WordPress For Non-Techies: Free WordPress Tutorials – WPCompendium.org

WordPress Traffic Automation Blueprint – Part 3 (Configuration)

Welcome to Part Three of our Web Traffic Blueprint article series, where we show you how to turn a site into an automated traffic generation machine using the WordPress CMS platform.

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

(With an expertly configured WordPress blog, all you have to do to begin bringing new traffic is publish fresh content on a consistent basis!)

In Part 2, we looked at the setup phase of the traffic automation process. We helped you understand the best way to start if you don’t have a web presence yet, how to set things up if you already have a website, and what to do if your website was built with WordPress.

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

In this section of the series, we discuss the configuration phase of the traffic system. We will show you how to configure a WordPress site to attract web traffic automatically whenever you publish web content to your WordPress site.

WordPress Traffic Blueprint – Configuration Phase

Finding ways to drive more traffic to one’s website is often cited by most business owners as the greatest challenge they face online. Also, the business landscape is becoming increasingly more competitive worldwide and businesses are researching any and every advantage they believe will help them increase their competitiveness online.

Being able to automatically generate traffic on demand can provide you with a tremendous advantage over the competition. With an expertly configured WordPress site, you have an immediate advantage from the word “go”.

The Configuration Phase Is The Difference

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

Here’s one way to explain the main difference:

An expertly configured WordPress website gives you a web presence and an automated online business marketing process!

(An expertly configured site gives you a web presence and an automated online business marketing tool!)

Not only does a whole lot more work go into building and integrating an automated online business marketing process into your website, but also a special kind of expert knowledge.

Let’s illustrate this with a joke.

Knowing Where To Tap

Everything was humming along in the gizmo manufacturing plant when suddenly, things came to a stop.

No one could figure out what has happened and so the plant manager decided to call in an expert to try and fix the problem.

Shortly after arriving, the expert headed immediately towards the main control box. After staring at the board for less than 2 minutes, the expert then took out a teeny-weeny hammer and made a gentle tap near the bottom-left edge of the unit.

Immediately, the plant came back to life.

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

A couple of days later, the manager received an invoice for $5,000.

The factory manager dialled the expert, demanding to know why the expert had charged them such a large amount of money for so little time delivering such a minimal amount of work. He 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:

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

In the above story, how much money did the factory stand to lose when production stopped working and no one on the business was able to fix it? Did the expert not have the right to demand fair compensation for years spent developing the knowledge, skills and expertise that allowed him to immediately assess and repair a potentially costly problem?

Similarly, if you could have your WordPress website or blog configured so all you ever had to do is publish content to it and search engines, social networking sites and dozens of other web properties would be immediately notified, how much time and money would you save?

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

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

Knowing how to expertly configure a WordPress site is more than installing a website and configuring some of the site settings for clients. It also involves knowing where to tap! This includes knowing things such as:

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

This stage of the WordPress traffic automation system is not technically difficult, but it’s quite involved. It’s not as easy as installing a solution, clicking a couple of buttons, or configuring some options and settings in your admin area … it’s all of this and much more.

Expertly configuring your website is a complex process that involves your server, your web site, and various external sites or online services …

(The configuration stage involves more than just configuring some WordPress settings)

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

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

Let’s take a brief look at what’s involved.

Your Web Server

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

(In the configuration phase, your web server settings need to be fine-tuned for handling both good and bad traffic)

Not all traffic is welcome traffic. Some of the traffic you may attract will be unwelcome traffic like bot spam, malicious threats, brute-force bot attacks, etc.

This area of the configuration process, therefore, is about evaluating your needs, planning for both good and unwanted traffic and then adjusting settings in your server accordingly. This could include looking at things like spam protection and threat prevention, to configuring domain and email redirections, 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 is to set up and configure various external sites and online solutions.

External Services

The basic idea of setting up external sites is that all of your content should be published to one central location (your site) and from there, it will radiate outwards to other components of your web traffic system, or notify traffic-related web properties and applications.

Once these external platforms have been added to your traffic network, content pointing back to your website gets automatically published on search, social and aggregator accounts. Your content and site will receive exposure online, helping your business tap into a whole new audience and source of traffic.

Some of the external sites and solutions will need to be set up before configuring your WordPress site to save time 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 settings:

Google Webmaster Tools

(Google Webmasters – create a Google-friendly site)

Google Webmasters lets you tell Google about your site’s pages, submit XML sitemaps for automatic page indexing, and provides site owners with a range of essential data, SEO tools, and diagnostic reports about their website.

