WordPress Traffic Automation Blueprint – Part 3 (Configuration)

This is part 3 of a 5-part series on how to create an automated traffic generation system for your WordPress site. In this tutorial, you will learn how to configure the essential settings of the WordPress automated traffic system.

Web Site Traffic Blueprint Part 3 - Discover How To Turn Your Website Into A Traffic Generation Machine

Welcome to Part 3 of our Web Traffic Blueprint article series, where we show you how to drive new traffic automatically to your site using WordPress.

In Part One of this article series, we explained why using an expertly configured WordPress website is the key to generating automated traffic …

With an expertly configured WordPress web site, all you have to do is publish content on a regular basis to automatically start driving web traffic!

(With an expertly configured WordPress web site, all you have to do is add new content consistently to start attracting web traffic!)

In Part 2, we discussed the setup phase. We explained the best way to start if you don’t have a website yet, how to set things up if you already have a site, and what to do if your site has been built with WordPress.

How to set up WordPress on your domain

(In Part 2 we show you how to set up a WordPress website or blog on your domain)

In this section of the series, we will look at the configuration stage of this process. We will help you understand why an expertly configured site is different. You will also learn how much work needs to be done to ensure that when everything is set up and fully configured, you can automatically start getting web traffic just by publishing content on your website.

WordPress Web Traffic System – Configuration Phase

Being able to drive more traffic to one’s website is often cited by many website owners as their greatest challenge online. Also, the business landscape is becoming increasingly more competitive worldwide and businesses are researching any advantage available to improve their results online.

Having the ability to automatically generate traffic on demand can provide website owners with a tremendous advantage over the competition. For businesses, 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 site that has been professionally installed and set up by an expert website builder but not necessarily configured to its fullest advantage.

Here’s a simple way to explain the difference:

With a WordPress site that has been expertly configured you get a web presence with an automated online business marketing tool!

A professional site gives you a web presence, but an expertly configured website gives you a professional web presence with an automated online business marketing process.

(An expertly configured website gives you a web presence with a built-in automated online business marketing tool!)

Not only does a whole lot more labor go into building and integrating an automated online business marketing system into your website, it also takes a special kind of expert knowledge.

Let’s illustrate this with a story.

Ludicrous Or Fair? You Decide …

Things are going just fine in the widget assembly line when suddenly, production comes to a complete stop.

No one can figure out what went wrong and so the plant manager decides to call in an expert.

The expert arrives shortly afterward and, without saying a word, immediately walks to the main control box. After staring silently at the electronic components for 5 minutes or so, the expert then produces a teensy-weensy little hammer and makes a single tap about one inch from the left side of the control unit.

Immediately, every machine starts working once again.

The plant manager is greatly relieved as he thanks the expert, who then leaves as quickly as he had arrived.

A couple of days later, the manager receives a service bill for $5,000.

Bewildered and angry, the factory manager calls the expert. Why were they charged such an exorbitant fee for so little time spent delivering such a minimal amount of work? He promptly requests an itemized invoice to be sent and hangs up.

The next day, an invoice statement arrives and is placed on the manager’s desk. Upon opening it, this is what he sees:

invoice notice

The number one challenge most businesses face online is being able to consistently drive traffic to their sites.

How much money did the widget plant stand to lose when production ground to a halt and no one in the factory floor had the expertise to get things up and running again? Did the expert not have the right to get paid fairly for years spent acquiring the knowledge and expertise that allowed him to assess and avert a very serious crisis?

Similarly, if you could have your website or blog set up so all you ever had to do is publish new content and search engines, social media and dozens of other online properties would be automatically notified, how much time and money would you save?

How much better would your business be if you could automate the process of attracting new visitors to your site?

(How much better would your business be if you could automate the process of driving traffic to your website?)

While many experts often make difficult things look simple, it rarely turns out to be that way.

Expertly configuring a WordPress site involves more than installing a website and configuring a few settings. It involves knowing where to tap! In other words, knowing things such as:

  • Which plugins need to be installed for specific things to occur on your site.
  • Which services you need to set up and activate to get certain results
  • Which options you need to configure to make sure processes will run as planned, etc.

