Welcome to Part 3 of our Web 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 explained why using an expertly configured WordPress website or blog is the key to automating traffic to your website …
(With an expertly configured WordPress website or blog, all you have to do to automatically begin bringing more web traffic is add web content regularly!)
In Part Two, we looked at critical setup decisions. We helped you understand the best way to get started 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 site was built with WordPress.
(In Part 2 we show you where to set up a WordPress website or blog on your domain)
In this section, we discuss the configuration phase of the traffic system. You will learn what makes an expertly configured WordPress site different from a professionally configured website, and how much work needs to be done to make sure that when all is fully configured, visitors will automatically start flowing just by regularly publishing web content on your WordPress site.
WordPress Web Traffic Blueprint – Configuration
Being able to attract more visitors to one’s website is often cited by website owners as the greatest challenge they face online. Businesses are becoming ever more competitive on a global scale and are looking for any opportunity they can to improve their results online.
Being able to generate traffic on demand is a tremendous advantage. For businesses, an expertly configured website means having a significant advantage from the word “go”.
The Configuration Process Is The Difference
There is a difference between an expertly configured WordPress site and a website that has been professionally installed and set up by an expert website builder but not necessarily configured to take advantage of everything WordPress can offer you.
Here is a simple way to describe the difference:
With a WordPress site that has been expertly configured you get a web presence with an automated online business marketing process!
(An expertly configured website gives you a professional web presence with a built-in automated online business marketing process!)
Not only does a whole lot more labor go into building and integrating an automated online business marketing process into your website, it also takes a special kind of expertise.
Let’s illustrate this with a story.
Ludicrous Or Fair? You Decide …
Things were humming along in the widget-making assembly line when all of a sudden, everything came to a stop.
As no one could figure out what was wrong, the manager decided to call in an expert.
The expert arrived within in less than an hour and headed immediately towards the main control box. After staring silently at the wires and circuitry for about 2 minutes, the expert then produced a tiny hammer and made a very gentle tap near the bottom-left edge of the control unit.
Immediately, every machine returned to normal.
The manager was greatly relieved as he thanked the expert, who left just as quickly as he had arrived.
A couple of days after resolving the incident, the factory manager received a request for payment of $5,000.
The factory manager called the expert, demanding to know why the expert had charged them such an exorbitant fee for less than five minutes work. He then requested an itemized invoice before hanging up.
The next day, an invoice notice arrived and was placed in the manager’s in-tray. Upon opening it, this is what he saw:
The number one challenge most businesses face online is being able to drive traffic to their sites.
How much money did the gizmo factory stand to lose when the equipment ground to a halt and no one on the business had the expertise to fix it? Did the expert in our story not have every right to demand fair compensation for having invested years developing the knowledge, skills and expertise that enabled him to quickly avert a serious crisis?
Similarly, if you could have your web site set up so all you had to do is publish new content and Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and dozens of other traffic-generating online properties would be instantly notified, how much time and money would you save?
(How much better would your business be if you could automate the process of driving traffic to your website?)
While the solution to many problems often seems ridiculously 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 settings for a client. It also requires knowing where to tap! In other words, knowing things such as:
- Which programs you need to install for certain things to occur on your site.
- Which accounts need to be set up and activated to get certain outcomes
- Which settings need to be configured in order to make sure everything works to plan, etc.
(Driving new traffic automatically with WordPress is a process that requires expertise)
Although this part of the WordPress traffic automation system may not seem so technically difficult, it can be quite complicated. It’s not as simple as installing and configuring a piece of software, clicking a couple of buttons … it’s all of this and so much more.
The configuration phase is a process that involves your web hosting server, your WP site, and various external sites and online services …
(The configuration phase involves more than just configuring some settings in WordPress)
If the configuration process were to be flowcharted, it would look something like this …
(A simplified diagram showing the activities involved in the configuration process)
Let’s examine these steps in more detail.
Configuring The Server
We’re not talking about the process of configuring your web-hosting account for installation purposes. We’re talking about tweaking settings and options in your hosting account specifically for handling web traffic …
(In the configuration phase, 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 site will attract will be unwanted traffic like bot spam, security threats, bot-hacking attempts, etc.
This area of the configuration process, therefore, is all about evaluating your needs, planning for good and unwelcome traffic and adjusting settings in your server accordingly. This could include looking at things like configuring spam protection and threat prevention, to configuring your domain and email redirections, setting up error page redirections, etc …
(Have you configured your hosting control panel settings for handling things like emails, page errors, etc?)
