Welcome to Part 3 of our Website Traffic Blueprint article series, where we show you how to drive traffic automatically to your site using the WordPress CMS platform.
In Part 1 of this article series, we provided an overview of the process, and explained why using an expertly configured WordPress website or blog is the key to generating automated web traffic …
(With an expertly configured WordPress website or blog, all you have to do is post new content consistently to begin bringing more traffic!)
In Part Two, we looked at the setup phase. We explained 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 existing website has been built with WordPress.
(In Part 2 we show you where to set up WordPress on your domain)
In this section, we will look at the configuration stage of this process. We will explain why an expertly configured WordPress site is different than a professionally configured site. You will also learn how much work is required to ensure that when all is fully configured, you can automatically attract traffic simply by consistently adding new content to your WordPress site.
WordPress Web Traffic Automation Blueprint – Configuration Phase
The ability to drive more traffic to one’s website is often cited by many business owners as their greatest challenge online. Businesses are becoming ever more competitive worldwide and are looking for any opportunity they can to improve their results and performance online.
Having the ability to generate traffic on demand is a huge advantage over the competition. With an expertly configured website, you have an immediate advantage from the very beginning.
The Difference Is In The Configuration Stage
There is a difference between an expertly configured WordPress site and a website that has been professionally installed and 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 explain the differences:
An expertly configured WordPress website gives you a professional web presence plus online business marketing automation!
(An expertly configured website gives you a professional web presence and a built-in automated online business marketing tool!)
Not only are more steps needed to build and integrate an automated online business marketing process into your website, it also takes a special kind of expertise.
To illustrate this here is an amusing little story.
A True Story (Kind Of) …
Everything is humming along in the gizmo-making plant when things suddenly cease working.
No one can figure out what went wrong and so the plant manager decides to call in an expert to try and fix the problem.
Soon afterwards, the expert arrives and, without uttering a word, walks straight towards the control box. After staring at the circuit board for 2 minutes or so, the expert then produces a teeny-weeny hammer and makes a gentle tap near the right side of the box.
Immediately, the whole machine returns to normal.
The floor manager is greatly overjoyed as he thanks the expert, who then leaves just as quickly as he had arrived.
A few days after resolving the incident, the manager receives a bill for $5,000.
Unable to hide his anger and bewilderment, the factory manager rings the expert. Why had he charged them such a ludicrous fee for so little time delivering such a minimal amount of work? He promptly requests an itemized invoice to be sent and hangs up.
The next day, a bill of payment arrives in the manager’s intray. Upon opening the envelope, this is what he sees:
The main challenge most businesses face online is being able to drive visitors consistently to their sites.
How much money did the widget plant stand to lose when production ground to a halt and no one on the factory floor had the expertise to get things up and running again? Did the expert in our story not have the right to get paid fairly for spending years acquiring the knowledge, skills and expertise that allowed him to fix a very costly problem?
Similarly, if you could have your blog set up so all you ever had to do is publish new content and search engines, social followers from sites like Facebook and LinkedIn and dozens of other traffic-generating web properties would be instantly notified, how much time and money would you save?
(How much time and money would you save if you could automate the process of driving traffic to your site?)
Although many experts often make complicated solutions look simple, it rarely turns out to be that way.
Knowing how to expertly configure a WordPress site is more than adding some pages with content and configuring a few settings. It involves knowing where to tap! This includes knowing things like:
- Which plugins you need to install to get various functionalities on your site.
- Which third-party services need to be set up and activated to get specific outcomes
- Which options you need to configure in order to ensure that everything functions to plan, etc.
(Generating traffic automatically with WordPress is a process that requires expertise)
Although this part of the traffic automation system may not seem so technically difficult, it can be quite involved and complicated. It’s not as easy as installing and configuring a piece of software, configuring some settings in your admin area … it’s all this and so much more.
Expertly configuring your website is a complex process that involves your web hosting server, your web site, and various external sites or online services …
(The configuration phase 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 diagram showing the steps involved in the configuration phase)
Let’s examine what’s involved.
We’re not talking about the process of configuring your web hosting account for site installation purposes. What we are talking about, is configuring settings and options in your web server that affect how your site will handle all web 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 beneficial traffic. Some of the web traffic your site will attract will be unwelcome traffic like 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 unwanted traffic and then adjusting settings in your server accordingly. This includes things like configuring server-level spam protection and preventing security threats, to configuring domain and email forwarding, etc …
(Have you configured your control panel settings for handling things like emails, page errors, etc?)
After fine-tuning your server settings and configuring these, the next step is to configure a number of external sites and services.
