Welcome to Part 3 of our Web Traffic Blueprint article series, where we show you how to create an automated web traffic generation machine using the WordPress CMS.
In Part 1 of this series, we explained why using an expertly configured WordPress website is the key to generating automated web traffic …
(With an expertly configured WordPress blog, all you have to do is add web content regularly to start driving traffic!)
In Part Two, we focused on the setup phase of the traffic automation process. 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 was built with WordPress.
(In Part two we show you how to set up a WordPress site on your domain)
In this article, we look at the configuration stage of the traffic automation process. You will understand why an expertly configured WordPress site is different than a professionally configured one. You will also discover how much work is required to ensure that when everything is set up and fully configured, traffic will automatically start flowing just by regularly publishing fresh content to your website.
WordPress Web Traffic System – Configuration
The ability to attract more visitors to one’s website is often cited by website owners as one of the greatest challenges they face online. With business becoming so much more competitive worldwide, it’s worth learning about every opportunity you can to increase your own competitiveness online.
Being able to generate traffic on demand can provide website owners with a tremendous advantage. For businesses, an expertly configured website gives WordPress users a flying start as soon as their website is launched.
Configuration Is The Difference
There is a significant 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 its fullest advantage.
Here’s one way to describe the difference:
With a WordPress site that has been expertly configured you get a professional web presence and online business marketing automation!
(An expertly configured site gives you a web presence with a built-in automated online business marketing system!)
Not only does a whole lot more work go into building and integrating an automated online business marketing system into your website, but also a special kind of expert knowledge.
Let’s illustrate this with an amusing little story.
A True Story (Kind Of) …
Everything was humming along in the widget-making plant when things suddenly ceased working.
No one could figure out what went wrong and so the plant manager decided to call in an expert to try and fix the problem.
Soon afterward, the expert arrived and walked immediately towards the main control box. After staring at the wiring board for 5 minutes, the expert then took out a teeny-weeny hammer and made a very gentle tap about one inch from the top-right edge of the box.
Immediately, all machines inside the assembly line began to work as before.
The manager was filled with joy as he thanked the expert, who left just as quickly as he had arrived.
A few days later, the manager received a request of payment for services for the amount of $5,000.
The factory manager dialled the expert, demanding to know why they were expected to pay such a ludicrous fee for less than 5 minutes work. He then requested an itemized invoice before hanging up.
The next day, an invoice notice arrived and was placed in the manager’s intray. Upon opening the envelope, this is what he saw:
The #1 challenge most businesses face online is driving new visitors to their sites.
How much money did the factory stand to lose when the machines ground to a halt and no one in the business had the expertise to fix it? Did the expert in our story not have the right to be compensated fairly for having spent years building up the knowledge, skills and expertise that allowed him to immediately fix a potentially costly problem?
Similarly, if you could have your site set up and configured so all you had to do is publish new content and search engines, social sites and dozens of other web properties would be immediately 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?)
Although experts often make complex solutions look easy, it rarely is that simple or easy.
Expertly configuring a WordPress site involves more than adding some pages with content and configuring a few basic settings. It requires knowing where to tap! In other words, knowing things such as:
- Which plugins need to be installed for certain things to occur on your site.
- Which services need to be set up to get desired results
- Which internal and external settings you need to configure to make sure things function as you have imagined, etc.
(Generating new traffic automatically with WordPress is a process that requires knowledge and expertise)
This stage of the traffic automation system is not technically challenging, but it’s quite complicated. It’s not as simple as installing and configuring a plugin, configuring some settings in your dashboard area … it’s all of this and so much more.
Expertly configuring your website is a complex process that involves your server, your website, and a number of third-party sites and services …
(Expertly configuring your website involves more than just configuring some WordPress settings)
If we were to create a simple diagram of the steps involved in the configuration process, it would look something like this …
(A simplistic flowchart showing the activities involved in the configuration phase)
Let’s take a look at these areas in more detail.
We’re not talking here about the process of configuring your web-hosting account for installation purposes. We’re talking about fine-tuning settings in your server specifically for handling web traffic …
(In the configuration stage, your server settings need to be fine-tuned for handling both good and bad traffic)
Not all web traffic is positive traffic. Some of the traffic your site will attract will be unwelcome traffic like bot spam, security threats, bot-hacking attempts, etc.
This aspect of the configuration process, therefore, requires planning for good and bad traffic and then adjusting settings in your server accordingly. This includes looking at things like configuring spam protection and preventing security threats, to configuring domain and email forwarding, etc …
(Have you configured your hosting control panel settings for handling things like emails, page error redirects, etc?)