Generating traffic automatically with WordPress is a process that requires expertise

(Driving new traffic automatically with WordPress is a process that requires expertise)

This stage of the WordPress traffic automation system is not so technically difficult, but it’s quite involved and time-consuming. The reason why is because it’s not as easy as installing a plugin, tweaking some settings in your admin area or clicking a button … it’s all of this and so much more.

Expertly configuring your website is a complex process that involves your web hosting server, your website or blog, and a number of third-party sites …

The configuration stage involves more than just configuring some WordPress settings

(Expertly configuring your website involves more than just configuring some settings in WordPress)

If all the steps involved in the configuration process were to be flowcharted, it would look something like this …

A simplified flowchart showing the activities involved in the configuration process

(A simplified flowchart of the configuration phase)

Let’s take a look at what’s involved in more detail.

Your Server

We’re not talking here about the process of configuring your webhosting account for site installation purposes (this should have been done during the Setup phase). What we are talking about, is configuring settings in your hosting account specifically for handling web traffic …

In the configuration phase, your web server settings need to be fine-tuned for handling both good and bad traffic

(During the configuration phase, your web server settings need to be fine-tuned for handling both good and bad traffic)

Not all traffic is positive traffic. Some of the web traffic your website may attract will be unwanted traffic like bot spam, malicious threats, brute-force bot attacks, etc.

This aspect of the configuration process, therefore, requires planning for good and bad traffic and adjusting settings in your server accordingly. This includes looking at things like spam protection and preventing security threats, to configuring your domain and email forwarding, etc …

Have you configured your hosting control panel settings for handling things like emails, page  error redirections, etc?

(Have you configured your webhosting settings for handling things like email forwarding, page error redirects, etc?)

After checking your server settings and configuring these, the next step of the configuration phase is to set up a number of external sites and services.

Third-Party Web Properties

The basic concept of adding external sites is that all of your content will get published from one central location (your WordPress site) and from there, it will be distributed automatically to other parts of your web traffic system, or notify traffic-related web properties and applications.

External Web Properties & Accounts - Configuration

After adding these external sites to your configuration, content linking back to your site is automatically fed to these platforms. Your content and business will benefit from exposure online, helping you tap into new sources of traffic.

Integration With External Web Properties

Some external sites will need to be set up before configuring your WordPress settings 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 Webmaster Tools

Google Search Console - create a Google-friendly website

(Google Search Console – create a Google-friendly site)

Google Webmasters lets you inform Google about your site’s pages, submit XML sitemaps for faster page indexing, and provides you with essential information, SEO tools and reports about your website.

Once your account with Google Webmasters are set up, this information can be used to integrate and automate web traffic-related settings in WordPress (e.g. using plugins like Yoast SEO – see further below) and other applications.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics

(Google Analytics)

Google Analytics lets you improve your website’s traffic results, SEO, marketing campaigns, sales conversions, and more, by tracking all user engagement, pages visited, keywords searched for, search engine and social media referrers, etc.

After setting up your Once you have set up Google Analytics, you can add traffic tracking code to all of your web pages in WordPress via plugins and feed data automatically to various other online applications.

Bing Data And Tools

Drive more traffic with Bing Data And Tools

(Bing Webmaster Tools)

Bing Webmaster Tools is similar to Google Search Console. After setting up your account, you can use this information to automate traffic-related settings and notifications in WordPress using plugins like Yoast SEO and other applications.

WordPress.com

WordPress.com

(WordPress.com)

As explained in Part 2, WordPress offers both a hosted (WordPress.com) and a self-hosted (WordPress.org) option. We recommended choosing the self-hosted WordPress version if you plan to grow a professional business presence online.

WordPress.com (the hosted option), however, provides some great features, which a number of 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 traffic system in the next installment of this series.

Social Media And Social Bookmarking Accounts

Syndicate your content automatically to your social media sites and social bookmarking accounts and get new traffic to your site

(Syndicate your content automatically to your social media and social bookmarking accounts and get new traffic to your site)

You will need to set up your various social accounts before you can 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 accounts and profile pages with all of the well-known social networks – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc.

