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.

WordPress Website Traffic Blueprint Part 3 - Learn How To Turn Your WordPress Web Site Into A Traffic Generation Machine

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

In Part One of this article series, we described the process, and 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 automatically bring traffic is add great content regularly!

(With an expertly configured WordPress website, all you have to do is post fresh content consistently to generate traffic!)

In Part Two, we discussed the setup phase. We helped you understand the best way to start if you don’t have a web presence yet, how to set everything up if you already have a site, and what to do if your existing website was built with WordPress.

How to set up WordPress on your domain

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

In this section, we discuss the configuration phase of the traffic automation process. We explain how a WordPress site should be configured to automatically begin attracting new traffic just by regularly adding content on your web site.

WordPress Web Traffic Automation Blueprint – Configuration Phase

Finding ways to attract more visitors to one’s website is often cited by most business owners as the greatest challenge they face online. Businesses are becoming ever more competitive and are researching any and every advantage available to improve their results online.

Having the ability to generate traffic on demand can provide website owners with a huge advantage. For WordPress users, an expertly configured website allows their business to get off with a flying start from the moment their website is launched.

The Configuration Process Is What Makes All The Difference

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

Here is a simple way to understand the difference:

An expertly configured WordPress website 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 with online business marketing automation.

(An expertly configured website gives you a professional web presence with a built-in 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, it also takes a special kind of expert knowledge.

To illustrate this here is a little story.

Are Experts Worth The Money They Charge?

Everything is humming along in the gizmo plant when things suddenly grinds to a stop.

No one can figure out what’s gone wrong and so the manager decides to call in an expert.

Soon afterwards, the expert arrives and heads out directly to the control box. After staring silently at the wiring board for 5 minutes or so, the expert then produces a little hammer and makes a single tap near the top-left corner of the unit.

Immediately, everything comes back to life.

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

A couple of days after resolving the incident, the manager receives a request of payment for services totalling $5,000.

Outraged and furious, the manager dials the expert. Demanding to know why the expert has charged them such a ludicrous fee for so little time spent delivering such minimal amount of work, he promptly requests an itemized invoice to be sent and hangs up.

The next day, an invoice notice arrives on the manager’s desk. Upon opening the envelope, this is what he sees:

Invoice - ExpertCo

The main challenge most businesses face online is being able to drive new traffic to their sites.

In the above story, how much money did the plant stand to lose when production stopped functioning and no one on the business was able to fix it? Did the expert in our story not have the right to get paid fairly for years spent developing the knowledge, skills and expertise that enabled him to avert a serious crisis?

Similarly, if you could have a website or blog fully set up and configured so all you ever had to do is publish content to it and Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and dozens of other online properties would be immediately 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 driving traffic to your site?

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

Although many experts often make difficult things look easy, it rarely is that simple or easy when you are trying to work things out.

Knowing how to expertly configure a WordPress site is more than simply installing a website and configuring a few internal settings. It also involves knowing where to tap! This includes knowing things like:

  • Which plugins you need to install for specific 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 everything will work as expected, etc.

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

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

This part of the traffic automation system is not so technically challenging, but it’s quite complicated. The reason why is because it’s not as easy as installing and configuring one or two plugins, clicking on a button or two, or configuring some settings in your dashboard area … it’s all of this and so much more.

The configuration stage is a process that involves your web server, your website or blog, and a number of external sites and services …

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

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

If the activities involved in the configuration process were to be flowcharted, it would look something like this …

A simplistic flowchart of the activities involved in the configuration process

(A simplified flowchart showing the configuration process)

Let’s take a look at these steps in more detail.

Web Hosting

We’re not talking about the process of configuring your hosting account for site installation purposes. We’re talking about tweaking settings and options in your web server that affect how your website will handle all web traffic …

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

(During the configuration stage, your web 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 business may attract will be unwelcome traffic like spam, security threats, bot-hacking attempts, etc.

This aspect of the configuration process, therefore, is all about planning for both good and bad traffic and adjusting settings in your server accordingly. This includes things like configuring spam protection and securing server files, to configuring your domain and email forwarding, etc …

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

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

After your web server settings have been checked and configured, the next step of the configuration phase is to set up various external sites and services.

