Welcome to Part 3 of our Web Traffic Blueprint article series, where we show you how to drive new traffic automatically to your website using the WordPress CMS.
In Part One of this series, we explained why using an expertly configured WordPress website is the key to automating traffic to your site …
(With an expertly configured WordPress blog, all you have to do is post web content consistently to automatically begin bringing traffic!)
In Part Two, we looked at critical setup decisions. We explained the best way to start if you don’t have a web presence yet, how to set everything up if you already have a website, and what to do if your existing site was built using WordPress.
(In Part 2 we show you where to set up a WordPress website or blog on your domain)
In this section, we will discuss the configuration stage of the traffic system. We will show you how a WordPress site should be configured to automatically start getting new traffic when you post new content on your site.
- WordPress Traffic Blueprint – Configuration Phase
- Your Web Server
- Configuring External Sites
- Configuring Your WordPress Site For Traffic
- WordPress – Global Settings
- WordPress Themes
- Additional Sections Of WordPress To Configure For Better Traffic Results
- Legal Web Pages
- WordPress Traffic System: Configuration Phase – Summary
WordPress Traffic Blueprint – Configuration Phase
Finding ways to attract more visitors to one’s website is often cited by business owners as their greatest challenge online. With business becoming increasingly more competitive worldwide, it’s worth looking into any and every advantage that can help you get better results online.
Being able to automatically generate traffic on demand can be a huge advantage over the competition. For WordPress users, an expertly configured website means having a significant advantage from the very start.
The Difference Is In The Way Your Site Is Configured
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 its fullest advantage.
Here is a simple way to understand the key difference:
With a WordPress site that has been expertly configured you get a web presence with online business marketing automation!
(An expertly configured website gives you a professional web presence with an automated online business marketing system!)
Not only does a whole lot more work go into building and integrating an automated online business marketing process into your website, it also takes a special type of expertise.
Let’s illustrate this with a story.
Ludicrous Or Fair? You Decide …
All was moving along in the gizmo-making assembly line when things suddenly ceased working.
No one could figure out what has happened and so the plant manager decided to call in an expert to fix the problem.
The expert arrived within in less than an hour and headed immediately towards the control box. After staring silently at the box for no more than 3 minutes, the expert then produced a tiny hammer from his tool belt and made a gentle tap near the right-hand edge of the unit.
Immediately, everything sprang to life.
The plant manager was delighted as he thanked the expert, who left as quickly as he had arrived.
A few days later, the manager received a request for payment of services rendered for $5,000.
The manager rang back the expert, demanding to know why he had charged them so much for less than five minutes work and then requested an itemized invoice before hanging up.
The next day, an invoice notice arrived in the manager’s intray. Upon opening the envelope, this is what he saw:
The number one challenge most businesses face online is being able to drive new visitors to their sites.
In the story we’ve just described, how much money did the gizmo plant stand to lose when production ground to a halt and no one in the business had the expertise required to get things up and running again? Did the expert in our story not have every right to demand fair compensation for years spent building up the knowledge, skills and expertise that enabled him to assess and fix a very costly problem?
Similarly, if you could have a WP website set up so all you had to do is publish new content and Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and dozens of other online properties would be automatically 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 attracting new visitors to your website?)
Although the solution to many problems may seem ridiculously simple in hindsight, it rarely is that simple or easy.
Expertly configuring a WordPress site requires more than installing a website and configuring some basic settings. It also requires knowing where to tap! In other words, knowing things like:
- Which programs you need to install to add desired functionalities to your site.
- Which accounts need to be set up to get certain outcomes
- Which internal and external settings you need to configure to make sure everything works exactly as you would like, etc.
(Driving new traffic automatically with WordPress is a process that requires expertise)
This part of the traffic automation system is not so technically challenging, but it’s quite complicated. This is because it’s not as easy as installing one or two plugins, clicking a couple of buttons, or tweaking some settings in your dashboard area … it’s all this and so much more.
Expertly configuring your website involves the integration of various different components including your web hosting server, your website, and various external sites …
(The configuration phase involves more than just configuring a few settings in WordPress)
If we create a simplified flowchart showing all the steps involved in the configuration process, it would look something like this …
(A simplistic diagram showing the steps involved in the configuration process)
Let’s take a look at these steps.
