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.

Website Traffic Blueprint Part 3 - A Complete Guide To Driving More Website Traffic For Your Business Automatically

Welcome to Part 3 of our WordPress Web Site Traffic Blueprint article series, where we show you how to drive new visitors automatically to your website using the WordPress CMS.

In Part 1 of this series, we provided an overview of the process, and explained why using an expertly configured WordPress website or blog is the key to automating traffic to your site …

With an expertly configured WordPress site, all you have to do is publish new content regularly to bring more web traffic!

(With an expertly configured WordPress website or blog, all you have to do is post content consistently to automatically bring more web traffic!)

In Part 2, we discussed the setup phase. We explained 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 existing site has been built with WordPress.

How to set up a WordPress web site on your domain

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

In this section, we discuss the configuration stage of the traffic blueprint. We will show you what makes an expertly configured site different from a professionally configured one, and how much work needs to be done to make sure that when everything is set up and fully configured, you will start bringing visitors automatically when you publish content on your web site.

WordPress Web Traffic System – Configuration

Being able to attract more visitors to one’s website is often cited by many business owners as one of their greatest challenges online. With competition making business survival increasingly more difficult businesses are researching every opportunity they can to improve their results online.

The ability to generate traffic on demand can provide website owners with a huge competitive advantage. For business owners, having an expertly configured website gives WordPress users a flying start as soon as their site is launched.

Configuration Is The Difference

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

Here is a simple way to explain the difference:

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

A professional website gives you a professional web presence, but an expertly configured site gives you a web presence with an automated online business marketing system.

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

Not only is additional labor required to build and integrate an automated online business marketing process into your website, but also a special type of expertise.

Let’s illustrate this with a joke.

A Semi-True Story …

All is going fine in the widget plant when things grind to a sudden stop.

As no one can figure out what’s gone wrong, the manager decides to call in an expert to fix the problem.

The expert arrives within 30 minutes and, without uttering a word, heads directly towards the control box. After staring silently at the wiring diagrams for no more than 3 minutes or so, the expert then produces a teensy-weensy hammer from his tool belt and makes a gentle tap about 3 cm from the left-hand corner of the box.

Immediately, everything returns to normal.

The manager is overjoyed as he thanks the expert, who then leaves just as quickly as he had arrived.

A few days later, the manager receives an invoice for the amount of $5,000.

With great anger, the factory manager picks up the phone and dials the expert. Demanding to know why they were charged so much for less than five minutes work, he promptly requests an itemized invoice to be sent and hangs up.

The next day, a bill of payment arrives and is placed in the manager’s in-tray. Upon opening the envelope, this is what he sees:

invoice notice

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

How much money did the factory stand to lose when production ground to a halt 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 enabled him to quickly avert a crisis?

Similarly, if you could have your WordPress site configured so all you had to do is publish new content and Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and dozens of other online properties would be instantly 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 attracting new visitors to your site?

(How much time and money would you save if you could automate the process of attracting new visitors to your website?)

While many experts often make complex solutions look simple, it rarely is that simple or easy when you are trying to figure things out.

Expertly configuring a WordPress site requires more than installing a website and configuring a few settings. It also requires knowing where to tap! This includes knowing things like:

  • Which plugins need to be installed for certain things to occur on your site.
  • Which services need to be set up to achieve certain outcomes
  • Which internal and external settings need to be configured to make sure things will work as you have imagined, etc.

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

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

Although this part of the traffic automation system may not seem so technically difficult, it can be quite complicated. The reason why is because it’s not as simple as installing and configuring a solution, tweaking some options and settings in your dashboard area or clicking on a button or two … it’s all this and so much more.

Expertly configuring your website is a process that involves your web hosting server, your WP site, and a number of external sites and/or online services …

The configuration stage involves more than just configuring a few WordPress settings

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

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

A simplified diagram showing all the steps involved in the configuration process

(A simplistic diagram of the configuration phase)

Let’s take a look at what’s involved in more detail.

Your Server

We’re not talking here about the process of configuring your web-hosting account for site installation purposes. We’re talking about fine-tuning settings and options in your webhosting account that affect how your site will handle web traffic …

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

(In the configuration stage, your 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 site will attract will be unwelcome traffic like bot spam, malicious threats, brute-force bot attacks, etc.

