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 - A Complete Guide To Generating More Web Traffic For Your Business Automatically Using WordPress

Welcome to Part Three of our Website Traffic Blueprint article series, where we show you how to create an automated traffic 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 post fresh content on a regular basis to automatically start driving traffic!

(With an expertly configured WordPress blog, all you have to do to automatically begin bringing web traffic is post web content regularly!)

In Part 2, we focused on critical setup decisions. We explained the best way to start if you don’t have a website yet, how to set things up if you already have a site, and what to do if your existing website has been built with WordPress.

How to set up a WordPress site on your domain

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

In this article, we look at the configuration stage of the traffic system. We explain how to configure a WordPress site to ensure that traffic will automatically start flowing as you begin to add fresh content on a regular basis on your web site.

WordPress Web Traffic System – Configuration Phase

The ability to drive more traffic to one’s website is often cited by website owners as one of their greatest challenges online. With business getting ever more competitive, it’s worth exploring any opportunity you can to increase your own competitiveness online.

Having the ability to automatically generate traffic on demand is a tremendous advantage over other competitors. An expertly configured website gives you a significant competitive advantage from the word “go”.

Configuration Is The Difference

There is a difference between an expertly configured WordPress site and a website that has been professionally set up by an expert website developer but not necessarily configured to take advantage of everything WordPress can offer you.

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

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

A professional website gives you a web presence, but an expertly configured website 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 system!)

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

Let me illustrate this with a story.

A Semi-True Story …

All is humming along in the gizmo-making factory when everything grinds to a sudden stop.

As no one can figure out what’s happened, the manager decides to call in an expert to try and fix the problem.

Soon afterwards, the expert arrives and, without saying a word, immediately walks towards the main control box. After staring silently at the wiring board for no more than 5 minutes or so, the expert then takes out a teensy-weensy hammer and makes a single tap near the right corner of the box.

Immediately, every machine comes back to life.

The plant manager is greatly overjoyed as he thanks the expert, who leaves as quickly as he had arrived.

A couple of days later, the factory manager receives a request of payment for services for $5,000.

Unable to hide his anger and sense of outrage, the factory manager picks up the phone and calls the expert. Demanding to know why they have been charged such a ludicrous fee for less than five minutes work, he then requests an itemized invoice to be sent and hangs up.

The next day, an invoice notice arrives in the manager’s in-tray. Upon opening it, this is what he sees:

Invoice

The number one challenge most businesses face online is being able to drive traffic consistently to their sites.

In the above story, how much money did the widget factory stand to lose when production ground to a halt and no one on the factory floor had the expertise required to fix it? Did the expert in our story not have every right to ask to be compensated fairly for having spent years building up the knowledge, skills and expertise that enabled him to avert a crisis?

Similarly, if you could have your WordPress website or blog set up and configured so all you ever had to do is publish content to it and search engines, social networks and dozens of other traffic-generating online properties would be instantly 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 site?

(How much time and money would you save if you could automate the process of driving traffic to your site?)

While many experts often make difficult situations and problems look easy, it rarely turns out to be that way.

Knowing how to expertly configure a WordPress site requires more than adding some pages with content and configuring a few basic settings. It involves knowing where to tap! In other words, knowing things like:

  • Which programs you need to install to add certain functionalities to your site.
  • Which 3rd-party accounts you need to set up and activate to achieve certain results
  • Which options you need to configure in order to ensure that processes will work exactly as you have planned, etc.

Driving 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)

This stage of the WordPress traffic automation system is not so technically challenging, but it’s quite involved and complicated. This is because it’s not as easy as installing a piece of software, configuring some settings in your dashboard area … it’s all this and so much more.

Expertly configuring your website involves the integration of many parts including your server, your web site, and various external sites and online services …

The configuration phase involves more than just configuring some settings in WordPress

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

If we create a simplified flowchart showing the configuration process, it would look like this …

A simplistic flowchart of the activities involved in the configuration phase

(A simplified diagram showing the configuration process)

Let’s examine these areas 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 tweaking settings in your web server that affect how your site will handle all web traffic …

In the configuration phase, your web hosting account settings need to be checked for handling both good and bad traffic

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

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

This part of the configuration process, therefore, is about planning for both good and bad traffic and adjusting settings in your server accordingly. This can include things like server-level spam protection and securing server files, to configuring domain and email redirections, setting up 404 error page redirections, etc …

Have you configured your webhosting settings for handling things like email forwarding, page errors, etc?