Your Web Server
We’re not talking here about the process of configuring your hosting account for site installation purposes (this is normally done during the Setup phase). We’re talking about tweaking settings and options in your server 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 traffic is positive traffic. Some of the traffic your website will attract will be unwanted traffic like spam, malicious threats, brute-force bot attacks, etc.
This area of the configuration process, therefore, requires evaluating your needs, planning for good and bad traffic and adjusting settings in your server accordingly. This includes things like server-level spam protection and securing server files, to configuring domain and email redirections, setting up htaccess redirections, etc …
(Have you configured your hosting control panel settings for handling things like email forwarding, page errors, etc?)
After fine-tuning your web server settings and configuring these, the next step is to set up and configure various third-party sites and services.
Configuring External Sites
The basic concept of adding external sites is that all of your content is published from a 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.
After adding these external services to your setup, content with links pointing back to your website will be automatically added to search, social and aggregator accounts. Your business will then be given additional exposure to new sources of traffic and new audiences.
Some of the sites and services will need to be set up before configuring your WordPress site to speed up the process 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’s settings:
(Google Webmasters – create a Google-friendly site)
Google Webmaster Tools lets you tell Google about your site’s pages, submit XML sitemaps for faster page indexing, and provides you with a range of important data, tools and reports about your website.
After setting up your account and entering site details, you can use the information to automate traffic settings in WordPress and other applications.
Google Analytics lets you improve your website’s results, SEO, user engagement, marketing efforts, sales conversions, and more, by tracking all user behaviour, pages visited, keywords searched for, search engine referrers, etc.
After setting up your Once you have set up Google Analytics, you can add traffic monitoring code to WordPress using a simple Google Analytics plugin and feed data instantly to other online applications and reporting tools.
(Drive more traffic with Bing Data And Tools)
Bing Webmaster Tools is similar to Google Search Console. After setting up your account, you can use the information to automate web traffic-related settings in WordPress (e.g. using plugins like Yoast SEO – see further below) and other applications.
As discussed in Part Two, WordPress offers the option of a hosted vs self-hosted website. We recommended choosing the self-hosted WordPress platform if you are planning to build a professional business presence online.
WordPress.com (the hosted option), however, provides some great 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 system in the next installment of this article series.
Social Media And Social Bookmarking
(Syndicate your content automatically to your social media pages and get new visitors to your site)
You will need to have already set up your social media accounts 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 and social bookmarking accounts and drive new traffic to your site.
You should have accounts and profiles set up with all the leading social networks – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.
There are loads of social sites you can set up accounts with. You don’t need to go crazy, just select those that will work with your setup and/or content sharing tools.
(You can post your content to many social sites. Image source ShareThis.com)
Additional Solutions, RSS Aggregators, Etc.
There are a number of online web platforms and RSS aggregators that can act as secondary-level 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 that allows you to add an RSS feed from your WordPress blog …
RebelMouse is a news aggregator for your RSS feeds and social profiles. Your content is displayed in a Pinterest-like format and users can follow your own RebelMouse page.
There are many different platforms that can be added to your traffic system. Please feel free to contact us if you would like to explore some of these further and 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 site.
Configuring Your WordPress Site For Traffic
The first step in configuring your site for traffic is to make sure that your global settings have been set up correctly.
Let’s go over some of the important points.
WordPress – Global Settings
Your WordPress dashboard area contains a Settings section that allows you to configure your site’s global settings …
(WordPress menu – Settings)
Sections like Site Title and Tagline can affect your site’s SEO, search indexing, etc …
(Global Settings – General Settings Section)
The Writing Settings area contains one of the most powerful and often overlooked traffic notification systems available to website owners …
(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 have intentionally chosen to discourage search engines from indexing your site, then your site will automatically ping the services entered into the Update Services box
By default, when WordPress is installed, this section includes only one entry …
(Update Services – A Powerful Traffic Feature Of WordPress)
WordPress lets you notify dozens of update services automatically …
(You can notify dozens of update services automatically with WordPress!)
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 have an influence web traffic. For example, choosing to display the full content vs a summary of your post, affects how your content displays in RSS readers and blog post digests, and could impact someone’s choice to explore your content further, and whether or not they will visit your 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 traffic is concerned is whether the Search Engine Visibility checkbox is ticked or not.
