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 Traffic Blueprint Part Three - Learn How To Turn Your WordPress Website Into An Automated Web Traffic Machine

Welcome to Part 3 of our Website Traffic Blueprint article series, where we show you how to drive new traffic automatically to your website using WordPress.

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

With an expertly configured WordPress site, all you have to do is post web content consistently to generate traffic!

(With an expertly configured WordPress website or blog, all you have to do is post fresh content on a regular basis to start driving traffic!)

In Part Two, we focused on the setup phase of this process. 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 with WordPress.

Where to set up WordPress on your domain

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

In this section, we discuss the configuration stage of the WordPress traffic automation system. You will learn how a WordPress site should be configured in order to bring web traffic automatically whenever you publish web content to your WordPress site.

WordPress Web Traffic Automation Blueprint – Configuration Phase

The ability to drive more traffic to one’s website is often cited by most business owners as their greatest challenge online. With competition making business survival progressively tougher businesses are looking for every advantage they believe will help them improve their results online.

The ability to generate traffic on demand can be a tremendous advantage over the competition. Having an expertly configured WordPress site gives you a flying start as soon as your site is launched.

Configuration Is The Difference

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

Here’s a simple way to understand the main difference:

With a WordPress website that has been expertly configured you get a web presence plus online business marketing automation!

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

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

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.

Let me illustrate this with a little story.

Ludicrous Or Fair? You Decide …

All was humming along in the widget workshop when everything suddenly ceased working.

No one could figure out what happened and so the plant manager decided to call in an expert.

Shortly after arriving, the expert headed immediately towards the main control box. After staring at the circuit board for no more than 3 minutes or so, the expert then took out a tiny hammer and made a gentle tap about 1 inch from the left side of the control unit.

Immediately, the plant sprang back to life.

The manager was filled with joy as he thanked the expert, who left as quickly as he had arrived.

A couple of days after resolving the incident, the factory manager received an invoice for $5,000.

The manager dialled the expert, demanding to know why they were expected to pay such a large amount of money for less than five minutes work. He then requested an itemized invoice before hanging up.

The next day, an invoice arrived and was placed on the manager’s desk. Upon opening it, this is what he saw:

bill of payment

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

How much money did the gizmo plant stand to lose when the equipment ground to a halt and no one in the business was able to fix it? Did the expert in our story not have the right to demand fair compensation for having spent years developing the knowledge, skills and expertise that enabled him to quickly avert a crisis?

Similarly, if you could have a WordPress web site set up and configured so all you have to do is publish new content and Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and dozens of other traffic-generating web properties would be instantly 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 website?

(How much better would your business be if you could automate the process of driving traffic to your site?)

Although the solution to many challenges often seems quite easy once it’s been implemented, it rarely is that simple or easy.

Expertly configuring a WordPress site is more than just installing a website and configuring a few basic settings. It involves knowing where to tap! In other words, knowing things like:

  • Which programs you need to install for certain things to occur on your site.
  • Which 3rd-party services need to be set up and activated to achieve specific results
  • Which options you need to configure in order to ensure that things work to plan, etc.

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

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

This part of the WordPress traffic automation system is not technically challenging, but it’s quite complicated. The reason why is because it’s not as easy as installing a solution, tweaking some options and settings in your admin area or clicking on a button or two … it’s all of this and much more.

Expertly configuring your website involves the integration of many different components including your web server, your WordPress site, and a number of external sites …

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

(The configuration phase involves more than just configuring a few settings in WordPress)

If we were to create a simplified diagram of the steps involved in the configuration process, it would look something like this …

A simplified diagram showing all the steps involved in the configuration process

(A simplified flowchart of the steps involved in the configuration process)

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

Your Server

We’re not talking here about the process of configuring your web-hosting account for installation purposes. We’re talking about tweaking settings in your web server specifically for handling web traffic …

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

(During the configuration phase, your web-hosting account settings need to be fine-tuned for handling both good and bad traffic)

Not all web traffic is welcome traffic. Some of the web traffic your website will attract will be unwanted traffic like spam, malicious threats, brute-force bot attacks, etc.

This stage of the configuration process, therefore, is all about evaluating your needs, planning for both good and bad traffic and adjusting settings in your server accordingly. This could include things like implementing server-level spam protection and preventing security threats, to configuring your domain and email forwarding, setting up htaccess file redirections, etc …

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

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

After your web server settings have been fine-tuned and configured (if required), the next step is to configure various external sites and/or online solutions.