Once your Google Webmaster Tools account is set up, the details can be used with web traffic settings and notifications in WordPress (e.g. using plugins like Yoast SEO – see further below) and other applications.

Google Analytics

(Google Analytics)

Google Analytics lets you improve your site’s performance, SEO, user engagement, marketing activities, and more, by tracking all user behaviour, pages visited, keywords searched for, search engine referrers, etc.

Once your Google Analytics account is set up, you can add tracking code to WordPress via a Google Analytics plugin and feed data instantly to many other applications.

Bing Data And Tools

(Drive more traffic with Bing Webmaster Tools)

Bing Webmaster Tools is similar to Google Search Console. Once your Bing Webmaster Tools account has been set up, you can use your details with traffic-related settings in WordPress and other applications.

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 version if you are planning to grow a professional business presence online.

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

Social Media And Social Bookmarking

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

You will need to set up your social media 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 drive new visitors to your site.

You should have accounts and profiles set up with all of the big social networks – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.

There are lots of social sites you can You can syndicate your content to loads of social sites. You don’t need to create accounts with all of them, just pick the ones that will work well with your setup and/or content sharing tools.

(You can syndicate your content to many social sites. Image source ShareThis.com)

Additional Solutions, RSS Aggregators, Etc.

There are a number of emerging platforms and RSS aggregators that can act as secondary-level sources of traffic. Some are free or provide free plans, and some are paid services.

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

RebelMouse

(RebelMouse)

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

There are many different technologies and third-party applications that can be incorporated into your own traffic system. Please feel free to contact us if you need assistance exploring this area further, or to discuss a configuration strategy to suit your needs.

After you have configured your server settings and set up third-party site accounts, it’s time to configure your site.

WordPress Site Configuration

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

Let’s go over some of the important points.

Configuring WordPress Settings

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

(WordPress settings section)

General Settings

Content entered into fields like Site Title and Tagline can influence your site’s SEO, search results, etc …

(Settings Menu – General Settings Section)

Writing

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

(Global Settings – Writing Settings Section)

As described below the Update Services section,

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

Unless you have purposely chosen to discourage search engines from indexing your site – see next section, then your site will automatically notify the services entered into the Update Services box

With an ‘out of the box’ WordPress installation, only one service is listed …

(Update Services)

You can notify dozens of update services automatically …

(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:

Download A List Of Ping Services For Your WordPress Site

***

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 have an influence 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 feeds and RSS email campaigns, and could impact someone’s decision to explore your site further, and whether or not they will visit your website to get 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 most important setting in this section as far as traffic is concerned is whether the Search Engine Visibility feature is enabled or not.

Normally, you want search engines to visit your site. Leaving the box unchecked allows your site to instantly ping your update services list when a new post is published (see Writing Settings above). Unless you have a specific reason to discourage search indexing spiders from visiting your site, do not check this box …

(Settings Menu – Reading Settings)

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)

Permalink Settings

Permalinks allow you to create SEO-friendly URLs …

(Settings Menu – Permalink Settings)

The examples below show some of the options for configuring your permalink URLs …

(Configuring search-friendly URLS)

To learn more about setting up WordPress permalinks, go here: Using Permalinks To Improve Your WordPress SEO

Plugins

WordPress provides users with thousands of plugins that can add just about every kind of functionality imaginable to your site, including many plugins that improve traffic generation.

Here are some types of plugin categories that affect traffic and plugin examples

WordPress Security Plugins – Blog Defender

Once again, it’s important to configure your website for handling both good traffic and bad traffic. No website or blog is guaranteed immunity from being hacked.

(Security Plugins stop bad traffic from harming your web presence)

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

Go here to learn more:

WordPress SEO Plugins – Yoast SEO

WordPress SEO plugins help drive more traffic by improving the search engine friendliness of your website …

(SEO plugins help drive more traffic by improving your site’s ability to rank better in search engines)

A plugin like Yoast SEO can significantly improve your SEO. Properly configured, this plugin not only makes your site easier for search engines like Google and Bing to find and index, it also gives you control over how your content is displayed in Google’s search results and social media sites Twitter, Facebook, and GooglePlus.

Social Plugins

Allowing visitors to share your content online can help drive more traffic to your site, especially if your site provides content that adds value to readers.

(You can add social sharing features to your website easily using free or inexpensive WordPress plugins)

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

Many social share plugins let you select which sites your content can be shared to, embed social buttons into your content, set up custom update notifications, 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 users can unlock by linking or tweeting your page.

