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.

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

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

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

With an expertly configured WordPress website or blog, all you have to do is add content consistently to bring more web traffic!

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

In Part 2, we focused on critical setup decisions. We helped you understand the best way to start if you don’t have a web presence yet, how to set things up if you already have a website, and what to do if your website was built with WordPress.

How to set up WordPress on your domain

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

In this section of the series, we will discuss the configuration stage of the traffic system. We explain how to configure a WordPress site to automatically drive new traffic simply by consistently publishing new content to your site.

WordPress Traffic Automation System – Configuration Phase

The ability to attract more visitors to one’s website is often cited by many website owners as their greatest challenge online. Also, the business landscape is becoming ever more competitive and businesses are looking for every advantage available to increase their competitiveness online.

Being able to automatically generate traffic on demand is a huge advantage over the competition. For WordPress users, having an expertly configured website allows their business to get off to a flying start from the moment their website is launched.

Configuration Is The Difference

There is a difference between an expertly configured WordPress site and a site that has been professionally installed and set up by a web-building expert but not necessarily configured to take advantage of everything WordPress has to offer.

Here’s a simple way to explain the differences:

An expertly configured WordPress site gives you a professional web presence with online business marketing automation!

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

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

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 type of expertise.

Let’s illustrate this with a joke.

Ludicrous Or Fair? You Decide …

Everything was humming along in the gizmo-making workshop when things suddenly ground to a halt.

As no one could figure out what happened, the manager decided to call in an expert.

Soon afterwards, the expert arrived and, without uttering a word, headed immediately towards the control box. After staring at the box for no more than 5 minutes, the expert then took out a tiny hammer from his tool box and made a gentle tap about 1 cm from the left edge of the box.

Immediately, everything started working once more.

The plant manager was overjoyed as he thanked the expert, who left as quickly as he had arrived.

A few days later, the manager received a service bill for $5,000.

The manager rang back the expert, demanding to know why they were expected to pay such an exorbitant fee for less than five minutes work. He then requested an itemized invoice before hanging up.

The next day, an invoice statement arrived and was placed in the manager’s in-tray. Upon opening the envelope, this is what he saw:

bill of payment

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

In the above story, how much money did the gizmo factory stand to lose when production stopped functioning and no one on the business had the expertise to get things up and running again? Did the expert in our story not have the right to demand fair compensation for investing years developing the knowledge, skills and expertise that allowed him to immediately assess and avert a serious crisis?

Similarly, if you could have your website or blog configured so all you have to do is publish content to it and Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and dozens of other 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 website?

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

Although experts often make difficult things look simple, it rarely is that simple or easy.

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

  • Which programs you need to install to get various functionalities on your site.
  • Which services need to be set up to achieve certain outcomes
  • Which internal and external settings need to be configured to make sure everything functions as envisioned, etc.

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

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

This stage of the traffic automation system is not technically difficult, but it’s quite involved and time-consuming. The reason why is because it’s not just about installing a plugin, clicking a couple of buttons … it’s all of this and so much more.

Expertly configuring your website is a complex process that involves your server, your site, and a number of third-party sites or online services …

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

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

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

A simplistic diagram showing all the steps involved in the configuration phase

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

Let’s examine these steps in more detail.

Web Server Configuration

We’re not talking here about the process of configuring your webhosting account for installation purposes (this should have been done during the Setup phase). What we are talking about, is fine-tuning settings and options in your web hosting account that affect how you will handle web traffic …

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

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

Not all traffic is beneficial traffic. Some of the web traffic your site will attract will be unwelcome traffic like bot spam, security threats, bot-hacking attempts, etc.

This area of the configuration process, therefore, is all about planning for both good and unwelcome traffic and then 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, etc …

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

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

After checking your server settings and configuring these, the next step is to set up and configure various external sites.

External Sites

The idea behind setting up external sites is that all of your content gets posted to one central location (your site) and from there, it syndicates automatically to other parts of your traffic generation system, or notify traffic-related web properties and applications.