(Have you configured your webhosting settings for handling things like email forwarding, page error redirects, etc?)

Once your web server settings have been checked and configured (if required), the next step of the configuration phase is to set up various external sites and services.

External Services

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

3rd-Party Services

Once you add these external services to your configuration, content linking back to your website gets automatically syndicated to these platforms, indexed by search engines and distributed to social media sites, even to visitors attracted to the platform itself. Your website will be given exposure to a new audience and source of traffic.

Configuring External Services

Some of the external sites will need to have accounts 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, you will want to set up the following accounts before configuring your WordPress site:

Google Search Console

Google Webmasters

(Google Webmasters)

Google Search Console lets you tell Google about your site’s pages, submit XML sitemaps for automatic page indexing, and provides site owners with important information, tools, and reports about their website.

Once your account with Google Webmaster Tools have been set up, you can use the account information with web traffic settings in WordPress and other applications.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics

(Google Analytics)

Google Analytics lets you improve your site’s results, SEO, user engagement, marketing campaigns, sales conversions, and more, by tracking all user engagement, pages visited, keywords searched for, social media referrals, etc.

Once your Google Analytics account is set up, tracking information can be added to all pages in WordPress using a simple plugin and and sent to other useful applications and reporting tools.

Bing Webmaster Tools

Bing Data And Tools

(Drive more traffic with Bing Data And Tools)

Bing Webmaster Tools is similar to Google Search Console. After setting up your account with Bing, you can use this information to automate traffic-related settings and notifications in WordPress and other applications.

WordPress.com

WordPress.com

(WordPress.com)

As explained in Part 2, WordPress provides users with a self-hosted and a hosted option. We recommended choosing the self-hosted WordPress platform if you plan to grow a professional online presence for your business.

WordPress.com (the hosted option), however, provides some great tools, which can be accessed by a number of WordPress plugins. 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 Part 4 of this article series.

Social Media

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

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

You will need to set up your social media and social bookmarking accounts before you can 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 pages and get new visitors to your site.

You should have accounts and profile pages with all the well-known social networks – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.

Social Media Pages

There are lots of social bookmarking sites you can set up. You don’t need to go crazy, just select those that will work with your setup and/or content syndication tools.

You can syndicate your content to lots of social bookmarking sites.

(There are lots of social bookmarking sites you can syndicate your content to. Image: ShareThis.com)

Additional Platforms, Aggregators, Etc.

There are a number of new online platforms and RSS aggregators that can serve as secondary-level sources of traffic. Some are free or provide free levels, 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 WordPress site …

RebelMouse

RebelMouse

(RebelMouse – Publishing platform for distributed content)

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

Useful Tip

There are many different platforms that can be incorporated into your own web traffic system. Please feel free to contact us if you would like to explore this area further and discuss a configuration strategy to suit your needs.

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

WordPress Configuration

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

Let’s go over some key areas.

Global Settings – WordPress

Your WordPress admin area contains a Settings menu that allows you to configure your site’s global settings …

WordPress settings section

(WordPress settings menu)

General Settings

Sections like Site Title and Tagline can influence your site’s SEO, search listings, etc …

WordPress Settings - General Settings Screen

(Settings Menu – General Settings)

Writing

The Writing Settings section contains an important and frequently overlooked traffic notification system …

WordPress Settings - Writing Settings Area

(Global Settings – Writing Settings)

As stated in this section,

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

Unless you have specifically configured your settings to prevent search engines from indexing your site, then your site will automatically ping the list of update services entered into the Update Services field

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

Update Services - A Powerful Traffic Feature Of WordPress

(Writing Settings – Update Services)

WordPress lets you notify dozens of update services automatically – just add a list containing all of the update services you want notified to this section …

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.

Reading

This section affects how your content gets seen by visitors when they visit your home page and blog pages.

The syndication settings in this section can influence web traffic. For example, your choice of displaying the full text vs summaries of your post, affects how your content appears in RSS readers and RSS email campaigns, and could affect someone’s decision to explore your content further, and whether or not they will visit your website to view the rest of the content from excerpts, 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 enabled or not.

