Welcome to Part 3 of our WordPress Web Site Traffic Blueprint article series, where we show you how to turn a website into an automated traffic generating machine using the WordPress CMS.
In Part 1 of this series, we described the process, and explained why using an expertly configured WordPress website is the key to automating traffic to your site …
(With an expertly configured WordPress website or blog, all you have to do is post content on a consistent basis to automatically bring web traffic!)
In Part Two, we looked at the setup phase. We explained the best way to start if you don’t have a website yet, how to set everything up if you already have a site, and what to do if your site has been built with WordPress.
(In Part two we show you how to set up WordPress on your domain)
In this section of the series, we look at the configuration stage of the traffic automation process. We explain why an expertly configured WordPress site is different, and just what kind of work is required to ensure that when everything is set up and configured, you can attract visitors automatically just by posting fresh content to your web site.
WordPress Traffic Blueprint – Configuration Phase
Finding ways to drive more traffic to one’s website is often cited by many website owners as one of the greatest challenges they face online. With business getting so much more competitive worldwide, it’s worth looking into any and every opportunity you can to get better results online.
Being able to automatically generate traffic on demand can be a huge competitive advantage. For business owners, an expertly configured website gives WordPress users a flying start from the moment their site is launched.
Configuration Is The Difference
There is a difference between an expertly configured WordPress site and a site that has been professionally installed and set up by a web-building expert but not necessarily configured to its fullest advantage.
Here’s a simple way to describe the differences:
With a WordPress site that has been expertly configured you get a professional web presence and an automated online business marketing tool!
(An expertly configured site gives you a web presence with an automated online business marketing tool!)
Not only is additional labor required to build and integrate an automated online business marketing system into your website, but also a special kind of expertise.
Allow me to illustrate this with an amusing anecdote.
Ludicrous Or Fair? You Decide …
Everything was running smoothly in the widget-making workshop when things ground to a sudden stop.
No one could figure out what went wrong and so the floor manager decided to call in an expert.
Promptly after arriving, the expert walked immediately towards the main control box. After staring silently at the wiring board for 5 minutes, the expert then produced a teensy-weensy hammer and made a gentle tap about one inch from the left edge of the box.
Immediately, the whole workshop lit up and began working again.
The manager was greatly relieved 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 amount of $5,000.
The factory manager dialed the expert, demanding to know why they had been charged such an exorbitant fee for less than five minutes work. He promptly requested an itemized invoice before hanging up.
The next day, an invoice arrived in the manager’s in-tray. Upon opening it, this is what he saw:
The #1 challenge most businesses face online is driving traffic to their sites.
In the story we’ve just described, how much money did the widget factory stand to lose when production ground to a halt and no one in the factory floor had the expertise to fix it? Did the expert in our story not have every right to be compensated fairly for investing years developing the knowledge, skills and expertise that enabled him to repair a costly problem?
Similarly, if you could have your WordPress blog set up and configured so all you ever had to do is publish new content and search engines, social sites like Facebook and Twitter and dozens of other web properties would be immediately notified, how much time and money would this save you?
(How much better would your business be if you could automate the process of attracting new visitors to your website?)
Although the solution to many problems may seem ridiculously simple once it’s been implemented, it rarely turns out to be that way.
Knowing how to expertly configure a WordPress site involves more than adding some pages with content and configuring basic settings. It also requires knowing where to tap! This includes knowing things such as:
- Which programs need to be installed for specific things to occur on your site.
- Which third-party services you need to set up to achieve desired results
- Which internal and external settings need to be configured in order to ensure that everything will function as expected, etc.
(Driving traffic automatically with WordPress is a process that requires knowledge and expertise)
This stage of the WordPress traffic automation system is not so technically difficult, but it’s quite involved and time-consuming. It’s not as simple as installing and configuring one or two plugins, clicking a couple of buttons, or configuring some settings in your admin area … it’s all this and much more.
Expertly configuring your website involves the integration of many parts including your web server, your site, and various external sites …
(Expertly configuring your website involves more than just configuring some settings in WordPress)
If we were to create a simple diagram of the steps involved in the configuration process, it would look like this …
(A simplified flowchart of the activities involved in the configuration process)
Let’s take a better look at these steps.
We’re not talking about the process of configuring your web hosting account for installation purposes. We’re talking about fine-tuning settings in your server that affect how you will handle all web traffic …
(During the configuration stage, your server settings need to be fine-tuned for handling both good and bad traffic)
Not all web traffic is beneficial traffic. Some of the traffic your site may attract will be unwelcome traffic like spam, malicious threats, bot-hacking attempts, etc.