External Web Properties & Solutions - Configuration

After adding these external platforms to your system, content linking back to your site gets automatically syndicated to these platforms, indexed by search engines and shared to other social media sites, even to visitors attracted to the platform itself. Your site will then receive exposure online, helping you tap into a whole new audience and traffic source.

External Sites

Some of the sites and services will need to have accounts set up before configuring your site’s settings 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 before configuring your WordPress settings:

Google Search Console

Google Search Console

(Google Webmaster Tools – create a Google-friendly site)

Google Webmasters lets you notify Google about your site’s pages, submit XML sitemaps for faster page indexing, and provides site owners with a range of useful data, tools, and reports about their website.

After setting up your account, use the information with 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 performance, SEO, user engagement, marketing efforts, sales conversions, and more, by tracking all user behavior, pages visited, keywords searched for, search engine and social media referrers, etc.

Once your Google Analytics account and site data are set up, traffic tracking data can be integrated with WordPress via plugins and and fed to other useful applications.

Bing Webmaster Tools

Bing Webmaster Tools

(Bing Data And Tools)

Bing Webmaster Tools is similar to Google Search Console. Once your account and site data with Bing are set up, you can use your details to integrate and automate web traffic settings and notifications in WordPress and other applications.

WordPress.com

WordPress.com

(WordPress.com)

As discussed in Part Two, WordPress offers users a hosted and a self-hosted option. We recommended choosing the self-hosted WordPress version if you are planning to grow a professional online presence.

WordPress.com (the hosted option), however, provides some great features, which can be accessed by various 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 generation system in the next installment of this article series.

Social Media And Social Bookmarking

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

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

You will need your various social accounts set up before you can configure these as part of 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 drive new traffic to your site.

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

Social Media

There are loads of social bookmarking sites you can set up. You don’t need to create accounts with all of them, just choose the ones that will work with your setup and/or content syndication tools (we will look at some of these tools in more detail in the Automation phase).

You can post your content to loads of social bookmarking sites.

(There are loads of social sites you can post your content to. Image: ShareThis.com)

Additional Solutions, Content Aggregators, Etc.

There are a number of new online web platforms and content aggregators that can act as secondary sources of traffic. Some are free or provide free levels, and some are more suitable for enterprise-level applications.

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

RebelMouse

RebelMouse - Publishing platform for distributed content

(RebelMouse – Publishing platform for distributed content)

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

Tip

There are many different technologies and third-party applications that can be added to your own traffic system. Please feel free to contact us if you need assistance exploring some of these further, or to discuss a strategy to suit your needs.

Once you have configured your server settings and set up third-party site accounts, it’s time to configure WordPress.

WordPress – Configuring Your Site For Traffic

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 points.

Global WordPress Settings

By default, WordPress includes a Settings menu that allows you to modify your site’s main settings …

WordPress dashboard menu - Settings

(WordPress dashboard menu – Settings)

General Settings

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

Settings Menu - General Settings

(Settings Menu – General Settings)

Writing

The Writing Settings section contains one of the most important and frequently overlooked built-in traffic notification systems available to WordPress users …

Settings Menu - Writing Settings Screen

(Settings Menu – Writing Settings Section)

As described below the Update Services section,

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

Unless you have specifically chosen to prevent search engines from indexing your site, then your site will automatically notify the services entered into the Update Services field

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

Update Services - A Powerful Traffic Feature Of WordPress

(Update Services – A Powerful Traffic Feature)

WordPress lets you notify dozens of update services automatically – just add a list of all the update services you want to notify as soon as you publish a new post to this section …

Notify dozens of update services automatically!

(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 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 web traffic. For example, choosing to display the full content vs summaries of your post, affects how your content displays to users in RSS feeds and blog post digests, and could impact someone’s decision to explore your site further, and whether or not they will visit your website or blog to view the rest of the content from a partial feed, or read the content in full without the need to click through to your site.

As far as traffic is concerned, however, the main setting in this section is whether the Search Engine Visibility checkbox is enabled or not.

