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 - Discover How To Turn Your WordPress Web Site Into A Traffic Generation Machine

Welcome to Part 3 of our Web Site Traffic Blueprint article series, where we show you how to create an automated web traffic machine using WordPress.

In Part One of this article series, we explained why using an expertly configured WordPress website is the key to generating automated traffic …

With an expertly configured WordPress site, all you have to do is publish great content regularly to automatically drive traffic!

(With an expertly configured WordPress web site, all you have to do is add web content consistently to bring more traffic!)

In Part Two, we looked at the setup phase. 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 site has been built with WordPress.

How to set up WordPress 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 phase of this process. You will learn how to configure a WordPress site to drive new traffic automatically just by regularly adding fresh content to your website.

WordPress Traffic System – Configuration Phase

The ability to attract more visitors to one’s website is often cited by many business owners as their greatest challenge online. With business becoming ever more competitive on a global scale, it’s worth looking into any and every opportunity you can to get better results online.

Being able to generate traffic on demand can be a huge advantage over the competition. With an expertly configured website, you have an immediate competitive advantage from the very beginning.

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 its fullest advantage.

Here’s one way to understand the differences:

With a WordPress website that has been expertly configured you get a web presence with an automated online business marketing system!

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

(An expertly configured website gives you a web presence and an automated online business marketing tool!)

Not only does a whole lot more labor go into building and integrating an automated online business marketing system into your website, but also a special kind of expertise.

Let’s illustrate this with a story.

A True Story (Kind Of) …

All is running smoothly in the gizmo assembly workshop when everything suddenly comes to a halt.

No one can figure out what’s happened and so the manager decides to call in an expert to fix the problem.

The expert arrives shortly after being summoned and goes immediately to the main control box. After staring at the wiring board for what seems like 2 minutes, the expert then takes out a tiny hammer and makes a single tap near the right-hand edge of the unit.

Immediately, all the machinery comes back to life.

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

A couple of days later, the manager receives an invoice for $5,000.

Angry and bordering on a sense of outrage, the factory manager picks up the phone and dials the expert. Demanding to know why the expert has charged them such a large amount of money for less than five minutes work, he promptly requests an itemized invoice to be sent and hangs up.

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

ExpertCo Invoice

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

In the above story, how much money did the gizmo plant stand to lose when the equipment ground to a halt and no one in the factory floor had the expertise required to fix it? Did the expert in our story not have every right to be compensated fairly for years spent building up the knowledge and expertise that allowed him to quickly repair a potentially costly problem?

Similarly, if you could have a blog set up and configured so all you have to do is publish new content and Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and dozens of other traffic-generating online properties would be immediately notified, how much time and money would you save?

How much time and money would you save if you could automate the process of attracting new visitors to your website?

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

While experts often make difficult solutions look easy, it rarely is that simple or easy.

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

  • Which plugins need to be installed for specific things to occur on your site.
  • Which accounts you need to set up to achieve certain results
  • Which internal and external settings you need to configure in order to make sure everything functions as planned, etc.

Driving new traffic automatically with WordPress is a process that requires expertise

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

This stage of the WordPress traffic automation system is not technically difficult, but it’s quite involved and complicated. It’s not as simple as installing a solution, clicking a couple of buttons, or tweaking some settings in your admin area … it’s all this and much more.

The configuration stage involves the integration of many parts including your server, your website, and various external sites …

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

(Expertly configuring your website involves more than just configuring a few settings in WordPress)

If the configuration process were to be flowcharted, it would look like this …

A simplified flowchart of all the steps involved in the configuration process

(A simplistic flowchart of the configuration phase)

Let’s examine these areas.

Configuring The Web Server

We’re not talking about the process of configuring your hosting account for site installation purposes (this is normally done during the Setup phase). We’re talking about fine-tuning settings in your web server that affect how your website will handle all web traffic …

In the configuration phase, your 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 traffic is beneficial traffic. Some of the traffic you will attract will be unwanted traffic like bot spam, security threats, bot-hacking attempts, etc.

