns, and more, by tracking all user engagement, pages visited, keywords searched for, search engine and social media referrals, etc.
Once your Google Analytics account and site details are set up, you can add your account information to all of your web pages in WordPress using a Google Analytics plugin and send data automatically to other useful applications and reporting tools.
(Drive more traffic with Bing Webmaster Tools)
Bing Webmaster Tools is similar to Google Webmaster Tools. Once your account has been set up, the information can be used with traffic-related settings and notifications in WordPress using plugins like Yoast SEO and other applications.
As explained in Part Two, WordPress offers the option of a hosted vs self-hosted website. We recommended choosing the self-hosted WordPress platform 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 explain how to integrate this into your traffic system in the next installment of this series.
Social Media Pages
(Syndicate your content automatically to your social media pages and attract new visitors to your site)
You will need your 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 sites and get new traffic to your site.
Set up accounts with all of the well-known social networks – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, etc.
There are loads of social sites you can set up. 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 greater detail in the Automation phase).
(You can syndicate your content to loads of social sites. Image: ShareThis.com)
Additional Platforms, Aggregators, Etc.
There are many new online technology platforms and RSS aggregators that can serve as secondary sources of traffic. Some are free or provide free accounts, and some offer a range of pricing plans.
For example, here is a content aggregator site that allows you to add your WordPress blog feed …
RebelMouse is an aggregator for your RSS feeds and social profiles. Your content displays in a Pinterest-like format and users can follow your own RebelMouse account.
There are many different platforms you can add to your web traffic system. Please feel free to contact us if you would like to explore your options and discuss a configuration 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 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 key areas.
Your WordPress dashboard area contains a Settings section that allows you to modify your site’s global settings …
(WordPress settings menu)
Sections like Site Title and Tagline can affect traffic by influencing your site’s SEO, search indexing, etc …
(WordPress Settings – General Settings)
The Writing Settings area contains a powerful and often overlooked automated traffic notification system …
(Global Settings – Writing Settings Section)
As stated below the Update Services section,
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 update services entered into the Update Services text area
By default, only one service is listed …
(Writing Settings – Update Services)
You can notify dozens of update services automatically with WordPress – just add a list of all the update services you want to notify as soon as you publish a new post 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 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, choosing to display the full text vs summaries of your post, affects how your content appears in RSS feeds and RSS email campaigns, and could affect someone’s decision to explore your site further, and whether or not they will visit your website to view the rest of the content from excerpts, 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 here is whether the Search Engine Visibility feature is ticked or not.
Normally, you would want search engines to visit your site. Leaving this box unchecked enables WordPress to notify various update services whenever new posts are published (see Writing Settings above). Unless there is a specific reason why search engines should not visit your site, make sure this box is left unticked …
(WordPress Settings – Reading Settings Section)
Although discussion settings 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 …
(Global Settings – Discussion Settings)
Your Permalink settings allow you to create search engine-friendly URLs …
(WordPress Settings – Permalink Settings)
Here are some of the options for configuring your permalink URLs …
(Configuring search-friendly URLS)
If you need help setting up permalinks, go here: Using Permalinks To Improve Your WordPress SEO
The WordPress developer community makes available plugins that can add almost every type of functionality to your site, including traffic generation.
Here are examples of plugin categories and plugins that can help drive more traffic
Blog Defender Security Plugin
Once again, it’s important to configure your WordPress site for handling both good traffic and bad traffic. No matter what type of business you run or plan to run online and how small you think your web presence is, web security is something you cannot afford to ignore.
Security plugins like Blog Defender help to make your blog invisible to botnet and hacker attacks.
- Prevent Malicious Intrusions On Your WP Blog By Hackers With Blog Defender WordPress Security Plugin
WordPress SEO Plugins – Yoast SEO
SEO plugins help drive traffic by making your website more search engine friendly …
(SEO plugins help drive more traffic by improving the search engine friendliness of your website)
A plugin like Yoast SEO (formerly known as WordPress SEO by Yoast) can improve your SEO. When properly configured, the Yoast SEO plugin not only makes your site easier for search engines like Google to find, crawl and index, it also lets you specify how to present your content to Google’s search results and social media pages, e.g. Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
WordPress Social Sharing Plugins
Allowing visitors to share your content online can help drive significant traffic to your site, especially if your site provides great content that adds value to readers.
(WordPress users can easily add social sharing buttons to their site with free or inexpensive WordPress plugins)
WordPress users can easily add social sharing features to their site using free or inexpensive plugins.
Most social plugins allow you to choose 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 sections on your pages which visitors can unlock by linking or tweeting your page.
Configuring WordPress Theme Settings For Traffic Generation
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 layout and design of your site, some themes also include options for improving SEO and site linking structure for faster indexing, easily add tracking code, social sharing buttons, etc …
(Many WordPress themes come with built-in traffic optimization features)
With a number of WordPress themes, adding social sharing buttons to your website is as easy as clicking a few 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)
WordPress Traffic Automation – Other Aspects To Consider
Last (but by no means least) in the traffic configuration process, are the components that need to be configured outside of the global settings.
Legal Web Pages
Once again, when preparing your site for a growth in traffic numbers, it’s important to plan not only for how to deal with good and bad 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 any type of business online (or plan to), you need to ensure that your site remains compliant with regulatory agencies.
If you need help adding legal pages to WordPress, go here:
WordPress post categories and tags help improve traffic by allowing search engines to better index your web pages.
(Post categories help improve traffic by allowing search engines to better index your web pages.)
In the configuration phase, you will want to review and make sure that the post tags and post categories that have been set up.
A site map that displays all of your posts and pages to visitors is not only a useful navigation tool, it can also help external tools discover your online content …
(A site map is not just great for visitors, but for traffic too!)
It’s important to note that an HTML site map and an XML sitemap are different things. Only search engines can read an XML sitemap. Although Google will 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 can result in increased traffic.
Don’t Forget Your Site’s 404 Page
When visitors searching for your website enter the wrong web address or click on a hyperlink pointing to a page on your site that no longer exists, they will typically be presented with a 404 error page …
(Default WordPress 404 Error Page)
Configuring your 404 page allows you to recover 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 page can be set up on your web server, there are several WordPress plugins that let you easily configure your 404 page inside your WordPress admin.
WordPress Traffic Automation System: Configuration Phase – Summary
Once you have your website fully set up and expertly configured, all you need to do is post great content regularly to automatically generate more web traffic organically.
The process of expertly configuring a WordPress site, however, can be quite involved and requires the configuration and integration of different elements and web properties …
(WordPress Traffic System – Configuration Phase Checklist)
The kind of skills and expertise involved in expertly configuring a WordPress site can take some web professionals months to acquire.
Once you have configured your WordPress site, the next step is to automate as much of the process as you can. This step is explained in the next article in the WordPress Traffic Blueprint series.
This is the end of Part 3
To read more, click here:
- Web Traffic Blueprint Part 4 – Discover How To Automatically Attract More Web Traffic For Your Business Using WordPress
This tutorial is part of an article series designed to help site owners learn how to grow their business online and drive traffic automatically using a WordPress-powered website or blog and proven marketing strategies that are easy to implement.
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