Welcome to Part 3 of our Web Site Traffic Blueprint article series, where we show you how to create an automated traffic generating machine using the WordPress CMS platform.
In Part One 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 automating traffic to your website …
(With an expertly configured WordPress website or blog, all you have to do to attract more traffic is post fresh content on a regular basis!)
In Part 2, we looked at critical setup decisions. We helped you understand the best way to get started 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 website was built with WordPress.
(In Part 2 we show you where to set up a WordPress website or blog on your domain)
In this section, we will look at the configuration phase of the WordPress traffic automation system. You will learn how to configure a WordPress site so you can start bringing new traffic automatically when you begin to add web content to your website.
- 1 WordPress Web Traffic System – Configuration
- 2 Web Server Configuration
- 3 External Services
- 4 WordPress – Configuring Your Site
- 4.1 WordPress Settings
- 4.2 WordPress Traffic Plugin Settings – Configuration
- 4.3 Themes
- 4.4 Other Areas To Configure
- 4.5 Website Compliance Pages
- 5 WordPress Traffic Automation Blueprint: Configuration Phase – Summary
WordPress Web Traffic System – Configuration
Being able to attract more visitors to one’s website is often cited by website owners as the greatest challenge they face online. With competition making business survival increasingly more difficult businesses are looking for every advantage they believe will help them improve their results online.
The ability to automatically generate traffic on demand can be a huge competitive advantage. For business owners, having an expertly configured website means having an immediate advantage from the very start.
Configuration Is The Difference
There is a significant difference between an expertly configured WordPress site and a website that has been professionally installed and set up by an expert website developer but not necessarily configured to take advantage of everything WordPress can offer.
Here’s one way to explain the difference:
An expertly configured WordPress site gives you a professional web presence with online business marketing automation!
(An expertly configured site gives you a web presence with an automated online business marketing process!)
Not only are more steps required to build and integrate an automated online business marketing process into your website, it also takes a special type of expertise.
Allow me to illustrate this with an amusing little story.
A True Story (Kind Of) …
Everything is humming along in the widget-making factory when things suddenly stops.
As no one can figure out what’s gone wrong, the manager decides to call in an expert.
Soon afterwards, the expert arrives and, without uttering a word, goes directly to the control box. After staring at the wiring board for less than 5 minutes, the expert then produces a teensy-weensy hammer from his tool belt and makes a very gentle tap about two cm from the left corner of the control unit.
Immediately, every machine springs to life once again.
The plant manager is greatly overjoyed 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 $5,000.
Feeling furious, the manager rings the expert. Demanding to know why they have been charged so much for so little time spent delivering such a minimal amount of work, he promptly requests an itemized invoice and hangs up.
The next day, an invoice arrives in the manager’s in-tray. Upon opening the envelope, this is what he sees:
The number one challenge most businesses face online is being able to drive visitors to their sites.
How much money did the widget plant stand to lose when production stopped functioning and no one on the business had the expertise to fix it? Did the expert in our story not have every right to ask to be compensated fairly for years spent developing the knowledge, skills and expertise that enabled him to quickly assess and fix a very costly problem?
Similarly, if you could have a WP web site fully set up and configured so all you ever had to do is publish content to it and Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and dozens of other traffic-generating 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 driving traffic to your site?)
While experts often make complicated things look simple, it rarely is that simple or easy when you try to figure things out.
Knowing how to expertly configure a WordPress site involves more than installing a website and configuring settings for a client. It also requires knowing where to tap! This includes knowing things such as:
- Which programs you need to install to add desired functionalities to your site.
- Which accounts need to be set up to get desired outcomes
- Which options you need to configure in order to make sure things will work to plan, etc.
(Generating new traffic automatically with WordPress is a process that requires expertise)
Although this stage of the WordPress traffic automation system may not seem so technically challenging, it can be quite involved and time-consuming. It’s not as simple as installing a plugin, tweaking some options and settings in your admin area or clicking on a button or two … it’s all of this and so much more.
The configuration phase is a complex process that involves your web server, your website, and various external sites and online services …
(Expertly configuring your website involves more than just configuring a few WordPress settings)
If we create a simplified diagram of the configuration process, it would look like this …
(A simplified diagram showing the steps involved in the configuration phase)
Let’s examine these steps in more detail.
Web Server Configuration
We’re not talking here about the process of configuring your web-hosting account for site installation purposes. What we are talking about, is configuring settings in your web server specifically for handling web traffic …
(In the configuration phase, your web-hosting account settings need to be checked for handling both good and bad traffic)
Not all web traffic is welcome traffic. Some of the traffic your website can attract will be unwanted traffic like spam, malicious threats, bot-hacking attempts, etc.
