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.

WordPress Web Traffic Blueprint Part Three - A Complete Guide To Driving More Website Visitors For Your Business Automatically With WordPress

Welcome to Part 3 of our Web Site Traffic Blueprint article series, where we show you how to automate traffic to your site using the WordPress CMS platform.

In Part 1 of this 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, all you have to do to bring more web traffic is publish great content on a consistent basis!

(With an expertly configured WordPress website, all you have to do to automatically bring more web traffic is publish content on a regular basis!)

In Part 2, we discussed the setup phase. We helped you understand the best way to get started 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 website has been built with WordPress.

Where to set up a WordPress web site on your domain

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

In this section of the series, we look at the configuration stage of the traffic system. You will understand why an expertly configured site is different from a professionally configured one. You will also learn what type of work is required to ensure that when everything is set up and fully configured, you can automatically start driving new visitors when you begin to publish content to your website.

WordPress Traffic System – Configuration

The ability to attract more visitors to one’s website is often cited by most business owners as the greatest challenge they face online. With competition making business survival progressively tougher businesses are exploring every advantage they believe will help them increase their competitiveness online.

Being able to automatically generate traffic on demand can be a huge advantage over other competitors. For businesses, an expertly configured website gives WordPress users a flying start from the moment their site is launched.

The Configuration Stage Is What Makes 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 a web-building expert but not necessarily configured to its fullest advantage.

Here is a simple way to describe the main difference:

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

A professional website gives you a professional web presence, but an expertly configured site gives you a web presence plus online business marketing automation.

(An expertly configured site gives you a professional web presence and a built-in automated online business marketing process!)

Not only does it take more labor to build and integrate an automated online business marketing system into your website, but also a special type of expertise.

Let’s illustrate this with an anecdote.

Knowing Where To Tap

Everything is going well in the gizmo-making workshop when all of a sudden, things comes to a complete stop.

As no one can figure out what’s gone wrong, the manager decides to call in an expert.

The expert arrives soon afterward and, without uttering a word, heads straight towards the main control box. After staring silently at the board for less than 2 minutes, the expert then produces a tiny hammer and makes a single tap about one inch from the left edge of the control unit.

Immediately, all the machinery comes back to life.

The plant manager is filled with joy as he thanks the expert, who then leaves as quickly as he had arrived.

A few days after resolving the incident, the factory manager receives a bill for $5,000.

Furious, the factory manager dials the expert. Demanding to know why the expert has charged them such an exorbitant fee for so little time spent delivering such minimal amount of work, he then requests an itemized invoice to be sent and hangs up.

The next day, an invoice statement arrives and is placed on the manager’s desk. Upon opening it, this is what he sees:

Invoice - ExpertCo

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

How much money did the factory stand to lose when production ground to a halt and no one in the factory floor was able to fix it? Did the expert in our story not have every right to ask to be compensated fairly for investing years developing the knowledge and expertise that allowed him to immediately assess and fix a potentially costly problem?

Similarly, if you could have your WordPress site fully configured so all you had to do is publish content to it and Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and dozens of other traffic-generating web properties would be instantly notified, how much time and money would you save?

How much better would your business be if you could automate the process of attracting new visitors to your site?

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

Although experts often make complex things look easy, it rarely is that simple or easy when you are trying to work things out.

Expertly configuring a WordPress site is more than adding some pages with content and configuring settings for a client. It also involves knowing where to tap! This includes knowing things such as:

  • Which programs you need to install for specific things to occur on your site.
  • Which third-party accounts need to be set up to get specific results
  • Which settings need to be configured to make sure processes will run as expected, etc.

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

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

Although this part of the traffic automation system may not seem technically difficult, it can be quite involved. The reason why is because it’s not as simple as installing and configuring a plugin, clicking a button … it’s all of this and much more.

The configuration phase involves the integration of many components such as your web server, your web site, and various third-party sites and services …

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

(The configuration stage involves more than just configuring some WordPress settings)

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

A simplistic flowchart of the steps involved in the configuration process

(A simplified flowchart showing the activities involved in the configuration phase)

Let’s take a better look at what’s involved.

Your Web Server

We’re not talking about the process of configuring your web hosting account for installation purposes (this should have been done during the Setup phase). We’re talking about fine-tuning settings and options in your server specifically for handling all web traffic …

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

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

Not all traffic is beneficial traffic. Some of the traffic your business may attract will be unwanted traffic like spam, malicious threats, bot-hacking attempts, etc.

This area of the configuration process, therefore, requires planning for bad and good traffic and adjusting settings in your server accordingly. This can include things like configuring server-level spam protection and preventing security threats, to configuring your domain and email forwarding, 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?)