Generally, you would want search engines to visit your site. Leaving this box unchecked enables WordPress to instantly notify various update services 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)
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 blogs 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 …
(Global Settings – Discussion Settings)
Permalinks allow your site to display posts with SEO-friendly URLs …
(Global Settings – Permalinks Section)
Here are some of the ways your permalinks can be configured …
(Configuring post permalinks)
If you need help setting up permalinks, refer to this step-by-step tutorial: How To Set Up Your WordPress Permalinks
WordPress provides users with 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 help drive more traffic
WordPress Security Plugins – Blog Defender
Once again, it’s important to configure your site for dealing with both good traffic and bad traffic. No blog is completely immune from being attacked by hackers.
Security plugins like Blog Defender help to make your WordPress blog invisible to hackers and botnets.
For more information, go here:
WordPress SEO Plugins – Yoast SEO
WordPress SEO plugins help drive traffic by making your web content easy for search engines like Google to find and index …
(Yoast SEO – WP Plugin)
A plugin like Yoast SEO can significantly improve your SEO. Properly configured, the Yoast SEO plugin not only makes your web pages easier for search engines like Google and Bing to find, crawl and index, it also lets you configure how your content will show up in Google’s search results and social media pages, e.g. Twitter, Facebook, and GooglePlus.
Allowing your 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 easily add social sharing to your website with WordPress plugins)
There are many free or inexpensive social sharing plugins to choose from.
Many social share plugins allow you to choose which sites your content can be shared to, embed social buttons into your content, set up default post messages, display/hide share counters (e.g. number of shares), etc. Some social sharing plugins even allow you to set up protected content areas on your pages which visitors can unlock by liking your page.
As well as configuring various plugins, many WordPress themes also include features that can help grow your traffic.
For example, as well as options and settings for configuring the layout and design of your site, many themes also include built-in options for improving SEO and site linking structure for better indexing, add tracking snippets, 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 and features to your site is as easy as selecting the option to enable this functions …
(Many WordPress themes provide built-in social sharing features)
Additional Sections Of WordPress To Configure For Better Traffic Results
Last but not least in the web traffic configuration process, are the components that need to be configured outside of the global settings.
This includes the following:
Legal Web Pages
Once again, when preparing your website for a growth in traffic, 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 find and begin to visit your website.
If you are making money online (or plan to), it’s important that your site remains compliant with regulatory agencies.
For a detailed article on why it’s important to have a legally compliant website, see this article:
Post categories & tags help to improve your site’s search optimization, which improves traffic.
(Post categories help search engines classify and index your pages, which improves traffic.)
When looking at ways to automate and improve web traffic, you will want to review and make sure that the categories and tags you have set up.
A visitor site map that lists all of your posts and pages is not only a useful navigation tool, it can also help external tools discover your website content …
(Site Map – great for site visitors and beneficial for traffic too!)
An HTML site map and an XML sitemap are not the same thing. Although Google can index your pages just from an XML sitemap (which plugins like Yoast SEO can provide – see earlier section), making it easier for visitors to find more pages on your site results in increased traffic.
404 Error Page – Don’t Forget This!
When online users enter the wrong URL or click on a link pointing to an incorrect destination on your site, they are greeted with an error – page not found message …
(A 404 Page)
Configuring your 404 page allows you to recover 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.)
Although a 404 error page can be set up on your server, there are plugins for WordPress that allow you to easily configure your 404 page inside your WordPress dashboard.
WordPress Traffic System: Configuration Phase – Summary
Once you have your site fully set up and expertly configured, all you have to do to start generating more web traffic is add new content regularly.
The process of expertly configuring your WordPress site, however, is quite involved and requires the configuration and integration of various components and web properties …
(WordPress Traffic System – Configuration Checklist)
The kind of knowledge and expertise required to perform the configuration process can take some website developers a long time to learn.
Once you have configured your WordPress site, the next step is to automate the process. This step is covered in the next article in our series.
This is the end of Section Three
To keep reading this article, click here:
- Web Site Traffic Blueprint Part 4 – A Complete Guide To Generating More Website Traffic For Your Business Automatically
This article is part of a comprehensive series of articles designed to help you learn how to grow your business with a WordPress website or blog and proven web marketing methods.
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