Tag - Google

How to Add Your WordPress Site to Google Search Console


One of the most important step in optimizing your WordPress site for SEO is adding it to Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools).

Google Search Console offers specific webmaster tools to help website owners monitor and maintain their search presence and rankings.

In this guide, we will show you how to easily add and verify your WordPress site in Google Search Console also known as Webmaster Tools.

How to easily add your WordPress site to Google Search Console

What is Google Search Console?

Google Search Console is a free tool offered by Google to help website owners monitor their website’s presence in Google search results.

It helps you track search rankings along with keeping you updated about site errors, security issues, and indexing issues that may affect your website’s search performance.

If you are serious about growing your website, then you need to add it to Google webmaster tools from day one.

That being, let’s take a look at how to easily add your site to Google Search Console.

Adding Your WordPress Site to Google Search Console

First, you need to visit the Google Search Console website and click on the ‘Start Now’ button.

Start Google Search Console

Next, you’ll need to sign in with your Google / Gmail account.

Once logged in, you’ll be asked to enter your website URL.

There are two methods for site verification: domain name or URL prefix. We recommend the URL prefix method because it is more flexible.

Add website URL

Keep in mind that Google considers an HTTP and HTTPS as two different protocols. It also considers https://www.example.com and https://example.com as two different websites.

You need to enter the correct website URL used by WordPress.

If you are unsure, then there is an easy way to find out the exact URL you need to enter. Simply login to your WordPress admin area and go to Settings » General page.

There you will see your website’s URL in the site address field.

Copy your site address from WordPress settings page

After entering your correct website address in Google webmaster tools setup wizard, click on the ‘Continue’ button to go to the next step.

Now, you’ll be asked to verify ownership of your website. There are several ways to do that, but we will show the HTML tag method because it is the easiest one.

Copy the HTML tag

Click on the HTML tag to expand it and then copy the code inside it.

Now, you need to add this Google site verification meta tag in WordPress, so Google can verify that you are the owner of the website.

Most WordPress tutorials will guide you to just edit the header.php file in your WordPress theme and add the code just above the <body> tag.

However, we don’t recommend this method because if you update or change your theme, then the HTML tag will disappear.

Google periodically checks for the HTML tag and will disable your access to the site data in the search console if it cannot find the verification tag.

Here is how to make sure that Google can always verify your ownership of the website.

First, you need to install and activate the Insert Headers and Footers plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, go to Settings » Insert Headers and Footers page and paste the Google HTML tag code you copied earlier inside the ‘Scripts in Header’ box.

Add HTML verification tag to site header

Don’t forget to click on the ‘Save’ button to store your changes.

You can now go back to Google Search Console settings and click on the ‘Verify’ button.

Verify ownership

Google Search Console will now look for the HTML tag in your website code and will show you a success message.

Your website successfully added to Search Console

Note: If you don’t see a success message, then you need to clear your WordPress cache. This will ensure that Google can fetch the latest version of your website.

That’s all. You have successfully added your site to the Google Search Console (Webmaster tools). You can now click on the ‘Go to Property’ link to visit your Google Search Console dashboard.

Google Search Console dashboard

From here you can see your website’s performance reports and index coverage.

Before you do that, let’s tell Google a little bit more about your website. This will help Google crawl your website a bit more efficiently.

Add XML Sitemap to Google Search Console

An XML sitemap is a file that lists all your website content in XML format, so search engines like Google can easily discover and index your content.

The easiest way to add an XML sitemap to your WordPress website is by installing and activating the Yoast SEO plugin.

Upon activation, go to SEO » General and switch to the ‘Features’ tab. From here, you need to scroll down to the ‘XML Sitemap’ option and make sure that it is turned on.

XML Sitemap option in Yoast SEO

Next, you need to get the XML sitemap link. Simply click on the question mark icon next to the XML sitemap option, and you will see a link to your XML sitemap.

View your XML sitemap

Clicking on the link will take you to your XML sitemap. From there, you can just copy the URL from your browser’s address bar.

Copy your XML Sitemap URL

Alternatively, you can directly access your XML sitemap by adding sitemap_index.xml at the end of your website address. For example:

https://www.example.com/sitemap_index.xml

Now that you have XML sitemap ready, let’s help Google find it quickly.

Simply switch to the Google Search Console dashboard and click on the Sitemaps menu from the left column.

Add your sitemap URL to Google Search Console

After that, you need to add the last part of your sitemap URL under the ‘Add new sitemap’ section and click the Submit button.

Google will now add your sitemap URL to your Google Search Console.

That’s all, you have successfully added your website to Google Search Console.

The next step is to learn how to use the treasure trove of information in Google search console to grow your business. We have a complete Google Search Console guide for beginners which shows you how to make the most out of Google Search Console data.

Google Search Console and WordPress FAQs

Having helped thousands of readers add and verify their website in Google search console, we have seen just about every question you can think of. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

1. How can I upload a Google HTML verification file to my WordPress blog?

Google Search Console allows few different ways to verify website ownership. In this article, we covered the easiest method which is to use the Google site verification meta tag. However some website owners prefer to upload the HTML file to verify site ownership.

To upload the Google search console HTML verification file to WordPress, you will need to login to your WordPress hosting cPanel or connect to your hosting account using FTP.

Next, you need to upload the HTML verification file inside the /public_html/ folder of your website. This is the root directory where you’ll see other WordPress folders like /wp-admin/, /wp-content/, etc.

2. Should I use a Google Site verification plugin for WordPress?

There are many WordPress plugins that are designed specifically to help you with Google site verification. However you don’t need to use them because you’ll likely need to verify ownership on other webmaster tools and platforms like Bing, Yandex, Pinterest, etc.

It’s much better to use the Insert Headers and Footers plugin because it lets you add site verification for all platforms (in a single plugin).

3. How can I become a power user of Google Search Console?

Google search console has a lot of useful information that you can use to grow your business. We have created the ultimate Google Search Console guide that you can use to become a power user.

4. I’m running into problems, is there a Google Search console phone number that I can contact?

No, there’s no Google search console phone number that you can contact. If you’re running into problems with Google search console, then you can use their online support center. For specific questions about WordPress, you can always join our free WordPress help group to ask your questions.