After your server settings have been fine-tuned and configured, the next step is to configure a number of third-party sites or online solutions.
The concept behind setting up external sites is that all content is published to a central location (your WordPress site) and from there, it gets automatically distributed to other parts of your traffic system, or notify traffic-related web properties and applications.
After incorporating these external platforms into your system, content linking back to your site will get automatically published on your search, social and aggregator accounts. Your website will then be exposed to new audiences and new sources of traffic.
Some of the third-party web properties and online services will need to be 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 Webmaster Tools)
Google Webmaster Tools lets you tell Google about your site’s pages, submit XML sitemaps for faster page indexing, and provides site owners with a range of essential data, tools, and diagnostic reports about their website.
Once your account is with Google have been set up, use this information to integrate and automate web traffic-related settings in WordPress using plugins like Yoast SEO and other applications.
Google Analytics lets you improve your website’s results, SEO, user engagement, marketing activities, and more, by tracking all user behaviour, pages visited, keywords searched for, search engine referrers, etc.
After setting up your account and site data, your account code can be added to WordPress via a plugin and and sent to other useful applications and reporting tools.
(Bing Data And Tools)
Bing Webmaster Tools is similar to Google Webmasters. Once your Bing Webmaster Tools account and site data have been set up, you can use this information to automate traffic-related settings and notifications in WordPress using plugins like Yoast SEO (see further below) and other applications.
As explained in Part 2, WordPress offers the option of a hosted vs self-hosted website. We recommended choosing the self-hosted WordPress platform if you are planning to build a professional web presence.
WordPress.com (the hosted option), however, provides a number of useful tools, 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 traffic system in Part Four of this article series.
Social Media And Social Bookmarking
(Syndicate your content automatically to your social media accounts and attract new visitors to your site)
You will need to have already set up your social media 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 pages and drive new visitors to your site.
Make sure you have set up profiles with all of the well-known social networks – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, etc.
There are lots of social sites you can syndicate your content to. You don’t need to create accounts with all of them, just pick the ones that will work well with your setup and/or content syndication tools.
(There are lots of social sites you can syndicate your content to. Image source ShareThis.com)
Additional Solutions, Aggregators, Etc.
There are many online web platforms and content aggregators that can act as secondary-level traffic generation sources. Some are free or provide free levels, and some are paid services.
For example, here is a content aggregator site that lets you add your WordPress blog feed …
RebelMouse is an aggregator for your social profiles and RSS feeds. Your content displays in a Pinterest-like format and visitors can follow your social feed.
There are various solutions you can incorporate into your traffic system. Please feel free to contact us if you would like to explore some of these and discuss a strategy to suit your needs.
Once you have configured your web server and set up accounts with external sites, it’s time to configure your WordPress site’s settings.
Configuring Your WordPress Site For Traffic
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 areas.
Global Settings – WordPress
Your WordPress administration area contains a Settings menu that allows you to modify your site’s global settings …
(WordPress settings menu)
Sections like Site Title and Tagline can influence your site’s SEO, search results, etc …
(Settings Menu – General Settings)
The Writing Settings area contains one of the most powerful and frequently overlooked built-in traffic notification systems available to WordPress site owners …
(Settings Menu – Writing Settings)
As described in this section,
When you publish a new post, WordPress automatically notifies the following site update services …
Unless you or your webmaster have purposely chosen to discourage search engines from indexing your site, then your site will automatically notify the list of update services entered into the Update Services text box
By default, when WordPress is installed, this section displays only one entry …
(WordPress Update Services)
WordPress lets you notify dozens of update services automatically …
(Notify dozens of update services automatically with WordPress!)
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:
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.
This section affects how your content gets seen by visitors when they visit your home page and blog pages.
The syndication settings on this page can have an influence traffic. For example, choosing to display the full text vs a summary 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 site to read the rest of the content from excerpts, 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 check box is enabled or not.
Normally, you want search engines to visit your site. Leaving the box unchecked enables WordPress to instantly notify all the update services you have specified in the Update Services section when a new post gets published (see Writing Settings above). Unless you have a specific reason why search engines should not visit your site, leave this box unchecked …
(Settings Menu – Reading Settings)
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 articles, and to allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks). This can work for you, but it can also drive bad traffic in the form of SPAM comments …
(Global Settings – Discussion Settings Section)
Your Permalink settings allow your site to display posts with SEO-friendly URLs …
(WordPress Settings – Permalinks)
Here are some of the options for configuring your post permalinks …
If you need help setting up permalinks in WordPress, see this step-by-step tutorial: How To Improve Your WordPress SEO With SEO-Friendly URLs
The WordPress developer community makes available plugins that help to add just about every type of functionality imaginable to your site, including many plugins that improve traffic generation.