This aspect of the configuration process, therefore, is about evaluating your needs, planning for bad and good traffic and then adjusting settings in your server accordingly. This can include looking at things like implementing spam protection and threat prevention, to configuring your domain and email redirections, etc …
(Have you configured your webhosting settings for handling things like emails, page error redirections, etc?)
After your web server settings have been fine-tuned and configured (if required), the next step is to configure a number of external sites and/or online services.
The idea behind adding external sites is that all of your content will be published from one central location (your WordPress site) and from there, it will syndicate automatically to other parts of your web traffic generation system, or notify traffic-related web properties and services.
Once these external services have been added to your system, content linked back to your website will be automatically added to search, social and aggregator sites. Your site will receive additional exposure online, helping you tap into new sources of traffic.
Some external sites and solutions will need to be set up before configuring your WordPress settings to speed up the process and some will need to be done later, during the automation phase.
For example, here are just some of the accounts you will need to have set up:
(Google Webmaster Tools)
Google Search Console lets you tell Google about your site’s pages, submit XML sitemaps for automatic page indexing, and provides you with important data, tools and reports about your website.
Once your account and site data with Google Webmaster Tools have been set up, you can use this information with web traffic settings in WordPress using plugins like Yoast SEO and other applications.
Google Analytics lets you improve your website’s traffic results, SEO, marketing efforts, and more, by tracking all user engagement, pages visited, keywords searched for, search engine referrers, etc.
Once your Google Analytics account and site details have been set up, you can add traffic tracking information to all of your pages in WordPress using plugins and feed data automatically to many other applications.
(Bing Webmaster Tools)
Bing Webmaster Tools is similar to Google Webmaster Tools. After setting up your account and entering site details, you can use this information to automate traffic-related settings in WordPress (e.g. using plugins like Yoast SEO – see further below) and other applications.
As discussed in Part 2, WordPress offers users the option of a hosted vs self-hosted website. We recommended choosing the self-hosted WordPress platform if you are planning to grow a professional online presence for your business.
WordPress.com (the hosted option), however, provides some great tools, which a number of WordPress plugins can access. 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 article series.
(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 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 sites and bring new visitors to your site.
Make sure you have accounts and profiles set up with all of the big social networks – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.
There are many social sites you can set up. You don’t need to go crazy, just select those that will work well with your system and/or content sharing tools.
(There are lots of social sites you can syndicate your content to. Image: ShareThis.com)
Additional Solutions, Content Aggregators, Etc.
There are many new online technology platforms and RSS aggregators that can act as secondary sources of traffic. Some are free or provide free levels, and some are more suitable for enterprise-level applications.
For example, here is a content aggregator site that allows you to add an RSS feed from your WordPress blog …
(RebelMouse – Distribute social content to social networks)
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 own RebelMouse account.
There are various technologies and third-party applications that can be incorporated into your web traffic system. Please contact us if you would like to explore some of these further and discuss a strategy to suit your needs.
Once you have configured your server settings 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 make sure that its global settings have been set up correctly.
Let’s go over some of the important areas.
Configuring Global WordPress Settings
The WordPress administration area contains a Settings section that allows you to set up your site’s global settings …
(WordPress settings menu)
Sections like Site Title and Tagline can affect your site’s SEO, search listings, etc …
(Global Settings – General Settings)
The Writing Settings section contains one of the most powerful and often overlooked built-in traffic notification systems available to website owners …
(WordPress Settings – Writing Settings Area)
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 prevent search engines from indexing your site, then your site will automatically ping the services entered into the Update Services box
By default, when WordPress is installed, this section includes only one entry …
(Writing Settings – WordPress Update Services)
WordPress lets you notify dozens of update services automatically – just add a list of all the update services you want to notify as soon as you publish a new post to this section …
(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:
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.
This section affects how visitors will see your content when they visit your home page and blog pages.
The syndication settings on this page can influence traffic. For example, choosing to display the full content vs summaries of your post, affects how your content shows up in RSS readers and RSS email campaigns, and could impact someone’s decision to explore your content further, and whether or not they will visit your website to read 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 to encourage search engines to visit your site. Leaving this box unchecked allows your site to ping various update services when a new post is published (see Writing Settings above). Unless you have a specific reason to discourage search engines from visiting your site, make sure this box is left unticked …
(Settings Menu – Reading 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 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)
Your Permalink settings enable WordPress to display posts with SEO-friendly URLs …
(Global Settings – Permalink Settings Section)
Here are some of the ways permalink URLs can be configured …
(Configuring SEO-friendly URLs)
To learn more about setting up permalinks, refer to this tutorial: How To Improve Your WordPress SEO Using Permalinks
WordPress – Traffic Plugins
WordPress provides users with plugins that can add just about every type of functionality to your website, including traffic generation.