We hope this article helped you learn how to easily add your WordPress site to Google Search Console. You may also want to see our guide on how to get more traffic to your website, and our comparison of the best email marketing services for small business.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Add Your WordPress Site to Google Search Console appeared first on WPBeginner.



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How to Get Google Sitelinks for Your WordPress Site


One of the questions we often get asked from readers is: how do I get additional links to appear under my site’s search results in Google?

Sometimes when you search for a company name in Google (like “wpbeginner”), you may notice that the search listing is larger than others because it contains sitelinks to other important pages from the website.

These sitelinks in Google helps your brand stand out and get more exposure. In this article, we will share how you can get Google sitelinks for your WordPress site.

How to Get Google Sitelinks in WordPress

Since this is a comprehensive guide on adding Google sitelinks, we have created a table of content for easy browsing:

  • What are Google Sitelinks?
  • Why are Google Sitelinks Important?
  • How to Get Google Sitelinks for Your WordPress Site
  • How to Add Google Sitelinks Search Box

Google sitelinks are additional sub-pages that appear under the first site in search engine ranking results (SERPs). These are often internal links to the most popular pages of that website. Google sitelinks are often shown when you search for a specific brand keyword because they help the user easily navigate around the website.

The exact number of Google sitelinks may vary for each website. A typical brand name search in Google can contain two, four, or six sitelinks displayed underneath the website name.

Here’s an example of what a Google sitelink looks like:

What are Google Sitelinks?

Google sitelinks are chosen by their algorithm to provide the best user experience because it allows users to head directly to the top pages without extra clicks.

If your website is brand new or does not get a lot of traffic, then Google may not display any sitelinks for your keyword.

Don’t worry, we’ll share some tips on how to influence Google sitelinks for your website. But before we do, let’s talk about why Google sitelinks are important.

Google sitelinks are coveted by business owners and SEO professionals because they help your brand stand out. Here are the top 5 reasons why Google sitelinks are important.

1. Google Sitelinks Improve Your Click-Through-Rate (CTR)

Studies show that the top 3 spots in Google get the most clicks. When sitelinks are shown for a specific brand, it takes up the same amount of space as three regular search listings.

This significantly increases your overall click-through rate. Simply put, more visitors will visit your website from the keyword.

Google Search Click-Through-Rate by Position

2. Google Sitelinks Help Build Trust and Credibility

As we mentioned earlier, Google Sitelinks are not shown for all websites. When Google display sitelinks for a brand, it means that a website is popular, well-optimized, and/or that Google believes the results are useful for the visitor.

Google sitelinks take up a lot of screen space (a.k.a digital real-estate). This tells the user that Google believes the #1 result is a lot more relevant than others on the page.

Google Sitelinks Above the Fold (Digital Real Estate)

On mobile, the same sitelinks take even more screen space, further highlighting the brands credibility.

3. Google Sitelinks Can Increase Product Awareness

Google sitelinks highlight the most important pages on the website. This is based on what Google’s algorithm believes to be the most relevant to the user’s search intent.

For a company like OptinMonster, this works out great because it lets new users quickly become aware of their product, features, pricing, and even blog content.

Google Sitelinks Key Product Pages

A new user may not know that the OptinMonster blog has the best conversion optimization tips, but because of Google sitelinks they’re more likely to check it out.

For an eCommerce website or online store, Google sitelinks may even show more personalized results to help users quickly discover and purchase available products.

For example, when we search for Apple, Google sitelinks are personalized to not only show the top Apple products but also the closest physical Apple stores.

Google Sitelinks Personalized Results

This lets us easily discover Apple’s top products, and even have one-click access to the stores, hours, and directions. This is extremely helpful and makes it much more likely for the user to make a purchase.

4. Google Sitelinks Allow Users to Discover Top Pages

Google sitelinks can also act as a great “Start Here” point for websites with a lot of content. This makes it easier for users to discover the top pages on your website.

For example, if a new user searches for WPBeginner, they will see our most popular (and most helpful) content first such as our Start Here page, our guide on How to Start a Blog, How to Make a Website, our 200+ WordPress tutorials category, our WordPress Beginner’s Guide category, and of course our popular WordPress blog.

WPBeginner Google Sitelinks

5. Google Sitelinks Search Lets Users Browse Deeper Pages

For some websites, Google sitelinks may be accompanied by a dedicated site-specific search box. This Google sitelinks search box allow users to search within the specific website directly from Google.

This is an extremely powerful feature, so Google only adds it for websites with a lot of content because they believe that including a search box will be the most useful for the user.

Google Sitelink search box only appears with sites that contain a lot of content like WPBeginner, YouTube, Wikipedia, etc.

What are Google Sitelinks?

Now that you know the importance of Google sitelinks, let’s take a look at how you can add Google sitelinks to your website.

There’s no guaranteed way to get Google Sitelinks for your website. Unlike other SEO features, there’s no button that you can click in Google Search Console to enable sitelinks for your WordPress site.

Google sitelinks are automated, and they are displayed entirely based on Google’s algorithm. However you can follow certain SEO best practices to significantly improve your chances of getting Google sitelinks for your website.

Let’s take a look at the 8 best practices to get sitelinks for your website.

1. Your Website Name Must be Unique

Google sitelinks are primarily displayed on brand specific search queries, and they’re only added for the site that ranks #1 for that search results.

If you have a generic brand name like “Global HR Expert Consulting”, then you will likely struggle to rank at the top. Even if you get to position #1, Google still has a hard time deciding if the user is really searching for your company or the general topic.

This is why generic brand names don’t have sitelinks:

No Google Sitelinks for Generic Brands

Unless of course your brand becomes a household name like Apple, in which case Google knows the search intent is for people interested in the tech company, Apple, and not the fruit.

Since most companies will not have the marketing budget like Apple to become a worldwide brand, its better to select a more unique name for your company like WPBeginner, OptinMonster, etc.

Now if you already have an established brand, we definitely don’t recommend changing it just to get sitelinks because this is a very complicated task, and it has its own risks. For more details, see our guide on: how to move your site to a new domain.

