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 - Discover How To Turn Your Website Into An Automated Traffic Generation Machine

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

In Part 1 of this article series, we explained why using an expertly configured WordPress site is the key to generating automated traffic …

With an expertly configured WordPress web site, all you have to do is publish fresh content on a regular basis to generate more traffic!

(With an expertly configured WordPress website or blog, all you have to do to attract web traffic is post web content regularly!)

In Part Two, we looked at critical setup decisions. We explained the best way to get started if you don’t have a website yet, how to set things up if you already have a site, and what to do if your site was built using WordPress.

How to set up WordPress on your domain

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

In this section, we discuss the configuration phase of this process. We explain how a WordPress site should be configured in order to ensure that web traffic will automatically start flowing just by adding web content to your website.

WordPress Traffic System – Configuration

Being able to drive more traffic to one’s website is often cited by business owners as one of their greatest challenges online. With business becoming so much more competitive on a global scale, it’s worth looking into any and every opportunity you can to improve your results and performance online.

Being able to automatically generate traffic on demand is a tremendous competitive advantage. With an expertly configured WordPress site, you have a significant competitive advantage from the very beginning.

The Configuration Phase Is The Difference

There is a difference between an expertly configured WordPress site and a site that has been professionally 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 describe the difference:

With a WordPress site that has been expertly configured you get a web presence plus online business marketing automation!

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

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

Not only does it take more work to build and integrate an automated online business marketing system into your website, but also a special type of expert knowledge.

Let me illustrate this with a little story.

A Semi-True Story …

All was going just fine in the widget-making workshop when all of a sudden, production ground to a complete stop.

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

Soon afterwards, the expert arrived and, without saying a word, immediately headed towards the control box. After staring silently at the board for 5 minutes, the expert then produced a little hammer from his pocket and made a very gentle tap about three inches from the left side of the control unit.

Immediately, the plant started working once again.

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

A couple of days after resolving the incident, the manager received an invoice for the sum of $5,000.

The factory manager dialled the expert, demanding to know why he had charged them so much for so little time spent delivering such minimal amount of work and promptly requested an itemized invoice before hanging up.

The next day, a bill of payment arrived and was placed in the manager’s intray. Upon opening the envelope, this is what he saw:

invoice statement

The #1 challenge most businesses face online is being able to consistently drive visitors to their sites.

How much money did the widget plant stand to lose when the machines ground to a halt and no one on the factory floor was able to get things up and running again? Did the expert not have the right to demand fair compensation for spending years acquiring the knowledge and expertise that allowed him to immediately avert a serious crisis?

Similarly, if you could have your website fully set up so all you had to do is publish content to it and Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and dozens of other online properties would be automatically 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?)

While the solution to many problems can seem quite simple once it’s been implemented, it rarely turns out to be that way.

Expertly configuring a WordPress site is more than adding some pages with content and configuring a few internal settings. It involves knowing where to tap! In other words, knowing things like:

  • Which programs need to be installed for certain things to occur on your site.
  • Which 3rd-party accounts you need to set up to achieve certain outcomes
  • Which settings you need to configure to ensure that processes will run as planned, etc.

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

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

This part of the WordPress traffic automation system is not technically difficult, but it’s quite involved. The reason why is because it’s not as easy as installing and configuring a plugin, clicking a couple of buttons, or configuring some settings in your dashboard area … it’s all this and so much more.

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

The configuration stage involves more than just configuring some WordPress settings

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

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

A simplified diagram showing the configuration phase

(A simplistic flowchart of the activities involved in the configuration process)

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

Your Server – Configuration

We’re not talking here about the process of configuring your web-hosting account for site installation purposes. We’re talking about configuring settings and options in your web server specifically for handling all web traffic …

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

(During the configuration stage, your hosting account settings need to be checked for handling both good and bad traffic)

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

This aspect of the configuration process, therefore, is all about planning for both bad and good traffic and then adjusting settings in your server accordingly. This can include looking at things like integrating spam protection and security threat prevention, to configuring domain and email redirections, etc …

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

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

After checking your web server settings and configuring these, the next step of the configuration phase is to set up various third-party sites.

