Welcome to Part Three of our Web Traffic Blueprint article series, where we show you how to automate traffic to your site using WordPress.
In Part 1 of this series, we explained why using an expertly configured WordPress website or blog is the key to automating traffic to your site …
(With an expertly configured WordPress site, all you have to do is publish content on a regular basis to attract more web traffic!)
In Part 2, we focused on the setup phase. We helped you understand the best way to get started if you don’t have a website yet, how to set things 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 where to set up a WordPress website or blog on your domain)
In this article, we discuss the configuration stage of this process. We explain how a WordPress site should be configured to ensure that web traffic will automatically start flowing when you post web content on your WordPress site.
WordPress Traffic Blueprint – Configuration Phase
Being able 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 making business survival progressively tougher businesses are researching any opportunity they can to improve their performance online.
Being able to automatically generate traffic on demand can provide website owners with a huge advantage over other competitors. With an expertly configured website, your business has a significant advantage from the word “go”.
The Difference Is In The Configuration Process
There is a significant difference between an expertly configured WordPress site and a site that has been professionally installed and set up by a web-building expert but not necessarily configured to take advantage of everything WordPress has to offer.
Here is a simple way to describe the difference:
With a WordPress website 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 and a built-in automated online business marketing system!)
Not only does a whole lot more labor go into building and integrating an automated online business marketing process into your website, but also a special type of expertise.
Let’s illustrate this with an anecdote.
Knowing Where To Tap
All is going fine in the gizmo plant when suddenly, everything just stops.
No one can figure out what went wrong and so the floor manager decides to call in an expert.
Shortly after arriving, the expert heads immediately towards the main control box. After staring at the wiring diagrams for 5 minutes, the expert then takes out a tiny little hammer from his tool belt and makes a very gentle tap about 3 cm from the left side of the box.
Immediately, everything returns to normal.
The manager is overjoyed 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.
Bewildered, the manager picks up the phone and calls the expert. Demanding to know why they were charged such an exorbitant fee for so little time spent delivering a minimal amount of work, he promptly requests an itemized invoice to be sent and hangs up.
The next day, an invoice statement arrives in the manager’s in-tray. Upon opening it, this is what he sees:
The number one challenge most businesses face online is being able to drive new visitors to their sites.
In the above story, how much money did the widget factory stand to lose when the equipment stopped functioning and no one in the business was able to fix it? Did the expert in our story not have the right to demand fair compensation for spending years building up the knowledge and expertise that enabled him to quickly assess and fix a very costly problem?
Similarly, if you could have a WordPress blog configured so all you have to do is publish new content and search engines, social sites and dozens of other online properties would be instantly 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 driving traffic to your website?)
While the solution to many problems is often quite simple once implemented, it rarely is that simple or easy.
Knowing how to expertly configure a WordPress site involves more than installing a website and configuring a few basic settings. It also requires knowing where to tap! This includes knowing things such as:
- Which plugins need to be installed to get various functionalities on your site.
- Which third-party services you need to set up and activate to get certain outcomes
- Which internal and external settings you need to configure to make sure processes will work to plan, etc.
(Generating traffic automatically with WordPress is a process that requires expertise)
Although this part of the WordPress traffic automation system may not seem so technically challenging, it can be quite involved. It’s not as simple as installing and configuring a piece of software, tweaking some options and settings in your admin area or clicking a couple of buttons … it’s all of this and so much more.
Expertly configuring your website involves the integration of different components including your web server, your WordPress site, and a number of third-party sites …
(The configuration stage involves more than just configuring some settings in WordPress)
If the steps involved in the configuration process were to be flowcharted, it would look like this …
(A simplified flowchart of the configuration phase)
Let’s examine what’s involved.
We’re not talking here about the process of configuring your web-hosting account for installation purposes (this is normally done during the Setup phase). What we are talking about, is configuring settings in your web-hosting account specifically for handling all web traffic …
(During the configuration stage, your server settings need to be fine-tuned for handling both good and bad traffic)
Not all web traffic is positive traffic. Some of the traffic you can attract will be unwanted traffic like bot spam, malicious threats, bot-hacking attempts, etc.
This aspect of the configuration process, therefore, is all about planning for both good and bad traffic and adjusting settings in your server accordingly. This could include looking at things like implementing spam protection and preventing security threats, to configuring your domain and email redirections, etc …
(Have you configured your control panel settings for handling things like email forwarding, page errors, etc?)
After fine-tuning your server settings and configuring these (if required), the next step is to set up and configure various third-party sites and services.
External Web Properties & Accounts – Configuration
The concept behind setting up external sites is that all content is published to one central location (your site) and from there, it gets syndicated automatically to other components of your traffic generation system, or notify traffic-related web properties and applications.