Let’s take a brief look at some types of plugin categories that affect traffic and plugin examples
Blog Defender WordPress Security Plugin
Once again, it’s important to configure your site for handling both good traffic and bad traffic. No website or blog is safe from a cyberattack.
Security plugins like Blog Defender help to make your WordPress blog invisible to malicious attacks from hackers and bots.
Go here for more details:
- How To Prevent Botnets & Hackers From Finding And Attacking Your Websites With Blog Defender Security Plugin For WordPress
SEO Plugins – Yoast SEO
SEO plugins help drive more traffic by improving your website’s SEO …
(SEO plugins like Yoast SEO help drive more traffic by making your site more search engine friendly)
A plugin like Yoast SEO (formerly known as WordPress SEO by Yoast) can significantly improve your SEO. When properly configured, the Yoast SEO plugin not only makes your website easier for search engines to index, it also gives you control over how your content is displayed in Google’s search results and social media sites Twitter, Facebook, and GooglePlus.
Social Sharing Plugins
Allowing your visitors to share your content online can help drive more traffic to your site, especially if you post content that adds value to readers.
(You can easily add social sharing buttons to your website using free or inexpensive plugins)
WordPress users can easily add social features to their website with free or inexpensive plugins.
Most social sharing plugins let you choose which sites your content can be shared to, embed social buttons into your content, set up default update notifications, display/hide share counters (e.g. number of followers), etc. Some social sharing plugins even allow you to protect content which users can unlock by liking your page.
Configuring WordPress Theme Settings For Traffic Generation
As well as configuring various plugins, many WordPress themes also include features that help grow your site’s traffic.
For example, as well as options and settings for configuring the layout and design of your website, many themes also provide built-in features that let you improve SEO and site navigation structure for better indexing, add analytics snippets, social sharing buttons, etc …
(Many WordPress themes include built-in traffic optimization features)
With many themes, adding social sharing buttons to your website is as easy as selecting the option to enable this functions …
(Many WordPress themes provide built-in social sharing features that can be easily enabled on with the click of a button)
WordPress Traffic Automation System – Other Areas To Consider
Last but not least in the web traffic configuration process, are the elements that need to be configured outside of the global settings.
Compliance Web Pages
Once again, when preparing your website for a growth in traffic, it’s important to plan not only for how to handle good and unwelcome traffic but also for all the situations that can cause serious damage to your business when more and more people find and begin to visit your website.
If you engage in any form of commercial activity online, you need to ensure that your website remains compliant with legal requirements of government agencies that regulate how business online is done.
For a detailed article about the importance of having a legally compliant website, go here:
WordPress tags and post categories help search engines classify and index your pages, which helps you get more traffic.
(Post categories help improve traffic by allowing search engines to better organize and index your web pages.)
In the configuration phase, you will want to review and make sure that your site’s categories and tags have been correctly set up to deliver optimal benefits and results.
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 sites find more of your website content …
(Site Map – great for site visitors and beneficial for traffic too!)
Note: An HTML site map and an XML sitemap are not the same things. Only search engine bots can interpret an XML sitemap. Although search engines like Google will index your site just using 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.
404 Page – Don’t Forget To Configure It!
When visitors enter the wrong URL into their web browser or click on an invalid hyperlink, they are greeted with a 404 page …
(Default WordPress 404 Page)
Configuring your 404 Error Page allows you to recover 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.)
Although a 404 Not Found page can be set up in your web server, there are several WordPress plugins that let you easily configure your 404 page from your WordPress dashboard.
WordPress Traffic Blueprint: Configuration Stage – Summary
Once you have your website or blog fully set up and expertly configured, all you need to do to begin bringing more web traffic is post fresh content regularly.
The process of expertly configuring your WordPress site, however, can be quite involved and requires the configuration and integration of a number of different components and web properties …
(Traffic System – Configuration Phase Checklist)
The kind of knowledge and expertise required to perform this phase of the traffic automation process can take many website developers a long time to acquire.
Once you have expertly configured your WordPress site, the next step is to automate the process. This step is covered in the next article in the WordPress Traffic Automation System series.
This is the end of Part Three
To read the rest of this article, click on the link below:
- Website Traffic Blueprint Part Four – Discover How To Create A Web Traffic Generation Machine With WordPress
This tutorial is part of an tutorial series aimed at helping you learn how to grow your business online inexpensively and drive traffic automatically with a WordPress website and proven online marketing strategies.
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