2. Rank at Position #1 for Your Brand Name

As we mentioned earlier, Google sitelinks are only assigned to the first search result, so you need to work on ranking #1 for your brand term.

This can take some time for a new company, but with enough promotion you can get there.

For example, our new website, WP Mail SMTP, doesn’t rank #1 for its keyword, so we don’t have Google sitelinks yet.

Whereas our other new website, RafflePress ranks #1, so it has Google sitelinks.

RafflePress Site Link Example

To improve your website’s ranking, you need to follow our WordPress SEO guide and implement the best practices. You also need to do keyword research and write quality blog posts that are optimized for SEO. After that, you need get backlinks to your site.

3. Use Proper Structured Data for SEO

Search engines use automated bots to crawl and index your website. These search engine bots look for structured data to better understand what is the website and the specific page is about.

Structured data can help improve your chances of getting a Google sitelink, featured snippet, and even appear in the answers box.

You can set this up by using a WordPress SEO plugin like Yoast SEO, All in One SEO, or another similar plugin that lets you add meta data and other schema elements.

Again like with anything else, Schema markups or Structured Data doesn’t guarantee that Google will add sitelinks, but it definitely improves your chances.

4. Have Clear Website Structure and Navigation

As a website owner, it is your job to make sure that Google and other search engines can easily find their way around your website.

You can do this by organizing your top pages in well-thought out hierarchical dropdown WordPress menus.

You can add breadcrumb navigation on your website to make it easy for users and search engines to see the site structure.

You also need to make sure that you have the important website pages like About, Pricing, Contact, etc created and linked from various areas of your website.

5. Create a Sitemap and Add Your Site to Google Search Console

Google and other search engines rely on XML sitemaps to properly discover and index all pages from your website.

You need to create an XML sitemap, and then submit it to Google search console.

This will make it easier for Google to discover all the pages on your site, and it can also help increase your chances of getting a Google sitelink.

6. Make Internal Linking a Habit

Internal linking is one of the most important part of on-page SEO. You need to make sure that you’re frequently linking to your top internal pages on your website.

Since Google uses backlinks as a ranking signal, internal linking helps Google see which pages are the most important on your site.

You can see how we have linked to various of our internal website content from this article.

7. Improve Page Titles and Make them Relevant

Page titles are probably the most important on-page SEO element. You need to make sure that your page title is relevant to the keyword you’re trying to rank for.

Google uses page titles to generate the sitelinks, so you need to make sure that your page titles are relevant.

TrustPulse team has done a great job with their page titles:

Google Sitelinks Generated from Page Title

You can define the post or page title inside your WordPress SEO plugin settings for that respective page.

8. Increase Your Brand Awareness

As we mentioned earlier, that Google sitelinks are typically shown for established websites.

You don’t have to be a big brand like Apple or WPBeginner, but you need to raise enough awareness for Google to notice you.

Your website’s authority and presence online plays an important factor in Google’s ranking algorithm.

Here are few things you can do to boost your brand awareness:

  • Create social media profiles for your brand and make sure they link to you
  • Get positive business reviews about your brand on Facebook, Yelp, Google, and other review aggregators.
  • Guest blog on popular industry websites
  • Participate in community discussions and/or give interviews
  • Do press releases and reach out to news outlets to cover your brand

Brand awareness helps increase the number of brand search which is an indicator Google uses to determine if Sitelinks should be added for that particular term.

Just like Google sitelinks, the search box with sitelinks is also added based on Google’s discretion. The Google sitelinks search box is typically dedicated to websites with a large number of content such as WPBeginner, Wikipedia, YouTube etc.

What are Google Sitelinks?

With that said, you can add some code snippets on your website to encourage Google to display a site search box along with your Google sitelinks.

If you’re using the Yoast SEO plugin, then it adds the JSON+LD markup for site search automatically.

If you’re not, then you can use the Sitelinks Search Box plugin to add the relevant JSON LD schema markup.

Frequently Asked Questions about Google Sitelinks

In our Facebook Group and support channels, we have received many questions related to Google sitelinks. Below are the top ones.

How do I remove sitelinks from Google?

In the past, Google allowed webmasters to “demote” sitelinks from the Google search console. However that option was removed to simplify things. The only way to remove a specific page from Google sitelinks is to either delete the page or set it to noindex. There’s no way to disable Google sitelinks once they’re added unless you de-index your entire website which is not recommended.

How do I change Sitelinks in Google?

There is no way to change Sitelinks in Google. The Google algorithm automatically selects the relevant pages on your site and add it to the sitelink. You can customize the page titles, but it’s entirely up to Google as to what text they display. There’s no way to edit the text on Google sitelinks since it’s automated.

Can I pay to get Google sitelinks?

Sometimes beginners can confuse Google sitelinks with the Google Adwords Sitelink extension. When you’re paying for ads, Google lets you use the sitelink extension to add additional sublinks as part of your ad. This does not influence the Google sitelinks on your organic listing.

We hope this article helped you learn how to get Google sitelinks for your WordPress site. You may also want to see our guide on how to increase your blog traffic and how to monetize your blog.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Get Google Sitelinks for Your WordPress Site appeared first on WPBeginner.



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Google Chrome Will Block Mixed Content – Are You Ready for It?


Recently, Google Chrome announced that they will soon start blocking mixed content also known as insecure content on web pages.

This feature will be gradually rolled out starting from December 2019. This should give website owners enough time to check for mixed content errors and fix them before the block goes live.

Failing to do so will cause poor user experience, loss of traffic, and loss of sales.

In this guide, we will explain Google Chrome’s mixed content blocking and how you can be well prepared for it.

Getting ready for mixed content block by Google Chrome

Since this is a comprehensive guide, we have created an easy to follow table of content:

  • What is mixed content?
  • Why Google Chrome wants to block mixed content?
  • What will happen if a website is showing mixed content?
  • How to prepare your website for mixed content block?
  • How to fix mixed content errors in WordPress?

What is Mixed Content?

Mixed content is a term used to describe non-https content loading on an HTTPS website.