Once you incorporate these external platforms into your network, content with links pointing back to your website is automatically published on your search, social and aggregator accounts. Your content and website will be exposed to new audiences and new sources of traffic.
Some web properties and online services will need to be set up before configuring your WordPress site’s settings to save time and some will need to be done later, during the automation phase.
For example, here are just some of the accounts you will need to have set up:
(Google Webmaster Tools)
Google Webmaster Tools lets you inform Google about your site’s pages, submit XML sitemaps for automatic page indexing, and provides you with useful information, SEO tools and reports about your website.
Once your Google Search Console account and site data have been set up, you can use this information to automate web traffic-related settings and notifications in WordPress and other applications.
Google Analytics lets you improve your website’s traffic results, SEO, marketing campaigns, and more, by tracking all user behaviour, pages visited, keywords searched for, organic referrers, etc.
After setting up your Once you have set up your Google Analytics account, traffic tracking information can be added to all of your web pages in WordPress via plugins and and sent to other useful applications.
(Drive more traffic with Bing Data And Tools)
Bing Webmaster Tools is similar to Google Webmaster Tools. After setting up your Bing Webmaster Tools account and entering site details, this information can be used to integrate and automate traffic-related settings and notifications in WordPress and other applications.
As explained in Part Two, WordPress offers both a self-hosted and a hosted option. We recommended choosing the self-hosted WordPress version if you plan to build a professional online presence.
WordPress.com (the hosted option), however, provides some great features, which can be accessed by various WordPress plugins. We recommend setting up an account at WordPress.com, therefore, and we’ll show you how to integrate this into your automated traffic generation system in the next installment of this article series.
(Syndicate your content automatically to your social media and social bookmarking accounts and attract new traffic to your site)
You will need to set up your various social media and social bookmarking accounts in order to integrate these with 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 and social bookmarking accounts and get new visitors to your site.
Set up profiles with all the big social networks – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.
There are loads of social bookmarking sites you can syndicate your content to. You don’t need to go crazy, just choose those that will work with your setup and/or content syndication tools (we will look at some of these tools in greater detail in the Automation phase).
(There are many social bookmarking sites you can post your content to. Image source ShareThis.com)
Additional Sites, Content Aggregators, Etc.
There are many emerging web platforms and content aggregators that can act as secondary-level sources of traffic. Some are free or provide free plans, and some are paid services.
For example, here is a content aggregator site that lets you add an RSS feed from your website …
(RebelMouse – Publishing platform for distributed content)
RebelMouse is a news aggregator for your social profiles and RSS feeds. Your content displays in a Pinterest-like format and users can follow your social feed.
There are various platforms you can incorporate into your traffic blueprint. Please contact us if you need assistance exploring some of these, or to discuss a configuration strategy to suit your needs.
Once you have configured your server settings and set up third-party site accounts, it’s time to configure WordPress.
Configuring Your WordPress Site For Traffic
The first step in configuring your WordPress site for traffic is to make sure that your global settings have been correctly set up.
Let’s go over some of the important points.
Global WordPress Settings
By default, your WordPress dashboard area includes a Settings section that allows you to set up your site’s global settings …
(WordPress admin menu – Settings)
Sections like Site Title and Tagline can influence your site’s SEO, search indexing, etc …
(Global Settings – General Settings Screen)
The Writing Settings section contains an important and frequently overlooked automated traffic notification system …
(WordPress Settings – Writing Settings Section)
As stated in the Update Services section,
When you publish a new post, WordPress automatically notifies the following site update services …
Unless you or your webmaster have specifically chosen to prevent search engines from indexing your site – see next section, then your site will automatically ping the list of update services entered into the Update Services field
With an ‘out of the box’ WordPress installation, this section includes only one entry …
(Writing Settings – WordPress 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:
Download A List Of Ping Services For Your WordPress Site
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 appears in RSS feeds and blog post digests, and could affect someone’s decision to explore your content further, and whether or not they will visit your site to get the rest of the content from excerpts, or read the content in full without the need to click through to your site.
The main setting here as far as traffic is concerned is whether the Search Engine Visibility feature is enabled or not.
Generally, you want to encourage search engines to visit your site. Leaving the box unchecked enables WordPress to instantly notify various update services whenever a new post gets 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 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 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 …
(Settings Menu – Discussion Settings Section)
Permalinks enable your site to publish posts with SEO-friendly URLs …
(Settings Menu – Permalinks)
Here are some of the ways your search-friendly URLS can be configured …
If you need help setting up permalinks in WordPress, go here: How To Improve Your WordPress SEO With SEO-Friendly URLs
Configuring WordPress Plugin Settings
The WordPress developer community makes available thousands of plugins that can add almost every kind of functionality to your website, including plugins with features that help to improve traffic generation.