This part of the configuration process, therefore, is all about evaluating your needs, planning for good and bad traffic and then adjusting settings in your server accordingly. This could include things like server-level spam protection and securing server files, to configuring domain and email 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 (if required), the next step is to set up and configure a number of third-party sites.
The purpose of adding external sites is that all of your content is posted to a central location (your WordPress site) and from there, it gets syndicated automatically to other parts of your traffic system, or notify traffic-related web properties and services.
Once these external services have been added to your system, content linking back to your website will be automatically published on these platforms. Your content and business will be exposed to a new audience and source of traffic.
Some of these sites will need to be set up before configuring your settings to help speed up the configuration 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:
(Google Search Console)
Google Webmasters lets you inform Google about your site’s pages, submit XML sitemaps for automatic page indexing, and provides you with essential information, tools and reports about your website.
Once your Google Webmaster Tools account is set up, this information can be used to automate web 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, and more, by tracking all user engagement, pages visited, keywords searched for, search engine and organic referrals, etc.
After setting up your up your Google Analytics account and entered your site data, your account code can be added to WordPress via plugins used with other applications.
(Bing Webmaster Tools)
Bing Webmaster Tools is similar to Google Webmaster Tools. After setting up your account, the account details can be used with traffic-related settings and notifications in WordPress using plugins like Yoast SEO and other applications.
As discussed in Part Two, WordPress offers both a hosted and a self-hosted option. We recommended choosing the self-hosted WordPress version if you plan to grow 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 with WordPress.com, therefore, and we’ll show you how to integrate this into your web traffic generation system in the next installment of this article series.
Social Media And Social Bookmarking
(Syndicate your content automatically to your social media sites and social bookmarking accounts and get new traffic to your site)
You will need your social media accounts set up in order to integrate these with your traffic generation system.
After setting up and configuring 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 pages set up with all of the leading social networks – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.
There are loads of social sites you can set up. You don’t need to create accounts with all of them, just pick the ones that will work well with your setup and/or content sharing tools (we cover some of these tools in greater detail during the Automation phase).
(There are loads of social bookmarking sites you can post your content to. Image: ShareThis.com)
Additional Platforms, RSS Aggregators, Etc.
There are a number of online technology platforms and content aggregators that can serve as second-tier traffic generation sources. Some are free or provide free plans, and some offer a range of pricing plans.
For example, here is a content aggregator site that allows you to add an RSS feed from your site …
(RebelMouse – Publishing platform for distributed content)
RebelMouse is a news aggregator for your RSS feeds and social profiles. Your content is displayed in a Pinterest-like format and visitors can follow your account.
There are various solutions you can incorporate into your own traffic blueprint. Please feel free to contact us if you would like to explore some of these and discuss a strategy to suit your needs.
After you have configured your server settings and set up accounts with third-party services, it’s time to configure your site’s settings.
WordPress – Configuring Your Site
The first step in configuring your WordPress site for traffic is to ensure that your global settings have been set up correctly.
Let’s go over some key areas.
The WordPress administration area contains a Settings section that allows you to set up your site’s global settings …
(WordPress menu – Settings)
Fields like Site Title and Tagline can influence your site’s SEO, search listings, etc …
(WordPress Settings – General Settings)
The Writing Settings area contains one of the most powerful and frequently overlooked built-in traffic notification systems available to website owners …
(Settings Menu – Writing Settings Section)
As stated below the Update Services section title,
When you publish a new post, WordPress automatically notifies the following site update services …
Unless you or your webmaster have purposely chosen to prevent search engines from indexing your site – see next section, then your site will automatically notify the list of services entered into the Update Services section
By default, this section displays only one entry …
(WordPress Update Services)
You can notify dozens of update services automatically with WordPress …
(You can notify dozens of update services automatically!)
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 on WPServiceFinder.com.
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, choosing to display the full content vs summaries of your post, affects how your content displays to users in RSS feeds and RSS email campaigns, and could impact someone’s choice to explore your content further, and whether or not they will visit your website or blog to read the rest of the content from excerpts, or read the content in full without the need to click through to your site.
The most important setting here as far as traffic is concerned is whether the Search Engine Visibility checkbox is ticked or not.
Typically, you want to encourage search engines to visit your site. Leaving this box unchecked allows WordPress to instantly ping the update services list whenever new posts get published (see Writing Settings above). Unless there is a specific reason to discourage search engines from visiting your site, leave this box unchecked …
(WordPress Settings – Reading Settings Section)
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 …
(Global Settings – Discussion Settings)
Your Permalink settings allow you to create search engine-friendly URLs …
(Settings Menu – Permalink Settings Section)
The examples below show some of the ways site’s permalinks can be configured …
(Configuring search-friendly URLS)
If you need help setting up permalinks in WordPress, go here: How To Improve Your WordPress SEO Using Permalinks
WordPress Traffic Plugin Settings – Configuration
The WordPress developer community makes available plugins that help to add just about every kind of functionality imaginable to your website, including plugins that add traffic generation capabilities.