This stage of the configuration process, therefore, is all about planning for good and bad traffic and adjusting settings in your server accordingly. This includes things like implementing server-level spam protection and preventing security threats, to configuring domain and email redirections, etc …

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

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

Once your server settings have been fine-tuned and configured, the next step is to set up and configure a number of third-party sites and services.

External Sites & Solutions – Configuration

The purpose of adding external sites is that all content will get posted to one central location (your site) and from there, it will syndicate automatically to other parts of your traffic generation system, or notify traffic-related web properties and applications.

Integration With External Accounts

Once you add these external sites to your traffic system, content linking back to your site will get automatically added to search, social and aggregator sites. Your content and website will be given added exposure to a new audience and source of traffic.

External Accounts

Some sites and services will need to be set up before configuring your settings to speed up the 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 Webmasters

(Google Search Console – create a Google-friendly website or blog)

Google Search Console lets you inform Google about your site’s pages, submit XML sitemaps for automatic page indexing, and provides site owners with a range of important data, tools, and reports about their website.

Once your account has been with Google are set up, the account information can be used to automate web traffic-related settings and notifications in WordPress and other applications.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics

(Google Analytics)

Google Analytics lets you improve your site’s traffic performance, SEO, user engagement, marketing campaigns, sales conversions, and more, by tracking all user behavior, pages visited, keywords searched for, search engine referrals, etc.

After setting up your Once you have set up your Google Analytics account, tracking data can be easily integrated with WordPress via a Google Analytics plugin and instantly sent to many other useful applications and reporting tools.

Bing Webmaster Tools

Drive more traffic with Bing Data And Tools

(Drive more traffic with Bing Data And Tools)

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

WordPress.com

WordPress.com

(WordPress.com)

As explained in Part Two, WordPress offers website owners a self-hosted and a hosted 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 can be accessed by a number of WordPress plugins. We recommend setting up an account with WordPress.com, therefore, and we’ll show you how to integrate this into your automated traffic generation system in the next installment of this series.

Social Media Accounts

Syndicate your content automatically to your social media and social bookmarking accounts and attract 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 social media accounts set up 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 sites and social bookmarking accounts and get new traffic to your site.

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

Social Media

There are loads of social sites you can set up accounts with and syndicate your content to. 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 syndication tools (we cover some of these tools in more detail further below and in the Automation phase).

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

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

Additional Platforms, RSS Aggregators, Etc.

There are many emerging technology platforms and content aggregators that can act as secondary-level traffic generation sources. Some are free or provide free levels, and some are paid services.

For example, here is a content aggregator site that 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 is displayed in a Pinterest-like format and users can follow your social feed.

Practical Tip

There are various technologies and third-party applications you can incorporate into your own traffic system. Please feel free to contact us if you would like to explore your options and discuss a strategy to suit your needs.

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

WordPress Traffic Configuration

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.

WordPress Settings

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

WordPress settings menu

(WordPress settings section)

General Settings

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

Settings Menu - General Settings Section

(WordPress Settings – General Settings Section)

Writing Settings

The Writing Settings area contains an important and often overlooked traffic notification system …

WordPress Settings - Writing Settings Area

(WordPress Settings – Writing Settings)

As stated in the Update Services 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 – see next section, then your site will automatically ping the services entered into the Update Services box

With an ‘out of the box’ WordPress installation, this section includes only one entry …

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 with WordPress!

(You can 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 in this section can influence web traffic. For example, your choice of displaying the full content 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 content 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 traffic is concerned is whether the Search Engine Visibility check box is ticked or not.

Typically, you want search engines to visit your site. Leaving this box unchecked enables WordPress to ping all the update services you have listed in the Update Services section when new posts are published (see Writing Settings above). Unless you have a specific reason why search engines should not visit your site, make sure this box is left unchecked …

Settings Menu - Reading Settings Section

(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 articles, 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 Screen)

Permalinks

Your Permalink settings allow you to create SEO-friendly URLs …

WordPress Settings - Permalinks Screen

(WordPress Settings – Permalinks)

Here are some of the ways SEO-friendly URLs can be configured …

Configuring SEO-friendly URLs

(Configuring permalink URLs)

To learn more about setting up permalinks, refer to this tutorial: Using Permalinks To Improve Your WordPress SEO

Plugin Settings

The WordPress developer community makes available thousands of plugins that can add just about every type of functionality imaginable to your site, including plugins that add traffic generation capabilities.