Generally, you want to encourage search engines to visit your site. Leaving this box unchecked allows WordPress to notify all the update services you have listed in the Update Services field whenever new posts are published (see Writing Settings above). Unless there is a specific reason to discourage search indexing spiders from visiting your site, do not check this box …

Settings Menu - Reading Settings

(Settings Menu – Reading Settings Screen)

Discussion 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 Section

(Global Settings – Discussion Settings)

Permalink Settings

Permalinks allow you to publish posts with search engine-friendly URLs …

Settings Menu - Permalink Settings

(WordPress Settings – Permalink Settings Screen)

The examples below show some of the ways your site’s permalinks can be configured …

Configuring search-friendly URLS

(Configuring permalinks)

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

Plugin Settings

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

Let’s look at some types of plugin categories that affect traffic and plugin examples

Blog Defender Security Plugin

Once again, it’s important to configure your website for handling 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 simply cannot afford to ignore the importance of web security.

Security Plugins stop bad traffic from causing your website harm(Security Plugins stop bad traffic from harming your web presence)

Security plugins like Blog Defender help to make your blog invisible to botnets and hackers.

More information:

SEO Plugins – Yoast SEO

SEO plugins help drive more traffic by improving the search engine friendliness of your website …

Yoast SEO - WordPress Plugin

(SEO plugins like Yoast SEO help increase traffic by making your site more search engine friendly)

Use a powerful plugin like Yoast SEO to improve your site’s SEO. Once properly configured, this plugin not only makes your site easier for search engines like Google to index, it also lets you configure how your content will show up in Google’s search results and social media sites Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Social Sharing Plugins

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

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

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

WordPress users can easily add social sharing to their website with WordPress plugins.

Most social sharing plugins let you select which sites visitors can share your content to, embed social buttons into your content, set up default post messages, display/hide share counters (e.g. number of followers), etc. Some social plugins even allow you to set up protected content areas on your pages which users can unlock by linking or tweeting your page.

Theme Settings

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

For example, as well as options and settings for configuring design and layout elements of your site, some themes also give you options for improving search optimization and site navigation structure for faster indexing, add analytics code, social sharing buttons, etc …

Many WordPress themes have built-in traffic optimization features

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

With a number of quality themes, adding social sharing buttons to your website is as easy as selecting the option to enable this functions …

Many WordPress themes have built-in social sharing features

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

Configuring Additional Sections Of WordPress For Better Traffic Flow

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

These include the following:

Compliance Pages

Once again, when preparing your site for an increase in traffic numbers, it’s important to plan not only how to handle bad and good traffic but also for all the things that can go wrong when more and more people begin to visit your website.

If you make money online, it’s important that your website remains compliant with regulatory agencies.

Is Your Website Compliant?(Is Your Website Or Blog Legally Compliant?)

If you need help understanding how to quickly add all necessary legal pages to your WordPress website, go here:

Categories & Tags

Tags and categories help to improve your site’s search engine optimization, which helps you get more traffic.

Post categories help improve traffic by allowing search engines to better organize and index your pages.

(WordPress post categories help improve traffic by improving your site’s search engine optimization.)

As we strongly recommend in this article, your site’s post categories and tags should be discussed and set up earlier on, during the Website Planning Process.

When looking at ways to automate and improve traffic, you will want to review and make sure that your site’s post tags and categories have been set up correctly 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 sites discover more of your site’s content …

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

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

Tip

An HTML site map and an XML sitemap are two different things. Only search engines can read XML sitemaps. Although Google can index your site just from an XML sitemap (which a plugin like Yoast SEO will create for you – see earlier section), making it easier for visitors to find more pages on your site results in increased traffic.

404 Page – Don’t Lose Traffic!

When visitors enter the wrong web address or click on a dead link, they will typically be presented with a 404 error page …

A 404 Not Found Page

(A 404 Error Page)

Configuring your 404 Error Page allows you to redirect web traffic that may otherwise be lost. …

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

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

Tip

Although a 404 Not Found error page can be set up on your server, there are WordPress plugins that let you easily configure your 404 page inside your WordPress dashboard.

WordPress Traffic Automation Blueprint: Configuration Process – Summary

Once you have your website fully set up and expertly configured, all you need to do to bring more web traffic is post fresh content consistently.

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

Traffic System - Configuration Checklist

(Traffic Blueprint – Configuration Phase Checklist)

Info

The skills and knowledge involved in expertly configuring a WordPress site typically takes some web developers a long time to learn.

Once you have expertly configured your WordPress site, the next step is to automate the process. This step is explained in the next section of our series.

This is the end of Part Three

To read more, click here:

Web Traffic Blueprint Part 3 - How To Turn Your WordPress Blog Into An Automated Traffic Machine

Useful Information

This tutorial is part of an article series designed to help website owners learn how to grow their business online inexpensively with a WordPress-powered website and proven online marketing strategies.

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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).