After your web server settings have been fine-tuned and configured, the next step of the configuration phase is to set up various third-party sites and services.
The basic concept of choosing external sites is that all content gets published from one central location (your site) and from there, it gets automatically distributed to other parts of your web traffic system, or notify traffic-related web properties and services.
Once you incorporate these external sites into your system, content linking back to your website gets automatically fed to these platforms, indexed by search engines and shared to other social networks, even to users of the platform itself. Your content and website benefits from increased exposure online, helping your business tap into new audiences and new sources of traffic.
Some sites and online solutions will need to be set up before configuring your WordPress site 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 Search Console)
Google Webmaster Tools lets you tell Google about your site’s pages, submit XML sitemaps for faster page indexing, and provides site owners with essential data, SEO tools, and diagnostic reports about their website.
After setting up your account and entering site details, use the information with traffic settings in WordPress using plugins like Yoast SEO (see further below) and other applications.
Google Analytics lets you improve your website’s traffic performance, SEO, user engagement, marketing activities, sales conversions, and more, by tracking all user behaviour, pages visited, keywords searched for, search engine referrals, etc.
Once your Google Analytics account and site data have been set up, visitor tracking information can be added to WordPress via a simple plugin used with other applications and reporting tools.
(Bing Data And Tools)
Bing Webmaster Tools is similar to Google Webmasters. Once your account and site data with Bing are set up, this information can be used with traffic settings and notifications in WordPress and other applications.
As discussed in Part Two, WordPress provides users with the option of a hosted vs self-hosted website. We recommended choosing the self-hosted WordPress version if you are planning to grow a professional online presence for your business.
WordPress.com (the hosted option), however, provides some great features, which can be accessed by a number of WordPress plugins. We recommend setting up an account at WordPress.com, therefore, and we’ll show you how to integrate this into your automated web traffic generation system in the next installment of this article series.
(Syndicate your content automatically to your social media sites and social bookmarking accounts and drive new visitors to your site)
You will need your social accounts set up before you can 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 sites and attract new visitors to your site.
You should have accounts and profile pages with all of the main social networks – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, 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 well with your system and/or content syndication tools (we will review some of these tools in greater detail when we discuss the Automation phase).
(You can post your content to lots of social bookmarking sites. Image: ShareThis.com)
Additional Platforms, RSS Aggregators, Etc.
There are a number of emerging platforms and content aggregators that can act 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 lets you add an RSS feed from your website …
RebelMouse is a news aggregator for your social profiles and RSS feeds. Your content is displayed in a Pinterest-like format and visitors can follow your own RebelMouse social feed.
There are various solutions you can incorporate into your own traffic system. Please feel free to contact us if you would like to explore some of these further and discuss a configuration strategy to suit your needs.
After you have configured your web server and set up accounts with third-party services, it’s time to configure your WordPress settings.
WordPress – Configuring Your Website Or Blog For Traffic
The first step in configuring your WordPress site for traffic is to ensure that your global settings have been set up correctly.
Let’s go over some of the important points.
WordPress – Global Settings
By default, WordPress includes a Settings section that allows you to set up your site’s global settings …
(WordPress menu – Settings)
Content entered into fields like Site Title and Tagline can affect your site’s SEO, search listings, etc …
(WordPress Settings – General Settings)
The Writing Settings area contains an important and frequently overlooked built-in traffic notification system …
(WordPress Settings – 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 site settings to discourage search engines from indexing your site, then your site will automatically notify the list of services entered into the Update Services box
By default, when WordPress is installed, only one service is available …
(WordPress Update Services)
WordPress lets you notify dozens of update services automatically …
(You can 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 have an influence traffic. For example, your choice of displaying the full text vs a summary of your post, affects how your content displays to users in RSS readers and RSS email campaigns, and could play a part in someone’s choice to explore your site further, and whether or not they will visit your site to read 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 traffic is concerned, however, the most important setting here is whether the Search Engine Visibility check box is ticked or not.