HTTPS represent websites using a SSL certificate to deliver content. This technology makes websites secure by encrypting the data transfer between a website and a user’s browser.

Google, Microsoft, WordPress.org, WPBeginner, and many other organizations are pushing HTTPs as the standard protocol for websites.

They have been very successful in their efforts. According to Google, “Chrome users now spend over 90% of their browsing time on HTTPS on all major platforms.”

However, there are still many websites serving partial insecure content (mixed content) over HTTPs websites. Google aims to improve this situation by giving website owners a nudge in the right direction.

Why Google Chrome Wants to Block Mixed Content?

Google Chrome already blocks mixed content, but it’s limited to certain content types like JavaScript and iFrame resources.

Blocked mixed content on a web page

From December 2019, Google Chrome will move forward to start blocking other mixed content resources like images, audio, video, cookies, and other web resources.

An insecure HTTP file on a secure HTTPs webpage can still be used by hackers to manipulate users, install malware, and hijack a website. This jeopardizes your website security as well as the safety of your website visitors.

It also creates a bad user experience as Google Chrome cannot indicate whether a page is completely secure or insecure.

What Will Happen if a Website is Showing Mixed Content?

Google Chrome has announced a gradual plan to implement mixed content blocking. It will be implemented in three steps spawning over the next three releases of Google Chrome.

Step 1

Starting from December 2019 (Chrome 79), it will add a new settings option to the ‘Site Settings’ menu. Users will be able to unblock the mixed content already blocked by Google Chrome including JavaScript and iframe resources.

If a user opts-out for a website, then Google Chrome will serve mixed content on that site, but it will replace the padlock icon with the insecure icon.

Step 2

Starting from January 2020 (Chrome 80), Google Chrome will start auto upgrading HTTP video and audio file URLs to HTTPs. If it fails to load them over https, then it will automatically block those files.

It will still allow images to load over HTTP, but the padlock icon will change to Not Secure icon if a website is serving images over HTTP.

Step 3

From February 2020 (Chrome 81), Google Chrome will start auto-upgrading HTTP images to load over HTTPs. If it fails to load them over https, then those images will be blocked as well.

Basically, if your website has any mixed content resources that are not upgraded to HTTPs, then users will see the Not Secure icon in their browser’s address bar.

This will create a poor user experience for them. It will also affect your brand reputation and business.

No need to panic though. You can easily prepare your website to fix all mixed content errors.

How to Prepare Your WordPress Website for Google Chrome’s Mixed Content Block

Google Chrome is the most popular browser in the world among both mobile and desktop users.

Leaving your website with incomplete HTTPS implementation or no HTTPS at all will result in loss of traffic, sales, and overall revenue.

Here is what you need to do to prepare your website for these changes.

Move Your Website to HTTPS

If your website is still using HTTP, then Google Chrome will already be showing a ‘Not Secure’ icon when users visit your website.

Not Secure HTTP website

It is about time to finally move your website to HTTPS.

We know that changes like these can be a bit intimidating for beginners. Some site owners postpone the move due to cost, which is no longer an issue as you can easily get a free SSL certificate for your website.

Other website owners delay it because they think it will be a complicated process and could break their website.

That’s why we have created a step by step guide to easily move your WordPress site from HTTP to HTTPS.

We will walk you through every step and show you how to get that secure padlock icon next to your website address in all browsers.

Finding Mixed Content on an HTTPS Website

If you already have an HTTPS-enabled website, then here is how you will find mixed content on your site.

The first indication of mixed content issues will be visible in Google Chrome’s address bar when you visit your website.

If Google Chrome has blocked a script on your website, then you will see the scripts blocked shield icon at the right corner of the address bar.

Blocked mixed content on a web page

Google Chrome has already blocked the insecure content and that’s why the padlock icon on the left corner of the address bar will not change.

The second indication that you should look for is the info icon. This icon will replace the padlock if the page you are viewing has mixed content that Google Chrome has not blocked.

Unblocked mixed content

Clicking on the icon will show the notice that ‘Your connection to this site is not fully secure’.

Usually, this content includes images, cookies, audio, or video files. Chrome does not block those files at the moment and that’s why it shows this notice.

If your site has both icons, then this means your site is loading multiple types of mixed content files using HTTP.

Next, you need to find out which files are loaded using the insecure HTTP URLs. To do that, right-click anywhere on your website and select Inspect tool from the browser menu.

Console tool in Inspect view showing mixed content errors and warnings

Switch to the ‘Console’ table under the Inspect window to view page load errors. You’ll be looking for ‘Mixed content:’ errors and warnings to find out which files are blocked and which files are loaded using the HTTP URLs.

Fixing Mixed Content Errors in WordPress

There are two easy methods that you can use to fix mixed content warnings and errors on your WordPress website.

Method 1. Fix Mixed Content Errors and Warnings Using a Plugin

This method is easier and recommended for beginners. We will use a plugin that will find and replace HTTP URLs to HTTPs on the fly before sending it to user’s browser.

The downside is that it adds a few milliseconds to your website’s page load speed which is barely noticeable.

First, you need to install and activate the SSL Insecure Content Fixer plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, go to Settings » SSL Insecure Content page to configure the plugin settings.

Secure Content Fixer plugin settings

Select the ‘Simple’ option and then click on the ‘Save changes’ button to store your settings.

Visit your website to look for mixed content warning errors.

For more detailed instructions, see our article on how to fix mixed content error in WordPress.

Method 2. Manually Fix Mixed Content Issues in WordPress

This method can get a bit complicated for beginners. Basically, you’ll be finding the insecure URLs across your website and replacing it with secure URLs.

We will still use a plugin to find insecure HTTP URLs on your website. However, you’ll be able to deactivate the plugin once you have changed the URLs, so this will not impact your page speed like the first option.

Let’s get started.

First, you need to install and activate the Better Search and Replace plugin.

Upon activation, you need to visit Tools » Better Search Replace page.

Under the ‘Search’ field, you need to add your website URL with http. After that, add your website URL with https under the ‘Replace’ field.

Better search and replace plugin settings

Click on Run Search/Replace button to continue.