Generally, you want search engines to visit your site. Leaving the box unchecked allows WordPress to instantly notify your update services list when new posts are published (see Writing Settings above). Unless there is a specific reason why search engines should not visit your site, leave this box unchecked …

Global Settings - Reading Settings Section

(Global Settings – Reading Settings Section)

Discussion Settings

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 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 …

Settings Menu - Discussion Settings

(Settings Menu – Discussion Settings Section)

Permalink Settings

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

Global Settings - Permalinks

(WordPress Settings – Permalink Settings)

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

Configuring permalinks

(Configuring SEO-friendly URLs)

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

Configuring WordPress Plugin Settings

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

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

Security Plugins – Blog Defender

Once again, it’s important to configure your WordPress site for handling both good traffic and bad traffic. No blog is guaranteed immunity from being hacked.

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

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

For more information, go here:

SEO Plugins – Yoast SEO

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

WordPress Plugins For SEO - Yoast SEO

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

A plugin like Yoast SEO (previously known as WordPress SEO by Yoast) can improve your SEO. Once properly configured, the Yoast SEO plugin not only makes your web pages easier for search engines to index, it also lets you specify how your content will show up in Google’s search results and social media sites Facebook, Twitter, and GooglePlus.

Social Sharing Plugins

Allowing visitors to easily share your content with others can help boost traffic to your site, especially if your site provides content that adds real value to readers.

You can easily add social sharing to your site with free or inexpensive plugins

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

You can add social sharing buttons to your website easily using free or inexpensive plugins.

Most social sharing plugins allow you to choose which social sites visitors can share your content to, embed social buttons into your content, set up custom post messages, display/hide share counters (e.g. number of shares), etc. Some social plugins even allow you to protect content which visitors can unlock by sharing your page.

Configuring WordPress Traffic Features In Themes

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

For example, as well as options and settings for configuring the design and layout of your website, some themes also provide built-in features that let you improve SEO and site linking structure for better indexing, add tracking, social sharing buttons, etc …

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

(Many themes have built-in traffic optimization features)

With many quality themes, adding social sharing buttons to your content is as easy as clicking a button …

Many WordPress themes provide built-in social sharing features

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

WordPress Traffic – Additional Configuration Steps

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

This includes the following:

Website Compliance Pages

Once again, when preparing your site for an increase in visitor numbers, it’s important to plan not only for both bad and good traffic but also for all the situations that can seriously affect your business when more and more people start finding and visiting your website.

If you do business online (or are planning to), you need to ensure that your site complies with government legal requirements.

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

If you need help adding compliance pages to WordPress, go here:

Post Categories & Post Tags

WordPress categories and tags help search engines better classify and index your pages, which improves traffic.

Post categories help search engines index your website, which helps you get more traffic.

(Categories help improve traffic by improving your site’s search optimization.)

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

When considering 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 benefits and results.

Add A WordPress Site Map

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

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

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

Important Info

It’s important to note that 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 code that only search bots can understand. Although search engines like Google can index your site just using an XML sitemap (which plugins like Yoast SEO will create for you – see earlier section), making it easier for visitors to find more pages on your site results in increased traffic.

404 Error Page – A Source Of Lost Traffic Opportunities!

When visitors searching for your site enter the wrong web address or click on hyperlinks pointing to pages on your site that no longer exist, they will normally be presented with an error page …

Default WordPress 404 Page

(Default WordPress 404 Error Page)

A 404 page can redirect confused visitors to your functional web pages …

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

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

Practical Tip

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

WordPress Traffic Automation System: Configuration Process – Summary

Once you have your website expertly configured and fully set up, all you need to do then to drive more traffic is add great content on a consistent basis.

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

WP Traffic System - Configuration Checklist

(WP Traffic Blueprint – Configuration Checklist)

Info

The skills and knowledge involved in expertly configuring a WordPress site can take some web professionals a long time to acquire.

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 covered in the next article in the series.

This is the end of Section Three

To read more, click here:

Website Traffic Blueprint Part Three - Learn How To Attract More Traffic For Your Business Using WordPress

Important

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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).