Once your server settings have been checked and configured (if required), the next step is to configure a number of external sites and/or online services.

External Web Properties And Accounts – Configuration

The purpose of adding external sites is that all content gets published to one central location (your WordPress site) and from there, it then gets distributed automatically to other components of your traffic generation system, or notify traffic-related web properties and services.

External Accounts

Once you incorporate these external services into your traffic system, content linked back to your site is automatically syndicated to these platforms, indexed by search engines and distributed to social sites, even to users of the platform itself. Your business receives increased exposure online, helping you tap into new sources of traffic.

External Services

Some external sites and online solutions will need to have accounts set up before configuring your WordPress settings to help save time and some will need to be done later, during the automation phase.

For example, you will want to set up the following accounts:

Google Search Console

Google Search Console

(Google Webmaster Tools – create a Google-friendly website or blog)

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 essential information, tools and diagnostic reports about your website.

Once your Google Search Console account is set up, this information can be used to integrate and automate traffic settings in WordPress (e.g. using plugins like Yoast SEO – see further below) and other applications.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics

(Google Analytics)

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

After setting up your account and site details, you can add tracking information to WordPress using plugins and send data automatically to other applications.

Bing Webmaster Tools

Bing Data And Tools

(Bing Webmaster Tools)

Bing Webmaster Tools is similar to Google Webmasters. After setting up your account with Bing Webmaster Tools, use the account information to automate traffic settings and notifications in WordPress (e.g. using plugins like Yoast SEO) and other applications.

WordPress.com

WordPress.com

(WordPress.com)

As explained in Part Two, WordPress provides users with the option of a hosted vs self-hosted website. We recommended choosing the self-hosted WordPress option if you plan to grow a professional business presence online.

WordPress.com (the hosted option), however, provides a number of useful tools, which a number of WordPress plugins can access. We recommend setting up an account with WordPress.com, therefore, and we’ll explain how to integrate this into your 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 drive new visitors to your site

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

You will need to 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 bring new visitors to your site.

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

Social Media

There are lots of social bookmarking sites you can You can post your content to lots of social sites. You don’t need to create accounts with all of them, just choose those that will work with your setup and/or content syndication tools.

There are loads of social sites you can post your content to.

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

Additional Services, Aggregators, Etc.

There are many online technology platforms and content aggregators that can act as second-tier traffic generation sources. Some are free or provide free accounts, and some are paid services.

For example, here is a content aggregator site that allows you to add a feed from your WordPress site …

RebelMouse

RebelMouse - Publishing platform for distributed content

(RebelMouse)

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

Practical Tip

There are many different platforms you can incorporate into your traffic system. Please contact us if you need assistance exploring some of these further, or to discuss a configuration plan to suit your needs.

After you have configured your web server and set up accounts with external sites, it’s time to configure your site’s settings.

WordPress – Configuring Your Site

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

Let’s go over some of the important points.

WordPress – Global Settings

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

WordPress settings menu

(WordPress settings menu)

General Settings

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

Settings Menu - General Settings

(WordPress Settings – General Settings)

Writing

The Writing Settings section contains one of the most powerful and frequently overlooked automated traffic notification systems available to WordPress site owners …

Global Settings - Writing Settings Area

(WordPress Settings – Writing Settings)

As described in 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 discourage search engines from indexing your site – see next section, then your site will automatically notify the update services entered into the Update Services text box

By default, when WordPress is installed, only one service is listed …

Writing Settings - Update Services

(Update Services – A Powerful Traffic Feature Of WordPress)

You can notify dozens of update services automatically with WordPress …

Notify dozens of update services automatically with WordPress!

(WordPress lets you 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 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 on this page can influence web traffic. For example, choosing to display the full content vs summaries of your post, affects how your content displays in RSS feeds and blog post digests, and could affect someone’s decision to explore your content further, and whether or not they will visit your website or blog to read 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.

Generally, you want search engines to visit your site. Leaving this box unchecked allows your site to automatically notify the update services list whenever new posts are 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 Screen

(Settings Menu – Reading Settings)

Discussion

Although this section is 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 …

Settings Menu - Discussion Settings

(WordPress Settings – Discussion Settings)

Permalink Settings

Permalinks enable WordPress to display posts with search engine-friendly URLs …

Settings Menu - Permalinks

(Global Settings – Permalinks)

Here are some of the ways permalink URLs can be configured …

Configuring permalink URLs

(Configuring permalink URLs)

If you need help setting up permalinks in WordPress, refer to this tutorial: How To Improve Your WordPress SEO With SEO-Friendly URLs

WordPress – Traffic Generation Plugins

The WordPress developer community makes available plugins that can add almost every type of functionality to your site, including traffic generation.