The plugin will now run and find all instances of your website URLs starting with http and replace them with the https.

The plugin works on your WordPress database, so it will only change URLs for your content areas.

If the mixed content resources are loaded by your WordPress theme or plugin, then you will need to inform the theme or plugin developer, so they can release a fix for that.

For more details, see our complete beginner’s guide to fixing the common SSL/HTTPs issues in WordPress.

We hope this article answered your questions regarding Google Chrome’s mixed content block and helped you get ready for it. You may also want to see our guide on how to use Google Search Console to grow your website traffic, and the important marketing data you must track on all WordPress sites.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post Google Chrome Will Block Mixed Content – Are You Ready for It? appeared first on WPBeginner.



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How to Add Scroll Depth Tracking in WordPress with Google Analytics


Do you want to add scroll depth tracking on your WordPress website?

Scroll depth tracking allows you to see how far a user scrolls on any page. This data helps you see if your visitors are actually reading your long posts and when they lose interest, so you can modify the content to keep them engaged.

In this article, we will show you how to easily track user scrolling in WordPress using Google Analytics.

How to Track User Scrolling in WordPress Using Google Analytics

Why Track User Scrolling in WordPress?

Generally, scrolling occurs when a user wants to see your content below the preview screen. It is a primary activity that all users perform to look at your content.

This makes scroll depth tracking an important measure to track user engagement. In addition to that, it gives you plenty of insights about user interaction on your site and helps you improve pages for optimal length.

For example, you can find out how much an average user scrolls when viewing your site, which long reads they liked the most, what makes them lose interest, etc.

With these insights, you can then optimize your pages for better user engagement and higher conversions.

Tracking Scroll Depth in WordPress with Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free web analytics tool offered by Google to help you better understand your website visitors.

It allows you track who your website visitors are (age, gender, interests), where they are from, which pages they visit, how long they stay on those pages, how far down they scroll on the pages, and more.

Google Analytics tracks the basic metrics like total page views, total number of visitors, top pages, etc. by default.

For more advanced metrics like scroll depth, eCommerce tracking, form submissions, file downloads, event tracking, and others, Google analytics require you to setup custom tracking.

Manually setting up advanced Google analytics tracking requires a lot of technical skills. As a beginner, this is nearly impossible. Even some developers can’t do it properly.

Thankfully, there are easy to use WordPress plugins that can help you track advanced metrics like scroll depth with Google Analytics.

Let’s take a look at two plugins that you can use to setup scroll depth tracking in WordPress.

1. Scroll Depth Tracking in WordPress with MonsterInsights

MonsterInsights is the most popular Google Analytics plugin for WordPress with over 2,000,000+ active installs. It helps you easily install and use Google Analytics on your WordPress website without using any code.

MonsterInsights Best Google Analytics WordPress Plugin

With MonsterInsights, you can enable advanced tracking like eCommerce tracking, file downloads, affiliate links, forms tracking, scroll depth, and more with just a single click (no coding needed).

MonsterInsights comes with scroll-depth tracking enabled by default. This means you don’t even need to configure any settings. All you need to do is setup the MonsterInsights plugin.

First, you need to install and activate the MonsterInsights plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, go to Insights » Settings page and then click on the Engagement tab. As shown in the screenshot below, you will see the scroll tracking option enabled by default.

MonsterInsights Scroll Depth Tracking Option

MonsterInsights trigger events in Google Analytics as your website visitors scroll down the page. It will then be tracked with Google Analytics as 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% scroll.

You can see your scroll tracking stats and other helpful stats right inside your WordPress admin area by going to the MonsterInsights Publishers Report (Insights » Reports » Publishers). The scroll depth data appears next to the Interests section.

Scroll Tracking Reports in WordPress

You can use the scroll depth data to optimize your pages for more conversions. It gives you a better picture of how your visitors are interacting with your content and helps you decide the best place for your important calls to action, ads, and more.

View User Scrolling Data in Google Analytics

Now that you have set up scroll tracking with MonsterInsights, you can view reports also in your Google Analytics account.

Log into your Analytics account and then visit Real-Time » Events to see your real-time or recent scrolling data within the last 30 minutes.

Google Analytics Scroll Tracking in Real-time

For the complete data, you can go to Behavior » Events » Overview from your Analytics dashboard.

Scroll Depth Data in Google Analytics

You can click on the Scroll Depth link to get more details.

If you want more granular details, then you can use Google Analytics’ secondary dimension feature alongside the Scroll Depth event to see the scroll data for each individual landing page.

2. Track User Scrolling With WP Scroll Depth Plugin

If you don’t want a comprehensive Google Analytics solution and would rather use a single plugin, then you can use WP Scroll Depth.

The first thing you need to do is install and activate the WP Scroll Depth plugin on your site. For detailed instructions, here’s our step by step guide on how to install a plugin in WordPress.

Upon activation, you need to go to Settings » Scroll Depth to configure the plugin settings.

WP Scroll Depth Plugin Settings

The default options will track scroll depth for all pages on your WordPress site. All you need to do is click on the Save Changes button to store plugin settings.

WP Scroll Depth plugin uses jQuery to track scrolling on your WordPress site. It monitors four scroll points 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% of the page height. When a user reaches a scroll point, the plugin sends an event to Google Analytics using jQuery.

After that, you can view Scroll Depth event data under Real-Time » Events on your Google Analytics dashboard.

WP Scroll Depth Real-time data

We use MonsterInsights on all our websites because it’s the most complete Google Analytics plugin for WordPress, and we recommend all our users to do the same. They have a free MonsterInsights plugin, and you can also upgrade to the premium version to unlock more powerful tracking.

We hope this article helped you learn how to track scroll depth on your WordPress site using Google Analytics. You may also like to see our guide on 10 website marketing data you must track on every WordPress site.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.



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How to Add Google Maps Store Locator in WordPress


Do you want to add Google Maps store locator in WordPress? A store locator is a map pointing to your business location.

It allows users to locate you on the map, find driving directions, or share the location with friends. Adding a store locator to your business website or even an online store helps you instantly earn user trust.

In this article, we will show you how to easily add Google Maps store locator in WordPress.

