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.

Website Traffic Blueprint Part Three - A Complete Guide To Generating More Web Visitors Automatically Using WordPress

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

In Part One of this series, we described the process, and explained why using an expertly configured WordPress website is the key to automating traffic to your site …

With an expertly configured WordPress website or blog, all you have to do is add fresh content on a regular basis to automatically generate more web traffic!

(With an expertly configured WordPress web site, all you have to do to begin attracting more web traffic is add fresh content on a consistent basis!)

In Part Two, we looked at the setup phase of the blueprint. We helped you understand the best way to start if you don’t have a website yet, how to set things up if you already have a website, and what to do if your site has been built with WordPress.

How to set up a WordPress website on your domain

(In Part two we show you where to set up WordPress on your domain)

In this section, we discuss the configuration stage of the traffic system. We explain how to configure a WordPress site to ensure that new web traffic will automatically start flowing when you post fresh content to your site.

WordPress Traffic Automation Blueprint – Configuration Phase

The ability to attract more visitors to one’s website is often cited by business owners as their greatest challenge online. Also, the business landscape is becoming so much more competitive and businesses are researching any and every advantage they can that can help you improve their performance and results online.

Being able to generate traffic on demand can be a huge advantage. For businesses, an expertly configured website means having an immediate competitive advantage from the word “go”.

The Difference Is In The Configuration Process

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

Here is a simple way to understand the differences:

An expertly configured WordPress website gives you a professional web presence plus an automated online business marketing process!

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

(An expertly configured site gives you a web presence and an automated online business marketing system!)

Not only are more steps required to build and integrate an automated online business marketing process into your website, but also a special kind of expertise.

Let’s illustrate this with a little story.

A True Story (Kind Of) …

All was going fine in the widget-making factory when production suddenly stopped.

No one could figure out what was wrong and so the manager decided to call in an expert to try and fix the problem.

Soon afterward, the expert arrived and, without uttering a word, headed out immediately to the control box. After staring at the wiring diagrams for 3 minutes, the expert then took out a tiny hammer and made a very gentle tap about one cm from the right side of the box.

Immediately, everything sprang to life.

The floor manager was overjoyed as he thanked the expert, who left just as quickly as he had arrived.

A few days later, the manager received an invoice for the sum of $5,000.

The manager picked up the phone and rang the expert, demanding to know why the expert had charged them such a large amount of money for so little time spent delivering a minimal amount of work. He then requested an itemized invoice before hanging up.

The next day, a bill of payment arrived and was placed in the manager’s intray. Upon opening it, this is what he saw:

invoice statement

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

How much money did the gizmo factory stand to lose when the machines stopped working and no one in the factory floor had the expertise required to fix it? Did the expert not have the right to ask to be compensated fairly for investing years building up the knowledge, skills and expertise that allowed him to assess and avert a very serious crisis?

Similarly, if you could have your WordPress website configured so all you had to do is publish content to it and search engines, social networks and dozens of other traffic-generating online properties would be automatically notified, how much time and money would this save you?

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 website?)

Although the solution to many challenges is often ridiculously simple once implemented, it rarely is that simple or easy when you try to figure things out.

Expertly configuring a WordPress site requires more than adding some pages with content and configuring a few settings. It also requires knowing where to tap! This includes knowing things like:

  • Which plugins need to be installed to get various functionalities on your site.
  • Which accounts you need to set up and activate to achieve desired outcomes
  • Which settings need to be configured to ensure that processes will run the way you have planned, etc.

Generating web traffic automatically with WordPress is a process that requires expertise

(Driving web 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 involved. It’s not as simple as installing one or two plugins, configuring some settings in your dashboard area or clicking a couple of buttons … it’s all this and so much more.

The configuration stage is a complex process that involves your web server, your website, and various external sites …

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

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

If we try to flowchart the activities involved in the configuration process, it would look like this …

A simplified diagram showing the activities involved in the configuration process

(A simplified diagram of the activities involved in the configuration process)

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

Your Web Server – Configuration

We’re not talking here about the process of configuring your webhosting account for site installation purposes (this is normally done during the Setup phase). We’re talking about configuring settings and options in your server that affect how you will handle all web traffic …

During the configuration phase, your web server settings need to be checked for handling both good and bad traffic

(During the configuration stage, your server settings need to be checked for handling both good and bad traffic)

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

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

Have you configured your hosting control panel settings for handling things like email forwarding, page errors, etc?