Here are some types of plugin categories that affect traffic and plugin examples
WordPress Security Plugins – Blog Defender
Once again, it’s important to configure your website 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, web security is something you simply cannot ignore.
(Security Plugins help prevent bad traffic from harming your web presence)
Security plugins like Blog Defender help to make your blog invisible to hackers and bots.
To learn more, go here: A Review Of Blog Defender – WordPress Security Plugin
WordPress SEO Plugins – Yoast SEO
SEO plugins help drive traffic by improving the search engine friendliness of your website …
(WP Plugins For SEO – Yoast SEO)
A plugin like Yoast SEO can improve your SEO. When properly configured, this plugin not only makes your site easier for search engines to index, it allows you to specify how your content will show up in Google’s search results and social media sites Facebook, Twitter, and GooglePlus.
WordPress Social Sharing Plugins
Allowing your visitors to easily share your content with others online can help boost traffic to your site, especially if you provide great content that adds value to readers.
(You can add social features to your site easily with free or inexpensive plugins)
WordPress users can easily add social sharing features to their site using free or inexpensive WordPress plugins.
Many social plugins let you specify which social sites your content can be shared to, embed social buttons into your content, set up custom notifications, display/hide share counters (e.g. number of likes), etc. Some plugins even allow you to protect content which visitors can unlock by linking or tweeting your page.
As well as configuring various plugins, many WordPress themes also include features that help grow your traffic.
For example, as well as options and settings for configuring the layout and design of your website, some themes also give you built-in options for improving SEO and site linking structure for better indexing, add tracking, social sharing buttons, etc …
(Many WordPress themes come with built-in traffic optimization features)
With a number of WordPress themes, adding social sharing buttons and features to your pages is as easy as clicking a few buttons to enable the function …
(Many WordPress themes have built-in social sharing features)
Other Areas To Configure
Last but not least in the WordPress traffic system configuration process, are the elements that need to be configured outside of the global settings.
Website Compliance Pages
Once again, when preparing your site for a growth in visitor numbers, it’s important to plan not only for both good and bad traffic but also for all the situations that can seriously affect your business as more and more people start finding and visiting your website.
If you are making money online, it’s important that your website complies with legal requirements of government agencies that regulate how business online is done.
(Is Your Website Or Blog Legally Compliant?)
We have created a detailed article about how to quickly and easily add legal pages to your WordPress website or blog here: The Importance Of Having A Legally Compliant Website
Post categories & tags help improve traffic by allowing search engines to better understand and index your pages.
(Post categories help search engines better classify and index your web pages, which helps you get more traffic.)
When configuring your website or blog to automate and improve traffic, you will want to review and make sure that the post categories and tags that have been set up.
Add A Site Map
A site map that lists all of your pages and posts to visitors is not only a useful navigation tool, it can also help external tools find more of your online content …
(A site map is not just great for visitors, but for traffic too!)
Note: An HTML site map and an XML sitemap are two different things. Although Google can index your site just from an XML sitemap (which plugins like Yoast SEO will create for you – see earlier section), making it easier for visitors to find more pages on your site can result in increased traffic.
404 Page Not Found – A Source Of Lost Traffic Opportunities!
When visitors enter the wrong web address into their web browser or click on hyperlinks pointing to destinations on your website that no longer exist, they will normally be presented with a 404 Not Found error page …
(Default WordPress 404 Not Found error page)
Configuring your 404 Not Found error page allows you to redirect traffic that may otherwise be lost. …
(Configuring your 404 page allows you to recover traffic that may otherwise be lost.)
Although a 404 page can be set up on your server, there are WordPress plugins that allow you to easily configure your 404 page from your WordPress admin.
WordPress Traffic Automation Blueprint: Configuration Phase – Summary
Once your WordPress site has been fully set up and expertly configured, all you have to do then is publish content consistently to begin bringing more traffic.
The process of expertly configuring your WordPress site, however, can be quite involved and elaborate , requiring the configuration and integration of various elements and external web properties …
(Traffic System – Configuration Checklist)
The knowledge and expertise involved in expertly configuring a WordPress site typically takes some 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 you can. This step is covered in the next section of the WordPress Traffic Automation System series.
This is the end of Part 3
To read more, click here:
This tutorial is part of a comprehensive article series aimed at helping you learn how to grow your business online and drive traffic sustainably using a WordPress-powered website and proven online marketing strategies.
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