Social Media Pages

There are lots of social bookmarking sites you can You can syndicate your content to loads of social sites. You don’t need to go crazy, just select those that will work with your setup and/or content sharing tools.

You can syndicate your content to loads of social bookmarking sites.

(You can syndicate your content to many social bookmarking sites. Image source ShareThis.com)

Additional Platforms, Aggregators, Etc.

There are many online web platforms and content aggregators that can serve as secondary sources of traffic. Some are free or provide free levels, and some are paid services.

For example, here is a content aggregator site that lets you add your WordPress site feed …

RebelMouse

RebelMouse - Publishing platform for distributed content

(RebelMouse – Publishing platform for distributed content)

RebelMouse is a news aggregator for your RSS feeds and social profiles. Your content is displayed in a Pinterest-like format and visitors can follow your RebelMouse page.

Useful Tip

There are various platforms you can incorporate into your web traffic system. Please contact us if you would like to explore your options and discuss a configuration plan to suit your needs.

Once you have configured your web server and set up third-party service accounts, it’s time to configure your site.

WordPress – Configuring Your Site For Traffic

The first step in configuring your site for traffic is to ensure that your global settings have been set up correctly.

Let’s go over some key areas.

WordPress Settings

Your WordPress admin area contains a Settings menu that allows you to configure your site’s global settings …

WordPress settings section

(WordPress settings menu)

General Settings

Content entered into fields like Site Title and Tagline can affect traffic by influencing your site’s SEO, search indexing, etc …

Global Settings - General Settings

(Global Settings – General Settings Screen)

Writing

The Writing Settings area contains one of the most powerful and often overlooked built-in traffic notification systems available to website owners …

Settings Menu - Writing Settings Section

(Settings Menu – Writing Settings)

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 chosen to discourage search engines from indexing your site – see next section, then your site will automatically notify the services entered into the Update Services text area

By default, when WordPress is installed, this section contains only one entry …

Update Services - A Powerful Traffic Feature Of WordPress

(Update Services – A Powerful Traffic Feature Of WordPress)

WordPress lets you notify dozens of update services automatically …

WordPress lets you notify dozens of update services automatically!

(WordPress lets you notify dozens of update services automatically!)

Useful Info

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

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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.

Reading

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 traffic. For example, your choice to display the full text vs summaries of your post, affects how your content displays to users in RSS readers and blog post digests, and could affect someone’s choice 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.

As far as your traffic system is concerned, however, the most important setting here is whether the Search Engine Visibility check box is ticked or not.

Generally, you want to encourage search engines to visit your site. Leaving this box unchecked allows your site to ping all the update services you have specified in the Update Services section when a new post is published (see Writing Settings above). Unless you have a specific reason to discourage search indexing spiders from visiting your site, leave this box unchecked …

Global Settings - Reading Settings

(Global Settings – Reading Settings)

Discussion

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 posts, 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 Screen

(WordPress Settings – Discussion Settings Section)

Permalinks

Permalinks allow you to create search engine-friendly URLs …

Settings Menu - Permalink Settings

(WordPress Settings – Permalink Settings Section)

Here are some of the ways your permalinks can be configured …

Configuring search-friendly URLS

(Configuring search-friendly URLS)

We have written a detailed tutorial on using permalinks in WordPress here: Using Permalinks To Improve Your WordPress SEO

WP Plugins

WordPress provides users with thousands of plugins that can add almost every type of functionality to your website, including many plugins that improve traffic generation.

Let’s look at some types of plugin categories that affect traffic and plugin examples

WordPress Security Plugins – Blog Defender

Once again, it’s important to configure your website for dealing with both good traffic and bad traffic. No blog is immune from being attacked by hackers.

Security Plugins stop bad traffic from harming your web presence(Security Plugins stop bad traffic from harming your web presence)

Security plugins like Blog Defender help to make your WordPress site invisible to bot and hacker attacks.

More info:

SEO Plugins – Yoast SEO

SEO plugins help drive more traffic by making your web pages more search engine friendly …

Yoast SEO - WordPress Plugin

(SEO plugins like Yoast SEO help increase traffic by improving your website’s SEO)

Use a plugin like Yoast SEO (previously called WordPress SEO by Yoast) to improve your SEO. Once 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 display your content in Google’s search results and social media pages, e.g. Facebook, Twitter, and GooglePlus.

