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 Site Traffic Blueprint Part Three - How To Get More Website Visitors For Your Business Using WordPress

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

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

With an expertly configured WordPress web site, all you have to do to start driving web traffic is publish great content consistently!

(With an expertly configured WordPress website or blog, all you have to do is post content consistently to automatically start generating web traffic!)

In Part Two, we discussed critical setup decisions. We explained the best way to get started if you don’t have a website yet, how to set everything up if you already have a site, and what to do if your existing website was built using 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 discuss the configuration phase of this process. We explain how a WordPress site should be configured in order to start driving traffic automatically whenever you post new content to your WordPress site.

WordPress Web Traffic System – Configuration Phase

The ability to attract more visitors to one’s website is often cited by many website owners as one of the greatest challenges they face online. With business becoming so much more competitive, it’s worth looking into any and every advantage that can help you improve your own performance online.

The ability to automatically generate traffic on demand is a huge advantage over the competition. For WordPress users, having an expertly configured website means having a significant advantage from the word “go”.

The Configuration Process Is What Makes The Difference

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

Here is a simple way to understand the main difference:

With a WordPress site that has been expertly configured you get a professional web presence with an automated online business marketing process!

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

(An expertly configured website 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 expert knowledge.

Let’s illustrate this with a little story.

Ludicrous Or Fair? You Decide …

All was going well in the gizmo-making plant when suddenly, all machinery ground to a halt.

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

Soon afterward, the expert arrived and, without saying a word, immediately headed towards the control box. After staring silently at the wiring diagrams for less than 3 minutes, the expert then produced a tiny hammer and made a single tap about three inches from the right edge of the box.

Immediately, everything came back to life.

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

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

The factory manager called the expert, demanding to know why they had been charged such an exorbitant fee for less than five minutes work and promptly requested an itemized invoice before hanging up.

The next day, an invoice arrived in the manager’s intray. Upon opening the envelope, this is what he saw:

invoice statement

The main challenge most businesses face online is driving new visitors to their sites.

How much money did the gizmo plant stand to lose when production ground to a halt and no one in the business was able to get things up and running again? Did the expert in our story not have every right to get paid fairly for having spent years building up the knowledge, skills and expertise that allowed him to quickly avert a crisis?

Similarly, if you could have your WordPress website set up and configured so all you have to do is publish content to it and search engines, social sites and dozens of other traffic-generating online properties would be automatically notified, how much time and money would this save you?

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

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

While the solution to many challenges can seem ridiculously simple once it’s been implemented, it rarely is that simple or easy.

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

  • Which plugins need to be installed for specific things to occur on your site.
  • Which 3rd-party services need to be set up and activated to achieve specific results
  • Which internal and external settings you need to configure to ensure that things will function as planned, etc.

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

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

Although this stage of the WordPress traffic automation system may not seem so technically challenging, it can be quite involved. It’s not just about installing a plugin, clicking a couple of buttons, or tweaking some settings in your dashboard area … it’s all of this and so much more.

Expertly configuring your website is a process that involves your server, your website or blog, and a number of external sites …

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

(The configuration phase involves more than just configuring a few settings in WordPress)

If we try to flowchart all the steps involved in the configuration process, it would look like this …

A simplified diagram showing the steps involved in the configuration phase

(A simplified diagram showing the activities involved in the configuration process)

Let’s take a look at what’s involved in more detail.

Server Configuration

We’re not talking here about the process of configuring your webhosting account for website installation purposes. What we are talking about, is fine-tuning settings and options in your server that affect how your website will handle web traffic …

During the configuration phase, your webhosting account settings need to be checked for handling both good and bad traffic

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

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

This part of the configuration process, therefore, is all about planning for bad and good traffic and adjusting settings in your server accordingly. This could include things like implementing spam protection and security threat prevention, to configuring your domain and email redirections, etc …

Have you configured your hosting control panel settings for handling things like emails, page  error redirects, etc?