This part of the configuration process, therefore, is about evaluating your needs, planning for bad and good traffic and adjusting settings in your server accordingly. This can include looking at things like integrating server-level spam protection and preventing security threats, to configuring domain and email forwarding, setting up htaccess and 404 redirections, 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?)

After checking your web server settings and configuring these, the next step of the configuration phase is to set up a number of third-party sites and services.

Integration With External Services

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

Configuring External Sites

Once you incorporate these external services into your traffic network, content linking back to your website gets automatically syndicated to these platforms, indexed by search engines and distributed to social sites, even to visitors attracted to the platform itself. Your content and business will be exposed to new audiences and new sources of traffic.

External Sites

Some third-party sites will need to have accounts set up before configuring your site to 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:

Google Webmasters

Google Webmaster Tools

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

Google Webmaster Tools lets you inform Google about your site’s pages, submit XML sitemaps for faster page indexing, and provides you with a range of important information, tools and reports about your website.

Once your account and site data with Google Webmasters have been set up, this information can be used to integrate and automate web traffic settings in WordPress (e.g. using plugins like Yoast SEO) and other applications.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics

(Google Analytics)

Google Analytics lets you improve your website’s traffic performance, SEO, user engagement, marketing efforts, 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, traffic tracking information can be integrated with WordPress using plugins and instantly sent to many other useful applications.

Bing Data And Tools

Bing Data And Tools

(Drive more traffic with Bing Webmaster Tools)

Bing Webmaster Tools is similar to Google Webmasters. Once your account and site data are set up, use this information with web traffic-related 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 website owners the option of a hosted vs self-hosted website. We recommended choosing the self-hosted WordPress platform if you plan to grow a professional business presence online.

WordPress.com (the hosted option), however, provides some great tools, which various WordPress plugins can access. We recommend setting up an account at WordPress.com, therefore, and we’ll explain how to integrate these features into your automated traffic generation system in Part Four of this series.

Social Media

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

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

You will need to have already set up your social media and social bookmarking accounts in order to 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 and social bookmarking accounts and drive new visitors to your site.

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

Social Media

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

You can post your content to loads of social sites.

(You can syndicate your content to many social sites. Image: ShareThis.com)

Additional Solutions, Content Aggregators, Etc.

There are many new online technology platforms and RSS aggregators that can act as secondary 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 a feed from your site …

RebelMouse

RebelMouse

(RebelMouse – Publishing platform for distributed content)

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

Tip

There are various sites and platforms that can be incorporated into your own traffic blueprint. Please contact us if you would like to explore some of these further and discuss a strategy to suit your needs.

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

WordPress Traffic Configuration

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 of the important points.

Global WordPress Settings

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

WordPress dashboard menu - Settings

(WordPress settings menu)

General Settings

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

WordPress Settings - General Settings Screen

(Settings Menu – General Settings Section)

Writing

The Writing Settings area contains one of the most important and often overlooked automated traffic notification systems available to website owners …

WordPress Settings - Writing Settings

(WordPress Settings – Writing Settings)

As described below the Update Services section title,

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

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

By default, when WordPress is installed, this section lists only one entry …

Writing Settings - WordPress Update Services

(Update Services – A Powerful Traffic Feature Of WordPress)

You can notify dozens of update services automatically …

Notify dozens of update services automatically!

(You can notify dozens of update services automatically!)

Useful Info

Download A Comprehensive List Of Ping Services For Your WordPress Site!

Click the link below to download a comprehensive list of reliable and authoritative ping services for your WordPress site or blog:

Download A List Of Ping Services For Your WordPress Site

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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 Settings

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 traffic. For example, your choice to display the full text vs summaries of your post, affects how your content displays in RSS readers and blog post digests, and could play a part in someone’s choice to explore your content further, and whether or not they will visit your website or blog to get 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 in this section as far as traffic is concerned is whether the Search Engine Visibility check box is ticked or not.

