Welcome to Part Three of our WordPress Web Site Traffic Blueprint article series, where we show you how to turn your website into an automated traffic machine using the WordPress CMS platform.
In Part 1 of this article series, we provided an overview of the process, and 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 to automatically start generating traffic is add new content regularly!)
In Part 2, we looked at the setup phase of the automation process. We explained the best way to get started if you don’t have a web presence yet, how to set things up if you already have a site, and what to do if your site was built using WordPress.
(In Part 2 we show you where to set up a WordPress web site on your domain)
In this article, we will look at the configuration phase of the WordPress traffic automation system. We explain how a WordPress site should be configured in order to ensure that new visitors will automatically start flowing when you start to add fresh content to your site.
WordPress Web Traffic Automation System – Configuration
The ability to drive more traffic to one’s website is often cited by many website owners as one of the greatest challenges they face online. Businesses are becoming increasingly more competitive worldwide and are exploring any and every advantage available to increase their competitiveness online.
The ability to automatically generate traffic on demand is a huge advantage. With an expertly configured WordPress site, you have an immediate advantage from the very beginning.
The Difference Is In The Way Your Site Is Configured
There is a significant difference between an expertly configured WordPress site and a site that has been professionally installed and set up by an expert website builder but not necessarily configured to take advantage of everything WordPress can offer you.
Here’s a simple way to understand the key difference:
An expertly configured WordPress site gives you a professional web presence plus online business marketing automation!
(An expertly configured website gives you a web presence with a built-in automated online business marketing process!)
Not only is additional work required to build and integrate an automated online business marketing process into your website, but also a special kind of expertise.
Let me illustrate this with a story.
Ludicrous Or Fair? You Decide …
All was going fine in the gizmo factory when things came to a sudden stop.
As no one could figure out what happened, the floor manager decided to call in an expert.
Shortly after arriving, the expert immediately headed towards the control box. After staring silently at the circuit board for no more than 3 minutes or so, the expert then took out a tiny hammer from his tool box and made a single tap near the bottom-left edge of the box.
Immediately, everything began to work as before.
The floor manager was delighted as he thanked the expert, who left as quickly as he had arrived.
A few days after resolving the incident, the factory manager received a request of payment for services rendered for $5,000.
The factory manager dialled the expert, demanding to know why they had been charged such a ludicrous fee for less than 5 minutes work and promptly requested an itemized invoice before hanging up.
The next day, an invoice statement arrived in the manager’s in-tray. Upon opening it, this is what he saw:
The number one challenge most businesses face online is being able to drive visitors to their sites.
In the above story, how much money did the widget plant stand to lose when production ground to a halt and no one on the business was able to fix it? Did the expert in our story not have every right to get paid fairly for spending years acquiring the knowledge and expertise that allowed him to immediately assess and fix a costly problem?
Similarly, if you could have your WordPress blog set up so all you have to do is publish new content and Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest 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 driving traffic to your website?)
Although the solution to many problems is often ridiculously easy once it’s been implemented, it rarely turns out to be that way.
Expertly configuring a WordPress site requires more than just installing a website and configuring a few basic settings. It also requires knowing where to tap! This includes knowing things like:
- Which plugins need to be installed to get desired functionalities on your site.
- Which accounts need to be set up to get specific results
- Which options you need to configure to ensure that everything will work to plan, etc.
(Driving web traffic automatically with WordPress is a process that requires expertise)
Although this stage of the WordPress traffic automation system may not seem so technically challenging, it can be quite complicated. It’s not as simple as installing one or two plugins, clicking on a button or two … it’s all of this and much more.
Expertly configuring your website is a process that involves your server, your website or blog, and a number of third-party sites and services …
(Expertly configuring your website involves more than just configuring some settings in WordPress)
If we create a simplified diagram showing the activities involved in the configuration process, it would look something like this …
(A simplistic flowchart of the configuration process)
Let’s examine these steps.
We’re not talking about the process of configuring your hosting account for site installation purposes. We’re talking about fine-tuning settings and options in your web server specifically for handling all web traffic …
(During the configuration phase, your server settings need to be checked for handling both good and bad traffic)
Not all web traffic is welcome traffic. Some of the traffic your site can attract will be unwanted traffic like bot spam, security threats, bot-hacking attempts, etc.