Themes

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

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

(Many WordPress themes come with built-in traffic optimization features)

With many quality themes, adding social sharing buttons to your site is as easy as selecting the option to enable this functions …

(Many WordPress themes come with built-in social sharing features)

Additional Configuration Areas For WordPress Traffic Automation

Last but not least in the traffic configuration process, are the elements that need to be set up outside of the global settings.

This includes:

Website Compliance Pages

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

If you are making money online, it’s important that your site is compliant with regulatory agencies.

(Is Your Website Legally Compliant?)

We have written a detailed article about adding compliance pages to WordPress here:

Tags And Post Categories

WordPress post tags & post categories help improve traffic by allowing search engines to better understand and index your web pages.

(WordPress post categories help search engines classify and index your website, which helps you get more traffic.)

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

In the configuration phase, you will want to review and make sure that your site’s post categories and tags have been set up correctly to deliver optimal benefits and results.

Add A Site Map

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

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

An HTML site map and an XML sitemap are not the same things. HTML site maps provide visitors with a an understandable map of how your content is organized, whereas XML sitemaps contain code that only search engines can understand. Although search engines like Google will index your site 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 results in increased traffic.

404 Error Page – Don’t Lose Traffic!

When visitors type in the wrong web address or click on a dead hyperlink, they are greeted with a 404 page …

(Default WordPress 404 Not Found page)

Configuring your 404 Error Page allows you to recover traffic that may otherwise be lost. …

(Configuring your 404 Not Found 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 plugins for WordPress that let you easily configure your 404 page from your WordPress admin.

WordPress Traffic Automation Blueprint: Configuration Phase – Summary

Once you have your WordPress site fully set up and expertly configured, all you then need to do to automatically attract new traffic is post new content regularly.

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

(WP Traffic System – Configuration Checklist)

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

Once you have configured your WordPress site, the next step is to automate the process. This step is covered in the next section of the series.

This is the end of Part 3

To read the rest of this article, click here:

This article is part of an tutorial series aimed at helping you learn how to grow your business using a WordPress-powered website and proven marketing methods that are easy to implement.

Get Notified When New Tutorials Get Published – Subscribe To WPCompendium.org!

***

"I am beyond impressed with what you have put together. I can tell that you put a ton of hard work into building what you have. You have the absolute best content on WordPress I have ever seen!" - Robert T. Jillie

***

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

How To Install, Set Up & Use WordPress Multisite

Learn how to quickly and securely set up an online community of websites or blogs using the powerful WordPress Multisite feature.

More info: WordPress Multisite

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

How To Set Up A Forum On WordPress

Learn how to set up a forum for your visitors, prospects, customers, members, or affiliates using WordPress.

More info: How To Set Up A Forum On WordPress

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

How To Use FTP

This video course shows you how to use FTP (File Transfer Protocol) to transfer and upload files between your hard drive and your server using a free FTP program called Filezilla.

More info: How To Use FTP

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

Sell Online With PayPal

This video course shows you how to set up PayPal on your website to receive payments online, with additional tips on using PayPal payment tools.

More info: Sell Online With PayPal

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

How To Use Amazon S3

Learn how to set up and use Amazon S3 to upload, store, manage, and protect your site’s images, large media files, downloadable files, stream videos and more.

More info: How To Use Amazon S3

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

Using Password Managers

Password Managers provide an easy and secure way to keep track of all your passwords. This video course shows you how to use two FREE powerful password management tools.

More info: Using Password Managers

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

Using Layers WP

Learn how to use Layers WP, a powerful, flexible and user-friendly WordPress theme that lets you build professional and stunning websites easily using point-and-click.

More info: Using Layers WP

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

Using S2 Member

Learn how to set up and configure a WordPress membership site using the S2 Member free WordPress membership plugin.

More info: Using S2 Member

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

How To Add A WordPress Site To Facebook

Learn how to add your WordPress site to Facebook. Learn how to obtain and set up a free SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate for your WordPress site, how to change your site protocol from "http" to "https" (secure site) and how to set up a Facebook app and import your entire WordPress site into Facebook.

More info: How To Add A WordPress Site To Facebook

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

How To Use cPanel

cPanel is a powerful and simple-to-use web hosting management software application that gives website owners the ability to quickly and easily manage their servers and websites using a simple and intuitive dashboard.

This video course will teach you how to use the main features of cPanel to manage your web hosting.

More info: How To Use cPanel