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WordPress Traffic Automation Blueprint – Part 3 (Configuration)

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

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

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

In Part Two, we focused on critical setup decisions. 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 website was built using WordPress.

(In Part 2 we show you how to set up a WordPress website or blog on your domain)

In this section of the series, we discuss the configuration stage of the traffic system. We will show you how a WordPress site should be configured in order to bring new traffic automatically whenever you post web content to your site.

WordPress Web Traffic System – Configuration

Finding ways to drive more traffic to one’s website is often cited by most website owners as their greatest challenge online. With competition making business survival increasingly more difficult businesses are exploring any advantage available to get better results online.

The ability to generate traffic on demand is a tremendous advantage over other competitors. 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 Difference Is In The Way Your Site Is Configured

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

Here is a simple way to explain the key difference:

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

(An expertly configured website gives you a professional web presence and a built-in automated online business marketing system!)

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

Let me illustrate this with an amusing anecdote.

A Semi-True Story …

Everything was running smoothly in the gizmo-making assembly line when suddenly, all equipment stopped.

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

The expert arrived shortly afterwards and, without uttering a word, headed out directly to the main control box. After staring at the box for 3 minutes or less, the expert then produced a teensy-weensy hammer from his tool belt and made a very gentle tap about 1 cm from the left corner of the box.

Immediately, everything began working again.

The plant manager was filled with joy as he thanked the expert, who left just as quickly as he had arrived.

A few days later, the manager received a request of payment for services rendered for the sum of $5,000.

The manager picked up the phone and dialed the expert, demanding to know why they were expected to pay such an exorbitant fee 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 on the manager’s desk. Upon opening it, this is what he saw:

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

In the above story, how much money did the gizmo plant stand to lose when the machines stopped functioning and no one on the business had the expertise to fix it? Did the expert in our story not have the right to demand fair compensation for spending years acquiring the knowledge and expertise that allowed him to assess and avert a serious crisis?

Similarly, if you could have your WP web site configured so all you have to do is publish new content and Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and dozens of other traffic-generating online properties would be automatically notified, how much time and money would you save?

(How much better would your business be if you could automate the process of attracting new visitors to your website?)

Although many experts often make complex solutions look easy, it rarely is that simple or easy.

Knowing how to expertly configure a WordPress site requires more than just installing a website and configuring some basic settings. It also involves knowing where to tap! In other words, knowing things such as:

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

Although this stage of the traffic automation system may not seem so technically difficult, it can be quite involved and time-consuming. It’s not as simple as installing a plugin, clicking a couple of buttons … it’s all this and so much more.

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

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

If the configuration process were to be flowcharted, it would look like this …

(A simplified diagram of the steps involved in the configuration phase)

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

Web Server Configuration

We’re not talking here about the process of configuring your webhosting account for installation purposes (this is normally done during the Setup phase). We’re talking about fine-tuning settings in your web server specifically for handling 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 beneficial traffic. Some of the traffic your website will attract will be unwanted traffic like bot spam, security threats, brute-force bot attacks, etc.

This area of the configuration process, therefore, is about planning for both bad and good traffic and adjusting settings in your server accordingly. This can include things like 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 error redirects, etc?)

After fine-tuning your web server settings and configuring these (if required), the next step of the configuration phase is to set up a number of external sites and services.

External Services

The basic idea of setting up external sites is that all content will get published to a central location (your site) and from there, it will get syndicated automatically to other components of your web traffic system, or notify traffic-related web properties and services.

After incorporating these external sites into your traffic network, content linking back to your site will get automatically posted to these platforms, indexed by search engines and shared to other social sites, even to visitors attracted to the platform itself. Your content and website will then receive exposure online, helping you tap into a new audience and source of traffic.

Some third-party web properties and online solutions will need to be set up before configuring your WordPress site’s settings to help 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:

Google Search Console

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

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

Once your Google Webmaster Tools account and site details have been set up, this information can be used to automate web traffic settings 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 website’s traffic results, SEO, user engagement, marketing activities, and more, by tracking all user engagement, pages visited, keywords searched for, search engine and organic referrers, etc.

Once your Google Analytics account and site details have been set up, you can add tracking information to all of your web pages in WordPress via a plugin and send data instantly to other useful applications and web properties.

Bing Webmaster Tools

(Drive more traffic with Bing Webmaster Tools)

Bing Webmaster Tools is similar to Google Search Console. After setting up your account and entering site data with Bing Webmaster Tools, this information can be used to integrate and automate web traffic settings and notifications in WordPress and other applications.

WordPress.com

(WordPress.com)

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

WordPress.com (the hosted option), however, provides a number of useful features, which various WordPress plugins can access. We recommend setting up an account with WordPress.com, therefore, and we’ll explain how to integrate this into your automated web traffic generation system in Part 4 of this article series.

Social Media

(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 various social media accounts in order to 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 accounts and bring new traffic to your site.

Make sure you have set up accounts and profile pages with all of the leading social networks – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.

There are loads of social sites you can set up accounts with and post your content to. You don’t need to go crazy, just choose those that will work with your setup and/or content sharing tools.

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

Additional Platforms, RSS Aggregators, Etc.