This aspect of the configuration process, therefore, is all about evaluating your needs, planning for bad and good traffic and adjusting settings in your server accordingly. This can include looking at things like implementing spam protection and threat prevention, to configuring your domain and email redirections, etc …
(Have you configured your webhosting settings for handling things like email forwarding, page errors, etc?)
Once your web server settings have been fine-tuned and configured (if required), the next step is to set up and configure various external sites.
Configuring External Web Properties
The basic idea of setting up external sites is that all content will get published to a central location (your WordPress site) and from there, it will be automatically distributed to other components of your traffic generation system, or notify traffic-related web properties and applications.
Once these external platforms have been added to your traffic system, content pointing back to your website gets automatically added to these platforms. Your content and site will be exposed to new sources of traffic and new audiences.
Some web properties and online services will need to have accounts set up before configuring your WordPress settings to help speed up the 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 WordPress site:
(Google Webmasters – 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 you with important information, SEO tools and reports about your website.
After setting up your account and entering site data, the details can be used with web traffic-related settings and notifications in WordPress (e.g. using plugins like Yoast SEO – see further below) and other applications.
Google Analytics lets you improve your site’s traffic performance, SEO, user engagement, marketing efforts, and more, by tracking all user behavior, pages visited, keywords searched for, search engine referrals, etc.
After setting up your Once you have set up Google Analytics, you can add visitor tracking code to WordPress via a Google Analytics plugin and feed data instantly to various other applications and reporting tools.
(Drive more traffic with Bing Data And Tools)
Bing Webmaster Tools is similar to Google Webmasters. Once your account has been with Bing are set up, use this information to integrate and automate traffic-related settings in WordPress (e.g. using plugins like Yoast SEO) and other applications.
As explained in Part Two, WordPress provides users with the option of a hosted vs self-hosted website. We recommended choosing the self-hosted WordPress platform if you plan to build a professional web presence.
WordPress.com (the hosted option), however, provides some great tools, which can be accessed by a number of WordPress plugins. We recommend setting up an account at WordPress.com, therefore, and we’ll show you how to integrate this 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 and social bookmarking accounts and get new traffic to your site)
You will need your various social media and social bookmarking 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 sites and get new traffic to your site.
Make sure you have accounts set up with all the main social networks – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.
There are many social bookmarking sites you can set up accounts with. You don’t need to go crazy, just pick those that will work with your system and/or content sharing tools.
(There are loads of social bookmarking sites you can post your content to. Image: ShareThis.com)
Additional Platforms, Aggregators, Etc.
There are a number of online platforms and RSS 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 a feed from your site …
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 account.
There are many different solutions that can be incorporated into your own traffic blueprint. Please 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 web server and set up third-party service accounts, it’s time to configure your WordPress settings.
The first step in configuring your WordPress site for traffic is to make sure that your global settings have been correctly set up.
Let’s go over some key areas.
The WordPress admin area contains a Settings section that allows you to configure your site’s global settings …
(WordPress admin menu – Settings)
Content entered into fields like Site Title and Tagline can affect your site’s SEO, search indexing, etc …
(WordPress Settings – General Settings Screen)
The Writing Settings section contains one of the most powerful and frequently overlooked traffic notification systems available to WordPress site owners …
(Settings Menu – Writing Settings Section)
As stated in this section,
When you publish a new post, WordPress automatically notifies the following site update services …
Unless you or your webmaster have purposely configured your settings to prevent search engines from indexing your site – see next section, then your site will automatically notify the list of services entered into the Update Services text box
By default, when WordPress is installed, this section lists only one entry …
(Update Services – A Powerful Traffic Feature)
You can notify dozens of update services automatically – just add a list of update services to this section …
(WordPress lets you notify dozens of update services automatically!)
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 readers when they visit your home page and blog pages.
The syndication settings in this section can influence traffic. For example, your choice to display the full content vs a summary 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 content further, and whether or not they will visit your website to view the rest of the content from summaries, or read the content in full without the need to click through to your site.
As far as traffic is concerned, however, the most important setting here is whether the Search Engine Visibility check box is ticked or not.
Generally, you want search engines to visit your site. Leaving this box unchecked enables WordPress to automatically ping all the update services you have listed 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 …
(WordPress Settings – 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 sites linked to from your content, and to allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks). This can work for you, but it can also drive bad traffic in the form of SPAM comments …
(WordPress Settings – Discussion Settings Screen)
Your Permalink settings allow you to create SEO-friendly URLs …
(Global Settings – Permalinks)
Here are some of the options for configuring your site’s search-friendly URLS …
(Configuring permalink URLs)
We have written a detailed tutorial about using permalinks in WordPress here: Using Permalinks To Improve Your WordPress SEO
Configuring WordPress Plugin Settings For Traffic Generation
WordPress provides users with thousands of plugins that help to add almost every kind of functionality to your site, including traffic generation.
