Welcome to Part 3 of our WordPress Web Traffic Blueprint article series, where we show you how to turn your website into an automated traffic generation machine using the WordPress CMS platform.
In Part 1 of this article series, we 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 add great content on a regular basis to automatically start attracting web traffic!)
In Part Two, we focused on critical setup decisions. 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 existing site was built using WordPress.
(In Part two we show you how to set up a WordPress web site on your domain)
In this section, we look at the configuration stage of the traffic system. You will learn what makes an expertly configured WordPress site different than a professionally configured one. You will also discover just what type of work is required to make sure that when everything is set up and fully configured, visitors will automatically start flowing just by adding web content to your site.
WordPress Web Traffic Automation Blueprint – Configuration
Being able to drive more traffic to one’s website is often cited by most business owners as one of their greatest challenges online. With competition becoming progressively tougher businesses are researching any opportunity they can to get better results online.
Having the ability to automatically generate traffic on demand can provide website owners with a huge advantage. For business owners, an expertly configured website gives WordPress users a flying start as soon as their site is launched.
The Configuration Phase Is What Makes All The Difference
There is a difference between an expertly configured WordPress site and a site that has been professionally installed and set up by an expert website developer but not necessarily configured to its fullest advantage.
Here’s a simple way to explain the difference:
An expertly configured WordPress website gives you a web presence plus an automated online business marketing process!
(An expertly configured site gives you a professional web presence and a built-in automated online business marketing tool!)
Not only does it take extra work to build and integrate an automated online business marketing system into your website, but also a special kind of expertise.
Let’s illustrate this with an amusing anecdote.
A Semi-True Story …
Things are going just fine in the gizmo factory when everything comes to a sudden stop.
No one can figure out what’s wrong and so the plant manager decides to call in an expert.
Shortly after arriving, the expert heads straight towards the main control box. After staring silently at the control unit for what seems like 3 minutes, the expert then takes out a little hammer and makes a very gentle tap about 2 inches from the right-hand corner of the unit.
Immediately, the assembly line begins working once again.
The plant manager is grateful and relieved as he thanks the expert, who leaves as quickly as he had arrived.
A few days later, the manager receives a request of payment for services for the sum of $5,000.
Bewildered and angry, the manager dials the expert. Demanding to know why they were expected to pay such a ludicrous fee for less than five minutes work, he promptly requests an itemized invoice and hangs up.
The next day, an invoice arrives and is placed on the manager’s desk. Upon opening it, this is what he sees:
The #1 challenge most businesses face online is being able to drive traffic to their sites.
How much money did the widget factory stand to lose when production stopped functioning 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 every right to demand fair compensation for years spent acquiring the knowledge and expertise that allowed him to avert a potentially costly crisis?
Similarly, if you could have your WordPress website or blog set up so all you have to do is publish new content and search engines, social media and dozens of other online properties would be immediately notified, how much time and money would this save you?
(How much time and money would you save if you could automate the process of driving traffic to your website?)
Although many experts often make complicated situations and problems look easy, it rarely turns out to be that way.
Expertly configuring a WordPress site requires more than installing a website and configuring basic settings. It involves knowing where to tap! This includes knowing things like:
- Which plugins you need to install for certain things to occur on your site.
- Which services need to be set up to achieve specific outcomes
- Which options need to be configured in order to make sure everything will function as envisioned, etc.
(Driving web traffic automatically with WordPress is a process that requires knowledge and expertise)
Although this part of the traffic automation system may not seem so technically difficult, it can be quite involved. It’s not as simple as installing and configuring a plugin, clicking a couple of buttons … it’s all of this and much more.
Expertly configuring your website is a complex process that involves your server, your site, and various third-party sites …
(The configuration stage involves more than just configuring a few settings in WordPress)
If we try to flowchart the activities involved in the configuration process, it would look like this …
(A simplified flowchart of the steps involved in the configuration process)
Let’s take a brief look at what’s involved.
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 fine-tuning settings and options in your hosting account specifically for handling all web traffic …
(In the configuration stage, your server settings need to be checked for handling both good and bad traffic)
Not all web traffic is welcome traffic. Some of the web traffic your site may attract will be unwelcome traffic like spam, malicious threats, brute-force bot attacks, etc.
This aspect of the configuration process, therefore, requires planning for good and unwanted traffic and adjusting settings in your server accordingly. This includes looking at things like spam protection and securing server files, to configuring your domain and email redirections, setting up htaccess and 404 redirections, etc …
(Have you configured your control panel settings for handling things like email forwarding, page errors, etc?)