Integration With External Web Properties

The purpose of choosing external sites is that all of your content gets published to a central location (your site) and from there, it syndicates automatically to other parts of your web traffic system, or notify traffic-related web properties and applications.

Configuring External Sites

Once you incorporate these external services into your setup, content pointing back to your website will be automatically fed to these platforms. Your website will then be exposed to a new audience and source of traffic.

External Services

Some of these sites and services will need to be 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, here are just some of the accounts you will need to have set up:

Google Webmasters

Google Search Console

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

Google Search Console lets you inform Google about your site’s pages, submit XML sitemaps for automatic page indexing, and provides you with useful data, SEO tools and diagnostic reports about your website.

After setting up your account, you can use this information to automate web traffic-related 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, and more, by tracking all user engagement, pages visited, keywords searched for, organic referrals, etc.

Once your Google Analytics account and site details are set up, tracking code can be added to WordPress using plugins and and sent to many other useful applications and reporting tools.

Bing Data And Tools

Bing Data And Tools

(Bing Data And Tools)

Bing Webmaster Tools is similar to Google Search Console. Once your account and site data have been set up, you can use the information with web traffic-related settings in WordPress (e.g. using plugins like Yoast SEO) and other applications.

WordPress.com

WordPress.com

(WordPress.com)

As discussed in Part 2, WordPress offers website owners a self-hosted and a hosted option. We recommended choosing the self-hosted WordPress option if you are planning to build a professional business presence online.

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 explain how to integrate this into your traffic system in Part 4 of this series.

Social Media And Social Bookmarking

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

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

You will need your various social media accounts set up in order to integrate these with 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 visitors to your site.

Make sure you have profiles set up with all of the big social networks – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, etc.

Social Media Pages

There are lots of social bookmarking sites you can syndicate your content to. You don’t need to create accounts with all of them, just select those that will work well with your system and/or content syndication tools.

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

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

Additional Sites, Content Aggregators, Etc.

There are a number of new online technology platforms and content aggregators that can serve as secondary-level sources of traffic. Some are free or provide free levels, and some offer a range of pricing plans to suit different user types.

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

RebelMouse

RebelMouse - Distribute social content to social networks

(RebelMouse)

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

Practical Tip

There are various technologies and third-party applications that can be incorporated into your traffic blueprint. Please 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 third-party site accounts, it’s time to configure your site’s settings.

WordPress Site Configuration

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

Let’s go over some key areas.

Global Settings

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

WordPress admin menu - Settings

(WordPress settings section)

General Settings

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

Global Settings - General Settings

(Global Settings – General Settings)

Writing Settings

The Writing Settings section contains an important and often overlooked built-in traffic notification system …

WordPress Settings - Writing Settings

(Global Settings – Writing Settings)

As stated below the Update Services section title,

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

Unless you or your webmaster have intentionally configured your settings to discourage search engines from indexing your site, then your site will automatically ping the list of services entered into the Update Services text area

By default, when WordPress is installed, only one service is listed …

WordPress Update Services

(Writing Settings – WordPress Update Services)

WordPress lets you notify dozens of update services automatically …

You can notify dozens of update services automatically!

(WordPress lets you 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 of displaying the full content vs a summary of your post, affects how your content shows up in RSS readers and RSS email campaigns, and could affect someone’s decision to explore your site further, and whether or not they will visit your site 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 check box is enabled or not.

Normally, you want search engines to visit your site. Leaving the box unchecked enables WordPress to automatically ping 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, leave this box unchecked …

Global Settings - Reading Settings Section

(WordPress Settings – Reading Settings Section)

Discussion 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 …

Global Settings - Discussion Settings Screen

(Settings Menu – Discussion Settings)

Permalink Settings

Your Permalink settings allow you to create search engine-friendly URLs …

WordPress Settings - Permalinks Section

(Global Settings – Permalink Settings Screen)

The examples below show some of the ways site’s permalinks can be configured …

Configuring SEO-friendly URLs

(Configuring permalinks)

If you need help setting up permalinks in WordPress, see this step-by-step tutorial: Improve Your WordPress SEO With Permalinks

WordPress Plugins – Configuration

WordPress provides users with plugins that help to add almost every type of functionality imaginable to your website, 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 site for handling both good traffic and bad traffic. No matter what type of business you run or plan to run online and how small you think your web presence is, securing your site is something you cannot ignore.