Let’s 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 website for dealing with the effects of both good traffic and bad traffic. No site is safe from being attacked by hackers.
Security plugins like Blog Defender help to make your blog invisible to malicious attacks from hackers and bots.
Go here for more info:
SEO Plugins – Yoast SEO
WordPress SEO plugins help drive traffic by making your site more search engine friendly …
(SEO plugins like Yoast SEO help drive traffic by improving the search engine friendliness of your website)
A plugin like Yoast SEO can significantly improve your SEO. When properly configured, this plugin not only makes your website easier for search engines like Google to find, crawl and index, it also lets you configure how your content will show up in Google’s search results and social media sites Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
WordPress Social Plugins
Allowing your visitors to share your content online can help to increase traffic to your site, especially if you publish content that adds real value to readers.
(You can easily add social sharing to your website with free or inexpensive WordPress plugins)
There are many social sharing plugins available for WordPress.
Most social sharing plugins allow you to choose which sites visitors can share your content to, embed social buttons into your content, set up default notifications, display/hide share counters (e.g. number of shares), etc. Some social share plugins even allow you to set up protected content sections on your pages which visitors can unlock by linking or tweeting your page.
WordPress Theme Features – Configuration
As well as configuring various plugins, many WordPress themes also include features that help grow your traffic.
For example, in addition to options and settings for configuring the layout and design of your website, some themes also include options for improving search optimization and site linking structure for faster indexing, easily add tracking snippets, social sharing buttons, etc …
(Many themes allow you to configure settings for improved traffic results)
With many quality themes, adding social sharing buttons to your website is as easy as clicking a button …
(Many WordPress themes include built-in social sharing features)
WordPress Traffic System Configuration – Additional Things To Consider
Last (but by no means least) in the web traffic system configuration process, are the areas that need to be configured outside of the global settings.
Compliance Web Pages
Once again, when preparing your website 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 when more and more people begin to visit your website.
If you do business online, it’s important that your site stays compliant with regulatory agencies.
If you need help adding legal pages to WordPress, see this article:
Categories & post tags help search engines classify and index your pages, which helps you get more traffic.
(WordPress categories help improve traffic by allowing search engines to better understand and index your website.)
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.
Add A Site Map
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 your online content …
(A site map is not just great for visitors, but for traffic too!)
Note: An HTML site map and an XML sitemap are two different things. An HTML site map is a web page that links to all other content on your site, whereas an XML sitemap is mostly just a bunch of code that only search bots can understand. Although Google will index your site just from an XML sitemap (which plugins like Yoast SEO can provide – see earlier section), making it easier for visitors to find more pages on your site can result in increased traffic.
404 Error Page – Another Source Of Web Traffic!
When online users enter the wrong web address into their browser or click on a link pointing to a destination on your website that no longer exists, they will normally be greeted with a 404 page …
(Default WordPress 404 Page)
Configuring your 404 Not Found error page allows you to redirect traffic that may otherwise be lost. …
(Configuring your 404 Not Found error page allows you to recover web traffic that may otherwise be lost.)
Although a 404 error page can be set up on your web server, there are several WordPress plugins that let you easily configure your 404 page from your WordPress dashboard.
WordPress Traffic System: Configuration Stage – Summary
Once you have your website fully set up and expertly configured, all you then have to do to start generating new traffic is post web content on a regular basis.
The process of expertly configuring a WordPress site, however, is quite involved , requiring the configuration and integration of a number of different components and web properties …
(WordPress Traffic Blueprint – Configuration Phase Checklist)
The skills and knowledge required to perform the configuration process can take many web developers months to acquire.
Once you have expertly configured your WordPress site, the next step is to automate as much of the process as you can. This step is covered in the next article in the WordPress Traffic Blueprint series.
This is the end of Section 3
To keep reading, click on the link below:
- Website Traffic Blueprint Part Four – A Complete Guide To Generating More Web Traffic For Your Business Automatically With WordPress
This article is part of a comprehensive article series designed to help you learn how to grow your business online using a WordPress-driven website or blog and proven web marketing methods.
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