Social Sharing Plugins

Allowing visitors to share your content with others can help boost traffic to your site, especially if you provide great content that adds real value to readers.

You can add social sharing buttons to your site easily with WordPress plugins

(You can easily add social sharing to your website using free or inexpensive plugins)

You can easily add social sharing features to your site with free or inexpensive plugins.

Many social plugins allow you to choose which sites visitors can share your content 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 ‘lock’ content or downloads which users can unlock by linking or tweeting your page.

Configuring Settings – WordPress Themes

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 design and layout elements of your site, many themes also include built-in features that let you improve SEO and site linking structure for faster indexing, add tracking snippets, social sharing buttons, etc …

Many themes can be configured for better traffic results

(Many WP themes like Graphene (a highly customizable free theme) include built-in traffic optimization features)

With many themes, adding social sharing buttons and features to your site is as easy as selecting the option to enable this functions …

Many WordPress themes include built-in social sharing features that can be easily enabled on with the click of a button

(Many WordPress themes have built-in social sharing features that can be easily turned on with the click of a button)

WordPress Traffic – Other Sections To Configure

Last (but by no means least) in the web traffic configuration process, are the elements that need to be set up outside of the global settings.

This includes the following:

Website Legal Pages

Once again, when preparing your site for a growth in visitor numbers, it’s important to plan not only for both good and bad traffic but also for all the situations that can seriously affect your business as more and more people find and begin to visit your website.

If you engage in any form of commercial activity online (or plan to), you need to make sure that your website is found to comply with all regulations.

Does Your Site Comply With All Legal Requirements?(Does Your Website Or Blog Comply With All Legal Requirements?)

If you need help adding compliance pages to WordPress, see this article:

Tags & Categories

WordPress categories and tags help improve traffic by allowing search engines to better understand and index your website.

Post categories help improve traffic by improving your site's search optimization.

(Categories help to improve your site’s SEO, which improves traffic.)

As we strongly recommend in this article, it’s best to set up your website’s categories and tags earlier on, during the Website Planning Stage.

When considering ways to automate and improve web traffic, you will want to review and make sure that your site’s post tags and post categories have been set up correctly to deliver optimal benefits and results.

A Site Map Of Your Pages and Posts

A site map that displays all of your pages and posts to visitors is not only a useful navigation tool, it can also help external tools find your web content …

(A site map is not just great for visitors, but for web traffic too!)

(Site Map – great for site visitors and beneficial for web traffic too!)

Info

It’s important to note that an HTML site map and an XML sitemap are two different 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), making it easier for 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 web address into their browser or click on links pointing to destinations on your site that no longer exist, they are greeted with a 404 Not Found error page …

Default WordPress 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 Error Page allows you to redirect web traffic that may otherwise be lost.

(Configuring your 404 Error Page allows you to redirect traffic that may otherwise be lost.)

Practical Tip

Although a 404 page can be set up in your web server, there are WordPress plugins that let you easily configure your 404 page inside your WordPress dashboard.

WordPress Traffic Automation Blueprint: Configuration Phase – Summary

Once your website or blog has been expertly configured and fully set up, all you need to do to attract web traffic is publish fresh content regularly.

The process of expertly configuring a WordPress site, however, can be quite involved and elaborate and requires the configuration and integration of different components and external web properties …

WP Traffic Blueprint - Configuration Phase Checklist

(Traffic System – Configuration Checklist)

Important

The knowledge and expertise involved in expertly configuring a WordPress site can take many website developers 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 the series.

This is the end of Section 3

To continue reading, click here:

WordPress Web Traffic Blueprint Part 3 - Discover How To Create A Traffic Generation Machine

Important

This article is part of a comprehensive tutorial series aimed at helping small business owners learn how to grow their business and drive traffic sustainably using a WordPress-driven website and proven web marketing strategies.

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"These tutorials have so much information and are easy to understand. If you use WordPress or plan to in the future these will help you with everything you need to know." - Valisa (Mesa, Arizona)

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