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

Global 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 blogs linked to from your posts, 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 …

WordPress Settings - Discussion Settings Section

(Global Settings – Discussion Settings)

Permalinks

Your Permalink settings allow you to create SEO-friendly URLs …

Settings Menu - Permalinks

(Global Settings – Permalinks)

Here are some of the options for configuring your site’s SEO-friendly URLs …

Configuring search-friendly URLS

(Configuring SEO-friendly URLs)

We have written a detailed tutorial on using WordPress permalinks here: Using Permalinks To Improve Your WordPress SEO

Configuring WordPress Plugin Settings For Traffic Generation

WordPress provides users with thousands of plugins that can add almost every kind of functionality to your site, including many plugins that improve 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 WordPress site 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, website security is something you cannot afford to ignore.

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

Security plugins like Blog Defender help to make your WordPress site invisible to malicious attacks from hackers and bots.

For more details, go here:

SEO Plugins – Yoast SEO

SEO plugins help drive traffic by improving your website’s SEO …

WP SEO Plugin - Yoast SEO

(WP Plugin – Yoast SEO)

Use a plugin like Yoast SEO to improve your SEO. Properly configured, this plugin not only makes your web pages easier for search engines like Google and Bing to find and 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 Sharing Plugins

Allowing your visitors to easily share your content online can help drive significant traffic to your site, especially if you publish great content that adds real value to readers.

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

(WordPress users can easily add social features to their website with free or inexpensive WordPress plugins)

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

Many social sharing plugins allow you to specify which social sites your content can be shared to, embed social buttons into your content, set up custom post messages, display/hide share counters (e.g. number of followers), etc. Some social plugins even allow you to set up protected content sections on your site which visitors can unlock by sharing your page.

Configuring WordPress Theme Settings

As well as configuring various plugins, many WordPress themes also include features that help you drive more traffic to your site.

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

Many themes allow you to configure settings and options for improved traffic results

(Many themes can be configured for improved traffic results)

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

Many WordPress themes come with built-in social sharing features

(Many WordPress themes come with built-in social sharing features)

Other Areas To Configure For Improved Traffic Results

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

This includes:

Compliance Pages

Once again, when preparing your site for an increase in traffic, it’s important to plan not only for how to deal with good and unwelcome 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, you need to ensure that your site is found to comply with regulatory agencies.

Is Your Site Legally Compliant?(Is Your Website Compliant?)

For a detailed article on how to quickly add all necessary legal pages to your WordPress website or blog, go here:

Post Tags & Post Categories

Categories and tags help improve traffic by allowing search engines to better understand and index your web pages.

WordPress categories help search engines classify and index your web pages, which helps to increase traffic.

(Post categories help search engines index your pages, which improves traffic.)

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

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

Add A WordPress Site Map

A site map that lists all of your site’s posts and pages is not only a useful navigation tool, it can also help external sites discover more of your online content …

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

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

Info

An HTML site map and an XML sitemap are different things. An HTML site map is a web page that links to all other content on your site, while an XML sitemap is mostly code that only search engine bots can read. Although search engines like Google will index your pages just from an XML sitemap (which a plugin like Yoast SEO can provide – see earlier section), allowing visitors to find more pages on your site can result in increased traffic.

Configure Your Site’s 404 Page Not Found

When visitors type in the wrong web address into their browser or click on links pointing to an incorrect destination on your site, they are presented with an error page …

A 404 Not Found Page

(Default WordPress 404 Error Page)

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

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

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

Tip

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

WordPress Traffic System: Configuration Process – Summary

Once you have your website or blog fully set up and expertly configured, all you need to do to bring more web traffic is add new content regularly.

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

WP Traffic System - Configuration Checklist

(Traffic Blueprint – Configuration Checklist)

Important

The kind of knowledge and expertise involved in expertly configuring a WordPress site can take some web developers months to learn.

Once you have expertly configured your WordPress site, the next step is to automate the aspects of the process that can be automated. This step is addressed in the next article in the series.

This is the end of Part 3

To read more, click on the link below:

Web Site Traffic Blueprint Part 3 - Learn How To Increase Your Web Visitors For Your Business Using WordPress

Important

This tutorial is part of a comprehensive series of articles aimed at helping you learn how to grow your business with a WordPress-powered website and proven online marketing strategies.

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"This is an awesome training series. I have a pretty good understanding of WordPress already, but this is helping me to move somewhere from intermediate to advanced user!" - Kim Lednum

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