Typically, you want search engines to visit your site. Leaving the box unchecked enables your site to instantly notify all the update services you have listed when a new post is published (see Writing Settings above). Unless you have a specific reason to discourage search engines from visiting your site, leave this box unchecked …
(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 sites 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 …
(Settings Menu – Discussion Settings Screen)
Your Permalink settings allow you to publish posts with SEO-friendly URLs …
(WordPress Settings – Permalinks)
Here are some of the options for configuring your post permalinks …
(Configuring SEO-friendly URLs)
We have created a detailed tutorial on using permalinks in WordPress here: Using Permalinks To Improve Your WordPress SEO
Configuring Settings – Plugins
WordPress provides users with plugins that can add almost every type of functionality to your website, including plugins that add traffic generation capabilities.
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 WordPress site for handling both good traffic and bad traffic. Regardless of the kind of business you run or plan to run online and how small you think your web presence is, securing your sites is something you simply cannot afford to ignore.
Security plugins like Blog Defender help to make your website invisible to botnet and hacker attacks.
To learn more, go here:
SEO Plugins – Yoast SEO
SEO plugins help drive more traffic by making your web content easy for search engines like Google to find, classify and index …
(SEO plugins help increase traffic by making your site more search engine friendly)
A plugin like Yoast SEO can significantly improve your website’s SEO. When properly configured, the Yoast SEO plugin not only makes your site easier for search engines to find and index, it also lets you specify how to present your content to Google’s search results and social media sites Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
Social Sharing Plugins
Allowing visitors to share your content with their social networks can help to increase traffic to your site, especially if you post great content that adds value to readers.
(You can easily add social sharing features to your site with free or inexpensive WordPress plugins)
You can add social sharing features to your website easily with free or inexpensive plugins.
Most social sharing plugins allow you to select which sites your content can be shared to, embed social buttons into your content, set up custom update notifications, display/hide share counters (e.g. number of followers), etc. Some social plugins even allow you to set up protected content areas on your site which visitors can unlock by linking or tweeting your page.
Configuring 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 site, some themes also give you built-in options for improving search optimization and site navigation structure for better indexing, easily add analytics code, social sharing buttons, etc …
(Many WordPress themes like Graphene (a free theme) can be configured for improved traffic results)
With a number of themes, adding social sharing buttons to your website is as easy as clicking a button …
(Many WordPress themes include 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 web traffic configuration process, are the areas that need to be configured outside of the global settings.
These include the following:
Website Legal Pages
Once again, when preparing your website for an increase 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 as more and more people begin to visit your website.
If you do any type of business online, you need to ensure that your site is found to comply with government legal requirements.
If you need help understanding the importance of having a legally compliant website, see this article:
Post tags & post categories help to improve your site’s search engine optimization, which helps to increase traffic.
(Categories help to improve your site’s search engine optimization, which helps to increase traffic.)
In the configuration phase, you will want to review and make sure that your site’s post tags and post categories have been correctly set up to deliver optimal results.
Add A Site Map To Your WordPress Site
A site map that lists all of your pages and posts to visitors is not only a useful navigation tool, it can also help external tools find more of your site’s content …
(A site map is not just great for visitors, but for web traffic too!)
An HTML site map and an XML sitemap are two different things. Although search engines like Google will index your site just from an XML sitemap (which plugins like Yoast SEO can provide – see earlier section), allowing visitors to find more pages on your site results in increased traffic.
Your 404 Page Not Found
When online users enter the wrong URL or click on a dead hyperlink, they are presented with a 404 error page …
(Default WordPress 404 Error Page)
Configuring your 404 Error Page allows you to recover web traffic that may otherwise be lost. …
(Configuring your 404 Not Found page allows you to redirect traffic that may otherwise be lost.)
Although a 404 page can be set up in your web server, there are several plugins for WordPress that allow you to easily configure your 404 page from your WordPress admin.
WordPress Traffic Blueprint: Configuration Phase – Summary
Once you have your site fully set up and expertly configured, all you then have to do to automatically attract traffic is add great content regularly.
The process of expertly configuring a WordPress site, however, can be quite involved , requiring the configuration and integration of a number of different components and web properties …
(Traffic System – Configuration Phase Checklist)
The skills and expertise involved in expertly configuring a WordPress site typically takes many website professionals a long time to acquire.
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 explained in the next section of our WordPress Traffic Automation Blueprint series.
This is the end of Section 3
To continue reading, click on the link below:
- Web Site Traffic Blueprint Part Four – Learn How To Create A Web Traffic-Getting Machine With WordPress
This article is part of a comprehensive tutorial series aimed at helping site owners learn how to grow their business online and drive traffic sustainably with a WordPress-driven website or blog and proven web marketing methods.
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