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 handling both good traffic and bad traffic. No blog is completely immune from being attacked by hackers.

Security Plugins help prevent 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 WordPress blog invisible to hackers and botnets.

Go here to learn more:

SEO Plugins – Yoast SEO

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

Yoast SEO - WordPress Plugin

(WordPress SEO plugins help increase traffic by improving the search engine friendliness of your website)

A plugin like Yoast SEO can improve your site’s SEO. Properly configured, the Yoast SEO plugin not only makes your web pages easier for search engines to find, crawl and index, it allows you to configure how your content will show up in Google’s search results and social media sites Facebook, Twitter, and GooglePlus.

WordPress Social Sharing Plugins

Allowing visitors to share your content with their own friends and networks can help drive more traffic to your site, especially if you publish content that adds real value to readers.

WordPress users can easily add social sharing buttons to their website using free or inexpensive WordPress plugins

(WordPress users can easily add social sharing to their site with free or inexpensive plugins)

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

Most social share 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 followers), etc. Some social plugins even allow you to set up protected content areas on your site which visitors can unlock by sharing your page.

WordPress – Themes

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

For example, in addition to options and settings for configuring the layout and design of your site, many themes also provide built-in features that let you improve SEO and site navigation structure for faster indexing, add tracking, social sharing buttons, etc …

Many themes include built-in traffic optimization features

(Many themes allow you to configure settings for better traffic results)

With many quality themes, adding social sharing buttons and features to your content is as easy as selecting the option to enable this functions …

Many WordPress themes have built-in social sharing features

(Many WordPress themes include built-in social sharing features)

Additional Configuration Features For WordPress Traffic

Last but not least in the configuration process, are the elements that need to be configured outside of the global settings.

This includes:

Website Compliance Pages

Once again, when preparing your website for a growth in traffic, it’s important to plan not only for both bad and good traffic but also for all the situations that can hurt your business as more and more people find and begin to visit your website.

If you are making money online (or are planning to), you need to ensure that your website remains compliant with all government laws and regulations.

Is Your Website Or Blog Legally Compliant?(Does Your Website Comply With The Law?)

To learn more about how to quickly and easily add legal pages to your WordPress website, see this article:

Tags And Categories

Categories and post tags help to improve your site’s search engine optimization, which improves traffic.

Categories help improve traffic by improving your site's search engine optimization.

(WordPress post categories help to improve your site’s search optimization, which helps to increase traffic.)

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

When looking at ways to automate and improve web traffic, you will want to review and make sure that the post categories and tags that have been set up.

Add A Site Map To Your WordPress Site

A site map that displays all of your posts and pages to visitors is not only a useful navigation tool for users, it can also help external applications find more of your online content …

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

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

Tip

It’s important to note that an HTML site map and an XML sitemap are not the same things. An HTML site map is a web page that links to all other content on your site, while an XML sitemap is mostly filled with code that only search bots can understand. Although Google will index your site just using an XML sitemap (which a plugin like Yoast SEO can provide – see earlier section), making it easier for visitors to find more pages on your site can result in increased traffic.

Don’t Forget Your WordPress 404 Error Page

When online visitors enter the wrong URL into their browser or click on hyperlinks pointing to destinations on your website that no longer exist, they will typically be presented with an error – page not found message …

Default WordPress 404 Error Page

(Default WordPress 404 Error Page)

A 404 Error Page can be configured to redirect confused visitors to your functional pages …

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

(Configuring your 404 Not Found page allows you to recover traffic that may otherwise be lost.)

Useful Tip

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

WordPress Traffic Automation Blueprint: Configuration Stage – Summary

Once you have your site expertly configured and fully set up, all you then need to do to automatically drive traffic is publish content on a regular basis.

The process of expertly configuring your WordPress site, however, is quite involved and requires the configuration and integration of different components and web properties …

WordPress Traffic Blueprint - Configuration Checklist

(Traffic System – Configuration Phase Checklist)

Useful Info

The kind of 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 addressed in the next article in our WordPress Traffic System series.

This is the end of Part 3

To read more, click here:

Web Site Traffic Blueprint Part Three - Discover How To Create An Automated Web Traffic-Getting Machine

Important Info

This article is part of a comprehensive tutorial series aimed at helping website owners learn how to grow their business using a WordPress-driven website and proven web marketing strategies.

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"These tutorials have so much information and are easy to understand. If you use WordPress or plan to in the future these will help you with everything you need to know." - Valisa (Mesa, Arizona)

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the founder of WPCompendium.org and the author of The Small Business Digital Manager. 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).