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

After your server settings have been fine-tuned and configured, the next step is to configure a number of external sites and/or online services.

Configuring External Sites

The purpose of choosing external sites is that all content is posted to one central location (your site) and from there, it radiates outwards automatically to other parts of your traffic generation system, or notify traffic-related web properties and applications.

External Services

Once these external platforms have been added to your system, content linked back to your site is automatically syndicated to search, social and aggregator sites. Your site will then be given exposure to new audiences and new sources of traffic.

External Services

Some third-party sites will need to have accounts set up before configuring your settings to speed up the configuration process and some will need to be done later, during the automation phase.

For example, here are just some of the accounts you will need to have set up before configuring your site:

Google Webmasters

Google Webmaster Tools - create a Google-friendly site

(Google Search Console – create a Google-friendly site)

Google Webmaster Tools lets you tell Google about your site’s pages, submit XML sitemaps for automatic page indexing, and provides you with useful data, SEO tools and reports about your website.

After setting up your account and entering site details, this information can be used to automate traffic settings and notifications in WordPress (e.g. using plugins like Yoast SEO) and other applications.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics

(Google Analytics)

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

Once your Google Analytics account and site details are set up, you can add your account code to all of your web pages in WordPress via plugins and send data automatically to other useful applications.

Bing Data And Tools

Drive more traffic with Bing Webmaster Tools

(Bing Data And Tools)

Bing Webmaster Tools is similar to Google Webmaster Tools. Once your account and site details with Bing have been set up, this information can be used to automate web traffic-related settings and notifications in WordPress (e.g. using plugins like Yoast SEO – see further below) and other applications.

WordPress.com

WordPress.com

(WordPress.com)

As explained in Part 2, WordPress offers users the option of a hosted vs self-hosted website. We recommended choosing the self-hosted WordPress option if you plan to build a professional business presence online.

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 with WordPress.com, therefore, and we’ll show you how to integrate these features into your web traffic generation system in Part 4 of this series.

Social Media

Syndicate your content automatically to your social media pages and get new visitors to your site

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

You will need to set up your various social media and social bookmarking accounts 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 bring new traffic to your site.

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

Social Media And Social Bookmarking Accounts

There are lots of social bookmarking sites you can set up and syndicate your content to. You don’t need to go crazy, just select those that will work well with your setup and/or content sharing tools (we will review some of these tools in more detail further below and during the Automation phase).

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

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

Additional Solutions, Content Aggregators, Etc.

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

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

RebelMouse

RebelMouse - Distribute social content to social networks

(RebelMouse)

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

Practical Tip

There are many different technologies and third-party applications that can be added to 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.

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

WordPress – Configuring Your Website

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

Let’s go over some key areas.

Configuring Global WordPress Settings

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

WordPress settings menu

(WordPress menu – Settings)

General Settings

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

Settings Menu - General Settings

(WordPress Settings – General Settings)

Writing

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

Settings Menu - Writing Settings

(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 intentionally chosen to discourage search engines from indexing your site – see next section, then your site will automatically notify the update services entered into the Update Services box

By default, only one service is listed …

Update Services - A Powerful Traffic Feature Of WordPress

(Update Services – A Powerful Traffic Feature)

WordPress lets you notify dozens of update services automatically …

WordPress lets you notify dozens of update services automatically!

(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

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 shows up in RSS feeds and blog post digests, and could play a part in someone’s choice to explore your site further, and whether or not they will visit your website to read the rest of the content from a partial feed, or read the content in full without the need to click through to your site.

The main setting here as far as traffic is concerned is whether the Search Engine Visibility checkbox is enabled or not.