External Sites

The idea behind choosing external sites is that all of your content will be published from a central location (your site) and from there, it will be automatically distributed to other components of your traffic generation system, or notify traffic-related web properties and services.

External Accounts

After adding these external platforms to your traffic network, content linked back to your website gets automatically published on search, social and aggregator sites. Your content and site benefits from additional exposure online, helping you tap into a whole new audience and source of traffic.

External Sites

Some of these external web properties and online solutions 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, you will want to set up the following accounts before configuring your site’s settings:

Google Webmaster Tools

Google Webmasters - create a Google-friendly website or blog

(Google Webmasters)

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

Once your Google Webmasters account has been set up, this information can be used to integrate and automate traffic-related settings and notifications in WordPress 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 results, SEO, user engagement, marketing activities, and more, by tracking all user behavior, pages visited, keywords searched for, organic referrals, etc.

Once your Google Analytics account is set up, you can add tracking code to all of your pages in WordPress using a Google Analytics plugin and feed data automatically to other online applications and web properties.

Bing Data And Tools

Bing Data And Tools

(Drive more traffic with Bing Data And Tools)

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

WordPress.com

WordPress.com

(WordPress.com)

As explained in Part Two, WordPress offers a hosted (WordPress.com) and a self-hosted (WordPress.org) option. We recommended choosing the self-hosted WordPress version if you plan to grow a professional business presence online.

WordPress.com (the hosted option), however, provides some great tools, which various WordPress plugins can access. We recommend setting up an account at WordPress.com, therefore, and we’ll explain how to integrate this into your traffic system in the next installment of this series.

Social Media And Social Bookmarking Accounts

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

(Syndicate your content automatically to your social media and social bookmarking 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 accounts and profiles with all of the popular social networks – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, etc.

Social Media Pages

There are loads of social sites you can set up accounts with and post your content to. You don’t need to create accounts with all of them, just pick the ones that will work well with your system and/or content syndication tools (we will review some of these tools in greater detail when we discuss the Automation phase).

There are lots of social sites you can post your content to.

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

Additional Solutions, Content Aggregators, Etc.

There are a number of new online platforms and content aggregators that can serve as secondary traffic generation sources. Some are free or provide free levels, and some offer a range of pricing plans.

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

RebelMouse

RebelMouse - Distribute your content to social networks

(RebelMouse – Distribute social content to social networks)

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

Practical Tip

There are various solutions you can incorporate into your own traffic blueprint. Please feel free to contact us if you would like to explore your options and discuss a configuration plan 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.

WordPress – Configuring Your Website

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

Let’s go over some key areas.

Global Settings

The WordPress dashboard area contains a Settings menu that allows you to modify your site’s main settings …

WordPress admin menu - Settings

(WordPress settings menu)

General Settings

Content entered into fields like Site Title and Tagline can affect traffic by influencing your site’s SEO, search listings, etc …

WordPress Settings - General Settings Screen

(Settings Menu – General Settings Section)

Writing Settings

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

Global Settings - Writing Settings Section

(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 have specifically configured your settings to discourage search engines from indexing your site, then your site will automatically notify the update services entered into the Update Services box

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

Writing Settings - Update Services

(Update Services – A Powerful Traffic Feature Of WordPress)

WordPress lets you notify dozens of update services automatically …

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

This section affects how your content gets seen by readers when they visit your home page and blog pages.

The syndication settings on this page can have an influence web traffic. For example, your choice to display the full text vs a summary of your post, affects how your content displays to users in RSS readers and blog post digests, and could impact someone’s choice to explore your content further, and whether or not they will visit your blog to get 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 your traffic system is concerned, however, the most important setting here is whether the Search Engine Visibility feature is enabled or not.