Integration With External Web Properties
The purpose of adding external sites is that all of your content will be published from a central location (your WordPress site) and from there, it will be distributed automatically to other components of your traffic generation system, or notify traffic-related web properties and services.
After adding these external services to your traffic network, content pointing back to your website will be automatically posted to these platforms. Your website will be given additional exposure to new sources of traffic and new audiences.
Some of these external sites will need to have accounts set up before configuring your site to save time 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 Webmasters – create a Google-friendly site)
Google Webmasters lets you inform Google about your site’s pages, submit XML sitemaps for automatic page indexing, and provides you with a range of useful data, tools and diagnostic reports about your website.
After setting up your Google Webmaster Tools account and entering site data, use the account information to automate web traffic-related settings in WordPress (e.g. using plugins like Yoast SEO – see further below) and other applications.
Google Analytics lets you improve your website’s performance, SEO, marketing activities, and more, by tracking all user behaviour, pages visited, keywords searched for, search engine and organic referrals, etc.
After setting up your Google Analytics account and site data, you can add tracking code to all of your pages in WordPress via a simple plugin and feed data automatically to various other online applications and reporting tools.
(Drive more traffic with Bing Webmaster Tools)
Bing Webmaster Tools is similar to Google Webmaster Tools. After setting up your account and entering site details with Bing Webmaster Tools, this information can be used to automate traffic-related settings in WordPress (e.g. using plugins like Yoast SEO – see further below) and other applications.
As explained in Part Two, WordPress offers website owners the option of a hosted vs self-hosted website. We recommended choosing the self-hosted WordPress platform if you plan to build a professional web presence.
WordPress.com (the hosted option), however, provides a number of useful 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 traffic generation system in Part Four of this article series.
Social Media Pages
(Syndicate your content automatically to your social media and social bookmarking accounts and get new visitors to your site)
You will need your various social media accounts set up before you can configure these as part of 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 bring new traffic to your site.
You should have accounts set up with all the well-known social networks – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.
There are lots of social sites you can syndicate your content to. You don’t need to create accounts with all of them, just select the ones that will work well with your setup and/or content sharing tools.
(You can post your content to lots of social bookmarking sites. Image source ShareThis.com)
Additional Platforms, Content Aggregators, Etc.
There are a number of new online technology platforms and content aggregators that can serve as second-tier traffic generation sources. Some are free or provide free levels, and some are more suitable for enterprise-level applications.
For example, here is a content aggregator that lets you add your WordPress blog feed …
(RebelMouse – Distribute your content to social networks)
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 account.
There are various platforms you can add to your traffic system. Please feel free to contact us if you would like to explore some of these and discuss a configuration plan to suit your needs.
After you have configured your web server and set up third-party service accounts, it’s time to configure WordPress.
WordPress – Configuring Your Website
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.
By default, your WordPress dashboard area includes a Settings menu that allows you to modify your site’s main settings …
(WordPress settings section)
Fields like Site Title and Tagline affect traffic by influencing your site’s SEO, search listings, etc …
(WordPress Settings – General Settings Section)
The Writing Settings section contains one of the most important and often overlooked automated traffic notification systems available to WordPress users …
(Settings Menu – Writing Settings Area)
As stated in this section,
When you publish a new post, WordPress automatically notifies the following site update services …
Unless you have purposely configured your settings to discourage search engines from indexing your site, then your site will automatically notify the update services entered into the Update Services box
By default, this section includes only one entry …
(Writing Settings – WordPress Update Services)
You can 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 visitors will see your content when they visit your home page and blog pages.
The syndication settings in this section can influence traffic. For example, your choice of displaying the full text vs summaries of your post, affects how your content appears in RSS feeds and blog post digests, and could affect someone’s choice to explore your site further, and whether or not they will visit your website or blog to view the rest of the content from summaries, or read the content in full without the need to click through to your site.
The main setting in this section as far as your traffic system is concerned is whether the Search Engine Visibility checkbox is enabled or not.
Generally, you want search engines to visit your site. Leaving the box unchecked enables your site to notify all the update services you have listed whenever new posts are published (see Writing Settings above). Unless you have a specific reason to discourage search indexing spiders from visiting your site, make sure this box is left unchecked …
(Global Settings – Reading Settings Section)
Although the settings in this section 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 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 …
(Settings Menu – Discussion Settings)
Your Permalink settings allow your site to publish posts with search engine-friendly URLs …
(WordPress Settings – Permalink Settings)
Here are some of the ways permalink URLs can be configured …
(Configuring search-friendly URLS)
To learn more about setting up permalinks in WordPress, go here: Changing Your WordPress Permalinks
WordPress Traffic Generation Plugins – Configuration
WordPress provides users with thousands of plugins that help to add almost every kind of functionality imaginable to your site, including plugins that add traffic generation capabilities.