After your server settings have been fine-tuned and configured, the next step is to set up and configure various third-party sites.
External Web Properties & Services – Configuration
The basic idea of choosing external sites is that all of your content should be published from one central location (your WordPress site) and from there, radiate outwards to other parts of your traffic system, or notify traffic-related web properties and services.
Once these external platforms have been added to your system, content linking back to your site gets automatically fed to these platforms. Your content and website will benefit from increased exposure online, helping you tap into a new audience and source of traffic.
Some sites will need to have accounts set up before configuring your WordPress site’s settings to help 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 before configuring your settings:
(Google Webmaster Tools)
Google Webmasters lets you tell Google about your site’s pages, submit XML sitemaps for faster page indexing, and provides site owners with a range of useful information, SEO tools, and reports about their website.
After setting up your account with Google Webmasters, use the information with traffic settings in WordPress (e.g. using plugins like Yoast SEO) and other applications.
Google Analytics lets you improve your site’s performance, SEO, marketing activities, sales conversions, and more, by tracking all user behaviour, pages visited, keywords searched for, organic referrers, etc.
After setting up your up your Google Analytics account and site data has been entered, traffic monitoring information can be added to all of your web pages in WordPress via a Google Analytics plugin used with other applications and reporting tools.
(Bing Data And Tools)
Bing Webmaster Tools is similar to Google Webmaster Tools. After setting up your account and entering site data, the account information can be used to integrate and automate web traffic-related settings in WordPress (e.g. using plugins like Yoast SEO) and other applications.
As discussed in Part Two, WordPress offers website owners a hosted (WordPress.com) and a self-hosted (WordPress.org) option. We recommended choosing the self-hosted WordPress option if you plan to build a professional online presence.
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 these features into your automated web traffic system in the next installment of this series.
Social Media And Social Bookmarking
(Syndicate your content automatically to your social media accounts and drive new visitors to your site)
You will need your social 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 attract new visitors to your site.
Make sure you have set up profiles with all of the well-known social networks – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.
There are lots of social sites you can You can syndicate your content to lots of social bookmarking sites. You don’t need to go crazy, just pick the ones that will work with your setup and/or content syndication tools (we will look at some of these tools in greater detail when we discuss the Automation phase).
(You can syndicate your content to lots of social sites. Image source ShareThis.com)
Additional Solutions, Content Aggregators, Etc.
There are a number of new online platforms and RSS aggregators that can act as secondary-level sources of traffic. Some are free or provide free plans, and some offer a range of pricing plans to suit different users.
For example, here is a content aggregator site that allows you to add your WordPress blog feed …
(RebelMouse – Publishing platform for distributed content)
RebelMouse is an aggregator for your social profiles and RSS feeds. Your content displays in a Pinterest-like format and visitors can follow your RebelMouse account.
There are various platforms that can be incorporated into your own traffic system. Please feel free to contact us if you would like to explore some of these and discuss a strategy to suit your needs.
Once you have configured your server settings and set up accounts with third-party services, it’s time to configure your WordPress site.
WordPress Site Configuration
The first step in configuring your WordPress site for traffic is to make sure that your global settings have been correctly set up.
Let’s go over some of the important areas.
The WordPress admin area contains a Settings menu that allows you to modify your site’s main settings …
(WordPress menu – Settings)
Sections like Site Title and Tagline can affect your site’s SEO, search listings, etc …
(Global Settings – General Settings Screen)
The Writing Settings section contains a powerful and frequently overlooked automated traffic notification system …
(Settings Menu – Writing Settings Screen)
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 intentionally configured your settings to discourage search engines from indexing your site – see next section, then your site will automatically notify the list of services entered into the Update Services box
By default, when WordPress is installed, this section contains only one entry …
WordPress lets you 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 on this page can influence web traffic. For example, your choice to display the full text vs summaries of your post, affects how your content displays to users in RSS feeds 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 get 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 main setting here is whether the Search Engine Visibility check box is enabled or not.
Normally, you want to encourage search engines to visit your site. Leaving the box unchecked allows WordPress to notify the update services list when a new post gets published (see Writing Settings above). Unless you have a specific reason to discourage search engines from visiting your site, make sure this box is left unticked …
(Global Settings – Reading Settings)
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)
Permalinks allow your site to publish posts with SEO-friendly URLs …
(WordPress Settings – Permalink Settings Section)
Here are some of the ways your SEO-friendly URLs can be configured …
(Configuring permalink URLs)
To learn more about setting up permalinks, go here: Using Permalinks To Improve Your WordPress SEO
WordPress – Traffic Generation Plugins
The WordPress developer community makes available thousands of plugins that can add almost every type of functionality imaginable to your website, including many plugins that improve traffic generation.