Normally, you want search engines to visit your site. Leaving the box unchecked enables WordPress to ping your list of update services whenever new posts get published (see Writing Settings above). Unless you have a specific reason why search engines should not visit your site, do not check this box …

Settings Menu - Reading Settings Screen

(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 blogs 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 Section

(Settings Menu – Discussion Settings)

Permalinks

Permalinks allow you to create search engine-friendly URLs …

Global Settings - Permalink Settings

(Settings Menu – Permalink Settings Screen)

Here are some of the ways your site’s permalinks can be configured …

Configuring SEO-friendly URLs

(Configuring permalinks)

For a detailed tutorial on setting up WordPress permalinks, go here: Configuring WordPress Permalinks

Configuring WordPress Plugin Settings For Traffic Generation

WordPress provides users with plugins that can add just about every type of functionality imaginable to your site, including plugins that add traffic generation capabilities.

Here are examples of plugin categories and plugins that can help to attract more visitors to your site

Security Plugins – Blog Defender

Once again, it’s important to configure your site for dealing with both good traffic and bad traffic. No web site is immune from being hacked.

Security Plugins stop 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 WordPress blog invisible to botnet and hacker attacks.

Go here to learn more:

WordPress SEO Plugins – Yoast SEO

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

WordPress Plugin - Yoast SEO

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

A plugin like Yoast SEO can significantly improve your website’s SEO. Once properly configured, this plugin not only makes your web pages easier for search engines like Google to find, classify and index, it allows you to configure how your content will show up in Google’s search results and social media sites Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Social Plugins

Allowing your visitors to easily share your content with their social networks can help to increase traffic to your site, especially if you publish great content that adds real value to readers.

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

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

WordPress users can easily add social features to their website using free or inexpensive plugins.

Most social plugins let you choose which sites your content can be shared to, embed social buttons into your content, set up custom notifications, display/hide share counters (e.g. number of likes), etc. Some social plugins even allow you to ‘lock’ content or downloads 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, 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 navigation structure for better indexing, add analytics, social sharing buttons, etc …

Many themes can be configured for improved traffic results

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

With a number of themes, adding social sharing buttons and features to your content is as easy as clicking a few buttons and enabling the feature …

Many WordPress themes come with built-in social sharing features

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

Other Configuration Features For WordPress

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

This includes the following:

Legal Web Pages

Once again, when preparing your website for a growth in traffic, it’s important to plan not only how to handle bad and good traffic but also for all the situations that can cause serious damage to your business when more and more people begin to visit your website.

If you do business online, you need to ensure that your site stays compliant with legal requirements of government agencies that regulate how business online is done.

Does Your Site Comply With All Legal Requirements?(Is Your Site Legally Compliant?)

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

Post Tags & Post Categories

WordPress post categories & tags help improve traffic by allowing search engines to better index your website.

Post categories help to improve your site's search engine optimization, which helps you get more traffic.

(Post categories help to improve your site’s search engine optimization, which improves traffic.)

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

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

Add A WordPress Site Map

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

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

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

Info

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, whereas an XML sitemap is mostly code that only search engine bots can read. Although search engines like Google will index your pages 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 can result in increased traffic.

Don’t Forget Your 404 Error Page

When visitors searching for your site enter the wrong web address or click on an invalid link, they are greeted with an error – page not found message (known as a 404 page) …

Default WordPress 404 Error Page

(A 404 Page)

A 404 Error Page can 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 recover traffic that may otherwise be lost.)

Practical Tip

Although a 404 page can be set up in your web server, there are WordPress plugins that let you easily configure your 404 page inside your WordPress admin.

WordPress Traffic System: Configuration Process – Summary

Once you have your website fully set up and expertly configured, all you then need to do is post fresh content on a regular basis to bring traffic organically.

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

WP Traffic Blueprint - Configuration Phase Checklist

(WordPress Traffic Blueprint – Configuration Checklist)

Important Info

The knowledge and expertise required to perform this stage of the traffic automation process can take many 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 addressed in the next article in our series.

This is the end of Section Three

To read more, click here:

Web Site Traffic Blueprint Part Three - A Complete Guide To Driving More Web Visitors Automatically Using WordPress

Useful Information

This tutorial is part of an tutorial series aimed at helping you learn how to grow your business online with a WordPress website and proven web marketing methods.

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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 detailed step-by-step tutorials that will teach you how to use WordPress to grow your business online at minimal cost with no coding skills required!

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