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 Three - A Complete Guide To Driving More Web Visitors For Your Business Automatically

Welcome to Part Three of our Web Site Traffic Blueprint article series, where we show you how to create an automated web traffic generating machine using the WordPress CMS.

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

With an expertly configured WordPress site, all you have to do is post content regularly to automatically bring more web traffic!

(With an expertly configured WordPress site, all you have to do is post fresh content consistently to attract new traffic!)

In Part Two, we discussed the setup phase of the blueprint. We explained the best way to get started 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 site has been built with WordPress.

Where to set up a WordPress website on your domain

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

In this section, we will discuss the configuration phase of the traffic automation process. We explain how to configure a WordPress site to automatically begin to get new traffic whenever you publish fresh content on your WordPress site.

WordPress Web Traffic Blueprint – Configuration

Being able to attract more visitors to one’s website is often cited by many business owners as one of the greatest challenges they face online. Businesses are becoming ever more competitive worldwide and are exploring any and every opportunity they can to improve their performance online.

Being able to generate traffic on demand is a huge competitive advantage. With an expertly configured website, you have a flying start as soon as your website is launched.

The Difference Is In The Configuration Process

There is a significant difference between an expertly configured WordPress site and a website that has been professionally set up by a web-building expert but not necessarily configured to its fullest advantage.

Here’s one way to understand the differences:

An expertly configured WordPress website gives you a web presence and online business marketing automation!

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

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

Not only is additional labor required to build and integrate an automated online business marketing system into your website, it also takes a special type of expertise.

To illustrate this here is an amusing anecdote.

A True Story (Kind Of) …

Everything is going just fine in the widget factory when production suddenly grinds to a complete stop.

As no one can figure out what went wrong, the plant manager decides to call in an expert to fix the problem.

The expert arrives within in less than an hour and, without saying a word, immediately heads towards the main control box. After staring silently at the electronic components for 3 minutes or less, the expert then takes out a tiny little hammer from his pocket and makes a very gentle tap about 1 cm from the bottom-left side of the unit.

Immediately, everything comes back to life.

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

A couple of days later, the manager receives an invoice for the sum of $5,000.

Bewildered to the point of feeling outrage, the manager picks up the phone and dials the expert. Why were they charged so much for so little time spent delivering such a minimal amount of work? He then requests an itemized invoice and hangs up.

The next day, an invoice notice arrives in the manager’s intray. Upon opening the envelope, this is what he sees:

invoice statement

The main challenge most businesses face online is driving traffic to their sites.

How much money did the widget factory stand to lose when the machines stopped functioning and no one on the factory floor was able to get things up and running again? Did the expert in our story not have the right to demand fair compensation for years spent developing the knowledge, skills and expertise that allowed 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 networking sites 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 driving traffic to your site?

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

Although many experts often make complex things look simple, it rarely is that simple or easy when you are trying to figure things out.

Knowing how to expertly configure a WordPress site requires more than adding some pages with content and configuring basic settings. It involves knowing where to tap! This includes knowing things like:

  • Which programs you need to install for certain things to occur on your site.
  • Which third-party services you need to set up to get certain outcomes
  • Which settings need to be configured in order to ensure that everything works exactly as you have planned, etc.

Generating new traffic automatically with WordPress is a process that requires knowledge and expertise

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

This part of the WordPress traffic automation system is not so technically challenging, but it’s quite complicated. The reason why is because it’s not just about installing and configuring one or two plugins, configuring some options and settings in your admin area or clicking a button … it’s all this and much more.

The configuration stage involves the integration of many components including your web hosting server, your site, and a number of external sites and services …

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

(Expertly configuring your website involves more than just configuring a few WordPress settings)

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

A simplistic diagram showing the configuration process

(A simplistic diagram showing the configuration phase)

Let’s take a look at these areas.

Configuring The Server

We’re not talking here about the process of configuring your webhosting account for installation purposes (this is normally done during the Setup phase). What we are talking about, is tweaking settings in your server 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

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

Not all web traffic is welcome traffic. Some of the traffic your site can attract will be unwelcome traffic like bot spam, security threats, brute-force bot attacks, etc.

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

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

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

Once your server settings have been checked and configured, the next step of the configuration phase is to set up various third-party sites and/or online services.

External Accounts

The concept behind adding external sites is that all content gets posted to one central location (your WordPress site) and from there, it radiates outwards automatically to other parts of your web traffic system, or notify traffic-related web properties and applications.

Integration With External Solutions

After incorporating these external sites into your setup, content with links pointing back to your site is automatically published on these platforms. Your website receives additional exposure online, helping your business tap into new sources of traffic.