Here are examples of plugin categories and plugins that can improve traffic generation
Security Plugins – Blog Defender
Once again, it’s important to configure your website for handling both good traffic and bad traffic. No blog is safe from a cyber-attack.
Security plugins like Blog Defender help to make your blog invisible to bots and hackers.
Go here to learn more:
WordPress SEO Plugins – Yoast SEO
WordPress SEO plugins help drive more traffic by improving improving how search engines like Google find, crawl and index your web pages …
(WP Plugins For SEO – Yoast SEO)
A plugin like Yoast SEO (previously called WordPress SEO by Yoast) can improve your SEO. Once properly configured, this plugin not only makes your site easier for search engines to find and index, it also gives you control over how your content is presented in Google’s search results and social media sites Twitter, Facebook, and GooglePlus.
WordPress Social Plugins
Allowing visitors to share your content online can help drive significant traffic to your site, especially if you provide content that adds real value to readers.
(You can add social sharing features to your site easily with WordPress plugins)
WordPress users can easily add social sharing to their site using free or inexpensive plugins.
Many social sharing plugins let you specify which sites visitors can share your content to, embed social buttons into your content, set up custom notifications, display/hide share counters (e.g. number of followers), etc. Some social share plugins even allow you to ‘lock’ content which visitors can unlock by sharing your page.
As well as configuring various plugins, many WordPress themes also include features that help improve your site’s traffic generation capabilities.
For example, in addition to options and settings for configuring the layout and design of your website, some themes also give you options for improving SEO and site navigation structure for better indexing, add analytics, social sharing buttons, etc …
(Many WordPress themes like Graphene (a free theme) can be configured for improved traffic results)
With many quality themes, adding social sharing features to your website is as easy as selecting the option to enable this functions …
(Many WordPress themes have built-in social sharing features that can be easily enabled on with the click of a button)
Configuring Other WordPress Areas
Last (but by no means least) in the WordPress traffic configuration process, are the areas that need to be configured outside of the global settings.
Once again, when preparing your site for a growth in traffic numbers, it’s important to plan not only for how to handle good and bad traffic but also for all the things that can go wrong as more and more people start finding and visiting your website.
If you do business online (or plan to), it’s important that your site complies with government legal requirements.
We have created a detailed article about adding legal pages to WordPress here:
Post categories and post tags help search engines index your web pages, which improves traffic.
(Post categories help improve traffic by allowing search engines to better index your web pages.)
When configuring your site to automate and improve traffic, you will want to review and make sure that the post tags and categories that have been set up.
Add A Site Map To Your WordPress Site
A site map that lists all of your site’s posts and pages to visitors is not only a useful navigation tool for users, it can also help external sites find more of your website content …
(Site Map – great for visitors and beneficial for web traffic too!)
Note: An HTML site map and an XML sitemap are not the same thing. Although search engines like Google can 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 results in increased traffic.
404 Page – An Additional Source Of Traffic!
When visitors enter the wrong URL or click on an invalid link, they are presented with an error – page not found message …
(A 404 Error Page)
Configuring your 404 Not Found error page allows you to redirect traffic that may otherwise be lost. …
(Configuring your 404 Not Found error page allows you to recover traffic that may otherwise be lost.)
Although a 404 error page can be set up in your server, there are WordPress plugins that allow you to easily configure your 404 page inside your WordPress dashboard.
WordPress Traffic Automation System: Configuration Stage – Summary
Once your site has been expertly configured and fully set up, all you need to do is post fresh content regularly to begin attracting traffic.
The process of expertly configuring a WordPress site, however, is quite involved , requiring the configuration and integration of various elements and web properties …
(WP Traffic System – Configuration Phase Checklist)
The skills and knowledge involved in expertly configuring a WordPress site can take many web 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 covered in the next article in the WordPress Traffic Automation Blueprint series.
This is the end of Part 3
To read the rest of this article, click here:
- Web Site Traffic Blueprint Part 4 – A Complete Guide To Generating More Website Traffic For Your Business Automatically Using WordPress
This tutorial is part of a comprehensive tutorial series designed to help website owners learn how to grow their business using a WordPress website or blog and proven marketing strategies that are easy and quick to implement.
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