Configuring External Services

The concept behind setting up external sites is that all content should be posted to one central location (your site) and from there, it will automatically be syndicated to other components of your web traffic system, or notify traffic-related web properties and applications.

Integration With External Sites

Once you add these external platforms to your setup, content with links pointing back to your site will get automatically fed to these platforms, indexed by search engines and distributed to social networks, even to users of the platform itself. Your content receives additional exposure online, helping you tap into new sources of traffic.

External Services

Some of the sites and services will need to be set up before configuring your WordPress settings 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:

Google Search Console

Google Search Console - create a Google-friendly site

(Google Search Console – create a Google-friendly website or blog)

Google Webmasters lets you tell Google about your site’s pages, submit XML sitemaps for faster page indexing, and provides you with useful information, SEO tools and reports about your website.

Once your Google Webmasters account and site details are set up, the details can be used with web traffic settings in WordPress using plugins like Yoast SEO and other applications.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics

(Google Analytics)

Google Analytics lets you improve your site’s results, SEO, user engagement, marketing activities, and more, by tracking all user engagement, pages visited, keywords searched for, search engine referrals, etc.

Once your Google Analytics account has been set up, you can add your account information to all of your pages in WordPress using plugins and feed data automatically to other online applications.

Bing Webmaster Tools

Bing Data And Tools

(Drive more traffic with Bing Webmaster Tools)

Bing Webmaster Tools is similar to Google Webmaster Tools. After setting up your account, the information can be used with traffic settings in WordPress using plugins like Yoast SEO (see further below) and other applications.

WordPress.com

WordPress.com

(WordPress.com)

As discussed in Part 2, WordPress offers both the option of a hosted vs self-hosted website. We recommended choosing the self-hosted WordPress version if you plan to grow a professional online presence for your business.

WordPress.com (the hosted option), however, provides a number of useful tools, which various 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 web traffic generation system in Part Four of this series.

Social Media And Social Bookmarking Accounts

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

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

You will need your social media accounts set up before you can configure these as part of your traffic generation system.

After setting up and configuring everything, you will be able to syndicate your content automatically to your social media sites and drive new visitors to your site.

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

Social Media Accounts

There are lots of social bookmarking sites you can set up. You don’t need to create accounts with all of them, just select those that will work with your setup and/or content syndication tools (we discuss some of these tools in greater detail when we discuss the Automation phase).

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

(You can post your content to loads of social bookmarking sites. Image: ShareThis.com)

Additional Services, Content Aggregators, Etc.

There are many new online technology platforms and content aggregators that can act as second-tier traffic generation sources. Some are free or provide free accounts, and some offer a range of pricing plans to suit different users.

For example, here is a content aggregator that lets you add an RSS feed from your website …

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 own RebelMouse account.

Useful Tip

There are many different platforms that can be incorporated into your web traffic system. 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 your site’s settings.

WordPress Configuration

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

Let’s go over some of the important areas.

Configuring Global WordPress Settings

The WordPress admin area contains a Settings section that allows you to modify your site’s main settings …

WordPress settings menu

(WordPress menu – Settings)

General Settings

Sections like Site Title and Tagline affect traffic by influencing your site’s SEO, search listings, etc …

WordPress Settings - General Settings

(Settings Menu – General Settings)

Writing

The Writing Settings section contains a powerful and often overlooked built-in traffic notification system …

WordPress Settings - Writing Settings

(Settings Menu – Writing Settings)

As stated in this section,

When you publish a new post, WordPress automatically notifies the following site update services …

Unless you or your webmaster have specifically configured your settings to discourage search engines from indexing your site, then your site will automatically ping the update services entered into the Update Services section

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

WordPress Update Services

(Update Services – A Powerful Traffic Feature)

You can notify dozens of update services automatically with WordPress – just add a list of all the update services you want to notify as soon as you publish a new post to this section and WordPress takes care of the rest …

WordPress lets you notify dozens of update services automatically!

(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.

Reading

This section affects how your content gets seen by readers 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 appears in RSS readers and blog post digests, and could impact someone’s decision to explore your site further, and whether or not they will visit your site to view 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 most important setting in this section is whether the Search Engine Visibility check box is enabled or not.