External Sites

Some of the sites will need to have accounts set up before configuring your WordPress 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 settings:

Google Search Console

Google Webmaster Tools

(Google Search Console)

Google Webmaster Tools lets you tell Google about your site’s pages, submit XML sitemaps for automatic page indexing, and provides site owners with useful data, SEO tools, and reports about their website.

After setting up your account and entering site data with Google Webmasters, this information can be used with web traffic-related settings and notifications in WordPress using plugins like Yoast SEO (see further below) and other applications.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics

(Google Analytics)

Google Analytics lets you improve your site’s performance, SEO, marketing activities, and more, by tracking all user behavior, pages visited, keywords searched for, organic referrals, etc.

After setting up your account, you can add traffic monitoring information to WordPress via a simple Google Analytics plugin and send data automatically to various other applications and web properties.

Bing Data And Tools

Drive more traffic with Bing Webmaster Tools

(Bing Data And Tools)

Bing Webmaster Tools is similar to Google Webmasters. Once your account and site data with Bing have been set up, this information can be used with web traffic settings and notifications in WordPress and other applications.

WordPress.com

WordPress.com

(WordPress.com)

As discussed in Part 2, WordPress offers users a self-hosted and a hosted option. We recommended choosing the self-hosted WordPress platform if you are planning to build a professional web presence.

WordPress.com (the hosted option), however, provides a number of useful tools, 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 these features into your web traffic generation system in the next installment of this article series.

Social Media

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

(Syndicate your content automatically to your social media and social bookmarking accounts and drive new visitors to your site)

You will need to have already set up your various social 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 accounts and bring new visitors to your site.

Set up accounts and profile pages with all of the big social networks – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, etc.

Social Media And Social Bookmarking

There are lots of social bookmarking sites you can syndicate your content to. 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 many social bookmarking sites.

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

Additional Sites, Aggregators, Etc.

There are many new online platforms and content aggregators that can serve as second-tier traffic generation sources. Some are free or provide free plans, and some are more suitable for enterprise-level applications.

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

RebelMouse

RebelMouse - Publishing platform for distributed content

(RebelMouse)

RebelMouse is an aggregator for your RSS feeds and social profiles. Your content is displayed in a Pinterest-like format and users can follow your RebelMouse social feed.

Tip

There are many different sites and platforms you can add to your own web traffic system. Please contact us if you need assistance exploring some of these further, or to discuss a strategy to suit your needs.

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

Configuring WordPress For Traffic

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

Let’s go over some key areas.

Global Settings – WordPress

By default, all WordPress installations include a Settings menu that allows you to set up your site’s main settings …

WordPress dashboard menu - Settings

(WordPress settings section)

General Settings

Sections like Site Title and Tagline can influence your site’s SEO, search results, etc …

Global Settings - General Settings

(WordPress Settings – General Settings)

Writing Settings

The Writing Settings section contains an important and frequently overlooked traffic notification system …

WordPress Settings - Writing Settings

(Global Settings – Writing Settings)

As described 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 prevent search engines from indexing your site, then your site will automatically notify the services entered into the Update Services field

By default, when WordPress is installed, only one service is available …

Update Services

(Update Services)

You can notify dozens of update services automatically – just add a list containing all of the update services you want notified to this section …

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 Settings

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 traffic. For example, choosing to display the full content vs summaries of your post, affects how your content appears in RSS readers and blog post digests, and could play a part in someone’s decision to explore your site further, and whether or not they will visit your blog to view 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 checkbox is ticked or not.

Normally, you want search engines to visit your site. Leaving the box unchecked enables your site to notify the update services list whenever a new post is published (see Writing Settings above). Unless there is a specific reason why search engines should not visit your site, do not check this box …

Global Settings - Reading Settings Section

(Settings Menu – Reading Settings)

Discussion Settings

Although this section is mostly concerned with how users engage with content on your site, you have the option to allow notifications to sites 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

(Settings Menu – Discussion Settings Section)

Permalinks

Permalinks allow your site to publish posts with search engine-friendly URLs …

WordPress Settings - Permalinks

(Settings Menu – Permalinks Screen)

The examples below show some of the ways post permalinks can be configured …

Configuring post permalinks

(Configuring permalink URLs)

If you need help setting up permalinks, see this tutorial: Improve Your WordPress SEO Using Permalinks

Plugin Settings

WordPress provides users with thousands of plugins that help to add almost every type of functionality to your site, including traffic generation.

Let’s take a brief look at examples of plugin categories and plugins that can help your site generate more traffic

Blog Defender Security Plugin

Once again, it’s important to configure your WordPress site for dealing with the effects of 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, website security is something you cannot ignore.