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

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

For more details, go here:

SEO Plugins – Yoast SEO

SEO plugins help drive more traffic by making your site more search engine friendly …

WP Plugin - Yoast SEO

(SEO plugins like Yoast SEO help increase traffic by improving the search engine friendliness of your website)

A plugin like Yoast SEO (previously called WordPress SEO by Yoast) can significantly improve your website’s SEO. Properly configured, the Yoast SEO plugin not only makes your website easier for search engines like Google and Bing to index, it allows you to specify how your content will show up in Google’s search results and social media sites Twitter, Facebook, and GooglePlus.

Social Plugins

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

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

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

There are loads of social sharing plugins to choose from.

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

Themes

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

For example, as well as options and settings for configuring the layout and design of your site, many themes also give you built-in features that let you improve SEO and site navigation structure for faster indexing, add analytics, social sharing buttons, etc …

Many themes include built-in traffic optimization features

(Many WordPress themes like Graphene (a highly customizable free theme) include built-in traffic optimization features)

With a number of quality themes, adding social sharing features to your site is as easy as clicking a button …

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

(Many WordPress themes include built-in social sharing features)

WordPress Traffic Configuration – Other Areas To Consider

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

This includes the following:

Compliance Web Pages

Once again, when preparing your website for an increase in traffic numbers, it’s important to plan not only for how to deal with good and bad traffic but also for all the situations that can cause serious damage to your business when more and more people start finding and visiting your website.

If you engage in any form of commercial activity online, it’s important that your site remains compliant with all government legal requirements.

Does Your Website Or Blog Comply With All Legal Requirements?(Does Your Website Or Blog Comply With The Law?)

If you need help understanding how to quickly and easily add all necessary legal pages to your site, go here:

Post Categories & Tags

Post categories and post tags help to improve your site’s search optimization, which helps to increase traffic.

Categories help improve traffic by allowing search engines to better organize and index your pages.

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

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

In the configuration phase, you will want to review and make sure that the post categories and tags that have been set up.

Add A Site Map To Your WordPress Site

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

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

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

Important

It’s important to note that an HTML site map and an XML sitemap are two different things. HTML site maps are web pages that provide readers with a an understandable map of how your content is organized, whereas XML sitemaps are mostly code that only search engine bots can understand. Although Google will index your pages just using 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 results in increased traffic.

Configure Your Site’s 404 Page

When visitors searching online for your site type in the wrong web address into their web browser or click on a hyperlink pointing to a destination on your website that no longer exists, they are presented with a 404 error page …

Default WordPress 404 Page

(A WordPress 404 Error Page)

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

Configuring your 404 Error Page allows you to recover 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 WordPress plugins that allow you to easily configure your 404 page from your WordPress admin.

WordPress Traffic Automation System: Configuration Phase – Summary

Once your website or blog has been fully set up and expertly configured, all you need to do then is post fresh content regularly to automatically generate web traffic organically.

The process of expertly configuring a WordPress site, however, is quite involved and elaborate and requires the configuration and integration of different components and external web properties …

Traffic System - Configuration Checklist

(WP Traffic System – Configuration Phase Checklist)

Important Info

The expertise involved in expertly configuring a WordPress site typically takes some web developers a long time 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 WordPress Traffic Blueprint series.

This is the end of Section 3

To read more, click on the link below:

Web Site Traffic Blueprint Part 3 - A Complete Guide To Growing Your Web Traffic Automatically Using WordPress

Info

This article is part of a comprehensive series of articles designed to help site owners learn how to grow their business online and drive traffic automatically with a WordPress-driven website and proven web marketing methods.

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"These tutorials have so much information and are easy to understand. If you use WordPress or plan to in the future these will help you with everything you need to know." - Valisa (Mesa, Arizona)

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