How to add a Google Maps store locator in WordPress

Google Maps introduced a paid API to display maps on websites. They still offer a limited free option to embed Google maps on small websites.

Most Google Maps plugins for WordPress use the Google API to retrieve and display maps. If you want to use a Google Maps plugin, then you will need to sign up with Google API platform and enable billing option.

It is a pay as you go service, which means you will be charged based on the number of API calls made from your website.

We will show you both free and paid methods with their pros and cons, then you can choose the one that best suits your needs.

Method 1. Adding Google Maps to Your Website for Free

This method is easier and free. The disadvantage is that you cannot show multiple stores on a single map.

It is recommended for users who just want to add a single Google Maps store location on their website.

First, you need to visit the Google Maps website on your computer. Next, enter your store’s address in the search field and Google Maps will show it on the map with a pinned marker on the map.

Sharing a map in Google Maps

Make sure that the marker is placed on the correct location. You can select a zoom level by clicking the zoom button. Once you are satisfied with the zoom level, you need to click on the share button from the left column.

This will bring up a popup where you need to switch to the ‘Embed a Map’ tab. You will now see your searched location on the map with an HTML code.

Copy the Google Maps embed code

Click on the Copy HTML link to get the embed code.

Now head over to the admin area of your WordPress website. Once in the admin area, go ahead and edit the post or page where you want to display the store location map.

Normally, users add a store location map on their contact form page with their phone number and opening hours.

On the post edit screen, you need to add a custom HTML block.

Adding a custom HTML block in WordPress

In the text area of custom HTML block, you need to paste the code you copied from Google Maps.

Maps embed code in WordPress

You can now switch to the preview tab to see Google Maps embedded into your page. It will show your store location marked on the map with links to directions or to save the location.

Store location marked on the map

Method 2. Add Google Maps Store Locator Using a WordPress Plugin

This method is recommended for users who want to show multiple store locations on a Google Map.

The first thing you need to do is in install and activate the WP Store Locator plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

It is a free Google Maps plugin that allows you to create a custom map with multiple store locations and custom fields.

The disadvantage of this method is that it requires you to add an API key. You will need to provide your billing information to use the API key. For pricing and other information, please check out the Google Maps Platform website.

Ready, let’s get started.

Step 1. Generating Google Maps API keys

To use WP Store Locator plugin, you will need to generate two API keys. The first one is called the Browser API key and the second one is called the Server Key.

Let’s start with the Browser key first. Click on this Google Developer Console link and it will take you to the Google API website with all the required APIs enabled.

Create a new project

You need to create a new project and give it a name that helps you identify the project. After that, you will have to wait a few moments as the console creates the project for you.

Next, you will be redirected to the API key configuration page. You need to provide a title for your API key, so you can easily identify it as the browser api key for your Google Maps project.

Browser api key settings

Next, you need to set ‘Application Restrictions’ to ‘HTTP Referrers’. Below that you need to set the ‘Accept requests from’ field to your domain name in the following format.

https://example.com/*
https://*.example.com/* (if you are using a subdomain)

Finally, click on the ‘Create’ button. The console will now save your settings and will show you the Browser key. You need to copy and paste this key in a text editor, you will need it later.

Copy browser api key

Next, you need to create the server API key. Click on this Google Developer Console link and it will take you directly to the console with selected APIs enabled.

You will once again see the create project page. However since you have already created a project, you can just click on the drop-down menu and select your project.

Select your Google Maps project

You will be then redirected to API configuration page. Provide a name for this API key that helps you recognize it as Server key.

Set IP restrictions

Under the ‘Application restrictions’ section, you need to select IP Addresses. Basically, we are telling Google to only accept server requests coming from specific IP addresses.

Now you would need to ask your WordPress hosting provider to tell you the IP range used by your hosting account. It would be in the following format:

172.16.0.0/12

After that, you need to click on the ‘Create’ button to save your settings and copy the Server API key.

Step 2. Setting up the WP Store Locator Plugin

Once you have created your API keys, you need to head over to Store Locator » Settings page to set up the plugin.

Enter Google Maps Keys

Enter the Google Maps browser and server API keys you generated earlier. Next, select Maps language and region and then click on the save changes button to store your settings.

Now, you need to scroll down on the settings page to the ‘Map’ section and enter a start point of the map. This start point could be a city or a country, so users can see markers placed at different locations.

Add a start point for your store locator map

There are many other options on the settings page including map style, default zoom level, map type, search radius, country, etc. You can review them and adjust them to your needs.

Once you are done, it is time to add locations.

Step 3. Adding store locations

Head over to Store Locator » New Store page to add your first location. The New Store page will look just like the default post or page editor in WordPress.

Store address

Provide a title for your store and then scroll down to ‘Store details’ section. From here, you need to enter your store address.

You will see a map in the right column, however it will not automatically update to the address you have entered. You will need to click on the Publish button to save your location. After that, refresh the page and the map will point to the address you provided.

Now repeat the process to add other store locations. You can add as many store locations as you want.

Step 4. Adding the store locator map in WordPress

To display your store locator on a WordPress page, simply create a new page or edit an existing one where you want to display the map.

On the post edit screen, you need to add the ‘Shortcode’ block to your post edit area. After that add the [wpls] shortcode inside it.

Store locator shortcode

You can now save or publish your page and click on the preview button to see Google Maps store locator in action.

Store locator map preview

It will show your map markers for each store location and start the map from your preferred starting point. For example, in this map, it is focused on the city of West Palm Beach and showing two store locations on the map.

That’s all we hope this article helped you learn how to add Google Maps store locator in WordPress. You may also want to see our list of free Google Tools every site owner should use.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Add Google Maps Store Locator in WordPress appeared first on WPBeginner.



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How to Install Google Analytics in WordPress for Beginners


Do you want to install Google Analytics in WordPress? Knowing how your audience interacts with your website is crucial for your success.

The best way to know your audience is through your traffic stats, and this is what Google Analytics provides for FREE.

In this article, we will share why Google Analytics is important, and how you can easily install Google Analytics in your WordPress website (step by step).