Let’s look at some types of plugin categories that affect traffic and plugin examples

Blog Defender WordPress Security Plugin

Once again, it’s important to configure your website for dealing with the effects of both good traffic and bad traffic. No website is safe from being targeted.

Security Plugins help prevent bad traffic from causing your website harm(WordPress Security Plugins help prevent bad traffic from causing your website harm)

Security plugins like Blog Defender help to make your website invisible to bot and hacker attacks.

For more details, go here:

SEO Plugins – Yoast SEO

WordPress SEO plugins help drive traffic by improving your site’s SEO …

WP Plugins For SEO - Yoast SEO

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

Use a plugin like Yoast SEO to improve your SEO. Properly configured, the Yoast SEO plugin not only makes your site easier for search engines like Google and Bing to find and index, it allows you to configure how your content will show up in Google’s search results and social media sites Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

Social Sharing Plugins

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

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

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

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

Many social share plugins let you choose 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 social share plugins even allow you to set up protected content sections on your site which users can unlock by linking or tweeting your page.

Configuring WordPress Theme Settings For Traffic Generation

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 layout and design of your site, many themes also give you built-in features that let you improve search optimization and site linking structure for better indexing, easily add analytics code, social sharing buttons, etc …

Many themes include built-in traffic optimization features

(Many themes like Graphene (a highly customizable free theme) can be configured for better traffic results)

With a number of WordPress themes, adding social sharing buttons and features to your pages is as easy as clicking a couple of buttons to enable the function …

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

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

Configuring Other WordPress Areas

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

These include the following:

Website Legal Pages

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

If you engage in any form of commercial activity online (or are planning to), you need to make sure that your website is compliant with government laws and regulations.

Does Your Website Comply With The Law?(Is Your Website Compliant?)

For a detailed article about how to quickly add legal pages to your site, see this article:

WordPress Tags & Categories

Categories and post tags help improve traffic by allowing search engines to classify and index your website.

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

(Post categories help search engines classify and index your website, which improves traffic.)

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

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

Site Map

A site map that displays all of your site’s pages and posts to visitors is not only a useful navigation tool for users, 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 visitors and beneficial for web traffic too!)

Important Info

An HTML site map and an XML sitemap are not the same thing. An HTML site map is a web page that links to all other content on your site, while an XML sitemap is mostly just a bunch of code that only search bots can read. Although Google will index your site just using an XML sitemap (which a plugin like Yoast SEO will create for you – see earlier section), making it easier for visitors to find more pages on your site results in increased traffic.

404 Page Not Found – A Source Of Lost Traffic Opportunities!

When online visitors type in the wrong URL into their browser or click on hyperlinks pointing to pages on your website that no longer exist, they are presented with a 404 error page …

A WordPress 404 Page

(A 404 Error Page)

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

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

(Configuring your 404 page allows you to recover web traffic that may otherwise be lost.)

Tip

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 inside your WordPress admin area.

WordPress Traffic System: Configuration Phase – Summary

Once your WordPress site has been expertly configured and fully set up, all you have to do then to attract traffic is post web content consistently.

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

WP Traffic Blueprint - Configuration Checklist

(WordPress Traffic System – Configuration Phase Checklist)

Important Info

The kind of knowledge and expertise required to perform this stage of the traffic automation process can take some web developers months to acquire.

Once you have configured your WordPress site, the next step is to automate as much of the process as can be automated. This step is covered in the next article in the series.

This is the end of Part Three

To read the rest of this article, click here:

Web Site Traffic Blueprint Part 3 - Learn How To Turn Your Website Into An Automated Traffic Machine

Important Info

This article is part of a comprehensive series of articles designed to help you learn how to grow your business using a WordPress website and proven marketing methods that are easy and quick to implement.

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"I have used the tutorials to teach all of my clients and it has probably never been so easy for everyone to learn WordPress ... Now I don't need to buy all these very expensive video courses that often don't deliver what they promise." - Stefan Wendt, Internet Marketing Success Group

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