Generally, you would want search engines to visit your site. Leaving this box unchecked allows your site to automatically ping your list of update services when new posts are published (see Writing Settings above). Unless you have a specific reason why search engines should not visit your site, make sure this box is left unticked …

WordPress Settings - Reading Settings

(Settings Menu – Reading Settings)

Discussion

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 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 …

Global Settings - Discussion Settings Section

(WordPress Settings – Discussion Settings Section)

Permalink Settings

Permalinks allow you to create search engine-friendly URLs …

Global Settings - Permalinks

(Settings Menu – Permalink Settings Section)

The examples below show some of the options for configuring your permalinks …

Configuring SEO-friendly URLs

(Configuring search-friendly URLS)

If you need help setting up WordPress permalinks, see this step-by-step tutorial: How To Set Up WordPress Permalinks

Configuring Settings – WP Plugins

The WordPress developer community makes available thousands of plugins that help to add just about every kind of functionality to your site, including many plugins that improve traffic generation.

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

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. Regardless of the type of business you run or plan to run online and how small you think your web presence is, you cannot afford to ignore the importance of securing your website.

Security Plugins stop bad traffic from harming your web presence(WordPress Security Plugins help prevent bad traffic from harming your web presence)

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

Go here for more information:

WordPress SEO Plugins – Yoast SEO

WordPress SEO plugins help drive traffic by making your web pages more search engine friendly …

Yoast SEO - WP Plugins For SEO

(Yoast SEO – WordPress SEO Plugin)

A plugin like Yoast SEO (previously known as WordPress SEO by Yoast) 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 index, it also lets you configure how your content will show up in Google’s search results and social media sites Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

Social Plugins

Allowing your visitors to easily share your content with their social networks can help to increase traffic to your site, especially if you provide content that adds value to readers.

You can add social sharing features to your site easily using WordPress plugins

(You can add social features to your website easily with free or inexpensive WordPress plugins)

WordPress users can easily add social sharing features to their website with WordPress 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 update notifications, display/hide share counters (e.g. number of shares), etc. Some plugins even allow you to set up protected content areas on your pages which visitors can unlock by linking or tweeting your page.

WordPress Traffic Generation Theme Features

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

For example, in addition to options and settings for configuring design and layout elements of your site, many themes also include options for improving search optimization and site linking structure for better indexing, easily add analytics, social sharing buttons, etc …

Many WordPress themes come with built-in traffic optimization features

(Many WordPress themes can be configured for better traffic results)

With many WordPress themes, adding social sharing buttons to your site is as easy as clicking a few buttons to enable the feature …

Many WordPress themes include built-in social sharing features

(Many WordPress themes provide built-in social sharing features that can be easily turned on with the click of a button)

Configuring Other WordPress Settings

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

This includes the following:

Compliance Pages

Once again, when preparing your site for a growth in visitor numbers, 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 when more and more people find and begin to visit your website.

If you are making money online, you need to make sure that your website is compliant with all regulations.

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

We have created a detailed article about how to quickly add legal pages to your WordPress website or blog here:

Post Tags And Categories

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

Post categories help to improve your site's search optimization, which helps to increase traffic.

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

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

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

Add A Site Map

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

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

(A site map is not just great for visitors, but for traffic too!)

Tip

Note: An HTML site map and an XML sitemap are not the same thing. Although Google will index your site just using an XML sitemap (which a plugin 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

When visitors searching for your website enter the wrong web address into their browser or click on an invalid link, they are greeted with a 404 Not Found error page …

A 404 Error Page

(A 404 Error Page)

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

Configuring your 404 Not Found page allows you to redirect web traffic that may otherwise be lost.

(Configuring your 404 page allows you to recover web traffic that may otherwise be lost.)

Tip

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

WordPress Traffic Automation Blueprint: Configuration Phase – Summary

Once you have your WordPress site fully set up and expertly configured, all you need to do is add fresh content regularly to generate more traffic organically.

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

Traffic System - Configuration Checklist

(WP Traffic Blueprint – Configuration Phase Checklist)

Important

The kind of knowledge and expertise required to perform the configuration phase of the traffic automation process can take many website professionals 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 Part 3

To read more, click on the link below:

Website Traffic Blueprint Part 3 - How To Create An Automated Traffic Generation Machine With WordPress

Useful Info

This tutorial is part of a comprehensive series of articles aimed at helping you learn how to grow your business online inexpensively using a WordPress-driven website or blog and proven online marketing methods.

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the owner of WPCompendium.org and the author of The WordPress User Manual. WPCompendium.org provides hundreds of FREE tutorials that show you how to use WordPress to grow your business online with no coding skills required! Get our FREE "101+ WordPress Tips, Tricks & Hacks For Non-Techies" e-course with loads of useful WordPress tips!

Originally published as WordPress Traffic Automation Blueprint – Part 3 (Configuration).