Let’s look at some types of plugin categories that affect traffic and plugin examples
Blog Defender Security Plugin
Once again, it’s important to configure your site for handling both good traffic and bad traffic. Regardless of the type of business you run or plan to run online and how small you think your web presence is, you cannot afford to ignore the importance of securing your web sites.
Security plugins like Blog Defender help to make your blog invisible to bot and hacker attacks.
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 web pages …
(Yoast SEO – WordPress Plugin)
A plugin like Yoast SEO can improve your SEO. When properly configured, this plugin not only makes your web pages easier for search engines to find and index, it also gives you control over how your content is displayed to Google’s search results and social media sites Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
Social Sharing Plugins
Allowing visitors to easily share your content online can help to increase traffic to your site, especially if your site provides content that adds real value to readers.
(WordPress users can easily add social sharing features to their site using free or inexpensive WordPress plugins)
WordPress users can easily add social sharing buttons to their website with WordPress plugins.
Most social share plugins let you choose which sites visitors can share your content to, embed social buttons into your content, set up default notifications, display/hide share counters (e.g. number of likes), etc. Some social plugins even allow you to set up protected content sections on your pages which users can unlock by sharing your page.
WordPress – Themes
As well as configuring various plugins, many WordPress themes also include features that help grow your site’s traffic.
For example, in addition to options and settings for configuring the design and layout of your website, many themes also provide options for improving SEO and site linking structure for better indexing, add tracking snippets, social sharing buttons, etc …
(Many WordPress themes can be configured for improved traffic results)
With many themes, adding social sharing features to your site is as easy as selecting the option to enable this functions …
(Many WordPress themes come with 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 things that need to be set up outside of the global settings.
Website Compliance Pages
Once again, when preparing your site for an increase in traffic numbers, it’s important to plan not only for how to deal with good and bad traffic but also for all the situations that can seriously affect your business when more and more people start finding and visiting your website.
If you do business online, it’s important that your site remains compliant with regulatory agencies.
If you need help adding legal pages to WordPress, go here:
Tags & categories help improve traffic by improving your site’s search optimization.
(Post categories help improve traffic by improving your site’s SEO.)
When considering ways to automate and improve traffic, you will want to review and make sure that the post categories and tags you have set up.
A Site Map Of Your Posts And Pages
A visitor site map that displays all of your site’s pages and posts is not only a useful navigation tool for users, it can also help external applications find more of your web content …
(Site Map – great for visitors and beneficial for web traffic too!)
It’s important to note that an HTML site map and an XML sitemap are different things. Although Google can index your pages just from 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 Site’s 404 Page
When visitors enter the wrong web address or click on links pointing to an incorrect destination on your website, they will typically be greeted with a 404 error page …
(A WordPress 404 Error Page)
Configuring your 404 Error Page allows you to recover web traffic that may otherwise be lost. …
(Configuring your 404 page allows you to recover web traffic that may otherwise be lost.)
Although a 404 error page can be set up on your server, there are several WordPress plugins that allow you to easily configure your 404 page from your WordPress admin area.
WordPress Traffic Automation System: Configuration Process – Summary
Once you have your website or blog expertly configured and fully set up, all you need to do then to automatically begin attracting web traffic is add new content on a regular basis.
The process of expertly configuring your WordPress site, however, is quite involved and requires the configuration and integration of a number of different elements and web properties …
(Traffic Blueprint – Configuration Phase Checklist)
The knowledge and expertise required to perform this stage of the traffic automation process typically takes many web professionals a long time to learn.
Once you have expertly configured your WordPress site, the next step is to automate the process. This step is explained in the next section of our WordPress Traffic Automation Blueprint series.
This is the end of Part 3
To read the rest of this article, click here:
This article is part of a comprehensive series of tutorials aimed at helping you learn how to grow your business online and drive traffic automatically with a WordPress website and proven web marketing methods.
Subscribe To WPCompendium.org And Get Notified When New WordPress Tutorials Get Published!
"Learning WordPress has been a huge stumbling block for me. I've been looking for something that covers absolutely everything but doesn't cost an arm and a leg. Thank you so much ... you have just provided me with what I have been looking for! Truly appreciated!" - Tanya