There are a number of emerging technology platforms and content aggregators that can act as secondary-level sources of traffic. Some are free or provide free plans, and some offer a range of pricing plans to suit different users.

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

RebelMouse

(RebelMouse – Publishing platform for distributed content)

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 various platforms that can be incorporated into your web traffic system. Please contact us if you need assistance exploring this area further, or to discuss a strategy to suit your needs.

Once you have configured your web server and set up accounts with third-party services, it’s time to configure your WordPress site.

WordPress – Configuring Your Web Site

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 of the important points.

WordPress – Global Settings

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

(WordPress settings menu)

General Settings

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

(Settings Menu – General Settings)

Writing Settings

The Writing Settings section contains an important and frequently overlooked automated traffic notification system …

(Settings Menu – 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 purposely chosen to discourage search engines from indexing your site, then your site will automatically notify the list of services entered into the Update Services text area

By default, this section lists only one entry …

(Update Services – A Powerful Traffic Feature)

You can notify dozens of update services automatically with WordPress …

(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 visitors will see your content when they visit your home page and blog pages.

The syndication settings on this page can have an influence web traffic. For example, choosing to display the full text vs summaries of your post, affects how your content shows up in RSS feeds and RSS email campaigns, and could impact someone’s choice to explore your site further, and whether or not they will visit your blog to view the rest of the content from excerpts, 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 your traffic system is concerned is whether the Search Engine Visibility check box is ticked or not.

Normally, you would want search engines to visit your site. Leaving this box unchecked enables WordPress to instantly notify all the update services you have specified in the Update Services box whenever new posts are published (see Writing Settings above). Unless there is a specific reason to discourage search indexing spiders from visiting your site, leave this box unchecked …

(Global Settings – 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 …

(WordPress Settings – Discussion Settings)

Permalink Settings

Permalinks allow you to create SEO-friendly URLs …

(WordPress Settings – Permalinks)

The examples below show some of the options for configuring your search-friendly URLS …

(Configuring SEO-friendly URLs)

We have written a detailed tutorial about using permalinks here: Improve Your WordPress SEO With SEO-Friendly URLs

WordPress Traffic Plugins – Configuration

WordPress provides users with plugins that help to add almost every kind of functionality imaginable to your site, including many plugins that improve traffic generation.

Let’s look at 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 matter what kind of business you run or plan to run online and how small you think your web presence is, you simply cannot ignore the importance of securing your website.

(WordPress 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.

More info:

SEO Plugins – Yoast SEO

SEO plugins help drive traffic by making your web content easy for search engines like Google to find and index …

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

A plugin like Yoast SEO (previously known as WordPress SEO by Yoast) can significantly improve your site’s SEO. Properly configured, this plugin not only makes your website easier for search engines like Google and Bing to index, it also lets you configure how your content will show up in Google’s search results and social media pages, e.g. Twitter, Facebook, and GooglePlus.

WordPress Social Sharing Plugins

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

(You can easily add social sharing buttons to your site with free or inexpensive plugins)

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

Most 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 notifications, display/hide share counters (e.g. number of followers), etc. Some social plugins even allow you to protect content or downloads which visitors can unlock by liking your page.

Themes

As well as configuring various plugins, many WordPress themes also include features that help you drive more traffic to your site.

For example, as well as options and settings for configuring the design and layout of your site, many themes also include built-in options for improving search optimization and site navigation structure for faster indexing, easily add tracking snippets, social sharing buttons, etc …

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

Other Areas To Configure

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

This includes the following:

Legal Pages

Once again, when preparing your site for a growth in traffic, it’s important to plan not only for both good and bad traffic but also for all the things that can go wrong as more and more people start finding and visiting your website.

If you do business online (or are planning to), you need to ensure that your site is found to comply with government legal requirements.

(Is Your Website Compliant?)

If you need help adding compliance pages to WordPress, go here:

Post Tags And Post Categories

Post tags & post categories help search engines index your web pages, which helps to increase traffic.

(Post categories help search engines index your website, which helps you get more traffic.)

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

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

Add A WordPress Site Map

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

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

An HTML site map and an XML sitemap are not the same things. Although search engines like Google can index your site just from an XML sitemap (which a plugin like Yoast SEO can provide – see earlier section), making it easier for visitors to find more pages on your site results in increased traffic.

Your Site’s 404 Error Page

When visitors searching for your website enter the wrong web address or click on an invalid hyperlink, they will normally be greeted with a 404 page …

(A 404 Error Page)

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

(Configuring your 404 Not Found error page allows you to recover traffic that may otherwise be lost.)

Although a 404 page can be set up in your server, there are several WordPress plugins that allow you to easily configure your 404 page inside your WordPress dashboard.

WordPress Traffic Automation System: Configuration Phase – Summary

Once your website has been fully set up and expertly configured, all you then have to do to automatically generate web traffic is publish fresh content regularly.

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

(Traffic Blueprint – Configuration Phase Checklist)

The kind of expertise required to perform this stage of the traffic automation process can take many website professionals a long time to learn.

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

This is the end of Section 3

To read the rest of this article, click on the link below:

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

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