Here are some types of plugin categories that affect traffic and plugin examples
Blog Defender Security Plugin
Once again, it’s important to configure your website for handling both good traffic and bad traffic. No web site is completely immune from being attacked.
(Security Plugins stop bad traffic from causing your website harm)
Security plugins like Blog Defender help to make your website invisible to botnet and hacker attacks.
Go here for more info:
WordPress SEO Plugins – Yoast SEO
WordPress SEO plugins help drive more traffic by making your web content easy for search engines like Google to find, crawl and index …
(WP Plugin – Yoast SEO)
Use a powerful plugin like Yoast SEO (previously called WordPress SEO by Yoast) to improve your SEO. Once properly configured, this plugin not only makes your web pages easier for search engines to find and index, it also gives you control over how your content is presented in Google’s search results and social media pages, e.g. Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.
Allowing your visitors to easily share your content online can help drive significant traffic to your site, especially if your site provides 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 features to their website with free or inexpensive plugins.
Many social sharing plugins allow you to choose which sites visitors can share your content to, embed social buttons into your content, set up default notifications, display/hide share counters (e.g. number of followers), etc. Some social plugins even allow you to protect content which users can unlock by sharing your page.
WordPress – Theme Settings
As well as configuring various plugins, many WordPress themes also include features that can help grow your traffic.
For example, in addition to options and settings for configuring design and layout elements of your website, some themes also include built-in features that let you improve SEO and site navigation structure for faster indexing, add analytics, social sharing buttons, etc …
(Many themes come with built-in traffic optimization features)
With many quality themes, adding social sharing buttons and features to your pages is as easy as clicking a couple of buttons to configure your options and enable the feature …
(Many WordPress themes have built-in social sharing features that can be easily enabled on with the click of a button)
Other Areas To Configure
Last but not least in the configuration process, are the elements that need to be configured outside of the global settings.
This includes the following:
Website Legal Pages
Once again, when preparing your website for an increase in visitor numbers, it’s important to plan not only how to handle good and unwelcome traffic but also for all the situations that can cause serious damage to your business as more and more people find and begin to visit your website.
If you are making money online (or are planning to), it’s important that your website is found to comply with government legal requirements.
(Does Your Website Or Blog Comply With All Legal Requirements?)
If you need help understanding how to quickly and easily add legal pages to your WordPress website or blog, go here:
WordPress categories & tags help search engines index your website, which helps you get more traffic.
(WordPress categories help to improve your site’s search engine optimization, which helps to increase traffic.)
As we recommend in this article, your site’s post categories and tags should be reviewed and set up earlier on, during the Website Planning Phases.
In the configuration phase, you will want to review and make sure that your site’s tags and categories have been set up correctly to deliver optimal results.
Add A Site Map
A visitor site map that displays all of your site’s pages and posts is not only a useful navigation tool, it can also help external sites find your website content …
(A site map is not just great for visitors, but for web traffic too!)
An HTML site map and an XML sitemap are not the same things. Although search engines like Google can index your site just using an XML sitemap (which plugins like Yoast SEO can provide – see earlier section), allowing visitors to find more pages on your site can result in increased traffic.
Your Site’s 404 Error Page
When online users enter the wrong URL or click on a link pointing to a destination on your website that no longer exists, they will normally be presented with an error – page not found message …
(Default WordPress 404 Page)
A 404 Not Found error page can be configured to funnel traffic to your functional pages …
(Configuring your 404 Error Page allows you to recover traffic that may otherwise be lost.)
Although a 404 Not Found error page can be set up in your server, there are WordPress plugins that allow you to easily configure your 404 page from your WordPress admin.
WordPress Traffic System: Configuration Process – Summary
Once your site has been expertly configured and fully set up, all you then need to do to automatically begin attracting new traffic is add web content consistently.
The process of expertly configuring your WordPress site, however, is quite involved , requiring the configuration and integration of different components and web properties …
(WordPress Traffic Blueprint – Configuration Phase Checklist)
The expertise involved in expertly configuring a WordPress site can take some web professionals months to learn.
Once you have expertly configured your WordPress site, the next step is to automate as much of the process as can be automated. This step is addressed in the next article in our WordPress Traffic Blueprint series.
This is the end of Section Three
To keep reading this article, click here:
This tutorial is part of a comprehensive tutorial series designed to help you learn how to grow your business using a WordPress-powered website and proven online marketing methods.
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