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

Settings Menu - Reading Settings Screen

(Global Settings – 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 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 …

WordPress Settings - Discussion Settings Section

(Global Settings – Discussion Settings Section)

Permalinks

Permalinks allow your site to publish posts with SEO-friendly URLs …

Global Settings - Permalinks

(Settings Menu – Permalink Settings)

The examples below show some of the ways your search-friendly URLS can be configured …

Configuring permalink URLs

(Configuring SEO-friendly URLs)

For a detailed step-by-step tutorial about setting up permalinks, go here: How To Set Up Your WordPress Permalinks

Configuring Settings – WP Plugins

WordPress provides users with thousands of plugins that can add almost every type of functionality to your website, including many plugins that improve traffic generation.

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

Blog Defender

Once again, it’s important to configure your site for dealing with both good traffic and bad traffic. No website or blog is completely safe from being attacked by hackers.

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

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

For more information, go here:

WordPress SEO Plugins – Yoast SEO

WordPress SEO plugins help drive more traffic by making your web content more indexable …

Yoast SEO - WordPress Plugins For SEO

(WordPress Plugin – Yoast SEO)

A plugin like Yoast SEO can significantly improve your SEO. Once properly configured, the Yoast SEO plugin not only makes your web pages easier for search engines like Google to find, crawl and index, it also lets you specify how to present your content in Google’s search results and social media sites Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Social Plugins

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

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

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

You can easily add social sharing buttons to your site using WordPress plugins.

Most social plugins allow you to specify which 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 liking your page.

Theme Settings

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

For example, in addition to options and settings for configuring the layout and design of your site, some themes also give you built-in features that let you improve search optimization and site linking structure for better indexing, easily add tracking code, social sharing buttons, etc …

Many themes include built-in traffic optimization features

(Many WordPress themes like Graphene (a free theme) allow you to configure settings for improved traffic results)

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

Many WordPress themes provide users with built-in social sharing features

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

WordPress Traffic System Configuration – Other Areas To Consider

Last (but by no means least) in the traffic configuration process, are the elements that need to be set up outside of the global settings.

This includes:

Website Legal 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 things that can go wrong as more and more people start finding and visiting your website.

If you do business online (or are planning to), it’s important that your site stays compliant with regulatory agencies.

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

We have created a detailed article about how to quickly add legal pages to your website here:

Categories & Post Tags

Post tags and post 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 classify and index your pages.

(WordPress post categories help search engines better organize and index your pages, which helps to increase traffic.)

As we recommend in this article, your site’s categories and tags should be set up during the Website Planning Phases.

When configuring your website to automate and improve traffic, you will want to review and make sure that your site’s categories and tags have been set up correctly to deliver optimal benefits and results.

A Site Map Of Your Pages and Posts

A site map that lists all of your posts and pages is not only a useful navigation tool, it can also help external sites find your website content …

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

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

Tip

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

Your 404 Page

When visitors enter the wrong URL or click on an invalid hyperlink, they are greeted with a 404 error page …

A 404 Error Page

(A 404 Error Page)

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

Configuring your 404 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 on your web server, there are plugins for WordPress that let you easily configure your 404 page inside your WordPress admin area.

WordPress Traffic Automation System: Configuration Phase – Summary

Once your site has been fully set up and expertly configured, all you have to do to begin bringing more web traffic is post web content regularly.

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

Traffic Blueprint - Configuration Phase Checklist

(Traffic System – Configuration Phase Checklist)

Important Info

The skills and knowledge involved in expertly configuring a WordPress site typically takes some web professionals months to acquire.

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

This is the end of Part Three

To read more, click on the link below:

WordPress Web Traffic Blueprint Part Three - How To Turn Your WordPress Blog Into A Web Traffic Machine

Useful Info

This tutorial is part of a comprehensive series of tutorials designed to help business owners learn how to grow their business online cost-effectively and drive traffic organically using a WordPress-powered website or blog and proven web marketing strategies.

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"I have used the tutorials to teach all of my clients and it has probably never been so easy for everyone to learn WordPress ... Now I don't need to buy all these very expensive video courses that often don't deliver what they promise." - Stefan Wendt, Internet Marketing Success Group

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