(Have you configured your webhosting settings for handling things like emails, page errors, etc?)

After checking your server settings and configuring these, the next step is to configure various third-party sites and online solutions.

Configuring External Web Properties

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

Configuring External Web Properties

After incorporating these external sites into your traffic system, content pointing back to your website gets automatically fed to search, social and aggregator sites. Your content and site will benefit from additional exposure online, helping you tap into new audiences and new sources of traffic.

3rd-Party Accounts

Some sites and online services will need to be set up before configuring your site’s settings to help speed up the process 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 before configuring your site:

Google Search Console

Google Webmasters

(Google Webmaster Tools)

Google Search Console lets you notify Google about your site’s pages, submit XML sitemaps for faster page indexing, and provides site owners with a range of important information, tools, and reports about their website.

After setting up your account and entering site details, you can use your account information to automate traffic-related settings in WordPress and other applications.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics

(Google Analytics)

Google Analytics lets you improve your site’s traffic performance, SEO, user engagement, marketing campaigns, and more, by tracking all user engagement, pages visited, keywords searched for, search engine and organic referrers, etc.

Once your Google Analytics account has been set up, your account information can be easily integrated with WordPress via a simple plugin and and sent to many other useful applications and reporting tools.

Bing Webmaster Tools

Bing Webmaster Tools

(Drive more traffic with Bing Webmaster Tools)

Bing Webmaster Tools is similar to Google Webmaster Tools. Once your account and site details are set up, you can use this information with traffic-related settings and notifications in WordPress (e.g. using plugins like Yoast SEO – see further below) and other applications.

WordPress.com

WordPress.com

(WordPress.com)

As discussed in Part Two, WordPress offers a hosted (WordPress.com) and a self-hosted (WordPress.org) option. We recommended choosing the self-hosted WordPress option if you are planning to grow a professional web presence.

WordPress.com (the hosted option), however, provides a number of useful features, which can be accessed by various WordPress plugins. We recommend setting up an account at WordPress.com, therefore, and we’ll explain how to integrate these features into your web traffic generation system in the next installment of this series.

Social Media And Social Bookmarking

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

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

You will need to set up your social media and social bookmarking accounts in order to integrate these with your traffic generation system.

Once you have set up and configured everything, you will be able to syndicate your content automatically to your social media sites and social bookmarking accounts and drive new traffic to your site.

You should have accounts and profiles with all of the popular social networks – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, etc.

Social Media

There are loads of social bookmarking sites you can set up and syndicate your content to. You don’t need to go crazy, just select the ones that will work with your system and/or content sharing tools (we will look at some of these tools in more detail in the Automation phase).

You can post your content to loads of social sites.

(You can syndicate your content to loads of social sites. Image source ShareThis.com)

Additional Platforms, Aggregators, Etc.

There are a number of online web 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 allows you to add a feed from your site …

RebelMouse

RebelMouse

(RebelMouse – Publishing platform for distributed content)

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

Tip

There are many different technologies and third-party applications that can be added to your web traffic blueprint. Please feel free to contact us if you need assistance exploring this area further, or to discuss a strategy to suit your needs.

Once you have configured your web server and set up external service accounts, it’s time to configure WordPress.

Configuring WordPress

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.

WordPress – Global Settings

The WordPress administration area contains a Settings section that allows you to configure your site’s global settings …

WordPress settings section

(WordPress dashboard menu – Settings)

General Settings

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

Settings Menu - General Settings

(Settings Menu – General Settings)

Writing Settings

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

Global Settings - Writing Settings

(Settings Menu – Writing Settings Screen)

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 configured your site settings to prevent search engines from indexing your site, then your site will automatically ping the list of update services entered into the Update Services box

With an ‘out of the box’ WordPress installation, this section includes only one entry …

Writing Settings - Update Services

(Update Services – A Powerful Traffic Feature)

You can notify dozens of update services automatically with WordPress …

You can 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 visitors will see your content when they visit your home page and blog pages.

The syndication settings in this section can influence web traffic. For example, your choice to display the full content vs summaries of your post, affects how your content appears in RSS readers and blog post digests, and could impact someone’s choice to explore your site further, and whether or not they will visit your site to get the rest of the content from summaries, or read the content in full without the need to click through to your site.

The most important setting in this section as far as your traffic system is concerned is whether the Search Engine Visibility check box is enabled or not.