Let’s look at some types of plugin categories that affect traffic and plugin examples
Security Plugins – Blog Defender
Once again, it’s important to configure your WordPress site for handling both good traffic and bad traffic. No web site is guaranteed immunity from cyber attacks.
Security plugins like Blog Defender help to make your WordPress blog invisible to botnets and hackers.
Go here to learn more:
SEO Plugins – Yoast SEO
SEO plugins help drive more traffic by improving the search engine friendliness of your website …
(SEO plugins help increase traffic by making your website more search engine friendly)
Use a powerful plugin like Yoast SEO (formerly known as WordPress SEO by Yoast) to improve your SEO. Properly configured, the Yoast SEO plugin not only makes your website easier for search engines to index, it allows you to configure how your content will show up in Google’s search results and social media sites Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
WordPress Social Plugins
Allowing your visitors to share your content online can help to increase traffic to your site, especially if you publish great content that adds real value to readers.
(WordPress users can easily add social sharing features to their website using free or inexpensive plugins)
You can add social sharing features to your site easily using free or inexpensive WordPress plugins.
Many social sharing plugins let you choose which social sites your content can be shared to, embed social buttons into your content, set up custom post messages, display/hide share counters (e.g. number of shares), etc. Some plugins even allow you to ‘lock’ content or downloads which users can unlock by liking your page.
Configuring WordPress Theme Settings For Traffic Generation
As well as configuring various plugins, many WordPress themes also include features that help grow your site’s traffic.
For example, as well as options and settings for configuring the layout and design of your site, many themes also provide options for improving SEO and site navigation structure for faster indexing, easily add analytics code, social sharing buttons, etc …
(Many themes allow you to configure options and settings for better traffic results)
With a number of themes, adding social sharing buttons to your site is as easy as clicking a couple of buttons and enabling the feature …
(Many WordPress themes have built-in social sharing features that can be easily turned on with the click of a button)
Configuring Other WordPress Areas
Last (but by no means least) in the 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 website for a growth in traffic, it’s important to plan not only how to handle good and unwanted traffic but also for all the situations that can hurt your business as more and more people start finding and visiting your website.
If you do any kind of business online, it’s important that your site remains compliant with regulatory agencies.
To learn more about how to quickly and easily add all necessary legal pages to your WordPress site, go here:
Categories and post tags help improve traffic by improving your site’s search optimization.
(Categories help improve traffic by improving your site’s SEO.)
When configuring your site to automate and improve traffic, you will want to review and make sure that your site’s tags and categories have been correctly set up to deliver optimal results.
Add A Site Map To Your WordPress Site
A visitor site map that lists all of your posts and pages is not only a useful navigation tool, it can also help external applications find 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 two different things. Although Google will index your pages just from an XML sitemap (which plugins like Yoast SEO will create for you – see earlier section), allowing visitors to find more pages on your site can result in increased traffic.
Configure Your WordPress 404 Page Not Found
When visitors searching online for your site enter the wrong web address or click on a hyperlink pointing to a page on your website that no longer exists, they are presented with an error page …
(A 404 Page)
A 404 Error Page can be turned into a useful source of traffic to your functional pages …
(Configuring your 404 Not Found error page allows you to recover traffic that may otherwise be lost.)
Although a 404 Not Found error page can be set up on your web server, there are several WordPress plugins that let you easily configure your 404 page from your WordPress admin.
WordPress Traffic System: Configuration Process – Summary
Once your WordPress site has been fully set up and expertly configured, all you then have to do to automatically begin attracting web traffic is publish web content regularly.
The process of expertly configuring a WordPress site, however, is quite involved , requiring the configuration and integration of various components and external web properties …
(Traffic System – Configuration Phase Checklist)
The expertise required to perform this phase of the traffic automation process typically takes some website developers a long time to learn.
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 article in our series.
This is the end of Section 3
To continue reading about this topic, click on the link below:
This tutorial is part of a comprehensive series of articles designed to help small business owners learn how to grow their business with a WordPress-driven website or blog and proven online marketing methods.
Subscribe Using The Form Below And Get Notified When New WordPress Tutorials Get Published!
"I love the way your email series "Infinite Web Content Creation Training Series" is documented and presented. It is very absorbing and captivating. The links and tutorials are interesting and educational. This has motivated me to rewrite my content following the concepts I am learning from the email series." - Mani Raju, www.fortuneinewaste.com