WordPress Security Plugins stop bad traffic from causing your website harm(WordPress Security Plugins stop bad traffic from harming your web presence)

Security plugins like Blog Defender help to make your blog invisible to malicious attacks from hackers and bots.

For more information, go here:

SEO Plugins – Yoast SEO

WordPress SEO plugins help drive traffic by making your web pages easily indexable …

WordPress Plugin - Yoast SEO

(SEO plugins like Yoast SEO help drive more traffic by making your site more search engine friendly)

A plugin like Yoast SEO (previously called WordPress SEO by Yoast) can improve your website’s SEO. Once properly configured, the Yoast SEO plugin not only makes your website easier for search engines like Google and Bing to find and index, it also lets you specify how to display your content to Google’s search results and social media pages, e.g. Twitter, Facebook, and GooglePlus.

WordPress Social Plugins

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

WordPress users can easily add social sharing buttons to their website using WordPress plugins

(WordPress users can easily add social sharing features to their website using free or inexpensive WordPress plugins)

There are many social sharing plugins to choose from.

Many social plugins let you choose which social 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 shares), etc. Some social sharing plugins even allow you to set up protected content sections on your site which visitors can unlock by linking or tweeting your page.

WordPress Theme Settings – Configuration

As well as configuring various plugins, many WordPress themes also include features that can help you drive more traffic to your site.

For example, as well as options and settings for configuring the design and layout of your website, many themes also provide built-in features that let you improve search optimization and site linking structure for better indexing, easily add analytics code, social sharing buttons, etc …

Many themes allow you to configure options and settings for improved traffic results

(Many themes allow you to configure options and settings for improved traffic results)

With many themes, adding social sharing buttons and features to your website is as easy as clicking a button …

Many WordPress themes provide users with built-in social sharing features

(Many WordPress themes include built-in social sharing features)

Other Configuration Features For WordPress

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

These include the following:

Website Compliance Pages

Once again, when preparing your website for a growth in traffic numbers, it’s important to plan not only for both bad and good traffic but also for all the situations that can cause serious damage to your business when more and more people start finding and visiting your website.

If you engage in any form of commercial activity online (or are planning to), you need to ensure that your site complies with regulatory agencies.

Does Your Website Comply With The Law?(Does Your Website Comply With The Law?)

For a detailed article on how to quickly and easily add legal pages to your website, see this article:

WordPress Tags And Categories

Post tags & categories help improve traffic by improving your site’s SEO.

WordPress categories help search engines classify and index your web pages, which helps you get more traffic.

(Post categories help search engines better organize and index your web pages, which helps you get more traffic.)

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

When configuring your web site to automate and improve web traffic, you will want to review and make sure that the post tags and categories you have set up.

Visitor Site Map

A visitor site map that lists all of your site’s pages and posts is not only a useful navigation tool for users, it can also help external tools discover your web content …

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

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

Important Info

An HTML site map and an XML sitemap are not the same things. An HTML site map is a web page that links to all other content on your site, while an XML sitemap is mostly code that only search engine bots can understand. Although Google will index your site just using an XML sitemap (which a plugin like Yoast SEO can provide – see earlier section), allowing visitors to find more pages on your site results in increased traffic.

Don’t Forget Your 404 Error Page

When online visitors enter the wrong URL or click on a hyperlink pointing to a destination on your site that no longer exists, they are greeted with a 404 error page …

A 404 Error Page

(Default WordPress 404 Not Found page)

A 404 Not Found error page can be configured to redirect confused visitors to your functional web pages …

Configuring your 404 page allows you to redirect web traffic that may otherwise be lost.

(Configuring your 404 Not Found error page allows you to recover web traffic that may otherwise be lost.)

Tip

Although a 404 error page can be set up on your web server, there are plugins for WordPress that allow you to easily configure your 404 page inside your WordPress dashboard.

WordPress Traffic Automation Blueprint: Configuration Phase – Summary

Once your website has been expertly configured and fully set up, all you then need to do is add web content on a regular basis to automatically generate more traffic.

The process of expertly configuring your WordPress site, however, is quite involved , requiring the configuration and integration of various elements and web properties …

Traffic System - Configuration Phase Checklist

(WordPress Traffic System – Configuration Phase Checklist)

Info

The kind of expertise involved in expertly configuring a WordPress site typically takes some web developers a long time to acquire.

Once you have configured your WordPress site, the next step is to automate the process. This step is explained in the next article in the series.

This is the end of Part 3

To keep reading, click on the link below:

WordPress Web Traffic Blueprint Part 3 - Learn How To Automatically Increase Your Web Traffic For Your Business With WordPress

Info

This tutorial is part of a comprehensive series of tutorials designed to help you learn how to grow your business online with a WordPress website or blog and proven online marketing strategies.

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