How to Install Google Analytics in WordPress

First, we will explain why Google Analytics is important and how it can help you grow your website.

After that, we will show you how to sign up for a Google Analytics account and different methods to install it on your WordPress site.

Finally, we will explain how to view your traffic reports in Google Analytics.

Here is a quick overview of what you’ll learn in this article.

  • Why is Google Analytics Important
  • How to Sign up with Google Analytics
  • How to Install Google Analytics Using MonsterInsights (Recommended)
  • How to Install Google Analytics Using Insert Headers & Footers Plugin
  • How to Install Google Analytics in WordPress Theme (Advanced)
  • Viewing Reports in Google Analytics
  • Making the Most out of Google Analytics
    • Ready let’s get started.

      Why is Google Analytics Important for Bloggers?

      Once you start a blog, your #1 goal is to get more traffic and subscribers. Google Analytics help you make data-driven decisions by showing you the stats that matter. You can see:

      Who visits your website?

      This part of analytics answers what is the geographical location of your audience, which browser did the user use to visit your site and other important information such as screen resolution, JavaScript support, Flash support, language and more.

      This data is extremely useful, and it can help in numerous ways. When getting a custom design, you can use the user data to make sure that your site will be compatible with your audience.

      If most of your users don’t have Flash support, then you should avoid adding the flash element in your site. If most of your users are on 1280 screen resolutions, then make sure that your design is compatible with that resolution or smaller.

      What do people do when they are on your website?

      You can track where the users are going on your website, how long do they stay on your website, and what is the bounce rate (the percent of users exit your site on the first visit).

      By using this information, you can decrease the bounce rate and increase your pageviews.

      You can also find your most popular articles, articles that are not doing so well, and what kind of content your users are looking for.

      When do people visit your website?

      By looking at the hottest hours in the day for your site, you can pick the time when you publish your post. If that time zone is not compatible with yours, then you can schedule your post to meet that hour.

      How do people find your website?

      This section of the analytics shows you where did the users come from (for example: Search Engines, Direct Links, Referral links from another site).

      It also shows you what percentage of your visitors came from each of these sources. Google analytics gives you the breakdown of each of these categories. If it is the search engine category, then it shows you which search engine got you the most traffic, Google, Yahoo, Bing etc.

      The breakdown of referral sources shows you which sites you need to work with the most. If your top referral source is Facebook, then you need to have exclusive Facebook content to make your Facebook audience feel special.

      If your top referral source is an external website, then you might want to consider having a partnership with that website (guest post exchange or something else).

      How do people interact with your content?

      Google analytics shows how your users interact with your site’s content. It shows you what percent of the user clicked on which link on your site and much more.

      You can run A/B split tests by creating content experiments in Google Analytics to understand what works best to meet your goals.

      By seeing the user interactivity, you can work your content around your users. By seeing the answers to the questions above, you can focus on the strategies that work for your site and avoid strategies that don’t work.

      Simply put, eliminate the guesswork and focus on stats that matter, so you can make data driven-decisions.

      How to Signup with Google Analytics

      Google Analytics is available for free and all you need is a Google or Gmail account to sign up. The sign up process is quite simple, follow the step by step instructions below to create your Google Analytics account.

      Step 1: First you need to visit Google Analytics sign up.

      You will be asked to login with your Google account. If you already have a Google or Gmail account, then you can use that to sign-in. Otherwise, you can go ahead and create a Google account for yourself.

      Sign in with your Google account

      Step 2: Once you sign-in with your Gmail account, you will be prompted to a screen like the one below. This is where you will signup for Google analytics with your Gmail account.

      Sign up for Google Analytics

      Step 3: On the next screen, you will be given choice to choose between a website or mobile app. Make sure you select website.

      After that, you need to enter account name (It will be the Google Analytics profile name for this website), Website name, website’s URL, country, and the time zone.

      Fill in your website information

      Once you have entered this information, click on the Get Tracking ID button. You will be presented with Google Analytics terms and service which you must agree to, so click on ‘I Agree’ button.

      Step 4: Now you will be presented with your Google Analytics tracking code. You can copy this tracking code because you will need to enter it in your WordPress site depending on the method you use below.

      Your Google Analytics tracking code

      We suggest leaving the analytics browser tab open as you may need to revisit it, once you have installed the code on your WordPress site.

      Now that you have setup a Google Analytics account, lets take a look at how to install Google Analytics in WordPress.

      How to Install Google Analytics in WordPress

      There are a few different ways to setup Google Analytics in WordPress. We will show you three methods where the first option is the easiest and the last being the hardest.

      You can choose the one that best suits your needs.

      1. Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights

      MonsterInsights is the most popular Google Analytics plugin for WordPress. Over 1 million websites use it including the likes of Bloomberg, PlayStation, Zillow, and more.

      It is the easiest and by far the best way to add Google Analytics to WordPress (for all users beginners and experts alike).

      MonsterInsights is available as both, a paid premium plugin, and a free version. In this tutorial, we will be using the MonsterInsights free version.

      You can use the MonsterInsights Pro version if you want more advanced features like E-commerce tracking, Ads tracking, Author tracking, etc. The process of setting them up is the same.

      Let’s get started.

      The first thing you need to do is install and activate the MonsterInsights plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

      Upon activation, the plugin will add a new menu item labeled ‘Insights’ to your WordPress admin menu. Clicking on it will bring the MonsterInsights setup wizard.

      MonsterInsights setup wizard

      First, you will be asked to choose a category for your website (a business website, blog, or online store). Select one and then click on ‘Save and Continue’ button.

      Next, you need to click on the ‘Connect MonsterInsights’ button.

      Connect MonsterInsights

      This will bring up a popup which will take you Google accounts where you will be asked to sign in or select a Google account if you are already signed in.

      Sign in or select a Google account to continue

      Next, you will be asked to allow MonsterInsights to access your Google Analytics account.

      Allow MonsterInsights to access your Google Analytics account

      Click on the ‘Allow’ button to continue.

      The final step is to select the profile you want to track. You need to select your website here and then click on the ‘Complete authentication’ button to continue.

      Select your website profile to compete setup

      MonsterInsights will now install Google Analytics on your website. After that you will be asked to select the recommended settings for your website.