Normally, you want to encourage search engines to visit your site. Leaving this box unchecked allows your site to instantly ping 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 indexing spiders from visiting your site, make sure this box is left unticked …

WordPress Settings - Reading Settings

(Settings Menu – Reading Settings Section)

Discussion

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 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

(Settings Menu – Discussion Settings)

Permalinks

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

Settings Menu - Permalinks

(Global Settings – Permalink Settings)

Here are some of the options for configuring your site’s post permalinks …

Configuring SEO-friendly URLs

(Configuring permalink URLs)

To learn more about setting up WordPress permalinks, refer to this step-by-step tutorial: Changing WordPress Permalinks

Plugins

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

Here are some types of plugin categories that affect traffic and plugin examples

Blog Defender

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

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 website invisible to hackers and botnets.

Go here to learn more:

WordPress SEO Plugins – Yoast SEO

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

WordPress SEO Plugin - Yoast SEO

(SEO plugins help drive more traffic by improving the search engine friendliness of your website)

A plugin like Yoast SEO can significantly improve your site’s search engine optimization. When properly configured, the Yoast SEO plugin not only makes your site easier for search engines like Google and Bing to find, classify and index, it also gives you control over how your content is presented to Google’s search results and social media sites Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Social Sharing Plugins

Allowing your visitors to share your content with their social networks can help drive more traffic to your site, especially if you post great content that adds real value to readers.

You can easily add social sharing buttons to your website with free or inexpensive WordPress plugins

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

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

Most social share plugins allow you to choose which social sites visitors can share your content to, embed social buttons into your content, set up custom update notifications, display/hide share counters (e.g. number of shares), etc. Some social plugins even allow you to set up protected content areas on your pages which visitors can unlock by sharing your page.

WordPress Theme Features

As well as configuring various plugins, many WordPress themes also include features that help grow your site’s traffic.

For example, in addition to options and settings for configuring the design and layout of your site, some themes also provide built-in features that let you improve search optimization and site linking structure for faster indexing, add analytics code, social sharing buttons, etc …

Many themes have built-in traffic optimization features

(Many WordPress themes have built-in traffic optimization features)

With a number of themes, adding social sharing buttons to your pages is as easy as clicking a button …

Many WordPress themes include built-in social sharing features

(Many WordPress themes come with built-in social sharing features)

Additional Configuration Areas For WordPress Traffic Automation

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

These include the following:

Legal Web Pages

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

If you do business online, it’s important that your site remains compliant with all legal requirements.

Is Your Website Legally Compliant?(Is Your Website Legally Compliant?)

For a detailed article about how to quickly add all necessary legal pages to your WordPress website or blog, see this article:

Tags And Categories

Tags & categories help improve traffic by allowing search engines to better classify and index your pages.

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

(WordPress categories help improve traffic by improving your site’s SEO.)

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

In the configuration phase, you will want to review and make sure that your site’s categories and tags have been set up correctly to deliver optimal benefits and results.

Add A Site Map To Your WordPress Site

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

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

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

Useful Information

It’s important to note that an HTML site map and an XML sitemap are two different things. Although search engines like Google will index your pages just using 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.

Don’t Forget Your Site’s 404 Page Not Found

When visitors searching for your website type in the wrong web address or click on an invalid link, they will normally be greeted with an error – page not found message …

Default WordPress 404 Not Found Page

(Default WordPress 404 Not Found page)

A 404 page can be turned into a useful source of traffic to your functional web pages …

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

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

Useful Tip

Although a 404 page can be set up in your web server, there are plugins for WordPress that let you easily configure your 404 page from your WordPress admin area.

WordPress Traffic Blueprint: Configuration Stage – Summary

Once your WordPress site has been fully set up and expertly configured, all you then need to do to begin bringing more traffic is post great content regularly.

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

Traffic System - Configuration Phase Checklist

(WordPress Traffic Blueprint – Configuration Phase Checklist)

Important Info

The kind of knowledge and expertise required to perform this stage of the traffic automation process can take many website developers a long time to learn.

Once you have expertly configured your WordPress site, the next step is to automate as much of the process as can be automated. This step is explained in the next section of the series.

This is the end of Section 3

To read the rest of this article, click on the link below:

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

Info

This tutorial is part of an tutorial series designed to help website owners learn how to grow their business online inexpensively and drive traffic automatically using a WordPress website or blog and proven web marketing strategies.

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