      Recommended settings for Google Analytics

      The default settings would work for most websites. If you use an affiliate link plugin, then you need to add the path you use to cloak affiliate links. This will allow you to track your affiliate links in Google Analytics.

      Click on the Save and Continue button to save your settings.

      Next, MonsterInsights will show you paid add-ons that you can access if you upgrade to PRO. You can simply click on the ‘Save and Continue’ button to skip this step.

      Upgrade to pro

      After that, you will be asked to install WPForms plugin, which is the best WordPress contact form plugin. You can install it or simply click on ‘Skip this Step’

      Recommended plugin

      That’s all you have successfully installed and setup Google Analytics on your WordPress site. Remember, it will take Google Analytics sometime before showing your stats.

      Google Analytics successfully installed using MonsterInsights

      The best part about MonsterInsights is that you can view your Google Analytics reports inside your WordPress dashboard. Simply visit Insights &raqo; Reports page to check out a quick overview of your analytics data.

      Your Google Analytics reports in WordPress dashboard

      Note: MonsterInsights was formerly known as Google Analytics for WordPress by Yoast. WPBeginner’s founder, Syed Balkhi, acquired the plugin in 2016 and rebranded it to MonsterInsights. Now it is part of our family of premium WordPress plugins.

      2. Insert Headers and Footers Plugin

      This method is not as not as good as MonsterInsights because you will not be able to do advanced tracking configuration, and you will not be able to view Google Analytics data in your WordPress dashboard.

      First, you need to install and activate the Insert Headers and Footers plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

      Upon activation, you need to visit Settings » Insert Headers and Footers page. Here you need to paste the Google Analytics code that you copied in step 4 into the headers section.

      Adding Google Analytics tracking code using Insert Headers and Footers plugin

      Don’t forget to click on the save changes button to store your settings.

      That’s all, you have successfully installed Google Analytics on your site.

      3. Install Google Analytics in WordPress Theme

      This method is for advanced users who are familiar with the code. It is somewhat unreliable because your code will disappear if you switch or update the theme. We almost never recommend using this method.

      If this is your first time adding code to your WordPress files, then you should check out our guide on how to copy paste code snippets in WordPress.

      Add code in header.php file

      Simply edit the header.php file in your WordPress theme and paste the code you copied in step 4 right after the <body> tag.

      Don’t forget to save your changes and upload the file back to your server.

      Add via Functions File

      You can also add Google Analytics tracking code to WordPress functions file. It will then automatically add the tracking code to every page on your WordPress site.

      You will need to add this code to your theme’s functions.php file.

      <?php
      add_action('wp_head', 'wpb_add_googleanalytics');
      function wpb_add_googleanalytics()  ?>
      
      // Paste your Google Analytics code from Step 4 here
      
      <?php  ?>
      

      Viewing Reports on Google Analytics Website

      Google Analytics is capable of showing you a treasure of data collected from your stats. You can view this data by visiting your Google Analytics dashboard.

      Google Analytics reporting

      You will see the built-in Google Analytics reports in the left column. Each section is divided into different tabs and clicking on a tab will expand it to show more options.

      • Real-time This report will show you a real time view of your traffic.
      • Audience tab will show reports to help you understand your users.
      • Acquisition reports explore where your users came from.
      • Behavior reports summarize what your users do after they arrive on your site.
      • Conversion reports show how well you’re doing against your goals.

      Making the Most out of Google Analytics

      Google Analytics is an incredibly powerful tool with tons of awesome features. Some of them are quite obvious and easy to use, others require some additional setup.

      Here are some of the resources that will help you make the most out of Google Analytics reports.

      Google Analytics works best with Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools). It allows you to see how your website is doing in search results. See our complete Google Search Console guide to learn how to use it to grow your website.

      We hope this article helped you learn how to install Google Analytics in WordPress. You may also want to see our ultimate WordPress SEO guide for beginners.

      If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

      The post How to Install Google Analytics in WordPress for Beginners appeared first on WPBeginner.



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Form Pages by WPForms – Google Forms Alternative for WordPress


Have you ever tried creating a distraction-free form landing page in WordPress? If so, then you likely realized that it is not easy.

The biggest challenge with WordPress forms until now has been that all form layouts are controlled by WordPress themes, and sadly most WordPress themes do not prioritize form layouts.

This forced a lot of WordPress users to use Google Forms to create standalone forms which isn’t an ideal workflow. Since there wasn’t a perfect Google Forms alternative in WordPress, we created one.

Today, I’m excited to announce the launch of Form Pages by WPForms, a “distraction-free” form landing page builder for WordPress to help you improve your form conversions.

Form Pages by WPForms Preview

Form Pages addon for WPForms allows you to quickly create dedicated form landing pages without hiring a developer or writing any code in less than 5 minutes.

Like everything else in WPForms, we made the process “stupid simple”.

You can create a custom landing page for any of your WordPress forms by simply enabling the “Form Page Mode” from the Form Settings.

Form Pages by WPForms

On the settings page, you can add your logo, custom page title, description, and define the landing page URL.

It comes with two different form styles Modern and Classic. The Classic style will give you the exact same look-and-feel of Google Forms whereas the Modern Design will allow you to bring your form into 2019.

You can combine the form styles with six pre-made color schemes. You can also build a custom color scheme by selecting the main color. WPForms will then generate other colors and gradients to automatically build your color scheme.

Once done simply save your settings, and that’s it.

Your custom form landing page is ready to be shared.

Form Pages by WPForms is the perfect Google Forms alternative for WordPress because it lets you build custom form landing pages and combine it with other powerful WPForms features such as smart surveys, conditional logic, payment integrations, marketing integrations, user registration, form abandonment technology, and so much more.

Form Pages addon is available as part of the WPForms Pro plan.

If you’re serious about improving your form conversions, then you need get started with WPForms Pro today.

Bonus: You can get 50% off WPForms when using the coupon code: SAVE50

Thank you as always for your continued support of WPBeginner and our products. We look forward to bringing you even more powerful solutions in 2019.

Syed and the WPBeginner Team



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